Edge gluing thin stock

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Forum topic by jayjay posted 02-02-2010 05:13 AM 10908 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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639 posts in 3015 days

02-02-2010 05:13 AM

Hey fellas.
I was wondering if there was any trick to edge gluing 1/4” and thinner stock, and keeping it flat. I have some 1/4” stock that I would like to glue up to make a wider piece, and I really don’t have any room to plane it down any further after glue up. So I’m trying to glue these pieces together, keeping them flat and parallel to each other with minimal mismatch. Is there any special edge prep that would help in this situation. I was thinking of maybe cutting a 45 degree bevel along both mating edges to form the joint, but then I wouldn’t be able to clamp them together without them separating and wanting to overlap eachother. Would a half lap joint be practical on something that thin, or would a square edge glue joint be strong enough? Thanks for any advice.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

15 replies so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3215 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 05:35 AM

Luthiers work with thin stuff all the time. Wood Whisperer has a video on building a guitar has the guy gluing up some thin pieces for the back. I think it’s part 2, you might check it out over at his sight.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 07:08 AM

Hey Jason
David marks used clamps with lite pressure and some bricks wrapped in duck tape to keep it from bowing up.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3559 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 07:25 AM

Like you said, rip on Table Saw with the blade tilts 45 degree to get wider glue-up area is possible. Then do as Jim said. I’ve done it before. Lay on flat surface (glass/acrylic/phenolic) so it won’t stick. Keep enough pressure (vertical and horizontas).

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3015 days

#4 posted 02-02-2010 04:55 PM

Thanks for the excellent suggestions. I’ll check out the wood whisperer video.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#5 posted 02-02-2010 10:09 PM

If the project allows it, you could also use some battens.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gary's profile


1283 posts in 4293 days

#6 posted 02-03-2010 02:20 AM

Before applying any glue, I lay the pieces out snug and hold them snug (sometimes having an assistant provide third and/or fourth hands) while applying blue painters tape.
Then, I can fold them back, apply glue to the edges and roll it back out to the original flat position.
I’ll then apply blue painters tape to the opposite side.
If it seems necessary, I’ll also use wax paper to prevent sticking while overlaying other stock and weights.
I’ve used dumbells, cinder blocks, and the like to keep things flat on occassion.

-- Gary, Florida

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3015 days

#7 posted 02-03-2010 03:03 PM

Thanks you gentlemen for the pointers. I found that gluing up thin stock as a whole new set of challenges. It was definitely a learning experience for me. Thanks to all of you suggestions, I made it through the glue up.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 3266 days

#8 posted 02-03-2010 04:22 PM

I’ve had some success by lining a piece of MDF that is slightly larger than my glue-up w/ wax paper. I screw a straight piece of scrap to one edge and another straight piece to the other side. I glue up my edges, place them together and use wedges to apply clamping pressure. I use a smaller piece of MDF on top (w/ wax paper) and weight it down.
I leave it ‘til dry. Preferably over night. I remove the piece and scrape it clean of glue and Viola! A flat glue-up.

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 3266 days

#9 posted 02-08-2010 10:40 PM

I was just watching a video by the “Wood Whisperer”. He addressed this by laying out the boards (in their intended orientation) face down. He stretched strips of blue masking tape tightly across the seams and one covering the seam lengthwise. He then turned them over, bent them away from each other and applied glue. Next he laid them flat, scraped off the excess glue and ran another strip of tape over each joint, lengthwise. That was easy and it and it seemed to work fine so I am goint to give it a try.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3554 days

#10 posted 02-08-2010 10:43 PM

try also when working on shelves edge clamps I have about six of these and they have served me well.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View mdbohica's profile


26 posts in 3016 days

#11 posted 02-09-2010 12:25 PM

I am going to second (or third?) Gary and Kimball’s suggestion with one difference. I would use clear packing tape. It has a higher tensile strength. Also, to hold them together, if you have a proper workbench with an end-vice, you can use that with some bench dogs to hold them snug while you tape them up.

Hope this helps.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3737 days

#12 posted 02-09-2010 01:10 PM

i would say use some clamps and make sure you have one as far out on the edge of the wood as possilble. Then you can take a piece of wood and use it as a caul across the top of the joint and clamp it to the outer clamp. it works very well and the wood stays flat and can not go anywhere. the brick idea also works very well. just when glueing up pieces this think using parallel clamps is a good idea. its gonna be harder if you’re using pipe clamps.

View JimDaddyO's profile


543 posts in 3048 days

#13 posted 02-09-2010 02:51 PM

When I did my top and bottom for my guitar, I got a pice of plywood and waxed it. I put the pieces to be glued up on the ply with a 1/2” strip under it at the glue joint. I then put a series of nails along each edge of the parts to be glued. I then glued, put the pieces between the nails, a pice of waxed paper over the seam and weighted it. The nails on the outer edge forces the seam together, and the weights helped line up the glue seam.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3015 days

#14 posted 02-09-2010 03:06 PM

Wow….....thanks for the great suggestions. I think I ought to be able to use just about every one of those techniques one way or another.

Thanks alot!

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

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Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3407 days

#15 posted 02-09-2010 04:00 PM

Simple. it’s like gluing a guitar top. get a board. nail two strips on it so that your two pieces fit between it with about 1/4-1/2” to spare. lay wax paper on the board where the seam will be. make a few small wood wedges, apply glue to the seam and put wedges on one side where the gap between the strip and workpiece is. Tap the wedges till the seam is snug. Place another strip of wax paper on the seam and put a narrow board over the seam. put a few weights on the board to hold things down. A guitar back and side about 1/8” or less in thickness will last a lifetime with this method.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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