Glue ups

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    I got into an accidental argument at work today and wonder if I said something silly so I come here seeking counsel!

    I was asked a question by a diyer about when he should thickness his material before a glue up. I told him to thickness first. I was then shot down by four different people who said it’s better to plane to almost thickness then glue up then plane out the misalignment.

    And then I said something I regret ‘a planer is not a solution for a sloppy glue up’ to which they got offended and obviously I backtracked and apologised because I don’t want to upset people but now I wonder was I wrong?

    I was taught it’s efficient to just get it right first time and not to repeat steps.

    Swindon, England


    I wonder if you were both talking about the same thing, actually. Did they mean gluing up a table top or sides of a chest? If so, then you’d stay thick because it never lines up exactly right and you need to flatten and thickness the laminated top. On the other hand, did you mean gluing up joinery, like sides of a chest that already have dovetails cut in them? Then, yes, you’d want them at thickness before you cut your joinery, usually. In fact, you won’t be able to take material off after cutting the joinery without opening up gaps sometimes. So, in that case you just need to get it right, like your saying. So, were you guys maybe not talking about the same thing?

    Matt McGrane

    For gluing up a panel:

    For me, I know that I’ll never get perfectly matching levels when gluing two boards to make a panel. So I would plane to near thickness, then glue, then plane to final thickness.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

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