A reader asked a question about how to do a glue-up with a minimum of sanding. We thought this would be an opportunity to build a checklist of things to remember about glue-ups.
Rick White: It’s important to look at the grain in the boards. If you can get it, quartersawn wood is preferable because it will tend to move less. Then, when assembling the boards, make sure the grain patterns alternate to create a more stable surface. It would be good to know more about this project. If it’s a stand-on-its own glue up, it will need to be stronger and more carefully assembled than if it’s a piece that will rest on some kind of substrate or support.
Ian Kirby: Presumably these are butt joints on a tabletop. The first way to keep the pieces flush is to glue only two boards at any one time. There are a number of techniques to get the job done. The one I use most is to begin at one end, get the parts dead flush, then clamp that end. Now go down the board, clamp by clamp, levering the boards up or down to get them flush. It’s quite normal, with reluctant areas, to whack them into place with a heavy hammer and a block of wood.