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Advice for joining long boards

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Forum topic by Woodtechie posted 02-15-2014 03:23 AM 703 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


02-15-2014 03:23 AM

I have two old 6’ boards (about 16” wide each) I want to join end to end along the long dimension. The edges aren’t perfectly flat for at least one (probably both), with a slight gap in the middle even when clamped together tight. Gap is around the center, and the size of the gap is probably about 1/32”.

Two options I can think of:
-Joint both edges (possible issue here is, the tops of these boards are also slightly concave, so I’m not sure how that’d turn out. Any potential snipe won’t be an issue since they’ll be shortened 1ft later on.
-Freehand router on both edges with a straight bit, and hope I setup a guide accurately enough not to make things even worse.

They’re already drilled for dowels (unglued, dowels removed at the moment) but it’s definitely not the dowels causing the issue. Strength is not a big concern—it’ll have supports underneath (this is for a work table/desk).


14 replies so far

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MT_Stringer

1867 posts in 1869 days


#1 posted 02-15-2014 03:36 AM

Is a half lap a possibility using wither a table saw or a router. You should be able to get flat surfaces to mate up.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


#2 posted 02-15-2014 03:41 AM

They are fairly thin, about 1/2” if I remember correct. No outfeed table to safely rip w/TS.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9840 posts in 1256 days


#3 posted 02-15-2014 03:47 AM

#8 Stanley plane. It’s a job for Heft and Hubris.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


#4 posted 02-15-2014 03:51 AM

You think I could do that without hacking it up too much? My total experience with hand planers is pretty much 5-10 minutes, and I wouldn’t say they were a total success. :) Not sure I trust myself.

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MT_Stringer

1867 posts in 1869 days


#5 posted 02-15-2014 03:56 AM

Sorry, I guess I didn’t read or understand your question. When you said join end to end, that told me you were going to make one loong board out of two.

You will be hard pressed to glue up those boards edge to edge which would result in a mess you can’t recover from.
Good luck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


#6 posted 02-15-2014 04:02 AM

I guess “end to end along the long dimension” should have been “along the edges” longways.
But that’s right, it’s supposed to be shaped more similar to a kitchen table, not a super long thing.

There has to be a way… the dowels keep it flat & lined up perfectly, only the gap is an issue.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9840 posts in 1256 days


#7 posted 02-15-2014 04:03 AM

Easy peasy, Techie… Come over to the dark side… ;-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Loren

7467 posts in 2285 days


#8 posted 02-15-2014 04:41 AM

Clamp them to a work surface side by side with a 1/4” gap
between them. Clamp a straight board or anything relatively
straight and long enough. Route a 1/2” wide channel. The
two boards will match up.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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David Dean

516 posts in 1536 days


#9 posted 02-15-2014 06:44 AM

not sure if this well help it straight board I have been useing it for years.

View Greg's profile

Greg

281 posts in 1511 days


#10 posted 02-15-2014 07:17 AM

Loren and David both have good ideas, though I love my jigs, and David’s is sweet!

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net? http://www.Sierra-Nets.com

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wseand

2129 posts in 1679 days


#11 posted 02-15-2014 07:28 AM

Typically you would rip the boards down to 4” width or so. Face joint the boards to get the cupping out, then edge joint them and then glue them back together. The Cupping/concave will typically keep you from edge gluing them properly. You will loose some thickness and width doing it this way.

Do you have a Planer or Joiner.

FYI end gluing is the ends of the boards and edge gluing is the length of the boards.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


#12 posted 02-15-2014 08:52 AM

@Loren – side by side (end to end?) would bring the length to 12’ if I understand correctly – table is 8’.
I could stack them on one another and trim the edges both at once if my straight bit is long enough. And hope that the guide board is clamped on square with the other sides.

@wsaend – I have what I need to do all that, but I think I can get away without that if I can just get the edges improved. With the dowels to line things up I did some minor sanding of the top to get the surface even enough. This is for a workbench table/desk thingy (the other “shop” is electronics) so perfection isn’t essential. Failure is an option. ^_^

So I’m getting that nobody thinks the jointer (at a very minimal depth) is a good idea, then? I was going to try that initially, until I noticed the warping against the fence. Of course I have an itch to use the jointer since it’s new, but I do suppose a router makes more sense.

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Loren

7467 posts in 2285 days


#13 posted 02-15-2014 09:02 AM

They won’t match up if you stack them unless the guide is very
straight, like a 78” level. The method I described can be used
with a flawed straight edge and even to make curved or wavy
decorative joints.

Sometimes with wide boards on a table they aren’t glued in
the middle, rather joined to a skirt frame. The gap in the middle
will open and close but it’s not a bad look for more old-fashioned
or rustic designs. For fine furniture standards these days
table tops are usually one piece, but that’s an aesthetic
like waifish runway models… merely the flavor of the times.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Woodtechie

44 posts in 268 days


#14 posted 02-15-2014 08:20 PM

This isn’t fine furniture by any means – frame under the table (not the legs) is 2×4s, but the top is nice and it’s a good chance at practice.

I just realized… I totally misunderstood the method you explained. That’s awesome, I’m going to try that if I can figure out a way to do it safely – hopefully they aren’t too wide to do this with.

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