How to Make Several Boards Look Like One

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Sometimes when you are making a project, you need to make several boards look like one board. This is handy for making smaller tops, tables, and projects where you are edge gluing wood. If you pay attention to your pieces, you can make several edge glued boards look like one larger board. Here is how.

Lining Up the Boards and Making Selections

how to make several boards look like oneThe first step in making several pieces of wood look like one larger piece is to make good selections. Line up your pieces of wood and start arranging them.

Flip the pieces around. Flip them over. Change their arrangement. Keep on doing this until you get the grain lines to meet each other nicely.

As you move the piece around, you will notice that some of the arrangements look much better than others. You will also see that as you get the pieces right, the boards start to look like one large piece. Keep working like this until you are satisfied that your arrangement is the best it can be for the boards you are using.

Now, mark the boards. Make marks for the order, and marks for the edges that need to be jointed before gluing. Take the boards over to the jointer and square up their edges. Then, do one last test run without glue. My article on Glue Covered Problems explains why you should always do a dry run.

Making The Solid Piece from Smaller Pieces

how to make several boards look like oneAfter you have done your test run without glue, arrange the pieces for gluing. Apply glue to the edges that are going to meet, and spread it out thinly.

Butt the pieces together one at a time, and clamp them all at the end with bar clamps. If you prefer to work a little slower, you can glue up a couple at a time, and then join the larger pieces later.

Allow the glue to cure, and remove the clamps. Take a look at the board, and address any areas that need wood filler or sanding. My article on How to Use Wood Filler gives you a step by step guide on using two part reactive filler, which is the very best you can buy.

Fill any defects, and sand the surface level. When you wipe off the last of the sanding dust, your board will look like it’s made from one piece. This is a great technique for using smaller pieces of wood, which saves money.

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