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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little new to the glue up panel process. I have made a few cutting boards, but those are a lot smaller than what I am working with now.

I got the new Wood issue and I am building the TV stand in that magazine. I have glued up all the internal structure pieces but was kind of unhappy with the results. I keep having issues with the boards slipping slightly so my pieces isn't nice and flat.

I have a table saw and a router, but the boards are 2x6" white wood. I don't have a flush trim bit that is that big; so I have no way of jointing the faces.

I checked the table saw to make sure the blade was 90 degrees to the table. I ripped the stock down to 5" wide. Upon clamping, I staggered my clamps front to back and have them evenly spaced from each end.

Is there anything I can do to improve my glue up skill? I would love to be able to make great joints between board edges.

I do not have a planner or jointer.
 

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Well you know, "back in the old days" they would use hand planes to joint their boards. They don't take up a whole lot of space in the shop, but they take some practice to become skilful at. It is possible to 'joint' an edge using a router and a straight edge. If the boards are too narrow to clamp a straight edge to, you can make a jig to insert the boards into and have the straight edge guide mounted on it. Yes, you would need to buy a router bit to handle the size. Cheaper than a jointer, though.

Beyond that, there are ways to try to keep all of the faces as even as possible during glue ups. You can use that router of yours and a slot cutting bit ( Yep, got to buy ANOTHER new bit) and rout a groove on the edges of the boards, then cut splines with your tablesaw. Splines help align the boards and prevent that slippage you mentioned. You can also use dowels for the same purpose, but that is a subject of debate amongst woodworkers. Some people claim that the different orientation of wood grain in the dowels can cause the boards to split. I have used dowels for joinery in the past and never had them cause a board to split, even after 15 years, so I doubt the veracity of that argument. However, splines have the advantage of the 2 methods in that they are continuous, where dowels are intermittent, and the boards could still slip out of alignment between the dowels, unless you space them really closely, which takes a LOT of time. However, I do not believe it is possible to get them PERFECTLY aligned in a glue up. There will always be some amount of very slight variations, even with the best setups. At least, that is my experience. But you can keep it under 1/64".
 

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A picture would help. Are the joints not parallel or is the assembly cupped in the middle?

As mentioned earlier, splines or dowels can help to prevent the joint not being parallel.

Another method to keep the joint parallel and avoid cupping is to use cauls. Easy to make several sets.

As the top assembly gets wider, cauls become even more useful.

An earlier thread on cauls.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/teach-me-about-wood-cauls-please-44702/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I mean the panels aren't terrible and nothing a little elbow grease couldn't work out. They aren't 1/8" out or any thing gnarly like that. It may be a 1/16" out at most, but it is noticeable.

Could you use a biscuit joiner? I may have to pick up a doweling jig (I want to try this for face frames on another project any ways).

Only reason why I ask is my longest glue up is going to be 60" long and it is the top; so I want it to be as perfect as possible.
 

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Doing a glue for a panel in stages may make the job easier, glue boards up in pairs so you only have one joint to contend with. Then glue pairs together and so on, one joint at a time, takes longer but it may be worth the extra time.

Use caws or vertical clamp attachments to keep the boards lined up.

Another method is to drive small finishing nails into the edge of one of the boards, nip it off so it stands about 1/16" proud, this will bite into the other board to prevent creep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I take the dowel approach, how would you recommend I do it? Since all the structure panels are already glued and I'm gluing up the outside, I'd like the presentation side to be as flat as possible once the glue up is done. Should I use a self centering jig? If so, why; wouldn't this not keep the presentation faces of the board from being on the same plane? If I get a non-self centering jig, should I use the non-presentation face or the presentation face to reference off of to start the doweling process? I'm assuming the presentation face would be the best bet.
 

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When I glue up a panel like that I use two clamps under the panel and one centered over the top. With an innitial clamping the wood does tend to slip a little. I take a 8 lb. sledge hammer with a block of wood and pound the boards flat again. Then I tighten the clamps fully. Sometimes a board or two are warped and it's necessary to put a block of wood between the panel and the table so it doesn't just bounce.
 
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