Need Wide Boards? How to make panels by edge joining lumber | STEP IT UP Woodworking

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yes it's time for the 2016 Olympics by

far my favorite event is synchronized

microjig maker of the gripper work safer

work smarter in a recent woodworking

basics video I discussed using solid

lumber versus plywood in your projects

there are all kinds of reasons why you

might choose one or the other and each

project is different one reason you

might want to use solid wood is if you

plan on creating an edge profile say a

round over or some other decorative

shape if you cut these in plywood its

layers will be exposed and that might

not be the look you're going for it's

certainly easy enough to use solid wood

for small projects but what if you

wanted to build something big like a

solid wood tabletop you can't buy a

single board that would be wide enough

most trees just don't grow that big the

solution is to make your own wide boards

making wide panels is really pretty

simple you just glue together boards

along their edges you will need a table

saw and a jointer but if you don't have

a jointer you can make a simple edge

jointing jig to use on your table saw

more about this in a minute you'll need

clamps wood glue and a little patience

start by finding the straightest board

you can from the lumberyard or Home

Center it doesn't need to be

particularly wide I usually use one by

fours or one by sixes boards that are

wider than that are often warped and

would require additional preparation

beyond the scope of this video to

flatten them out figure out what the

finished length of your tabletop or

panel needs to be and cross cut the

boards a little bit longer cut enough

boards so that when they're all glued

together they'll be wider than you need

your finished panel to be basically just

be sure to make your panel slightly

oversize so that you can cut it down to

its actual size later even if you have

pretty straight boards it might look

like you could just glue them together

now but resist the temptation

most likely the edges aren't mating

together perfectly if you could fit a

sheet of paper between them the glue

probably won't bond as well and the seam

will show

the edges of the board need to be

jointed but don't get confused by that

term jointing a board just means cutting

the edges straight and square to the

face of the board and making the two

edges parallel with each other that's

different than a woodworking joint that

joins two pieces to wood together like a

box joint or a dovetail joint a jointer

doesn't make joints but jointed edges

will meet together perfectly to create a

strong connection you can use a

specialized tool called a jointer but if

you're like me and don't have one you

can also edge joint using your router

table or making a special jig like this

one to use on your table saw I have

links in the description on how to make

both of these the workpiece gets clamped

down and the edge of the sled rides

along my rip fence making the cut edge

parallel with my rip fence no matter how

crooked the board is

I like to mark the edge of the board I

just jointed so I won't forget

the key thing to understand about any

jointing operation is that you only

joint one edge of a board using your

jointer not both so you'll never joint

one edge then flip the board over and

joint the opposite edge they won't be

parallel instead after you see your

jointer or jointing jig on one edge

you'll run that edge along your RIP

fence to make a parallel cut on the

opposite edge it's very satisfying to

see how perfectly boards fit together

once they're jointed it's really worth

taking the time to play with the

positioning of the boards until you get

the grain pattern to look the way you

want it I really like the way these two

come together and create an invisible

seam this one has these wavy patterns

that might look better this way and I

kind of think it does if you look on the

ends of the board you'll see which way

the grain curves and a lot of people

like to reverse one of the directions so

that these two curved this way this one

curves that way I don't think it makes

any difference which way the boards go

pipe clamps are definitely the most

affordable solution for clamping

together your panels they're available

at any hardware store or Home Center you

buy these Orange jaws separately as a

pair then you buy these black pipes to

whatever length you want this part just

screws on to one of the threaded ends

then this part has this little spring

mechanism that holds it in place

I like to keep several different links

of pipe clamps on hand because they're

so inexpensive I've even got this five

foot long one the important thing is to

have everything ready to go so that once

you get the glue on you can just move

right through the process I want to talk

for a moment about biscuits no not the

flaky buttery kind but these wooden ones

there's a bit of controversy about how

effective they are about 20 years ago

biscuit joiners that's Joyner without a

tea we're very popular for gluing up

panels all the tool does is cut slots

along the edge of a board then you glue

these wooden biscuits into the slots the

idea here is that the glue will cause

the biscuits to swell inside of the

board strengthening the joint you can

still buy biscuit joiners and a lot of

people still use them however most

testing now seems to indicate that they

don't really add any strength to a joint

they can be useful for helping you keep

the edges of really long boards aligned

but I don't think that justifies the

cost of buying a biscuit joiner I no

longer use one for gluing together

panels they're perfectly strong without

the biscuit joints remember the glue

itself is stronger than the wood I'll

apply the glue to just these two boards

important thing here is to make sure

that you spread it evenly

it doesn't take a lot of clamping

pressure to hold these together

I'll just slightly tighten them down for

now if you don't see any of the glue

squeezing out it probably means you

didn't use enough to make sure the faces

of the board just are flush you can use

calls like these these are just boards

that I put a piece of packing tape on

them so that glue doesn't stick and I'll

clamp those together

I'm just loosely clamping these for now

now I can start to apply more pressure

to the sides again not a whole lot and

it's important to put a couple of clamps

on the topside tube to prevent it from

bowing usually I just site along the

edge to make sure that it's flat but if

you're real particular you could use a

straight edge if you want you can scrape

off the excess glue when it's slightly

dry I usually like to plan my panel

glue-ups at the end of the day so I can

just let it dry overnight this is always

the fun part to see how it all turned


I'll sand off the rest of the glue and

smooth it out you could also run this

through a planer if you have one

once you've got your panel all smoothed

out you can cut it down to its final

size I used that panel to create the

bottom of last week's serving tray

project everybody thanks for watching

this week's step it up video I hope this

gave you the confidence to make your own

panels and take your woodworking to the

next level please click on the box on

the left to see all the videos in my

woodworking basics series covering

topics every woodworker should know and

click the box on the right to see the

latest video from Tom over on my second

channel Home & Garden for mere mortals

we post two new videos every week on H

GMM covering all sorts of home lifestyle

projects I hope you'll check it out and

subscribe don't forget to look in the

description for links to all the stuff I

mentioned in this video thanks again for

watching everybody I'll see you next