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Laminating Little Wood into Big Slabs: Good Glue-Up, No Biscuits

A rather biased view on whether or not to use biscuit joiners for slab glue-ups—but what do you really think, Jesse?
March 22, 2016
Read time: 2 mins

When laminating multiple pieces of wood together to make a wide slab, you could use a biscuit joiner to align the pieces, but you'd earn the contempt of Samurai Carpenter. In this video, Jesse shows you how HE does it: tap, tap, tap. 

Step by step glue-up process:

  • Apply the glue to the edges of the boards. 
  • Line up the pieces and apply light clamping pressure. 
  • The individual pieces up or down to make them all flush along one edge
  • Crank down the clamp at one end (the end you just flushed up)
  • Repeat at the other end: flush the first two boards, flush the next, etc.
  • If you need to adjust the tension if the clamp in the process, do so. 
  • Clamp down the second end. 
  • Now, add opposing bat clamps to apply force in the opposite direction; this will keep your workpiece flat. 
  • Use a straight edge to double-check the flatness and adjust the. Lamps as needed. 

This works for long glue-ups, short glue-ups, and all kinds of glue-ups. 

Extra glue-up tip:

If the boards still buckle a little bit—like if one of them has a wane in the end—then you can slide little shims between the bar and the board to push it all into position. 

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