scarf joints before or after resawing

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Forum topic by Daveswoodcraft posted 08-07-2014 11:01 AM 1259 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Daveswoodcraft's profile


17 posts in 2082 days

08-07-2014 11:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question joinery scarf cedar joining

Hi All
I am in the process of making a hollow wooden surfboard for a friend of mine and have a questions about making and using a scarf joint.
I need to stretch the lumbe rI have by about a foot, I am familiar with scarf joints but never used one personally.

Here is the question, I am using northern white cedar that is about 5/4 thick rough thickness. I need to joint and plane then resaw to 1/4-1/3 final thickness

Do I scarf joint it before or after bringing it to final thickness? Does one or the other make for a stonger joint?

Thanks for your help
Dave Dionne

5 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


1973 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 08-07-2014 11:31 AM

Make the scarf at the thickness easiest for you to cut it and glue it. Assuming the wood is good through the thickness the strength of the joint is a function of the glued area. The important thing is to make sure the entire joint has glue on it, no dry areas. Sounds like a fun project.

-- Chris K

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 08-07-2014 01:19 PM

Will this be a single board wide? Do you have capacity to re-saw entire width? It may be a lot easier and stronger to use a board or boards that are long enough.
I have never made a surf board, but it seems like they may take a lot of abuse.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 08-07-2014 02:39 PM

You may find it easier to clamp the tapered scarf joints
in the thicker dimension.

Depending on the glue you use the glue line may
put some wear on your resaw blade.

These are minor considerations. I think structurally
either way will be fine.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2826 days

#4 posted 08-07-2014 02:53 PM

If the scarf is 8:1, it will be as strong as the rest of the piece. It makes no difference whether it is done before or after but personally, I’d do it after for better glue-up control.
I’ve done a lot of scarfing. Here’s a blog entry on how I do it.
This one may be better.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Daveswoodcraft's profile


17 posts in 2082 days

#5 posted 09-13-2014 01:24 AM

Thanks everybody

Sorry for the long time since I posted got busy there for a bit, didn’t end up scarfing the boards after all but went for a solid tail and nose.
Thanks again

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