Originally Posted by Nickbee
Here’s the game plan. I’m currently working on a pedestal plant stand that is made of poplar ¾” x ¾” stock for the rails / stiles (just simple groves and tongues). The panels are ¼” walnut ply (one good side) for contrast.
I need a game plan for gluing up and finishing. I plan to use a coat of Danish oil followed by wipe on poly.
My initial questions:
1) Should the panels be glued to allow to “float”. Either way should they be cut an 1/8” smaller than they need to be to allow for an easier glue up?
2) What should be the order of gluing then finishing? If I should glue everything up before finishing is it ok to just finish one side of the ply?
This is kinda like the chicken and the egg story. I’m sure there is a proper procedure here. The stand is designed and I need to start making some dust this week to get it together. I’ll post some pics before I get to the glue /finishing steps.
Yes, allow the panel to float, do not glue it, 1/8" smaller is good depending on the depth of the grooves, obviously you need enough for the panel to sit in and not come out one of the grooves.
The order of gluing/finishing is much debated. In theory it sounds good. In practice some of the theories don't work for me for a few reasons.
-If you don't prefinish anything, then when the wood shrinks with a drier environment you can often see a tell-tale line where the finish ends along the edge of the panel where it meets the rail.
-If you prefinish just the panel edges, as some suggest, then you can see where the final finish meets the prefinish.
-If you prefinish just the panel, as some suggest, then you have trouble finishing the edges of the stiles and rails where they meet the panel at 90 degrees (this also happens if you just do the edges)
-If you prefinish all the parts then you cannot sand after you have glued to even up where the rail meets the stile, nor cut off horns left on the stiles. (Of course you need to tape off the areas like tenons you will be gluing so no finish gets on them) In other words, you must be exactly precise before glue up because there will be no more sanding or finishing, something I have not been able to do, as perfect as I am
What I have found gives ME the best result is to finish just the panel first, both sides and include the poly.
People have said you must do the same to both sides of a piece. I read a magazine article by a well-known woodworker that proved that theory is hogwash.