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Edge Joining Instructions

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  • Edge Joining Instructions

    I am a relatively new woodworker. One thing I am unsure about is proper technique for edge joining boards. I know that you have to start with good, straight edges and all. But what all is involved beyond that?

    And when my joint is complete, how much error is acceptable in the surface alignment of the boards? Obviously you will always have to do some cleanup after the joint has properly dried in order to make them perfect, but how close is good?

    And so on and so forth. I know there are some pretty brilliant woodworkers around here and was hoping to get some good input.

    Paul Thompson

  • #2
    Make sure you use a reliable square to set the fence. If your glueing boards together to make one wide one, you'll end up with a wave or a cup if it's not set dead nutz 90 degrees. A properly set up jointer will yeild the best glue edges of anything (with decently sharp blades). If your doing something like a miter lock joint on a router table, run the edges down a jointer first and you can't go wrong.

    When resawing, especially like I do from chain sawn chuncks, the jointer is the best way to flaten one wide side (providing the jointer is wide enough) and one narrow side. Be sure to do the wide side first, and hold it tight to the fence when doing the narrow side. Then move to the table saw, rip the consistant width taking off the un jointed side with wide jointed side to the TS table, then move to the thickness planer, and set the thickness. Your ready to cut lengths, and machine joints.
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


    • #3
      As the name says, I'm very new to this. I have no idea what is involved in edge joining. I've read a few places that say you need no special router bit or a jointer to do it, just glue the edges and clamp 'em together. I would really like to hear from one of you experts what is involved in joining edges. Can anybody help me out? Thanks fellas.


      • #4
        Captain, To answer your question, once the boards are prepared the joint technic really depends on what the panel will be used for. A lot of people say just to glue them together and clamp them with cawls to keep them flat and flush until dry. I prefer to use bisquits and slow setting glue. You lay the boards out side by side and mark them every 4-6 inches along the seam between them. These marks are to make sure the bisquit slots lineup after cutting. Cut your slots, then glue the joints together with bisquits in the slots. The slower drying glue will help allow the bisquits to absorb moisture and expand in the slots. this will aide in keepeing the joints flush. Another variation I use if the panels are going to be subjected to weight or stress is to put dowels in them. Basically the same as bisquits but use longer dowels and a doweling jig to drill straight holes into the edges of the boards. glue the dowels into the holes and also glue the entire edge of the boards and clamp together until dry. Panels without any kind of dowel or bisquits are fine for things like cabinet sides where there will be no srtess on them. I like bisquits for panels such as door inserts like raised panel doors where they will not relly be subjected to stress but they will eventually get slammed. Then I use dowels for strongest panels like table tiops and such. The dowels will give a lot of structural strength to the joint. With bisquits or dowels you can use the faster drying glue such as yellow woodworking glue, but make sure to use clamps and cawls to keep the boards flat and flush to each other until dry. this will minimise the work needed to dress up the joints. Oh and before i forget, keep a damp rag and wipe off any squeeze out of glue. this also will aide in final prep work. Dried glue on the surface of the panels can really screw up a finish. Hope this helps and let me know if you need any additional info.
        info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


        • #5
          If the boards have been jointed and planed, they should be flat and the edges should align properly. If so, nothing other than clamps and cauls are necessary when gluing long grain to long grain. The glued joint will be stronger than the surrounding wood so what purpose would a biscuit or dowel serve? End grain joints are an entirely different animal.

          Bob R