Cutting board glue up issues

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Forum topic by TVT posted 12-04-2012 10:39 PM 1635 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 2465 days

12-04-2012 10:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question trick clamp

I am glueing up a few cutting boards and am having some issues. I have made two edge grain boards and both of them have been twisted when I pulled them out of the clamps. They were tight in the clamps and clamped from both sides. Any suggenstions on how the fix this problem or if I do have a twist what is the best way to remove it? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

-- Measure once, cut twice - you think I would learn!

7 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2553 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 10:48 PM

Depending no the severity of the twist, I would probably try using winding sticks and hand planes to flatten the boards.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Dan Krager's profile (online now)

Dan Krager

4251 posts in 2501 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 11:04 PM

You don’t have a lot of fancy options with the ones already glued up. You might look into the assembly process for issues because there can be several:
1. glue creep- things move as tension increases, especially if unevenly applied.
2. tiny dimensional errors that accumulate as pieces are stacked.
3. the pieces may be twisting before assembly causing tension in the finished panel
4. grain orientation is very important to stability, especially in stacks
5. be certain that the clamps hold the panel flat. It’s easy to throw things out of whack as clamps are applied. 5a. applying cauls before applying clamps can help with this issue.
6. while it is pretty, crooked grain is not your friend in glued up panels unless you handle it VERY intelligently.
7. uneven moisture content amongst the woods can be an issue.
8. different specific gravities (densities—hard next to soft) can be difficult to control.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL Any flattering photo of yourself will at some point elicit the comment that it looks nothing like you.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2554 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 11:33 PM

Dan has some good advice. I’d add that it’s important to make sure you have good air flow around the whole thing while it drys.
When I glue up panels, I make sure to clamp them two ways. The first is the way we all do it, the second is to clamp the wood flat on both ends, middle too if you can reach it. Then when they are snug I pull in the clamps that press the glue together. I don’t over tighten them I just want them to come together and squeeze out the glue, not bend the fibers of the whole board. A lot of guys just clamp stuff too tightly. If your cuts are straight, you shouldn’t need to crank them down with 150 ft lbs of torque.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 12-05-2012 01:21 AM

Plus Plus on the cauls

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2516 days

#5 posted 12-05-2012 03:09 PM

This happened to me once. On a whim. I ripped it again down the middle. I flipped one side over and re-glued it so one face was completely flat. After it was glued I sanded the flat side down to make sure it was really flat and then sent it through the planer again to clean up the top. It worked well.


View TVT's profile


36 posts in 2465 days

#6 posted 12-05-2012 03:53 PM

Thanks for all the helpful ideas.

-- Measure once, cut twice - you think I would learn!

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2456 days

#7 posted 12-05-2012 07:06 PM

Odds are the twist is due to stress in the assembled piece. Make it flat and there is a good chance, if there really is stress in the assembled piece, that it will go out of flat again. IE you want your initial pieces to be as stress free as possible and not to introduce stress in the gluing up process.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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