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Thread: Joining Hardwood Panels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Staint John's, FL (near JAX)
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    7

    Question Joining Hardwood Panels

    Hi Folks,

    I found some 1/2 thick 4 x 96 hardwood panels that I wood like to use for wood paneling.
    I am fairly new to Woodworking, but I have a good router and router table, also a R4512 table saw.

    I know that tong and grove is an option, but the wood I am using (Macacauba) is hard and a bit brittle, so I am concerned that tong and grove might be difficult to cut without chipping or cracking the wood. Especially with someone with my experience level.

    I am planning to join four 4 panels creating, roughly, a 16 paneled section (its part of a closet organizer project).

    I was looking at some of the glue joints and the biscuit joints. HF has a biscuit tool that is fairly cheap; is it hard to use ? Are biscuits even an option for this ?

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers

    -Fred
    Fred J. Stellabotte
    Newbie Woodworker

    Jacksonville, Florida
    United States

    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    "The generous will prosper;
    those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." - Proverbs 11:25

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,319
    Half inch thick stock is a bit thinner than I'd use biscuits in, but it's certainly doable.

    I have no experience with the HF biscuit joiner, though. I have the DeWalt, and must admit, I seldom use it.

    Other than for alignment, there's no real reason for using the biscuits. They really don't add much, if any, strength to the joint. Most modern wood glues, once they cure, are significantly stronger then the wood itself.

    I'd suggest that you joint (plane) the edges to get a tight fitting joint, and then just use glue and clamps to join the pieces. For four boards, don't glue them all up at once - do it in pairs, then join the pairs into your final panel. That makes the joinery much easier to handle.

    BTW: Welcome to the forum. You're gonna like it here!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    Welcome Fred and Jim is right on track. Biscuits would telegraph through on 1/2 wood and show Just butt glue and you will be fine
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Staint John's, FL (near JAX)
    Posts
    7
    Thanks so much folks,

    I thought of just glue, but the wood is very heavy, the panels will be 72” tall and they will be the supports for the top shelf, so I thought it would not be strong enough. Here is a rough idea of what the back wall of the Organizer looks like:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The diagram needs to be amended to show the left and right wall going all the way to the floor.

    Here is a link to the exact boards I ordered:
    http://www.woodworkerssource.com/mm5...uct_Code=co102


    I have a Freud LM74R 10” Glue Line Rip Blade, should I give it a try ?

    Thanks
    -Fred

  5. #5
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    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Stellabotte View Post
    ...I thought of just glue, but the wood is very heavy, the panels will be 72” tall and they will be the supports for the top shelf, so I thought it would not be strong enough.
    Since the panels will be vertical, strength will be no problem at all. The vertical compression of a 16" wide panel would probably hold literally tons of weight. There's only be a 'sag' problem if you were using them horizontally, with no mid-support.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Stellabotte View Post
    ...I have a Freud LM74R 10” Glue Line Rip Blade, should I give it a try ? --Fred
    That's a very good blade, and should give you a 'glue-ready' edge, providing your cut is straight.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NH
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    +1 for what they said. I'm a bit more brave/lazy than Jim and would glue them all 4 at one time.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    4,552
    Also keep in mind when using a glue line rip blade you need to feed it at a rate of 110"/min minimum to get a smooth cut. In all my years of running a shop I had 1 glue line cutting blade and it was the biggest waste of money I ever spent. I have also only had 1 rip blade and thew it away also. I use nothing but a good 50T or 60T combo Frued blades and I glued Thousands of panels using them and have never owned a jointer.
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    slow feed over a jointer is the best way to get a good glue joint. rip, joint, rip parallel, joint. set the jointer to about 1/32". line up your pieces and look for any gaps re joint the offending board and re fit. the boards should sit right together on their own and the clamps should only be needed to put pressure on the glue. only on the slightest of gaps should you rely on the glue and clamp pressure to take the curve out of a board. that is invitation for a call back.

    I agree with above about not using biscuits especially in half inch stock. Take your time and use care to glue up your panels as evenly as possible. the closer you get them on the glue up the less sanding you will need to do to get them all level.

    Good luck and Welcome to the family!!
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    NH
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    Rich you missed the part where he does not have a jointer.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
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    oops....... my bad....
    ... now where did I leave my hooked on phonics dvd.. I know its around here somewhere...... o_O
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

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