Saturday, June 27, 2009

Using Wide Panels For Your Home DIY Projects

By Ryan Henders

How many times have you started a project then discovered that the wood you require is just not wide enough. Perhaps you are making a tabletop for example. Well you can actually make your own board. It's not all that time consuming or that much trouble. Basically, what you are going to be doing is simply gluing some smaller boards together to make one large piece. That's the basics but there are a few things you need to keep in mind when doing this to be successful.

All wood has some degree of movement to it. It shrinks and swells depending on what it is exposed to. In some cases, you are better ahead to use plywood.

To make your own large board you need to take the smaller boards and being sure they are perpendicular to the board facing you need to glue the edges of each board. Clamp them together tightly so they will bond.

You may want to use a power tool that will plane a smooth surface such as jointer. This is done after you have cut your boards with your power saw. If you are using a good saw blade, the cut maybe smooth enough and you won?t need to plane the edges. If you don?t have a jointer try using a router with a straight-piloted bit.

To create the illusion of it being one piece of wood arrange the colors as close as you can together and alternate the grain patterns. When it comes to choice of wood, you can use most of the hard and softwoods provided they have been kiln dried. It?s less likely to warp. Make your panel a couple of inches bigger so you can trim. Try not to use warped lumber. You can clamp it into place but it will most probably eventually weaken and bow.

The type of glue you use is important and polyurethane glue does a good job but it?s a little more difficult to work with. You don?t want it too thick although it has to be able to seep from the joint to properly bond. Check the expiration date on your glue as well. Just use enough glue to cover both the adjoining pieces. Remove the excess glue with a putty knife after it firms up.

You must clamp firmly but not over clamp because if you do you will cause the wood to bow. Place your clamps on alternating sides to help prevent this.

You want to do a dry run or layout of the boards first to see that they are going to fit properly and you are happy with the way the colors and grain work. Then you can if there is a problem with any of the edges correct these before you start with the glue.

You can use dowels if you want to reinforce the joints but it?s really not a necessity using a good glue is all you really should need. To achieve an even stronger bond cut in a glue join along the edges.

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