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The wood's been cut, glued, and cut again, the biscuit slots are ready, and now it's time to glue everything back together. Experience has shown me that it's very important to get each joint in this "second glue-up" lined up as perfectly as possible. It's very disappointing to glue it all up, then discover the next day that one or two of the joints slipped and now they're off by 1/16" or so. I've done this, and the only acceptable solution to me was to cut the board up yet again, and re-do it. (And you have to cut all the slices again, so they'll be the same width.)

Since lining things up is so critical at this point, I like to clamp things up one joint at a time. Here's the start...I'm gluing two sets of two slices.

Since Titebond II is pretty quick to set up, I'll leave these in the clamps for 30 or 40 minutes, then glue another slice to each one and re-clamp. Repeat this process a few times, and before long you've got  pair of six-slice boards ready to glue together as shown below. This picture also shows the lines I used to mark where the biscuit slots needed to go.

After another overnight of glue curing, it's time to get things flattened and smoothed up. For this board, I start with 80 grit abrasive using a belt sander, although a surface planer would work well for this too (as long as tear-out didn't become a problem).

Since the dust collection on this little Black and Decker sander is essentially non-existent, a good respirator/dust mask is real handy for this step.

After things are flat, I work through the various grits (80, 120, 150, and 220, depending on the sander). Eventually I work down to 220 grit on a random-orbital sander. (The hose to the Shop Vac is well worth the hassle.)

Next up: Trimming it out...

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This page was last updated 02/10/08