assembling boards for a cabinet top

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Forum topic by MattEffinCameron posted 12-08-2016 02:52 PM 479 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 679 days

12-08-2016 02:52 PM

day 2, post 2!

For the built-in cabinet I am working on, we have built 2 end cabinets that are about 6’ high and 2’ deep. Between them runs 11.5’ of ~30” high cabinets which are also 2’ deep.

My plan (as referenced in my other thread) is to assemble several oak boards to form a surface to put on top of the lower cabinets, between the tall end cabinets.

I have made a few tabletops before working with my father (who is also helping me on this project) but think this built-in could be with me for longer than my previous projects…and I am using better wood (oak vs pine) so I want to make sure I get it right.

As I mentioned the top is 11’6”. I will be creating this by joining 5 board widths together as follows:
ROW1: 4’ piece, 7’6” piece
ROW2: 7’6” piece, 4’ piece
ROW3: 2’ piece, 7’6” piece, 2’ piece
ROW4: 4’ piece, 7’6” piece
ROW5: 7’6” piece, 4’ piece

My questions regarding this glue up are…
1. Do you recommend I glue it up all at once, or do each row, and then glue the rows together?
2. Any tips for clamping this lengthwise? Regardless of whether I do it one at a time or all at once, I dont have any 12’ clamps.
3. I plan to use biscuits and glue for the edge-grain joints, and saw this interesting article around options for end-grain joints ( and was wondering what you recommend for end-grain. The most reasonable options for me seem to be
  • A) using biscuits
  • B) getting some kind of a jig for my drill to let me use the dowels if they provide better alignment and more glue surface than the biscuits,
  • C)straps on the underside of the cabinet surface,
  • D)get a pocket screw jig and use pocket screws in the back side or
  • E)dont worry about it…jsut glue end grain to end grain and assume that because it isnt really structural, and because everything will be aligned edge-wise almost like a puzzle and glued with biscuits…these end grain joints shouldnt be that big of a deal.

(I cant use some of the other joining methods because my material length is already pretty closed to finish length)

2 replies so far

View shawnn's profile


77 posts in 1509 days

#1 posted 12-08-2016 03:36 PM

I haven’t had any problems gluing end to end. If I was going to mechanically fasten end to end I would use pocket screws (HF has a great pocket hole jig). Use clamping cauls above and below to keep everything on the same plane. If possible put a caul directly over end to end joints to hold them down.

I suggest you glue up sections in widths that will fit through your planer, plane them after glue dries (just a touch to clean them up) then join the two sections for only one remaining joint to deal with. If you have access to a wide belt or drum sander to level the final assembly you can ignore all these suggestions and just sand it.

View OSU55's profile


1860 posts in 2133 days

#2 posted 12-08-2016 11:01 PM

If I understand, you will have staggerd end joints, which will be supported by the boards next to them. Shouldnt need a joint except for the outside rows, biscuit or dowel. Edge grain joints doent need buscuits or anything, just glue. Use clamping cauls to maintain panel alignment. Place clamp boards at each end. Wrap a couple of straps around the whole mess length wise and tighten. Wont need a lot of clamp force.

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