Tips for a Panel Glue Up

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If you need wide, solid wood panels for your next project, you’re going to have to glue them up. Doing a good panel glue up isn’t hard, but there are specific steps you need to follow, and things you need to take care of, to make sure the panel glue up turns out well. A well composed panel can easily end up looking like one large piece of wood, with no seams at all.

What are we looking for?

There are a number of things to keep in mind as you work on gluing boards up to make a large panel. They include color match, grain pattern match, quality of the joints, amount of glue used, and more. You’ll learn about all of these things in this video.

Questions we’ll answer for you

There are some very common questions about panel glue up that we’ll take care of for you in this video. Should you use biscuits or dominoes or dowels in the joint? How do you know the joints are sound? How much glue should be used? How large should the glue up be compared to the final panel required for the project? What’s the best way to handle squeeze out? You’ll get answers to all of these questions.

Wanna know more?

This is a pretty comprehensive video, but WoodWorkers Guild of America has a great depth of information ready to help you out. If you want to go even more in depth, we’ve got it for you, and you can learn more on gluing up panels.

Discussion
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6 Responses to “Tips for a Panel Glue Up”
  1. Eric

    When I glue boards up it tends to bow in the middle. Is this too much pressure or should i clamp on the top?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Eric. I think you are on the right track in your analysis. I believe that the two main culprits that cause this problem are 1) too much clamp pressure. You only need to ensure that the joints close and you get a bit of glue squeeze out. No need to crush the wood. 2) uneven clamp pressure. Pipe clamps in particular seem to cause flexing of the panel, so if you are using pipe clamps I would definitely suggest alternating clamps on top and bottom. Even when I am using bar clamps I still do this, even those clamps pull more evenly and are less likely to cause a bowing problem.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  2. Nick

    Old school, I was taught to first lay out the boards by alternating the boards cup up then cup down by looking at the end grain (growth rings) of each board to minimize future warping.

    Reply
  3. Mike

    While I agree with, and use, your approach, I have also found that pocket screws work very well and I have used them without glue to join panels. Have you used this approach and, if so, what’s your opinion?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Mike. I haven’t used this approach before. I’d say that there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you can achieve good alignment at the time of assembly. I wouldn’t want to run a screwed panel through a planer or drum sander.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  4. mrobins1057

    I’ve been doing everything outlined here but your tips on the amount of glue was very helpful. If anything I tended to put too little glue on to minimize squeeze out, but having a visual reference will make it easier to judge how much is applied. Thanks. By the way George, you must be working out and/or dieting as you’re looking pretty buff these days.

    Reply

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