Patchwork Panel Glue-up

glueup4 Spoiler Pic – Glued Panel (this one was 4 pieces)

I spend a lot of time gluing up panels, which is when my Stanley #8 jointer is really handy. How so?  I use it to prepare the long edges for gluing up the boards.  What is special about this plane is not just it’s size, it is also the blade.  I sharpen the blade straight across – no camber at all.  This is the only bench plane (bevel down) that I sharpen this way.  I like cambered blades for all the others, but edge jointing 2 boards is easiest with a straight blade.  I talked a bit about this here….  Don’t get me wrong, the reason I picked my 8 is because it is wide and long. With my 8 the two boards can be over 1in thick and I can get both edges in one pass.


Clamps. You can never have too many clamps.  I prefer to use lots of clamps, but not too much pressure on any of them.  I don’t know why I guess that just feels right.  You want glue on the whole jointed surface.  Evidence of this is a bit of squeeze out across the whole joint.


Notice these boards are not all the same thickness at glue-up.

I put all of the good faces “down” in the clamps first.  This should be the show side of the finished work.  Why good side down? Because more wood will be removed from the side facing up in the process of leveling that surface.  As you remove wood the appearance of the surface changes. So since you worked so hard to get the exact appearance that you wanted let’s not mess that up.

Notice that these boards are not all the same thickness yet.  That is ok.  Once the glue sets I will use my jack plane to knock down that thick one.  It is quick work with a cambered blade, heavy cut, and cross grain (traversing) movements.  Why not plane all the boards to the same thickness before gluing them up?  If I had an electric planer that is exactly what I would do.  Since I plane by hand find that I lose less wood if I wait until the panel is together before I make it uniform.  I am aiming for “flat” rather than an arbitrary dimension.  I don’t care if the panel is 0.75in or 0.88in thick.


I leave everything overnight for glue to cure.  The next step is to use a floor scraper to knock off the glue squeeze out and prep it for more planing.  At this point I treat the panel like one big rough cut board.  Maybe more on that in my next post.

Thanks for reading!

Bob Jones

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