wood surface for glueing

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JohnnyR

John
Corporate Member
Reading Mike's recent post got me thinking about a question I've had. How smooth do you need the surface to be to get a good glue joint both in strength and appearance? Usually I use jointed or planned edges. Sometimes I wonder if they are too smooth. Recently did an end-grain cutting board and glued straight from the drum sander using 100 grit and it seems fine. In my earlier days before I acquired necessary tools, it seemed to work well straight off the table saw though I wouldn't dare try that for something like a table top. If sanding flat on a drum sander, would a finer grit be preferable? I assume there's some swelling in the wood that fills in those miniscule gaps.

Thanks for responses, John
 

SubGuy

Administrator
Zach
As long as the wood is not burnished, the glue should absorb fine. In tighter more closed grained wood, a light scuffing up wouldn't hurt. The more important factor, is gluing surface. I use a glue joint on a shaper for any panels. For M&T, the finish produced by the tooling is fine unless it's burnt or burnished assuming you have proper fitting joints.
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
John
Depends a bunch on what glue you are using. In my case, I use hot hide most and it likes a smooth surface the best. One exception: glueing down veneer. Roughing up the ground makes the veneer grab better. So... it seems like its open here.

I would only add for edge joinery smooth and straight is best. If you are fussy like me you take a jack plane and shave a small concavity in the middle so the ends are nice and tight.

dan
 

SubGuy

Administrator
Zach
As Dan states, this is an old, tried and true technique used in joining boards in a panel. It prevents end splitting where joints are most likely to split. Thanks Dan, I had forgotten about that!:icon_thum
John
Depends a bunch on what glue you are using. In my case, I use hot hide most and it likes a smooth surface the best. One exception: glueing down veneer. Roughing up the ground makes the veneer grab better. So... it seems like its open here.

I would only add for edge joinery smooth and straight is best. If you are fussy like me you take a jack plane and shave a small concavity in the middle so the ends are nice and tight.

dan
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I nearly always use my table saw to produce the edge I am going to glue. Now that I have a track saw, I made use that edge. This includes table tops that are highly visible. I have had no issues doing this. Sometimes I have to rip repeatedly, however, to get a nice straight edge. If I had a longer jointer, I might use it instead but I don't so I use the table saw.
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
I nearly always use my table saw to produce the edge I am going to glue. Now that I have a track saw, I made use that edge. This includes table tops that are highly visible. I have had no issues doing this. Sometimes I have to rip repeatedly, however, to get a nice straight edge. If I had a longer jointer, I might use it instead but I don't so I use the table saw.
True one can joint off a table saw as long as the face of the board is flat so it does not cock as it passes through the saw blade and you have a good thick blade and stabilizer. Even the slightest twist will show up on your saw cut. So to make a board face flat you use a jointer. Why not joint the edge your going to glue as long as your at the jointer anyways?

Personal note - My best glue edge joints come from edge planing with my planer.

Another thing to note is to get those joints in glue and clamps ASAP. Wood moves - the longer it sets the more chance of it moving and you'll be scratching your head trying to figure out why my glue joint sucks.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I agree with CrealBilly. I always follow up with a jointer plane. Plus you can utilize the spring joint technique, which I really like. If you put the boards back to back and plane them together, you cancel out any error in squareness. I usually follow up with a light scuffing before gluing, but I've skipped this step and the joint holds fine.
 
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