Thin (3/8") material glue-ups

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Forum topic by JPZ posted 11-29-2011 03:09 PM 1736 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 1900 days

11-29-2011 03:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine oak joining

Hi all!

I need to glue up about 40 feet of 3/8” thick pine & oak into panels measuring 12”-15”.
I have never just jointed the edges, applied glue and clamped. I have always either used dowels or biscuits, but with this thinner material I am concerned that it is not thick enough to accept a biscuit.
Has anyone had sucess for the long term longevity of glue joints in thinner material?
What can you suggest that works from your experience?

The finished panels will be used for lightweight cabinets.

10 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 11-29-2011 03:29 PM

Only done this once.
Used CA glue, wood was red oak.
Worked well, but would get expensive for 40 ft of joints.

Why not use plywood for cabinets?

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 11-29-2011 04:04 PM

I have glued up 3/8 material many times for making boxes, and I’ve never had a problem. Granted, I’m talking about items that don’t get a lot of stress, but that’s my experience.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2346 days

#3 posted 11-29-2011 04:16 PM

I also have done this type of glue up for boxes. I use masking tape to hold the two pieces of wood together , turn the assembly over and”hinge” open and apply wood glue. Close up and lightly clamp then remove the tape to allow to dry. The tape helps to keep the woods aligned.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View TheDane's profile


4939 posts in 3087 days

#4 posted 11-29-2011 04:21 PM

Jim is right … depending on which glue you use (I have used TiteBond III), the glue joint will likely be stringer than the wood.

In material that thin, I would think you would run the risk of the biscuit swelling so much that it could blow out the face of the boards on either side of the joint.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View grizzman's profile


7783 posts in 2727 days

#5 posted 11-29-2011 04:24 PM

there is no problems gluing this type of wood up, you just want to make sure it stays aligned, not only should you cl;amp it all together from the sides, but you should use some culls over and under and clamp it, that will keep it aligned and perfectly flat, put wax paper between the culls and your glue up, that way it doesnt glue itself to the culls ,
just make sure you use enough glue so that you get a proper squeez out…doing this will give you a proper glue up with no problems…good luck, it should all go just fine,

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2099 days

#6 posted 11-29-2011 04:48 PM

Glue ups are glue ups. All the same. The thin stuff you are talking about has many joints so there is room for the wood to slip and get out of alignment but I would use Tite Bond glue or Elmers yellow glue. You might consider doing it in small segments then glue those up into larger segments. This just gives you more control over the joints. Gary is correct. the joints will be stronger than the wood. If you can glue up a wide board then you can glue up a narrow board. any flat surface with long grain will work. Cauls and wax paper will probably be your best friend. Good luck with you project.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 2790 days

#7 posted 11-29-2011 05:09 PM

I often glue up 1/4” panels for frame and panel. I use Tightbond III You just have to be careful that they are all aligned. If you have a thickness planer or a drum sander, you can glue them up a little over sized and then either plane or sand them down to the thickness you want.

My furniture where I have used this method are several years old and no problems as yet.

I agree with Grandpa and several others in that if you are making larger panels, you might want to consider making several smaller panels and then gluing them together.


View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#8 posted 11-29-2011 05:49 PM

Are you gluing pine to oak or pine to pine and oak to oak? Gluing a soft to a hardwood might present a stability problem.

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2099 days

#9 posted 11-29-2011 10:04 PM

I glued red oak to yellow pine and I was a little worried about the expansion rate. It has worked great for 9 or 10 years.

View JPZ's profile


17 posts in 1900 days

#10 posted 11-30-2011 07:05 AM

Thanks to all of you for your replies.

As TheDane pointed out, I too was concerned abou the biscuits swelling and bursting through the top/bottom of the panels.
JimFinn- I like the tape idea and will use it.
Grizzman – good idea. I do have some wooden clamps that exert pressure on all 4 planes that I even forgot I had.Thanks for reminding me.
Grandpa – I like your idea and will be breaking the job into smaller segments
Domer – Titebond III it is. I’ve used the regular Titebond but I’m almost out. Unfortunately my planner only goes to 12” wide, otherwise I would definetly go oversized and plane down after glue up. If I’m going to do a lot of this work I definetly will invest in a thickness sander. That’s one machine I would give a go at by building it myself. I’m sure there loads of info on this site for ideas and plans.
MrRon – Never thought about the possible problems of mixing woods, but appreciate you pointing that out.

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