Making a larger panel

I would like to make a larger panel out of individual boards. Never done it before, but in my head I’m thinking edge glue and clamp then run a facing operation to level it out? I don’t own a planer unfortunately. Am I missing anything? Thanks.


If you use dimensioned lumber from a big box store or lumber yard, and if you use clamping cauls (look it up) to keep the panel flat and prevent shifting during glue-up, you might get away with a light scraping/sanding when you’re done.

The edges of the boards have to be very straight, no gaps, before gluing. Do you have a table saw or something else you can do in order to cut both edges of the boards perfectly straight?

I’m doing a lot of “ass”uming here so take this advice if it applies to your situation.

1st, the pieces you’re using to make up the panel should be longer then your final panel size. And their total width should also be larger then your finished size. This enables a final trim on both ends and sides to ensure square, clean edges with an accurate dimension.

2nd, assuming the edges of the pieces are flat, square and clean, apply glue to both faces and place them across your glue up supports (a couple of 2x4’s). Put clear packing tape on the supports so your completed panel doesn’t stick to them.

3rd, google “cauls”, 2 sets should suffice. These will keep your panel flat when you apply clamping pressure to the sides. If you choose not to use cauls you will find that your panel will bow when clamped.

Leave clamps on for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better. Don’t stress the joints for 24 hours.

Good luck!


Every time I go to buy wood from the hardwoods place in Middletown, I look in their scrap barrel. I can get pieces of oak, maple, etc. that were cutoffs from other projects. They are relatively clean surfaced. When I get enough scraps, I glue them up, put them on the CNC for facing and then finish them as cutting boards. So it’s very doable. Although, if I decided I really wanted to get into making easy/simple cutting boards, I’d buy unfinished maple countertops from one of the big boxies and cut them to size and not worry about the glue-up, planing, etc.


Without a planer or joiner, one old method is to clamp the 2 boards together edgewise and saw cut between them a couple times until you have a continuous cut on both edges. At least they will be matching, also than edge sand them clamped together so the matching edges are parallel and than sand them together as one edge. The same can be done with a hand planer of course. Gotta love Roy Underhill.


I have just done some work taking longer thin stock into shorter fatter stock.
I cut the gluing edges first with the cnc making it dead straight. Cut the lengths I wanted. Glued and clamped together then did a surface operation on both sides using tape and CA glue as hold-down. This way I took out all the inconsistencies in wood surface, now stock sits dead flat.

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I am coming in on this convo late but it popped up as I was searching the forum for what others have done when surfacing larger boards on their S03.

The biggest thing you need to get right prior to glue up is having square and straight edges for the glue line prepared. Without that, the glue up will never give you the results you want. I don’t own a jointer so I clamp a known straight edge ( in my case a track saw track ) to the surface of each board to be joined… I then use the thicker edge of the track saw to guide a router with a spiral straight bit loaded. I set it to just remove about 1/32 of material. This gets me a glue edge that is very clean and hopefully square to the referenced surface. Obviously, you should be picking boards as flat as possible… looking down all edges and avoiding anything that is noticeably hooked, cupped or twisted anywhere. Then go about gluing up as mentioned in many of the posts above… sometimes you need cauls, sometimes you don’t. The cauls will be required if you have slight misalignment in the glue joints that can’t be removed as you work you way down with clamps. For the clamping, I generally use a set of either pipe clamps or cabinet clamps and set them every 10 to 12 inches. To minimize the chance of adding ‘bow’ to your glue up it is important to flip every other clamp to the underside of your glue up. This equalizes the stresses placed on the glue up by the clamps.

I hope your turned out ok. I figured I would just add my method for the next person… I have glued up 600+ panels this way and I’ve only had to redo maybe 4 or 6 of them. The ones I had to redo I pretty much knew I was trying to glue up boards that were just fighting me to a degree that was going to create problems… but I was stubborn and the shop was probably 25 degrees in the winter :0

FWIW, if you google “glue up” and insert Fine Woodworking you might stumble on an excellent article with this no-nonsense method of glueing up panels… It had an image of a pretty handy jig and also dispelled the myth many woodworking perpetuate that you have to use splines or biscuits for your glue ups. It’s been so long since I read that article but it was the one that made everything crystal clear for me on successfully making my own panels that have never failed after completed.