Board width when doing panel glue ups

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Forum topic by NY_Rocking_Chairs posted 08-16-2008 12:07 PM 1333 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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527 posts in 3836 days

08-16-2008 12:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

The question was recently asked of me:
Is there a rule of thumb when determining the maximum width of a board when gluing up panels? In other words, at what point do you cut a board down and then re-glue.

I really didn’t have an answer for him, I kind of follow the rules of what looks the best and if my gut tells me I should cut this board. I have a 2” table top that is 8’ long and all the boards in it are 10” wide, never had any problem with it. Though if I have a bunch of various width boards and it is a high visibility panel I will cut them all to be the same…

Just wondering what other people’s take on this was…


-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

3 replies so far

View stanley2's profile


346 posts in 4034 days

#1 posted 08-16-2008 02:49 PM

A friend operates a very high-end cabinet shop – all output is veneered surfaces. He limits the width to 5”.
The wider the board, the greater the grain variance in that board working from flat grain in the middel to vertical grain which gets narrower as it appraiches quarter sawn. At the edges of wider boards you will probably have a change in color to sap wood too. The appearance of the boards in the panel will dictate the width of those wider boards that you actually want to use. I always like to remind people who have wide boards that grain selection is key and they don’t have to have an immediate use for the cut-offs but they will come in handy in time.

-- Phil in British Columbia

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3983 days

#2 posted 08-16-2008 04:13 PM

Normally the lumber that I use is 6”-9” wide, so that pretty much sets the limit. Sometimes it’s personal preference. I had a client that ordered a dinning room table 38” wide and didn’t want any two boards the same width. (?) So I made the top with boards from 3”-8” wide. It looked nice and the customer was happy. Personally, I like to keep them in the 5”-7” range.

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3902 days

#3 posted 08-16-2008 05:00 PM

I use the with of my jointer to set the maximum which is 6 inches

-- Glenn, New Mexico

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