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Gluing panels *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
This post is for beginners who may be looking for an effective way to make panels.

Panel making is part of most woodworking projects. It is essential to become proficient, and desirable to be quick about it.

I find that I don't often have to flatten the parts before gluing. I certainly don't do it always. And it is not necessary to always fret about a panel being exactly flat or staying flat. Many, if not most, are captured in some way to force them flat, a table top for example, or these flexible drawer bottoms.

I have an 18" planer. If the finished panel is to be less than 18" I glue it up from roughly sized stock and plane the assembled panel smooth. If wider than 18" I glue up sections less than 18" and join together after planing to final thickness, as in this case.

It is easy to make one perfectly mated glue joint. If I am gluing stock of final thickness I do it one joint at a time, carefully aligning the mating edges.

For the example below I am preparing 5/16" drawer bottoms 20" wide. Step 1 is to spread a thin layer of glue on one surface. A dispenser like shown will lay down a nice glue line. Thickness is controlled by tilting the tip. One line for these thin pieces, two parallel lines for 7/8" stock.

Glue is put on one of the mating surfaces. This glue is spread, and transferred, to the other mating surface by rubbing the two together with a vertical swipe. I never need to touch the glue with a finger to spread it. I look for about 80% coverage at this point. It will spread to 100% when squeezed.

Picture 3 shows the clamped panel. A small amount of squeeze out is a goal. Beginners use way too much glue.

Picture 4 shows all the drawer bottoms glued up to final width. They are stacked for the picture. I usually stack them on end around the shop as I prepare them. In an hour they will go through the planer.

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Gluing panels *PIC*
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