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Gluing thin panels *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
The recent Fine Woodworking has an article describing a needlessly complicated way to glue thin panels. The author faced gluing 20- 1/4" panels. I have 16 5/16" ones for drawer bottoms and I simply clamped them like any other panel.

I use thin, light weight stock for drawer bottoms because I like a light weight drawer. For the current drawers I am using basswood. It is cheap and functional.

The problem with edge gluing this thin stock is that it will bow up if the clamps are tightened too much. The solution is to not tighten too much and to put one or more clamps across the bottom, and top, as shown in the picture. With the clamps pushing on the panel surface it can't bow up.

Think about applying the same clamping force per square inch as for a thicker panel. For a thin panel that is just a snug of the clamps. A thin panel is rarely used where the joint strength will be taxed, a drawer bottom for example. I was told that in the English factory these joints were just rubbed together. When I see them split in antiques it is seldom at the joint.

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