Fixing Slightly Crooked 1x6 for Table

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Forum topic by Saucerito posted 01-09-2016 03:56 PM 434 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 298 days

01-09-2016 03:56 PM


I posted some questions the other day about the table I’m building in the Design forum. See here.

I’ve bought red oak 1×6 boards for the glue up of the table top. I probably should have taken a little more time choosing the best boards, but I pretty much took all of the available stock of red oak 1×6s. The problem that I have is that some of them are slightly crooked (I think I’m using the correct word here – warp along the length of the edge of the wood). I don’t have a table saw or jointer so I can’t straighten them up that way. Can I straighten them up using a hand plane? If so, what type of plane should I get? Should I just glue them up with enough clamp pressure to bring the boards together? I’m not planning on using pocket screws as clamps during glue up, but will if that will help out.

See the 1/8” gap between the boards in the lower left of the picture.

Thanks, Will

5 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


575 posts in 984 days

#1 posted 01-09-2016 04:07 PM

You need a jointer plane.

Have you tried moderate clamping pressure to see if they come together?

View Saucerito's profile


12 posts in 298 days

#2 posted 01-09-2016 07:22 PM

I just clamped each side with what I felt was low to moderate pressure and it closed those gaps pretty well. There are still some small gaps in the middle of the length of the boards but I think those would get closed up very easily with clamps in the middle. There is also some slight bowing that I should be able to get out with some cauls.

Can I make cauls with any cheap plane?

View jerryminer's profile


498 posts in 865 days

#3 posted 01-09-2016 08:03 PM

If you can close the gaps with low-to-moderate” clamping pressure, then the glue will probably hold it together.

Be aware, though, that you will be introducing “low-to-moderate” tension in the table top, which could show up later as cracks. (Odds are in your favor, though, IMHO)

Another thing: I like to use freshly-milled surfaces for glue-ups, not surfaces that were milled who-knows-when and have been sitting, oxidizing and getting dusty, etc. You are taking a risk by gluing lumber straight from the store without re-milling. but again, it could work.

Cauls can be made a lot of ways—- you can even use “already bent” lumber from the lumber yard—or, yes, a cheap (or expensive) plane.

I hope you are not planning to surround the glued-up oak boards with the trim shown in the first pic. Wood movement will cause issues. Do some research on “wood movement”

Good luck and have fun!

View Saucerito's profile


12 posts in 298 days

#4 posted 01-09-2016 08:39 PM

Thanks, check out the other thread I linked in the OP. I’ll be gluing the long trim and using table top fasteners or screws with slots that allow for movement (along with one screw in the middle) on the short trim pieces.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2398 posts in 1733 days

#5 posted 01-11-2016 02:52 AM

Like every joint, proper preparation means reduced risk of failure. The idea is to prepare two edges that abut perfectly all along the length so that no pressure is required to close a gap.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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