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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to ask you seasoned pro's on how i should do a glue up. I have planed 4 oak boards to the same thickness. I assume i should alternate the end grain. This will be for a mission style coffee table. Should i just use glue? Biscuts? Bread board end? splines?

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How have you edged the stock? How long/wide? How Many and what kind of clamps do you have?
I edged one side. Just finished planing them. I will takecare of both edges tomorrow. The lebgth are about 42in width 6in. I have bessey clamps. Also have a set of woodcraft clamps for glue ups. It puts preasure on the sides and too as its is tightened.
 

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I think a large panel like a table top can use all the help you can give it. If it were me I would joint the wood so the boards fit nearly perfect and then run a blind spline. Biscuits help but they are so small the help is little. I've seen a lot of antique tables with the breadboard ends on them and most the top has shrunk to where the breadboard end sticks out on each side. I would hate to have to come back from time to time and trim the breadboard ends and touch up the finish so I don't care for them.
 

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Today's wood glues are strong enough alone. Biscuits can help with alignment, cauls are just as good quicker and easier. You edged the boards with a jointer? If so do your dry test clamp, and check for gaps/seams.
 

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Wood Snob
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If your gluing up hard wood. Biscuit joints are not needed. Testing has always shown they are stronger than dowels, quicker and easier to install. But aren't able to help much in alignment due to the slot cut that is wider than the biscuit.

Your best defense against a glue up going south is good prep before you reach for the glue bottle. If you were able to face the material in the process of thicknessing, your miles ahead. Large amounts of clamping pressure to bring it together also makes it difficult to align the pieces.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Steve... what is the best wau to cut them?

Al. So since its oak i should be good with just glue and of course the best fit before glue up.
 

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If your boards are properly jointed on the edges you need nothing but glue. Apply enough, but not so much you have a major mess to clean up after. Use plenty if clamps and cauls to help with alignment. Don't crank the clamps so tight that they squeeze out all the glue.
 

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Learning the Hobby
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Am doing a similar project on a 91x24. 5 boards joined together to get the 24" width. I don't care what the bottom looks like so I am going to use screws and a kreg to join them.
 

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Old School
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I would not use pocket screws or biscuits for a glue up like this. Just glue, clamps, and cauls are needed. In setting the clamps, for well fitted edges, the clamp pads should exert the pressure on the center of the edges. If they are set closer to the top or bottom, clamping could induce a curve...either up or down depending where the pressure is placed.






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CNYWOODS said:
Interesting read on biscuts for your application.
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/are-biscuits-strong-enough/

Again a good joiner paired with a skilled user. helps with allignment.
I've read that thread and don't take much stock in it due to the fact that I do have, the PC biscuit jointer. It was sold on the grounds that ease of inserting the biscuit into the slot was easy with room to be a little off on the cut. This is due to the size of the cut being wider than the biscuit. The biscuit is compressed and when wetted by the glue, swells.

Fine Woodworking built a typical dining chair solely with biscuits to prove they do in fact impart a good deal of strength in a joint. Over the years it been my observation that those that don't like biscuit joints state their only benefit is in alignment and make no mention of their strength. I'm also going out on a limb and saying they probably don't have a biscuit jointer. Otherwise their findings would be contrary to their alignment statement.

On the other hand. If you use the Fe$tool Domino biscuit machine. You would have a tight fit and maybe that system would aid in alignment.

CYN. What brand of biscuit jointer do you have? Does it cut a tight slot?

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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MasterSplinter said:
Steve... what is the best wau to cut them?

Al. So since its oak i should be good with just glue and of course the best fit before glue up.
Like others have said. Our glue these days is stronger than the wood. Oak is probably glued together better than most wood.

Best of luck

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I agree here....while I don't use them often, I do find biscuits useful from time to time.
 

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Old School
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It's still a butt joint...the weakest joint...when using a biscuit, or a dowel, or a spline for that matter. They all qualify as a 'loose tenon'. Biscuits are intended (at best) to keep parts from separating. They have very little axial strength. If a joint warrants a biscuit, a hardwood spline would be the way to go. IMO, a cross grain ¼" well fitted spline is far superior to a biscuit.






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Steve... what is the best wau to cut them?

Al. So since its oak i should be good with just glue and of course the best fit before glue up.
In order to make a spline cut to where it doesn't show on the ends is to stay about 3" from the end with the cut. Using a sharp dado set I mark a starting and finishing line on my table saw fence and gently lower the board edgeways on the blade making a cut about 1/2" deep. It's just necessary to lower it slow to prevent kickback and keep your hands in front of the blade in case it does kick back. A safer method would be to purchase a spline cutter bit for a router and use that to make the cut. It's best to get one with a 1/2" shank. The 1/4" ones are easily bent.
 
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