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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I hope I can get a piece of good advice on this one: I’m planning to make a 48x32 coffee table top from the white oak 1” squares glued together with end grain sides up. I already made six square boards (like cutting boards) and now I want to glue them together before the final cut. For the base, I’m going to use 3/8” Baltic birch plywood, which will be hidden under the final edge pieces. What I am worrying about is that the end grain pieces might expend more than 3/8” plywood can hold and the whole piece will be warped. So, finally, the question: should I use Titebond or Gorilla white/yellow glues or a more flexible Polyurethane adhesive for this job? Any input will be appreciated.
 

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Hi everyone, I hope I can get a piece of good advice on this one: I’m planning to make a 48x32 coffee table top from the white oak 1” squares glued together with end grain sides up. I already made six square boards (like cutting boards) and now I want to glue them together before the final cut. For the base, I’m going to use 3/8” Baltic birch plywood, which will be hidden under the final edge pieces. What I am worrying about is that the end grain pieces might expend more than 3/8” plywood can hold and the whole piece will be warped. So, finally, the question: should I use Titebond or Gorilla white/yellow glues or a more flexible Polyurethane adhesive for this job? Any input will be appreciated.
Titebond III Ultimate
It is WATERPROOF
 

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Welcome and I agree on titebond III. When gluing endgrain, I usually apply a quick coat of glue to the endgrain, let it dry, then reapply to both the endgrain and to the long grain to which it will be attached. This glue actually creates a molecular bond that is stronger than the wood.
 

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I personally am not a fan of titebond III for indoor pieces that are not going to be in direct contact with water. I do not like the brown glue line when it dries. Just my own preference.

I do use it for cutting boards/charcuterie boards but that is pretty much all. I normally use titebond II or epoxy glues for indoor pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your prompt response. I have had a bad experience with water-based glue being trapped between sandwiched big plywood pieces. That's why I thought that polyurethane glue might be more suitable and will do less damage.
 

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I am no expert especially on vertical end grain white oak assembly but for me on the dimensions you define and the relatively thin substrate I would be inclined to look at epoxy. Something like West Systems or Total Boat epoxy.
calabrese55
 

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I think gluing the squares to a piece of plywood will cause it to warp or worse.

If you think you need plywood to support the top then use some screws with elongated holes in the plywood so that the top can move freely.
 

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I would be careful doing this. The shop repairman took 1 3/4x1 3/4 blocks the same way and going back and forth it busted in half.

you might use it to support it , but I would not fasten it to it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The finished top will be installed on the metal frame with no support in the middle and it will be sitting just on the edges. I want to use plywood to prevent the top from sagging. Polyurethane adhesives have a good grip and yet, do not dry as wood glues and remain flexible, allowing the wood to expand and contract without cracking… at least theoretically.
 

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Glueing woods together that have different expansion rates goes against my limited knowledge. If I did try it, I would try and seal the project very well to limit humidity getting in.
 
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