How straight is straight enough? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-13-2014, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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How straight is straight enough?

I am a very novice wood worker and am building a kitchen table out of reclaimed barn wood. I have 8 boards that will make up the table top. Most of today has been spent running those boards through my little table top jointer and I just can't get all of the edges lined up perfect. My question is how much gap inbetween boards is to much to glue? I feel like the edges are really close. Maybe a sixteenth or thirty second inch of a gap at most.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-13-2014, 11:53 PM
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1/16" is definitely too much. Depending on the length, style, wood type, intended finish, environment, etc., 1/32" might be acceptable.

How long are the boards? Where is the gap? If it's in the middle of the boards then the cause is likely that your table top jointer beds are too short to run longer boards. If the gap is on the ends it could be the same reason or it could be your technique.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-14-2014, 01:19 PM
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If you want the glue joint to hold, there's really no margin for error. There should be no gaps, unless you're using a 2 part epoxy glue which will fill the gaps with strong epoxy. Gorilla Glue which appears to fill gaps with a foamy guck should not be used as the guck is not strong.
If you intend to use traditional wood glue, the fit should be pretty much perfect to bond well.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-14-2014, 02:43 PM
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Do you have a router, if so lay the boards side by side with a gap just slightly less than the diameter of the straight bit you will use. Set up a straight edge to follow with the router and run it between the two boards removing a minimal amount from both edges. the boards should now be a perfect fit.

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post #5 of 11 Old 09-14-2014, 03:21 PM
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Depending on how thick the boards are and how strong your clamps are, I'd wager that a gap of maybe 1/64 or less might work, but for a panel glueup you really want those two edges to mate perfectly
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-14-2014, 03:37 PM
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if the variation is random... it might work. as they could offset each other over the course of the boards (or not).

but chances are the variance is systematic, and they are quite likely all "off" in the same place in the same direction, so even your 1/32nd gaps could accumulate.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 09:34 PM
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Edge jointing

Layout your boards on saw horses or whatever platform you are going to use to glue them up and look at the gaps. If the gaps are in the center of the length and are less than 0.016" then with good clamping every 6 to 8" along the length you should be able to pull them tight.

If your gaps are random or at the edges, then you have some more work to do. I would use Titebond III glue for strength and water resistance when you glue them up.

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post #8 of 11 Old 09-20-2014, 09:18 AM
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If you have a sharp No 6 plane it will only take a few minutes to get the edges about perfect.Its good to see that you have the initiative to ask the question and this table project will be a good step to losing your novice status.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-20-2014, 09:29 AM
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Keep in mind that a gap between the boards takes pressure to force them together when gluing them. The amount of pressure used to force the boards together is the amount of pressure that will sit 24/7 trying to pull the joint apart. It's very important for the long term to get the boards perfectly fitted with no gap between. If this isn't possible I would recommend putting a spline in the joint to re-enforce it against the pressure working against it.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-21-2014, 10:44 PM
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Lets see about 50+ years ago I hand planed some boards and did not do a real good job. The teacher decided that we would use lots of clamps on the stack of wood to draw it together. I turned a nice looking bowl from it. After a short period of time the bowl started coming apart. Not all the layers came apart, but how many does it take to ruin a project?
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-22-2014, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radman152 View Post
I am a very novice wood worker and am building a kitchen table out of reclaimed barn wood. I have 8 boards that will make up the table top. Most of today has been spent running those boards through my little table top jointer and I just can't get all of the edges lined up perfect. My question is how much gap inbetween boards is to much to glue? I feel like the edges are really close. Maybe a sixteenth or thirty second inch of a gap at most.
you talk about the edges , is this on both ends of the 2 board's ? or all of them togother ? if it is the same space on all of the 8 boards laid out togother and all are the same space on the end's? that sound like you are joining the board's wrong, like letting preasure off the frount edge going thro the jointer, if you keep doing this than the width will become different on the end's , if this matter's , take 2 shote board's may 1 foot and run those and see if you get no gap, if so than it sure the way you are running board's thro the jointer, you have to put preasure on the out going board and also the same on the infeed also , you didn't say how long the board's are but it may be real hard to get them all flat as you want, you may have to look up a cabnet shop and see if they will join them for you , good luck i don't like any space on my glue ups
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