Joining boards along their length - Router Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Question Joining boards along their length

Hi folks

I'm going to start building a 1600mm long buffet in the coming weeks, but am having difficulty sourcing the laminated wood sheet for the base of the cabinet in the dimension I want. So, in order to give me plenty to work with, I'm considering joining two pieces along their length and cutting off what I don't need.
I can only get 405mm wide, and I need 450mm wide in the pre-laminated sheets I want to use for this. The manufacturer won't make a custom sheet. Both boards would be 18mm thick.

Given I have limited tools and (at this stage) experience, I was thinking to join them by cutting a rabbet along the edge of both boards and gluing them together. Then, because there will be supports in the middle of the underside, making the join about halfway across the width and cutting the sides off to make my 450mm wide baseboard. This seemed a simple solution to me, and as the laminated sheets have proven very stable, I don't anticipate movement to give me any real grief.

This to me seemed a better option than having the possibility of the boards just side by side, as they would have a tendency to shift independently. I have no biscuit joiner, or dowel alignment jig, so have no confidence in going down that track (and they're not in the budget). I also have no tongue & groove bits for the router. Strapping them underneath by putting small bracing strips doesn't meet with approval from my client (wife).

I'm just posting this as a curiousity, wondering how you might suggest other methods that may be achievable given my sparse fit-out of equipment. If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them so I can learn other possibilities. I've tried to give it some thought, but I'm all for learning other methods.

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:09 AM
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spline it instead of rabbeting...
better face alignment. stronger, easier and less waste..
use BB for the spline...

,
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:18 AM
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use a slot cutter for the spline...

.
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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....

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Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, what's BB?
Hadn't thought of a spline. That would be a long spline, almost 1600mm long. Have you ever done that?
Would you cut both slots at the same time, i.e. have the boards both clamped and cut just the once running the cutter up the middle?
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:58 AM
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@1fizgig , Stick probably offers the best solution, but I notice you say you do not have tongue-and-groove bits. Do you have a slot cutter? If not, take a leaf out of JOAT’s book, and make yourself a very simple dowelling jig. Instructions on the internet.
Provided you register the jig against the “bookmatch” faces of both boards (as opposed to face of one and back of the other), the faces should be well-aligned. Do a dry-fit before glue-up, and re-drill any dowel that is problematic. A slight longitudinal discrepancy will not matter, since you will be trimming to length anyway.
In my humble experience, the “affordable” dowelling jigs are not better than homemade.

Regarding the position of the glue-line,
1. Will it be visible inside the cabinet?
2. Will the board be weight-bearing?
3. Are there any other structural members to give support?
4. Exactly what material are you using? If by laminate you mean melamine-faced, it is darn difficult to get an invisible glue line. In that case, you might want to position the glue line as far towards the back as possible. Also, the factory edges will possibly be more chip-free than you or I can achieve by cutting. Ditto for the edging. If the laminate is wood veneer, it may not matter so much.

Perhaps post a sketch?
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fizgig View Post
Okay, what's BB?
Hadn't thought of a spline. That would be a long spline, almost 1600mm long. Have you ever done that?
Would you cut both slots at the same time, i.e. have the boards both clamped and cut just the once running the cutter up the middle?
BB = Baltic Birch...
how about 40 feet...
been making splines since I was kid...

nothing says you have to have a continuous spline... segment it...
blind it if you don't want it visible at the ends...
a Slot cutter is the most effective simplest easiest (least amount of work) and economical way to get where you need to be...

I'd cut one edge at a time and all from the face/show side...
when you assemble the joint the face pieces will auto flush...
make one from some scrap...
it will all come together and make sense to you...

FWIW..
a tongue and grove bit is a different fit up vs the spline...


spline...



T&G...

.
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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”

Last edited by Stick486; 10-13-2019 at 06:09 AM.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:58 AM
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You are asking how to make the boards longer not wider. The way it is done is with finger joints. You can buy a bit or do it on a saw.

https://woodgears.ca/box_joint/fingerjoint.html
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmine View Post
You are asking how to make the boards longer not wider. The way it is done is with finger joints. You can buy a bit or do it on a saw.

https://woodgears.ca/box_joint/fingerjoint.html
Evidently the material available is equivalent to maybe our 4' stock where his needs call for 1600mm (62.99213") length boards. Stick certainly gives you the methods best to use and as he stated the splines don't need to be continuous but need to be at both ends to be concealed. As Biagio asks, more information is really needed to determine what if anything else should be considered.

Last edited by sreilly; 10-13-2019 at 09:20 AM.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 10:22 AM
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I splined 2 seven plus foot birch boards together once for a mantle top using a 1/2” wood spline. You need to get the glue in as fast as possible at that length so more hands can be an asset.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:29 AM
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[QUOTE=mgmine;2054817]You are asking how to make the boards longer not wider. The way it is done is with finger joints. You can buy a bit or do it on a saw.
/QUOTE]

I understand it to be that he wants a board 1600mm long and 450mm wide, but the standard width is only 405mm. Hence he wants to join two boards of 405mm along their long edges, and then cut off the extra. The question is whether to have the joint in the middle of the board, or to one side (i.e. one of the joined boards would land up being only 45 mm wide).
If this is the base of the cabinet, and not particularly visible from the inside of the cabinet, I would opt for the simplicity of the unequal widths.
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