The order of things... kind of confused.

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Forum topic by tyskkvinna posted 01-30-2011 07:25 PM 1163 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1310 posts in 3163 days

01-30-2011 07:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m trying to wrap my head around just precisely what order to do things and I think my problem is likely over-thinking it. :)

I have wood that is 1.5”-2” wide. Some of it has tongue & groove and some does not. If it matters, it’s all maple so the hardness and whatever is basically the same through all of it.

Some of it is 4/4, some is a little bigger or a little thinner. Some of it is six feet long, some of it is 10 feet and I have about 20 pieces that are a foot long.

What I WANT to do is make a box that is 12”x8”x6”—and then probably a few more in other sizes.

So what do I do first? I think I should cut off the tongue/groove, but the boards are too long for me to comfortably do that. So then I think I should cut them to a more manageable length, but that’s what? Is six feet an okay length for my wee router table?

So then- at what point do I glue them together? They are all roughly the same thickness, but not precisely. My planer is okay with that, assuming that they’re all basically flat on one side. which I can do when gluing them together.

When I glue them, should I keep them fairly long or closer to the final product? What makes less waste?

I’m sorry. You can see this really has me confused. I have a feeling it should be a basically simple process.


-- Lis - Michigan - -

7 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 01-30-2011 07:42 PM

Chop some of the boards a bit over sized for each length you need.

Cut off the tongue and groove.

Group in sets that glued up will be enough to make the width you want.

Glue them up.

Thickness them (you won’t get them glued perfectly flat)

Trim to width (making sure to balance out the edge pieces so you don’t have thin strips on one side)

Trim to final length.

Cut your joinery.


-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10989 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 01-30-2011 08:45 PM

I agree with David in all but one item. I’d go a bit over DOUBLE the lengths. It’s probably because I’ve tangled with my table saw and came out the loser, but I believe longer pieces are safer to rip.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View degoose's profile


7243 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 01-30-2011 10:25 PM

If you want my humble opinion… I would cut the boards into lengths that would get the right number of parts for each glue up… ie… if you want 6 inch final widths from just over 2 inch boards cut just over 3 times the length , rip, thichness, joint, crosscut and glue… you would however change this to suit the exact widths of boards available… ie for 1.5 inch you would need 4 … etc….
Hope this helps…
The reason I do this…. all parts for each wider glued up board come from the one piece… better for grain and colour match…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3100 days

#4 posted 01-31-2011 04:02 AM

Dealing with recycled wood is quite tiresome specially in selecting proper color and grain. Just have it planed it first on one side.. (using a thicknesser will not be a problem as long as there is one flat surface).. or just sand one side. This will ease clamping during glue-up. Though it is not the real thickness that you can have after the glue up. Larry is right to have 4 pieces glued side to side… Squaring the sides will also be messy doing it manually… but you can use your router table to have perfect square on one side then use the thicknesser for the other side (2 at a time is better as it balances the pressure on the blade).

If you have all you need been clean and cut squarely then select the grain orientation that will fit for every set of 4 pieces. This is the reason why I set crosscutting (Chopping) in the end. I try to cut the length depending on the grain orientation. What is important is the finished product… if you want a contrast, then insert a darker piece in each joint; if you want it to look like as one piece then select the grain that will match.. The secret for good piece of wood is clamping.

Good luck..

-- Bert

View PurpLev's profile


8542 posts in 3826 days

#5 posted 01-31-2011 04:18 AM

i would (and have in the past) cut the longer boards to length a bit over what’s needed (if the glue up board will be 12” then cut to 12.5” lengths) that will give you more manageable parts to work with at which point you can take the T&G off, joint, face, glue up, flatten, thickness, and trim to final dimensions.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3853 days

#6 posted 01-31-2011 08:17 AM

Not to muddy the water, but I start break down by cutting in multiples of what I will need allowing for kerfs and a mis-Q here and there.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3163 days

#7 posted 01-31-2011 03:37 PM

thanks all! This has been really helpful.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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