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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Afternoon all,

Newbie here --- I am going to build a coffee table for my son. Unfortunately the 1x pine is only available in 24" width. I need it to be 32 inches. I am looking a tongue and grove the extra piece on to a side. My question is using t&g router bit kits or single bit? Any recommendations as to which way to go and particular manufactures? I am not looking at spending over $80 if at all possible. End results needs to be very tight seam.

If by chance you have a better solution I am allll ears ! :grin:

Tia,
cvbs
stay healthy and safe !
 

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blind spline it...
make the spline/slot approximately 1/3 the thickness of the material yur using for the top and at least 1/2'' deep......
use a slotting bit.... - 20-25$...
another bit to consider - A slotting cutter set.... a bunch of $$$

a true T&G bit won't give you as solid of a fit that a spline will..
a slot cutter will cost less...
use Baltic Birch for the spline...
the spline will be stronger than a T&G...
a spline will give you way more gluing surface
it's tough to blind a T&G joint...
 

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Agree with Stick, make a nice deep groove for a wide spline. I would cut the add on piece in half (rip) and put it on both sides. A solid piece that size will expand and contract and may want to warp over time. Adding to both sides will help with the warp, but if you attach this to the apron on bothsides, the expansion and contraction will tear the top apart over time. To handle that, you can firmly attach the top to one side and use table top attachment clips that allow for the expansion on the other, or use clips on both sides. Expansion is low in the long grain direction. These two suggestions will make a big difference over the years. Attached is a diagram of table parts and a pix of the clip. When cutting the groove for the spline, make sure all three pieces are face down on a router table, or if you do it with a table saw, you will need a tall fence to hold the thing steady while you cut, and you must have the pieces all facing the same direction. You can make a stopped groove so the spline doesn't show on the ends. I'd stop the groove about 2 inches from the ends of the top.

Gluing the three peices together in the spline and groove, and on the edges will increase the strength and warp resistance. Scrape the squeezed out glue off when it gets tacky or it will mess up your finish. Table top finish is really important, and if it were me, I'd sand it, then use a scraper for the final preparation for a really beautiful finish. Sanding actually abraids the surface. Scraping cuts the fibers clean so you get a smoother surface to start with than sanding.
 

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I am also a proponent of using splines. The grooves can also be cut on a table saw but the stock has to be flat. If there is any curve to it then a handheld router is better since it`s small base will follow the curve while maintaining an even distance from the face to the groove.

The other advantage to using splines is that no wood is lost. With a T & G joint you lose some of the width when you machine the tongue. Essentially both are the same joint. One just has double grooves and the tongue is separate.
 

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I agree with using a spline made of BB plywood and that would be my first choice of material for the spline. If you use solid wood make sure the spline material grain runs perpendicular to the joint grain. Several small pieces of spline can be used, it does not have to be one long strip. Just make sure when gluing that the surfaces of the board top are flat.

I also agree about adding to both sides so it helps even out stresses over time.
 

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I am also a proponent of using splines. The grooves can also be cut on a table saw but the stock has to be flat. If there is any curve to it then a handheld router is better since it`s small base will follow the curve while maintaining an even distance from the face to the groove.

The other advantage to using splines is that no wood is lost. With a T & G joint you lose some of the width when you machine the tongue. Essentially both are the same joint. One just has double grooves and the tongue is separate.
the tongue is wider/thicker/deeper w/ a spline
 

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Just a shot in the dark here, but I'd guess hat Bill isn't thrilled about spending money on a sheet of 1/4" Baltic Birch(?) for what is essentially a simple project.
A 1/4" thick x 3/4" wide piece of maple or birch spline is not going to split over time if it's sound to start with. The perpendicular grain concept is a big bonus for strength and stability.
Once it's clued in place, and the two panel pieces are butt glued and clamped it's going to be rock solid.
This whole plywood spline thing is a fairly recent idea in the history of furniture making. Most of our furniture is old even if not technically antique, although a lot of it is (antique). We've never had any instance of a glued panel separating, ever.
https://www.finewoodworking.com/2005/09/12/all-about-spline-joints
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/inside-greene-and-greene-furniture/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Everyone..,

Very much appreciate your input. Spline it is ! :)

Stick486
use a slotting bit.... is there a problem with using a 1/4 inch bit as opposed to 1/2"? ... Amazon has the 1/4 and I have an account there.
you mention a wood for the spline...Baltic Birch... specifically for strength? (not questioning Your wisdom, trying to build mine :) )

all,
Specific wood glue recommendations?

I do appreciate ALL the help from the group... I probably will be asking MANY more questions as time goes on.

tia,
Cvbs
 

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the original deal on splines... (see pics)
DO NOT USE MASONITE/HARDBOARD - VOE....
poor strength and it's fragile...

no BB ply??? use luan or high count ply plywood...
the omnidirectional grain imparts some serious strength...
ply is exceptionally stable...
 

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I agree with Stick also. The other thing in my opinion setting up t and G cutters properly can be a PITA. The spline is easy to set up.
and cutting the grooves w/ the router resting on the face side pretty much takes care of flushing the surfaces...
 

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Just a shot in the dark here, but I'd guess hat Bill isn't thrilled about spending money on a sheet of 1/4" Baltic Birch(?) for what is essentially a simple project.
A 1/4" thick x 3/4" wide piece of maple or birch spline is not going to split over time if it's sound to start with. The perpendicular grain concept is a big bonus for strength and stability.
Once it's clued in place, and the two panel pieces are butt glued and clamped it's going to be rock solid.
This whole plywood spline thing is a fairly recent idea in the history of furniture making. Most of our furniture is old even if not technically antique, although a lot of it is (antique). We've never had any instance of a glued panel separating, ever.
https://www.finewoodworking.com/2005/09/12/all-about-spline-joints
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/inside-greene-and-greene-furniture/
agreed...
 
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Everyone..,

1... Very much appreciate your input. Spline it is ! :)

Stick486
2... is there a problem with using a 1/4 inch bit as opposed to 1/2"? ...
3... you mention a wood for the spline...Baltic Birch... specifically for strength? (not questioning Your wisdom, trying to build mine :) )

all,
4... Specific wood glue recommendations?

5... I do appreciate ALL the help from the group...

6... I probably will be asking MANY more questions as time goes on.

tia,
Cvbs
1... good move...
2... do you mean shank diameters???
are you limited by collet/router size or that is all Amazon has???
me... I'd go w/ a ½'' shank.... more versatile and a wide full depth cut is brutal...
you could buy an arbor, bearings and cutters separate...
you go to Acme
change brands.. Whiteside and CMT are good bits...
how wide is your slot???
4... for panels.. weld bond.. Ace hardware carries it...
5... yur welcome...
6... ask away... we love questions...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Danin Van,

No problem in spending,,, just educating myself as to the "Why" in the recommendation of the particular type of wood. I am sure the wife will have me finding plenty of good usages for the remainder if this works out well.!! hahaha Just trying to learn.:)

thanks for the information
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Stick486
is there a problem with using a 1/4 inch bit as opposed to 1/2"? ... meaning shaft. Amazon only offered the 1/4 shaft w/ 1/4 cut

Specific wood glue recommendations?...I have heard mention about a quick drying glue, (... thoughts???
 

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Stick486
is there a problem with using a 1/4 inch bit as opposed to 1/2"? ... meaning shaft. Amazon only offered the 1/4 shaft w/ 1/4 cut

Specific wood glue recommendations?...I have heard mention about a quick drying glue, (... thoughts???
No..
but a 1/2'' shank won't bend, deals w/ heat better and are like Timex watches...
buy the bit elsewhere...

on panels I use Weldbond... Ace hardware carries it...
no telling how much that top will be made to suffer..
plan for the worse...
 

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I guess I am the odd man out. I very seldom use splines and never had a failure in a table top. I just butt joint them and use Titebond II glue. If I splined every panel I made I would have gone crazy by now. Our wood working club went to several high end furniture plants and they turn out hundreds of panels ,and never spline them. Biscuit joint or Dowels are another easy way to go to get edge alignment. Heck I even see a lot of guys using pocket hole joints on flat panels now.
If I were doing this, I would just make a good edge joint and glue it.

I like the idea of ripping the narrow piece and adding to both sides, When you do that be sure to run the grain in the same direction as the wide board. You may not see much difference until the finish goes on ,but then it will really stand out if the grains are in the opposite direction.

Herb
 

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Danin Van,

No problem in spending,,, just educating myself as to the "Why" in the recommendation of the particular type of wood. I am sure the wife will have me finding plenty of good usages for the remainder if this works out well.!! hahaha Just trying to learn.:)

thanks for the information
Bill; the 1/4" ply is great for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs whatever the type (BB or domestic). Just be careful if you're buying other than Baltic Birch that the core layers are actually veneers, not particle board or similar. That sawdust filler is a ridiculous concept for something as thin as 1/4"...just my opinion.
 

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Bill; the 1/4" ply is great for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs whatever the type (BB or domestic). Just be careful if you're buying other than Baltic Birch that the core layers are actually veneers, not particle board or similar. That sawdust filler is a ridiculous concept for something as thin as 1/4"...just my opinion.
¼'' BB isn't ¼''... it's 6mm...

.
 

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