Chamfer table planks before or after glue up?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by jimmy J posted 05-17-2014 04:37 PM 1731 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2406 days

05-17-2014 04:37 PM

I am debating whether or not to chamfer the long sides of each plank in my new kitchen table top (6.6’ x 40”). The reason I am leaning towards doing so is that there are 7 planks each about 5.5” and the grain pattern around the joints is very dissimilar – a mix of great birdseye / figured maple and plain maple (I wasn’t intending to build a birdseye table but the wood was the same price for the plane variety and I wasn’t thinking about matching at the time). chamfers may make the different more part of the design, i’m hoping.

Anyway, I was pondering not chamfering before glue up to see how it looks. If it looks bad, then I could route a v-groove along the lines. Would the v-groove be the same a a pre-glue up chamfer? i think so, plus would avoid having to get glue out of the groove after glue. pros / cons of either way? Also, how much of a chamfer do folks generally do? I’m thinking smaller the better.

9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3988 days

#1 posted 05-17-2014 04:47 PM

I will pre-chamfer a “planked” table top. Just use a block plane to achieve about an 1/16” chamfer. No need for acute accuracy ‘cause the chamfer will look just as good.
Just my way.


View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2841 days

#2 posted 05-17-2014 05:35 PM

Any milling operation will be easier after the table is glued up. Make your tabletop oversized and glue it up. Once the glue has cured, you can trim the top to length with a circular saw and edge guide.
From there you can decide if you want to rout a roundover, chamfer or other profile.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2406 days

#3 posted 05-17-2014 05:39 PM

Bill, no problems cleaning glue squeeze out of the groove after assembly?

Pinto, i’m talking about the chamfers between the planks, not on the edges of the table. same answer?

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2239 days

#4 posted 05-17-2014 07:59 PM

I like the idea of doing the chamfer after the glue up. Just make sure you stay on the line and it should look fine.

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

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 05-18-2014 02:16 AM

Seems to me that there’s a lot of room for error with the camfer after glue up method.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2604 days

#6 posted 05-18-2014 02:17 AM

If you decide on the chamfer, I’d do it before glueup. Much easier than after. Get the squeezeout while it’s wet with a steel rule or old chisel.

If you want to see how it looks before the chamfer, just clamp it up dry.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1896 days

#7 posted 05-18-2014 03:17 AM

Seems like before would be a heckuva lot easier. After you needing a guide, a plunge router (if the chamfer isn’t continuous), or a whole lotta chiseling. I suppose there might be a plane which would work, but before takes a lot of the risk out. Even if you botch one before. You can rip an eighth off and go again. A mulligan. A botched move post glue, means ripping the top down for the mulligan. Circular saw style.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 1556 days

#8 posted 05-18-2014 03:49 AM

I did the barn door I made after the glue up.
It’s pretty easy to run a router down a straight edge. I have confidence running the router, so that risk was taken out of my reasoning when deciding.
The barn door was a pretty big glue up and it would have been a mess trying to get the glue out of the grooves on both sides with bar clamps in the way. If I did it again, I still would have done it after.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1276 posts in 1661 days

#9 posted 05-18-2014 03:54 AM

Are you doing tongue and groove?
Or just plain jointed edges?

If you do chamfer before, tongue and groove provides lineup, if not, and you are out even a slight amount, you will have to plane the boards flat. And re-chamfer.
I like pre-chamfer, but use tongue and groove to guarantee alignment. If not I would just use a V bit in a router and run it do create the chamfers after planing it.

-- Jeff NJ

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics