Low Humidity Table Top Glue Up - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Default Low Humidity Table Top Glue Up

I'm going to edge glue 3 pieces of 1 X 6 Red Oak for a small table top. I'm in MA and it's been quite cold and dry. I have a whole house humidifier but it don't serve the basement where I do my wood working. I have a moisture meter which I haven't used to check the wood yet. But, assuming the MC of the boards is lower than the average MC for my area what say you about doing the edge glue up? Am I asking for trouble?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 11:52 AM
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I've always heard that that is too wide for edge joining 3/4" lumber. I can't remember the time honored width but it's between 2 and 2 1/2". One way to help insure the panel stays flat if you are going to use boards that wide is to cut kerfs on the bottom side of the panel. I would go about 1/3 of thickness deep and about every 1 to 1 1/4" apart. This helps release any tension that can build up from the humidity changes. I did that on the mantle top over my fireplace and it's never moved that I could tell over about 20 years. I burn wood 24/7 from October to April pretty much and then nothing from May through September so it sees some major humidity changes.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 12:36 PM
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in addition to what Charles says the wood's MC and it's movement play a very important part in what you decide to do and how...
here's some information on movement....
suggest adding splines to your panel...

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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I've always heard that that is too wide for edge joining 3/4" lumber. I can't remember the time honored width but it's between 2 and 2 1/2". One way to help insure the panel stays flat if you are going to use boards that wide is to cut kerfs on the bottom side of the panel. I would go about 1/3 of thickness deep and about every 1 to 1 1/4" apart. This helps release any tension that can build up from the humidity changes. I did that on the mantle top over my fireplace and it's never moved that I could tell over about 20 years. I burn wood 24/7 from October to April pretty much and then nothing from May through September so it sees some major humidity changes.
I have a couple of end tables that I am copying and a couple of the glued up boards in the top are 6 1/2" wide. I have a George Vondriska video and he uses boards from 4" to 6" wide for his edge glue ups. I understand that narrower boards are more stable.
FWIW, I installed Red Oak hardwood flooring in my entire house a few years ago and I try to maintain humidity level in the recommended range year round via central a/c and basement dehumidifier in the summer and whole house humidifier in the winter. Maybe I'll just let put these new boards near the humidifier and let them acclimate before doing the glue up.

Last edited by JIMMIEM; 12-31-2017 at 01:39 PM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I have a couple of end tables that I am copying and a couple of the glued up boards in the top are 6 1/2" wide. I have a George Vondriska video and he uses boards from 4" to 6" wide for his edge glue ups. I understand that narrower boards are more stable.
you can be successful providing you pay attention to grain, (flat/rift/QS/plain), MC and movement..
know what your stats are now and what they will change to or become...
and do all you can to to put have thing in your favor...
another important item for movement control is to finish all surfaces/edges including the kerfs...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 12-31-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:45 PM
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point...
I spline everything I can... through or blind as required...
VOE says my success rate is way improved because of it...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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point...
I spline everything I can... through or blind as required...
VOE says my success rate is way improved because of it...
VOE = Voice Of Experience?
I was planning on adding biscuits. Would splines be better? I have a slot cutting bit that I bought for my flooring project for cutting slots for flooring splines/slip tongues. What size splines do you recommend? I assume 1/4" thick for splining 3/4" thick boards? What length i.e. depth into the slots? In order to make them with grain perpendicular to the grain of the boards being joined may have to use several pieces unless I can find a wide board to cut them from.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:22 PM
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Biscuits are an interrupted spline. They work similar except that they are compressed and are supposed to swell up with the glue. They don't do as well to help alignment as a spline will do but they are better than nothing. Remember to alternate grain direction when you glue up. One piece should have curves up and either side of that they should be down.

In that Vondriska video it would be nice to be able to see the grain in the boards. Edge grain (quartersawn in Stick's diagram) is the least likely of all the grain orientations to warp but those boards only come from large trees. What causes boards to warp is because of the length of the ring layers. The longer the ring the farther it moves as it swells or contracts compared to shorter rings.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Biscuits are an interrupted spline. They work similar except that they are compressed and are supposed to swell up with the glue. They don't do as well to help alignment as a spline will do but they are better than nothing. Remember to alternate grain direction when you glue up. One piece should have curves up and either side of that they should be down.

In that Vondriska video it would be nice to be able to see the grain in the boards. Edge grain (quartersawn in Stick's diagram) is the least likely of all the grain orientations to warp but those boards only come from large trees. What causes boards to warp is because of the length of the ring layers. The longer the ring the farther it moves as it swells or contracts compared to shorter rings.
In another video I saw no glue was applied to the biscuits....they were just used for alignment....glue was only spread on the edge of the boards.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
VOE = Voice Of Experience?

1... I was planning on adding biscuits.
2... Would splines be better?
3... I have a slot cutting bit that I bought for my flooring project for cutting slots for flooring splines/slip tongues.
4... What size splines do you recommend? I assume 1/4" thick for splining 3/4" thick boards?
5... What length i.e. depth into the slots?
6... In order to make them with grain perpendicular to the grain of the boards being joined may have to use several pieces unless I can find a wide board to cut them from.
VOE = Voice Of Experience? - yes....
1... I wouldn't...
2... YES!!
3... good..
4... ¼'' is fine... rule of thumb is the spline at 1/3 the thickness of the material getting splined...
5... I do 9/16'' deep slots w/ a heavy 1'' wide spline, this allows for glue and hydrostatic pressures...
6... use as many pieces as you need to.. longer is better of course.. space the pieces a fuzz apart...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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