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wengang1 07-14-2012 09:28 PM

planing face-glued boards
Hi all.
I don't have a lot of experience with the planer.
I face glued 3 boards about 3 feet by 3/4 thick by 3 inches to make a square leg. Once the glue was dried, there were very slight misalignments of the boards on either side, up to about 1/16 inch, in some cases sticking out on one side and short on the other.
I'm following a plan, and the imperfections are okay because the plan calls for planing to smooth off the sides.

I'm just trying to figure out how the planer will plane correctly. Since there are imperfections on both sides, whichever side I face down to start with is going to cause the top side to be high or low in corresponding places, so that it doesn't clean off the right places. Then when I flip it over, those mistakes will be multiplied. Right?

Seems like one side has to be essentially smooth to start with for the other side to be planed in the correct plane.

BTW, I'm aware of the issue of running glued wood through the planer, but that's what the plan calls for.

joecaption 07-14-2012 09:36 PM

You need a jointer not a planner.

wengang1 07-14-2012 09:49 PM

Don't have one.
What now? Sander?

Daniel Holzman 07-15-2012 08:31 AM

Commercial procedure is to use the jointer on one side, then use the planer on the other side, or to reduce to thickness. Alternative is to use a drum sander to smooth. Since you don't have a jointer, I would just plane the entire leg using a hand planer. Make sure it is very sharp and has the proper angle. If you do not know how to sharpen a hand planer, you should go online and look up the procedure, it is not as easy as it seems, and an improperly sharpened hand plane will never work well.

If you don't own a decent hand plane, and don't want to buy one, you could flatten the leg using a belt sander, go slow and be careful you don't gouge. Once you get one side flat, you can plane the other.

Millertyme 07-15-2012 09:35 AM

The guys are right. A planer will not flatten a cupped or warped board. Boards going through the planer should already be flat on the bottom side. Sometimes it will be ok if you send rough stock through that is already pretty flat.

ratherbefishing 07-15-2012 12:41 PM

Only 2.25 inches thick.
Square it up with a table saw, then run it thru the planer.

woody4249 07-17-2012 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by ratherbefishing (Post 966260)
Only 2.25 inches thick.
Square it up with a table saw, then run it thru the planer.

Yep.........that's what I'd do

wengang1 07-17-2012 10:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, I broke down and bought a jointer. I haven't tried to do these legs yet, but I'm working on the headboard cap (this is for my daughter's crib).
it calls for three 1/4 inch boards face glued to 3/4 thickness and bent around a form. IT's about 5 feet long
The first time I tried it, I only had 5 clamps long enough to hold it down, but by the time the glue (Titebond II) dried, the boards had spread apart all over.
Then yesterday, I bought more clamps and tried again. THis time I put a clamp every six inches. The result was way better, but it still separated in places.

In the worst spots, it's as much as 1/16 separation. i'll try to attach a photo below. For reference, the two bottom strips are 1/4 inch. the top strip was rounded over.
So, do I have to do this a third time? If so, how far apart do these clamps have to be? Does it help to put a piece of wood on top of the work to spread the pressure? Am I maybe not putting enough glue (I'm using a small plastic roller to spread the glue all over the surface)?

If possible to salvage this as is (maybe with some wood filler or some other way) please let me know what it is.

This is my first serious woodworking project, so even though I've read the books, I don't have all the tools or the hands-on experience.
I guess the project was a bit ambitious, but now I've spent way more than a store-bought crib would have cost, so I'm doing it.

BTW, behind the cap are the legs I mentioned at the top of this thread. They glued together nicely with just a few clamps.

woody4249 07-18-2012 08:32 AM

We had a saying in our shop....."If it doesn't lose"
The gaps in the wood will never get closer as the glue has already dried.
If you plane it up the gap will still be there.
One option would be to run this through the table saw at the gap setting the blade at 1/4" deep. Then cut a small piece of similar wood 5/16" deep x the width of the saw blade. Apply glue to the kerf and gently tap the strip into place. If you have a tight fit, you will hardly see this after sanding.


Next time try gluing just two pieces together at a time.And use a little more glue

wengang1 07-18-2012 10:18 AM

The kerf idea doesn't sound like something I could do.

I guess more glue was needed, but also, did it need more clamps, and do blocks of wood betweent the clamp and the work help or not?

What's a good rule of thumb for applying the glue? I just rolled it with a roller until the whole surface was wet. Should it be standing thick and yellow all over?

I will try gluing the first two and then the third one later this time.
Thanks for the advice.

wengang1 07-18-2012 10:23 AM

Oh, follow-up question.
Last time, I also applied smaller C clamps over the thin edges of the boards to keep them from sliding back and forth. Later, I was thinking maybe this crossways pressure made the wood separate. Just a thought. What do you think?

woody4249 07-18-2012 11:02 AM

If you've covered the entire surface with glue you're ok. It sounds like you need to use heavier clamps. If the boards were perfectly straight and flat, you almost wouldn't need clamps, just rubbing the boards together would cause cohesion to keep them together. What you are experiencing is bowed, uneven or twisted boards and using small clamps with three pieces of lumber requires a lot of pressure to keep them together. Using additional boards to aid this is not going to work. Use heavier clamps positioned in the center of the board about 6" apart.
If you are not going to reduce the width and thickness of the finished piece too much, you could use wood screws to temporarily hold what will eventually be the center board. You could remove the screws after it is dry and then apply the other outer board with clamps. You may even be able to leave the screws in if they do not interfere with future cutting or machining operations.


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