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View Full Version : Repairing a glued up panel



Jim C Martin
12-19-2011, 12:02 PM
Hello All:
The time has come to refinish my 3 1/2' by 7' by 5/4 quarter sawn oak dining room table top. While I have it in the shop I'd like to to repair one of the joints in the glued up top. One of the glue joints is coming apart at one end. Not much, but just enough that you can see an issue in the finish. This board happens to be about 8" from the edge.
One obvious solution is to rip the whole joint apart and glue it up again. This seems fine but it would leave me with a large piece that is wider than what I can rip. So I would have one shot at getting the surfaces perfect. If I screw it up I'd have to run it across the jointer which would also be doable but tricky given the size.
So I'm open to other solutions? Maybe a thin kerf cut just into the part of the joint that has separated and then fill that with a thin piece? Use a small router bit to cut away a small (not through) kerf and replace that cut away with a piece of wood? Other options?
As I write this is seems to me that I really need to bite the bullet and deal with the whole joint. So maybe the question comes down to using jigs of some kind to help with handling a large and heavy panel. Or maybe I just cut one of the other joints too so that I have three pieces that would be easier to handle.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Cheers,
Jim

Prashun Patel
12-19-2011, 12:16 PM
I think you'll live to regret it if you don't bite the bullet.

Is the width of the panel very critical? If not, then it might be relatively easy to 'rip' the joint with a narrow spiral bit in a plunge router. This will leave you a jointed edge that can be closed up easily. Make sure you 'capture' your routerbase by clamping edges on both sides of the base.

Of course, you'll have to deal with flushing the glue line and refinishing that portion, but assuming that's not a big deal for you, then the above might be yr best bet.

Todd Burch
12-19-2011, 12:31 PM
... This board happens to be about 8" from the edge. One obvious solution is to rip the whole joint apart and glue it up again. This seems fine but it would leave me with a large piece that is wider than what I can rip. So I would have one shot at getting the surfaces perfect. If I screw it up I'd have to run it across the jointer which would also be doable but tricky given the size...

I don't understand this. If the split glue joint is 8" from the edge, what issue does ripping that off create, and why would you need to rip the remaining larger piece?

Peter Quinn
12-19-2011, 1:32 PM
I'd rip the piece off and reglue. If you don't have a TS to handle the work a skill saw and straight edge guide made from plywood can work just as well.

scott vroom
12-19-2011, 1:45 PM
I'm having trouble envisioning the problems you'd have ripping the joint. If you don't have the proper tools then call around to some local cabinet shops and ask if, for a fee, they'll do any required ripping and jointing for you. I would avoid trying to repair just the area of the split; the integrity of the entire joint is now in question and should be cut/re-glued.

Jim Rimmer
12-19-2011, 2:16 PM
Is there a Woodcraft store near you? They might rip it for you.

glenn bradley
12-19-2011, 2:38 PM
Sounds like we need just a bit more info before we can generate a useful response. A pic maybe? I am envisioning something like this:

John Nesmith
12-19-2011, 2:50 PM
I don't understand this. If the split glue joint is 8" from the edge, what issue does ripping that off create, and why would you need to rip the remaining larger piece?

I think he is saying he can rip with the 8" between the fence and blade. But, if for some reason he needed to true up the edge on the 34" offcut, he would be unable to use his table saw because the rip capacity is less than 34".

johnny means
12-19-2011, 7:07 PM
I'd butterfly it and call it a day.

Mike Henderson
12-19-2011, 7:13 PM
One thing I've done is screw two blocks into the panel (on the hidden side of the panel) on either side so the crack, squeeze glue into the crack, and then put a clamp across the blocks. You can put quite a bit of pressure on the clamp because the screws are in shear.

There can be some issues with this approach. One is cleaning the crack to get most of the old glue out so you have bare wood to glue onto. The other problem is that you may not be able to pull the crack closed. Sometimes the wood just moves and you can't get it back - so dry clamp first to see if the crack will close up.

Mike

glenn bradley
12-19-2011, 7:16 PM
I like Mike's idea ;-)

Ben Hatcher
12-20-2011, 12:18 PM
If the kerf is wider than the gap won't both pieces be true anyway?

Jim Matthews
12-20-2011, 7:37 PM
If the kerf is wider than the gap won't both pieces be true anyway?

"Is the width of the panel very critical? If not, then it might be relatively easy to 'rip' the joint with a narrow spiral bit in a plunge router. This will leave you a jointed edge that can be closed up easily. Make sure you 'capture' your routerbase by clamping edges on both sides of the base." Prash P

That's the point of Prashun Patel's suggestion with the router.
I've done something similar to this with a pull saw, and the angle of attack varies that way.
With a router, you have control in the third axis, to present the cut at 90 degrees to the work surface.

Pat Barry
12-20-2011, 7:45 PM
I think a pic would be very useful. The way the problem has been described though, I'd just leave it alone. Of course thats considering that this is not a brand new top, and that the defect is relatively small and not growing. I think you are in for a lot more work to fix this. The practical option I see is to just fill the crack while you have it stripped for refinishing.

Howard Acheson
12-20-2011, 8:05 PM
Suck the adhesive into the joint using your shop vac. Run a bead of adhesive on the bottom of the glueline and put the suction on top and you can draw the adhesive into a very small crack.

Clamp and wipe off the excess adhesive with a wet rag before it dries and damages the finished surface.

Todd Burch
12-21-2011, 12:43 AM
...The way the problem has been described though, I'd just leave it alone. ...

Good point Pat.

My dining room table, maple slab top, painted base, has this same type of split. I bought the table in 1988, and once it split, about 3 years after I got it, the split hasn't changed a bit. It's just part of the table now. No big deal.