Baltic birch: face gluing instead of rabbet?

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Forum topic by grego posted 06-11-2012 08:48 PM 1335 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 2755 days

06-11-2012 08:48 PM

A beginner question I hope someone can answer…

Would two differently-sized rectangles of baltic birch centered and glued face-to-face be as strong as a single, thicker piece rabbeted around all four sides. (I hope I’m describing this well…)

The application is a small box lid:

Option 1 is to rabbet a small 3/8” or 1/2” baltic birch panel all around, apply marquetry/veneer on both sides, and glue into grooves in the box sides so the marquetry is flush with the top of the sides.

Option 2 is to glue a 1/4” “unrabbeted” bottom-veneered piece into the grooves, then come back later and face-glue a top-veneered 1/4” piece into the recess.

I’ve tried both and Option 2 is easier; however, I wonder if it will stand the test of time or come apart eventually.

I’d appreciate your advice!

5 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4299 days

#1 posted 06-11-2012 09:10 PM

The question seems to be to be: Is your face-glued joint going to be as strong as the baltic birch interior glue. Right?

I think this depends on your surface prep and your technique, but I suspect that the answer is a conditional yes, depending on which glue you use. I suspect that with something like Titebond II, if you can come up with a good clamping mechanism (something that puts a platform inside the box and then provides pressure to the other side on the outside?), you’re going to be as strong as the glue used in the plywood manufacture.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View grego's profile


73 posts in 2755 days

#2 posted 06-11-2012 09:17 PM

Dan, yes – I think that is the question I’m asking (and thank goodness you were able to express it better than I could!)

I separate the partially completed lid from the box before gluing in the “decorative panel” so I have relatively easy access to clamp it up.


View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2385 days

#3 posted 06-11-2012 09:19 PM

Use Titebond II or Gorilla “Wood” Glue (the white glue, not the amber color stuff) and clamp it real well. You’ll break the plies apart before you ever break that joint.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View bondogaposis's profile


5053 posts in 2525 days

#4 posted 06-11-2012 09:35 PM

It should be as strong if you have properly prepared the surfaces and clamped it well.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View grego's profile


73 posts in 2755 days

#5 posted 06-12-2012 03:20 AM

Thanks for tge great advice guys!

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