Glue-up is done - now what?

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Forum topic by Safetyboy posted 03-08-2008 08:28 PM 1139 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 4303 days

03-08-2008 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joining jointer plane

Got my boards all jointed & paned… glued up a ~15” wide panel out of 3 boards… used homemade cauls top & bottom to keep it flat…. Still the joints are not perfectly smooth – less than a 1/32 off, but it’s there.

How do I clean it up now to make it perfectly flat? Do I just go nuts with the ROS? Should I attempt to use my #4 smoother plane (still learning what that should feel like…)? My power planer is only 13”, so I can’t send it back through that…

And another question for next time – should I expect the joints to be perfectly smooth if I’m doing everything right, or do even you experts need to clean them up a bit?

- Thanks, Kevin

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

8 replies so far

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 4384 days

#1 posted 03-08-2008 08:59 PM

Time to break out a card scraper! Then the sander…..Don’t just scrape/sand the joints however as you will end up with valleys….use even strokes across the entire face… an angle if you are scraping…

You could hit it with a plane, but unless you have a well tuned plane and are familiar with it, I would go the safer route….I’ve torn up some nice planks with various planing snafus….live and learn….


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 4441 days

#2 posted 03-08-2008 09:10 PM

A nice sharp card scraper will do the best job for you. Your thumbs are going to get hot, though! lol

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View skozub's profile


59 posts in 4303 days

#3 posted 03-08-2008 09:24 PM

Seems that glued up panels always need a bit of work even when done perfectly. I hope you cleaned off as much glue as possible before it fully dried. Once the glue hardens it’s a much more laborious process to get it off. If you still have hard glue get it off before reaching for your plane or you’ll cruse yourself the next time you’re sharpening it. Check for highspots with a straight-edge. Take a hand plane to any high spots on the boards by working across the panels on a diagonal with the grain direction…once those are gone go with the grain for any final planning then cut over to the card scraper…either a handheld scraper or a scraper plane will work.

Good luck!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4366 days

#4 posted 03-08-2008 09:58 PM

I agree with the card scraper route. I very rarely have a glue-up that hasn’t needed some attention despite using plenty of clamps, biscuits, cauls. There always seems to be a stubborn part of the panel that simply doesn’t want to line up despite a dry fit that appears to be flawless.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 4303 days

#5 posted 03-08-2008 10:59 PM

I guess it’s time for me to learn how to sharpen & use a card scraper then… and add it to the list of tools I need to buy!

Will the ROS eventually get me there in the meantime?

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4313 days

#6 posted 03-08-2008 11:58 PM

I’m not sure about the ROS but just something about the card scraper. Rockler has one with a mill file and burnisher for 23$. probably not the best scraper but after you learn how to use and sharpen you will have money to upgrade.

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 4317 days

#7 posted 03-09-2008 12:12 AM

Another really good investment for flat panel glue-up clean up is the Stanley#80 scraper. You can find them on eBay pretty much every day, and shouldn’t spend more then $20 for one. They do a job simillar to a card scraper but are easier on the thumbs. The card scraper is invaluable, though, no matter what.

Gee – I feel kind of stupid, but what is the “ROS”?

And BTW – congratulations on the glue up!

-- "No Board Left Behind"

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 4303 days

#8 posted 03-09-2008 12:56 AM

ROS = Random Orbital Sander

Don’t feel stupid – I didn’t know what a #80 was!

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

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