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Panel Glue-up Issues

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  • Panel Glue-up Issues

    Hi all,
    Just wondering if you guys can give me some insite on panel glue-ups?? I am attempting to build a headboard and footboard for a kingsize bed. The headboard has 2 raised panels on each side separated by a 6" piece. As you can visualize, the panels are not really high (1'-7"), but are quite wide (2'-7").
    Here is my issue, I made all the boards for the panel, buiscuit joined them and glued them up. In the clamps (I used 3 pipe clamps 2 set upright and one upside down in the middle), the panel looked awesome, perfectly flat. I left it in the clamps about 3 hours, took it out and it was still perfectly flat. From there, I laid it down on a flat table top and left it overnight to let the glue completely set and in the morning, it was slightly warped!
    Question: Did I do something wrong? Why did I get the warping? I know this is a fairly big panel but I was told from a friend that it isn't out of the question. The panel is not ruined as it easily flexes back to shape but I would have loved to have had it stay nice and flat. I was also thinking of attaching a couple of flat 1"x1" pieces with glue along the longest length to keep the flatness???
    Any insite would help....maybe this was a bit too challenging for my first panel glue-up??

  • #2
    Re: Panel Glue-up Issues

    There was nothing wrong with your glue up process. What probably happened is when you laid it on a flat table overnight, the top dried a little faster than the bottom (moisture couldn't evaporate as fast from bottom) Kind of like painting only one side of a board and leaving it sit--it will warp. Once you have it assembled and finished it should be fine.


    • #3
      Re: Panel Glue-up Issues

      I agree. Give it a couple of days and it probably will be fine.

      Your idea of attaching 1x1s along the back of the panels could very likely cause you problems, especially if you glue them. The panels will expand and contract with changes in humidity. Those glued cleats will try to prevent movement and will fail. You'll end up with cracked panels. If you do have to use cleats, attach them with screws. The center screw can be snug. All the other screws must be slightly loose and have elongated slots to allow for movement.



      • #4
        Re: Panel Glue-up Issues

        Few things....

        Could very well be what has already been side may have dried faster than the other............

        Did you plane a lot off of the faces of the boards pior to glue up? If you did you exposed "wetter" wood. If it didn't dry evenly it could very well have warped or cupped on you....

        I assume you joined the edges. If you used a joiner to do so was the fence perfectly at 90 degrees? If not, even the slightest fraction of a degree could cause you to have a less than square edge joints which could accentuate any warping or cupping.

        Did you stagger your end grains so that they aren't all running the same way? You should stagger so that any cupping will be countered by each adjacent board.

        One way to correct your problem is to set your panel with the concave side facing up on a perfectly flat surface. Granite countertop if the wife will permit. Lightly wet the topside of your panel and you will actually see the board relax and layout perfectly flat or very close to it. Now stand it up on end so that it can dry out evenly. Once it is flat and dry you may consider using a sanding sealer or something similar to seal the wood and minimize further cupping.

        Hope that helps.


        • #5
          Re: Panel Glue-up Issues

          Great Advice from all of you!!! Thanks so far. All of these tips I would have not thought of. I have the other panel to glue up yet so I am going to try some of the suggestions. I will also verify my jointer is at perfect 90.
          Thanks again folks.


          • #6
            Re: Panel Glue-up Issues Glue styles and rails ONLY

            I'm from the land of raised panel doors ,Cape Cod Mass. Escaped to Calif. years ago.

            My Son and I still Do raised panels. NEVER glue the panels in place! They need to float.

            Our pine is local on the Cape and will split if not allowed to come and go with moisture.

            Funny, this is My 47 th year as a carpenter . Always built all My own cabinets.

            Just enjoy Plumbing and Welding Also
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .