Gluing large panels for Lowes on top of each other

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Forum topic by Scott1970 posted 10-01-2018 12:17 PM 805 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Scott1970's profile


3 posts in 479 days

10-01-2018 12:17 PM

Hi, Everyone

My name is Scott and I’m new here. I hope to use this forum more than this once but since I have looked high and low on the net and not been able to find a thing about my question I’m trying here.

I want a 72” x 24” x 1 1/2” top for a desk I’m putting together. So what I decided to do is buy two Pine panels from Lowes and glue them on top of each other to get the the 1 1/2” thickness I want. So I’ve bought the boards, claps and wood glue. But the problem is I cannot find where anyone has done this and that makes me nervous.

I know I can glue my project like this. But all I find online is tops being made of individual boards that are edge glued. So here is the question. Is what I planning a bad idea? What kind of problems could I have?

Thanks in advance to everyone…....


14 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5605 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 10-01-2018 12:29 PM

You can do this as long as the panels are not pre-finished. Glue does not adhere well to finish. The biggest problem is clamping the center and you are going to need a lot of clamps. The best solution for applying pressure to the center are clamping cauls. You can make them yourself from any scrap 2 by material you might have laying around.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Mr_Pink's profile


183 posts in 977 days

#2 posted 10-01-2018 12:46 PM

Unless the bottom is going to be visible somehow, I would consider using screws as part of your clamping, especially in the center. You can then remove the screws (or not) after the glue is dry.

View bilyo's profile


960 posts in 1708 days

#3 posted 10-01-2018 02:14 PM

Does the table top have to be 1 1/2” thick over it’s entire length and width? My first inclination would be to start with a 3/4” panel and then just thicken the edges to give it the appearance of a thicker top. Otherwise, do as above. Screws to help pull the two panels together is a good suggestion. Be sure to have everything flat during assembly and drying or you risk building in a bow.

Depending on how your are going to finish your desk top, you may want to use a top ply with a smoother surface than what ordinary pine ply will give you. Typical rotary cut pine will usually have a somewhat wavy surface that may telegraph through your top finish, even a plastic laminate.

View MrRon's profile


5810 posts in 3849 days

#4 posted 10-01-2018 03:48 PM

My first inclination would be to start with a 3/4” panel and then just thicken the edges to give it the appearance of a thicker top.
- bilyo

This is way I would do it. Keep in mind plywood is not 3/4”thick, but around 23/32”. I don’t think the thickness difference would affect what you are doing; just saying.
Plywood panels are never perfectly flat, so gluing them together presents a challenge.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5522 posts in 2915 days

#5 posted 10-01-2018 04:07 PM

bilyo idea will work and is done often. If you do need a full 1 1/2 throughout like he said clamping is the problem. If the bottom side of the table top does not show or with be painted you can screw and glue the bottom to the top. The screw will be your clamps. When the glue has cured you can remove the screws, leave the screws there or fill over the screws. If you do decide to screw it together make sure to pre-drill and counter sink holes for the screws large enough in diameter so the screw thread do catch of the first piece. The will ensure the screws can pull the pieces together tightly.

You don’t say how the desk top will be supported so it any ones guess how long of span you have. The span may be the deciding factor in how thick the top need to be. It’s always good to include as much information as you possible can when asking questions.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Andybb's profile


2370 posts in 1209 days

#6 posted 10-01-2018 05:27 PM

Can you get a 72” x 24” x 3/4” pine panel at Lowes?? If not, plywood sheets would work.

All of the above suggestions for glue up are good..

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View bandit571's profile


24387 posts in 3289 days

#7 posted 10-01-2018 05:47 PM

They are called ready panels. Made from a lot of wood strips, that were glued up into a panel…..Just about any width and length…not all of them are 3/4” thick, though…as some have been sanded. While shopping for two panels, walk past the 2×4s….pick out a few that have a bit of a bow to them….get enough to add a pair every 2’ along the panel’s length….one above, one below. Clamp them together, so that you are pulling the bowed part flat…something like this:
:) ll (: The dots are the c clamps.

use a cheap paint roller, to spread out the glue evenly across one panel….slap the other panel onto the first, and slide it around a bit, until you feel the glue “stick” things into place….add the curved 2xs, and c clamps around on the outside of the panel… Curved 2 x s go across the panel…..Let sit overnight.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View MJClark's profile


36 posts in 490 days

#8 posted 10-01-2018 05:51 PM

I have seen something like this done once. They built a press with a few 2×4 on the ground, put the two glue sheets on top of that, with a few more 2×4 on top of that, and then 5 gallon buckets of sand on the top 2×4 and left it for a week.

View Scott1970's profile


3 posts in 479 days

#9 posted 10-01-2018 06:07 PM

Hi, Guys

Thanks for all the replies! I tried several of the ideas mentioned. Unfortunately, the wood split and overall I’ve decided the panels are just not that good. So I’m going with my back up plan.

I was going to order a Butcher Block from Home Depot and use that. But the instructions say it needs to be sealed within 48 hours. . So I decide I’m just going to order a counter top from Ikea and go pick it up.

Thank You to everyone for answering my question…............


View Andybb's profile


2370 posts in 1209 days

#10 posted 10-01-2018 06:23 PM

Thanks for all the replies! I tried several of the ideas mentioned. Unfortunately, the wood split and overall I ve decided the panels are just not that good. So I m going with my back up plan.
- Scott1970

If the wood split then you had way too much curve in it. The curve is very slight, maybe only a 1/4” at either end.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1829 days

#11 posted 10-01-2018 06:44 PM

I’ve used the Ikea counter top and I have a friend who has one as well. We’r both pretty happy with it. It’s actually a better option than your original.

View Scott1970's profile


3 posts in 479 days

#12 posted 10-01-2018 07:49 PM

Well, here is the latest update. The Butcher Block I order from Home Depot has already entering shipping which means I cannot cancel it.

I guess I’ll just see how it looks when I get it. If I don’t like it I can always return it to the store.

A new question for you guys, though. According to what I read I have to seal the block within 48 hours. How do I do that? And what is the least smelly way possible?

Thanks to everyone again….....................


View bilyo's profile


960 posts in 1708 days

#13 posted 10-02-2018 02:16 PM

It depends a lot on the final look you want and how the top will be used. But, basically, most any water based finish like polyurethane should do the job without too much smell. Be sure to finish both sides with an equal number of coats. This will help keep it from warping and splitting. You might want/need to do some light sanding before the first coat and then again between coats.

View ArtMann's profile


1462 posts in 1422 days

#14 posted 10-02-2018 05:37 PM

You need to know about clamping pressure. The manufacturer of Titebond recommends 100 to 150 pounds per square inch to get a good tight joint. In your case, that would be 72 X 24 X 100 or approximately 86 tons. I really doubt you have that much weight handy. The point is that in order to have a stable product where the crack between two layers is not obvious and the surface is close to flat, you are going to need a lot more force than a couple of sacks of sand and a few heavy tool boxes. The large surface area you are gluing will help some but not enough. Fortunately, Mr_Pink already provided an easy solution. You need to screw the two panels together from the back side with a whole bunch of screws. I built a work bench top using this technique and drywall screws and it worked out well. After the glue cures, you can remove the screws or just leave them since they won’t show. Obviously, you also have to have a very flat surface on which to do your assembly since the table will be no more flat than the surface you built it on and there is no way to flatten it after the fact.

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