Gluing boards together

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 04-23-2009 08:18 PM 6989 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3605 days

04-23-2009 08:18 PM

Hi everyone,
I have only done this a few times, but both times its seems to have failed. A little while back I tried making a chess board by cutting the strips of wood and than gluing them together to make the checkered pattern, however after gluing the board was noticably warped. More recently I tried making a lazy susan by gluing up two boards, however once again the boards seem to have a warp in them.

What am I missing, or what am I doing wrong thats causing this. Has anyone else had this issue?
Any help would be great


7 replies so far

View croquetman's profile


136 posts in 3317 days

#1 posted 04-23-2009 08:33 PM

I have made many chess boards. First you cut the white and black strips. These are jointed and edge glued together as a white and black striped board. To get it flat use pipe clamps under the glue-up and do not over press or it will creep. Once dry cut the other way, flip alternate strips, re-glue. Obviously, you need to make the correct number of stripes and strips for the 8×8 pattern, but I didn’t think I needed to mention that. Also, it will tend to warp less if the boards are thick. So … jointed edges, not too much pressure, good support underneath the glue-up so you can make sure it’s flat, and use wood that is thick enough to get a good edge for gluing. Good luck.

-- Whatever

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3644 days

#2 posted 04-23-2009 08:49 PM

croquetman – you definitely did not need to mention that its required to have the correct number of stripes for the 8×8 pattern. lol ;o)

as mentioned the thicker the pieces, the less it’ll warp.

another thing you can do is use cauls under and over the boards being glued together and clamp those to “press” the boards in alignment – this will help minimize that warping.

when working with thicker stock – using biscuits, or braces can also help keep boards in alignment.

but bottom line – this is wood, if it has tension in it, it’ll warp regardless of glue ups. after you do glue a panel , you still need to plane it down to final thickness and dimensions. so a good rule of thumb is to joint oversized boards, and not to try and glue up to a final dimension.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3522 days

#3 posted 04-23-2009 09:15 PM

Yup! What PurpLev wrote.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3669 days

#4 posted 04-24-2009 12:56 AM

Too much pressure not centered on the glue up causes it to move a little with the pressure.

Last time I tried to cut a corner and used my pipe clamps from top down I got a little bow on the top of the glue up, As the pressure was just on the lips of the clamps and pulled the wood up.

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 3835 days

#5 posted 04-24-2009 01:37 AM

You should not be getting any warp on settled stock after glue up, unless you have let it sit for a month, even then….

Are you rough milling your stock and letting it acclimate properly before finish milling? Jointer producing 90 degree boards? Even a .1 degree bevel across a glue up will wreak havoc.

Also, try an old hand tool trick. Mark the tops of all your panels, then do a light pass on the jointer on each edge, but on every other board, run it with the mark facing the fence. This will cause any bevel to be canceled out on adjoining boards….


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3811 days

#6 posted 04-24-2009 02:52 PM

My procedure is to always rough the stock, glue-up, THEN mill. Very rarely have I ever been able to glue anything up that was near finish milled and have it where wanted it.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3605 days

#7 posted 04-24-2009 09:07 PM

Yep, rookie mistake I guess.
I’m pretty limited in my tools and don’t have a planer so the option to glue than plane to the desired thickness wasn’t an option for me. Thanks for the tips, I am going to try making a router planer jig this weekend that I saw online, perhaps that will help plane the warps out of my projects.

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