Edge-Joining Walnut ; advice and opinions please

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Forum topic by Kwit posted 09-13-2013 12:09 AM 2598 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kwit's profile


104 posts in 2161 days

09-13-2013 12:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello everyone

I have limited experience working with walnut…

I need to create an 18”x70” and (2) 18”x26 boards for an entertainment unit

Is it wiser to edge-join 3 pcs at 6” OR 2 pcs @ 9” to create these boards?

I have the flexibility to either at this stage ( I just finished rough planing of the boards)

I understand aesthetics are part of this equation also

But I just wanted to hear what people have to say about this

ALSO – what kinda of glue/technique would YOU use?


-- don't talk about it - be about it

10 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2893 days

#1 posted 09-14-2013 01:27 AM

If your wood is flat, dry, and stable you should get along with edge glueing either width. That said, the narrower boards will have less tendency to cup. I would just edge glue with Tightbond 2 or 3 using cauls to keep it flat. I have not found walnut to be more difficult to edge glue than other woods.

Hope this helps.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Don W's profile

Don W

19014 posts in 2770 days

#2 posted 09-14-2013 01:55 AM

i’ll second that.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View waho6o9's profile


8524 posts in 2779 days

#3 posted 09-14-2013 02:46 AM

I’d edge join 3 6” pieces with dowels, biscuits, or dominos and

use cauls. If possible coat the walnut with sealer, or shellac to minimize

glue marks.

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2158 days

#4 posted 09-14-2013 03:15 AM

With those dimensions, I wouldn’t worry too much about it either way, as long as the wood is dry and stable. In your situation I would go with what is more pleasing to the eye. I also don’t use biscuits, dowels, or the like, I just use cauls to keep the stock flat during this type of glue up. Either way, have fun with it and do what you think looks best!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Picken5's profile


261 posts in 2894 days

#5 posted 09-14-2013 03:47 AM

I agree with the others—either way should work fine. Like Richard & gfadvm said, the caveat being that the wood is dry & stable. I rarely use dowels or biscuits unless I’m anticipating problems keeping the boards flat during glue-up. In my small workshop, finding a flat surface to place a 70” board can be a challenge, so I might break out the biscuit jointer. Most of the time, I’d rather just glue (Titebond) and use cauls to keep things flat. Depending on the surface I’ll be laying the boards down for glue-up, I’ll lay out some wax paper so that any squeeze-out from my project won’t glue it to my work surface.

Sounds like a fun project. I love working with walnut—one of my favorite woods.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1931 days

#6 posted 09-14-2013 05:22 AM

good clamps TB2 and your ready

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View Kwit's profile


104 posts in 2161 days

#7 posted 09-14-2013 03:55 PM

Thanks for the feedback

waho6o9: What kind of sealer would you suggest to avoid glue marks? how much??

-- don't talk about it - be about it

View jweisgram's profile


3 posts in 2364 days

#8 posted 09-14-2013 06:27 PM

>> What kind of sealer would you suggest to avoid glue marks? how much??

You should be able to pare/plane/scrape/sand excess glue off afterwards fairly easily. If you want to avoid that, you could wax the faces of the boards (keep it off the edge!). The glue won’t adhere to the wax, it will peel off. Then you can clean the wax off before finishing with a solvent like Naptha, etc.

But I find I usually need to plane/scrape/sand edge glued boards after gluing up to get it all perfectly flush. Even if I use biscuits/dowells/splines to line the boards up. So since I am doing that anyway, I’ll get the squeeze out in the same process.

-- -- Jim

View CFrye's profile


10487 posts in 2042 days

#9 posted 09-15-2013 03:47 AM

Not exactly what you were asking about yet still within the realm…here is a link to an article and video from Mark Spagnuolo (aka The Wood Whisperer) I found helpful regarding making panels.

-- God bless, Candy

View usmcshooter's profile


18 posts in 1967 days

#10 posted 09-17-2013 04:34 PM

Why not mortise for loose tenons ? You choose where you want to put them, how many, size, and depth of each mortise, etc. That would keep warp issues out of the equation, and edge glue ? Your face side should require minimal sanding for a final sealing. (provided you plane one side) Any size is easy.

-- "It's always too soon to quit"

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