Planing a glued up board

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Forum topic by ChrisN posted 02-07-2008 02:40 PM 3897 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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259 posts in 3947 days

02-07-2008 02:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue up

I’ve recently finished gluing up a number of boards for a cutting board. While I was able to get a lot of the squeeze out cleaned up during the curing time, there is still glue on the surface, especially where it was hidden by clamps. When I run my fingers accross the surface, I also feel ridges, which may be glue or minor differences in the line-up of the board faces. Ultimately I want/need this surface to be nice and smooth and flat…so now my questions:

1. How should I remove this excess glue? Will sanding a surface that is not perfectly flat cause me problems? Can I use the my planer?
2. After I get the suface smooth, can I plane it flat without ruining my planer blades on the glue joints?


-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

5 replies so far

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4056 days

#1 posted 02-07-2008 03:46 PM


Using a scraper is the classic way of removing glue. Glue is hard on planes/blades and doesn’t sand so well. Once you get the glue off, you could send it through your planer. One problem that you might run into using a planer with a cutting board is all the different grain directions and tear out. If you detect this, a router sled will level it no problem.

A simple router sled


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3996 days

#2 posted 02-07-2008 05:44 PM

I agree a card scraper or simply a sharpened paint scraper works well. If you can unclamp the project after about 30 minutes the glue is relatively easy to remove with a putty knife. It is rubbery and comes off fairly cleanly. But you will risk nicking your knives if you try to plan or joint it to remove the glue residue (I learned this the hard way).

Good luck.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View swied's profile


74 posts in 3936 days

#3 posted 02-07-2008 10:47 PM

Here’s a low tech solution that I used for flattening the bottom of my surfboard, and have since used on several different projects.

Step 1: Take some 50 grit belt sander paper, and cut it with scissors.
Step 2: Glue the paper to a piece of flat 2×4.
Step 3: Sand, sand, sand… (It’s a great workout)

Here’s a photo of the one I made:
Sanding block

-- Scott, San Diego

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4392 days

#4 posted 02-07-2008 11:02 PM

Hey, great tip swied!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View swied's profile


74 posts in 3936 days

#5 posted 02-07-2008 11:03 PM

Note: You can also use a belt sander if your wood is fairly hard. Take a pencil and mark up the whole surface. Move the sander back and forth and side-to-side over the surface. You will see the low spots where the pencil marks remain. I used this technique to flatten out a horrible Jatoba wood glue job that I did for a dresser top. The boards shifted while drying, and were uneven. It didn’t take much time for the belt sander to bring it down to a nice flat surface. One word of caution: try not to let the side of the belt dig into the wood as you are moving the sander. It can put a deep gouge in the wood if you are not careful.

-- Scott, San Diego

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