How do I prepare wood surfaces for gluing? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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How do I prepare wood surfaces for gluing?

I want to build several things that require gluing wood pieces together. I do not have a shop, and only have basic power tools (circular saw, sawsall, drill, jigsaw, grinder, dual action orbital sander).
I can take wood to a local cabinet shop to be planed or other work.

Examples are joining wood to form the top of a desk, and making a strong guitar neck.

When one wants a perfect join between two pieces of wood, how are they prepared? It seems like sanding is not a good idea, because you may end up with to dissimilar surfaces to join, resulting in places where the wood does not touch.
Just plane the wood and leave it like that? I presume using a hand planer would have the same problems as sanding.

Thanks,
Jim
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 02:01 PM
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You presume wrong about the hand planing. A well planed edge is perfect for glue ups. You just need to know what you're doing with the plane. All you need for a good edge glue joint is pieces that are flat and square.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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You presume wrong about the hand planing. A well planed edge is perfect for glue ups. You just need to know what you're doing with the plane. All you need for a good edge glue joint is pieces that are flat and square.
Thanks very much for the reply.

How does one keep a flat, square, true edge with a hand plane?

Thank you for the help.

Jim
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 02:31 PM
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How does one keep a flat, square, true edge with a hand plane?
With a lot of practice. I am not trying to be funny. It really does take practice. It is easy to read the steps. It is much harder to do the steps.

A longer hand plane e.g., #6, #7 or #8 will be easier to get a flat edge, but it is possible with shorter e.g., #5.

I love my hand planes and can easily get the edge of a board flat. Getting the edge to be square is another matter. I get close and then finish on my table saw. I know, I am cheating.

Our bodies tend to want to tilt the plane one way or another.
To overcome this, some people attach a fence to the side of the hand plane.
This will give you an idea.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...16&cat=1,41182

I purchased this fence. I like it, but I may need to come up with a screw attachment. I find it is too easy for my stroke to exert too much side force knocking the fence off.

A hand plane can leave a very smooth surface, ready for glueing or staining.

If you only have a circular saw, I would not expect you will get a glue ready cut.

This is a picture of a board I cut with my circular saw using a straight edge for guidance. I later found I had a broken tooth, but even after I replaced the blade, I still do not get a glue ready edge. The thin circular saw blades flex too much.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 02:38 PM
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You are right not to sand the edges of the wood to make a glue joint. Sanding would round the edges instead of making it flat and straight. When I was in school they taught us to put wood in a vice and use a hand plane to make a glue joint. This works very good but is labor intensive. You would shave the wood off until it looks good and then check it with a tri-square to see if you have worked it correctly to a 90 degree angle. Then you lay both boards together you are trying to join to see if there is any gaps. You should keep going until you couldn't slide a thin piece of paper between. If you like woodworking I would consider getting a jointer to make your glue joints. If you don't have space you could make due with a small 4" jointer you could put away when not in use. You would still have to lay the boards together to see if the joint is true however the jointer would keep the cut on a 90 degree angle easier.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I didn't know about jointers. I saw a benchtop one at sears for 200.

But if I'm going to do that, I could get a portable table saw for the same price. Wouldn't this leave straight, square edges for gluing?

Or would it leave the ends too rough, needing sanding, and starting the whole problem with getting the edges ready to glue?

I would like to get good enough with a hand plane, I prefer hand tools. But how many projects would I have to redo many times to get them done, until I got good? I enjoy wood but do projects to have the thing, made my way, not just to make sawdust :-).

Thanks again,
Jim
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 04:13 PM
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Depending on the thickness of the pieces you are trying to join together you can plane them in one pass with a hand plane and then squareness doesn't matter. Take the two boards and put them together in your vise so that the bottoms of the boards are together and the edge to be joined is facing up. As long as your plane is wide enough to plane them both at the same time, square doesn't matter because the edge is on the same plane. In some cases with thin boards you can even plane them with quite a bit of a bevel to increase the surface area for gluing.

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-27-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by river251 View Post
I want to build several things that require gluing wood pieces together. I do not have a shop, and only have basic power tools (circular saw, sawsall, drill, jigsaw, grinder, dual action orbital sander).
I can take wood to a local cabinet shop to be planed or other work.

Examples are joining wood to form the top of a desk, and making a strong guitar neck.

When one wants a perfect join between two pieces of wood, how are they prepared? It seems like sanding is not a good idea, because you may end up with to dissimilar surfaces to join, resulting in places where the wood does not touch.
Just plane the wood and leave it like that? I presume using a hand planer would have the same problems as sanding.

Thanks,
Jim
when their have them run the edge's over a jointer . Than they will be reardy to be joined. If you had a router table you can use a flush trim bit and so the same edge on both board's. The end feed and out feed will have to 1/8" difference so that the wood that comes off doesn't hit the out feed fence. I won't go any farther with this. You have enough to worry about. Just do some research here and you will get all the right info you need. I have a complete wood shop. You will get their some day just read and be carefull on working on tool's . good luck
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-28-2012, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by river251 View Post
Thanks, I didn't know about jointers. I saw a benchtop one at sears for 200.

But if I'm going to do that, I could get a portable table saw for the same price. Wouldn't this leave straight, square edges for gluing?

Or would it leave the ends too rough, needing sanding, and starting the whole problem with getting the edges ready to glue?

I would like to get good enough with a hand plane, I prefer hand tools. But how many projects would I have to redo many times to get them done, until I got good? I enjoy wood but do projects to have the thing, made my way, not just to make sawdust :-).

Thanks again,
Jim
There is a lot of argument among woodworkers about cutting wood on a table saw for a glue joint. Its true you can make the wood square and straight and some say the saw cut makes the joint stronger. My opinion is the saw cut makes the joint weaker. I believe the tighter you can fit the wood together, the better the joint and the saw cut by nature will create voids where the boards meet. Therefore every piece of wood I glue up is milled on a jointer but that is my opinion and I really don't want to start an argument with anyone. I'm sure if you looked on craigs list you could get a jointer for under 50 bucks. Woodworking machinery normally lasts a very long time so unless someone has abused one a used jointer should work fine.

I don't think it would take you very long to get the hang of a hand plane. When I was in high school they had a shop class and by the time they took roll call and let you into the shop and then clean up afterwards you only had about 20 to 30 minutes a day to actually work and I believe most people were able to make glue ups in a week or so. A workbench with a woodworking vise would really help you with this. It would hold the wood on edge so all you had to control is the plane. They started us out gluing up panels for clipboards. We would glue up ash and mahogany alternating the wood strips about 2" wide and then the teacher would surface the clipboards down on a jointer. They didn't have a surface planer and it was too dangerous for students to face wood on a 16" jointer.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-28-2012, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
There is a lot of argument among woodworkers about cutting wood on a table saw for a glue joint. Its true you can make the wood square and straight and some say the saw cut makes the joint stronger. My opinion is the saw cut makes the joint weaker. I believe the tighter you can fit the wood together, the better the joint and the saw cut by nature will create voids where the boards meet.
This is definitely a matter of opinion just so the OP can hear both sides of the argument.

I agree the tighter the joint without clamping to force together, the better the joint.

A good joint can be achieved with a table saw. I do this regularly. I am likely not alone.

I am able to achieve this easily with my table saw. A decent blade makes a big difference.

I do not see voids in the joint. If I do, I may need to recut or use a different piece due to the wood moving after cutting.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-28-2012, 11:03 AM
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You can get a good edge on the tablesaw if the saw is set up correctly, the surface that runs on the table is flat and smooth, and the edge that runs agains the fence is straight and smooth.

Now, all this sounds pretty easy, but having those conditions may not be that easy to achieve. A jointer can produce a good edge, if it's set up properly. Jointed edges may not be exactly smooth but may have some chattering. With longer stock, you have to take a step or two, or move your hands, which can transfer a less than continuous edge.

It may be easier to set up a shooting board to get a jointed edge. Here is just one site showing the various applications for using one. There are times that a long sanding type block can be useful in taking a quick swipe to remove some small deviations. It's made using sanding belts for a hand held belt sander. The inner substrate can be anything really, and it should be cut to fit tight.




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post #12 of 12 Old 08-28-2012, 07:24 PM
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A well adjusted table saw with a good quality blade will make glue-ready cuts. What can happen, though, is that the cut can release stress in the board that makes it warp. The cut surface may then be smooth and square, but not straight. That's what a joiner can fix.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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