Woodwork Edge to Edge Joints: General Procedure

Use edge-to-edge joints to increase the width of timber for table tops or wide shelving. There are three methods: ‘rubbing’, dowelling and loose-tongue jointing.

Before jointing, the boards must be a perfect edge-to-edge match: cramp both boards together with the edges to be joined uppermost.

Give the plane a fine, sharp setting, hold it square, and plane both edges at once until they are dead flat.

Check for accuracy by holding one board on top of the other. No daylight should show through at any point.

A jointer plane does this job best, but a jack plane is suitable for short lengths of wood.

rubbed joint

Rubbed joint. Apply PVA, urea or Scotch glue to each surface. Rub the boards edge-to-edge to ensure a good bond. Cramp up and check for flatness.

Dowelled joint

This needs great care in setting out and drilling. A dowel jig ensures accuracy. Plane the edges true.

Mark the dowel locations by clamping both boards together, back to back, and squaring lines across to allow for one dowel every 150 or 200 mm. (6 or 9 in.). Intersect these marks with a central gauge line from each face side.

Drill the holes, checking constantly for square. Use a depth gauge on the bit to give a hole slightly deeper than half the length of the dowels, which should be one-third the thickness of the boards.

dowelled joint

Chamfer the dowels at each end to aid location in assembly. Saw a groove along each dowel to allow ‘trapped’ glue to escape.

Glue and insert the dowels in one board; fit the other board over the protruding dowels and cramp both together.

Loose-tongue joint

This joint is more suitable for longer work and is easier to make accurately than a dowelled joint.

Cut the tongue from cross-grained ply and select a plough plane blade matching it exactly in thickness.

Cut a groove along both prepared edges, running the plough fence along the face side. The combined depth of both grooves is just greater than the depth of the tongue.

loose-tongue joint

Make grooves deeper than the tongue depth Glue and assemble the joint and cramp it together.

Make a final check for flatness, then wipe off the glue which has squeezed out of the joint.

Cut and trim for overall size only when the glue has set.


For many woodworking hints and tips from Ted ‘Woody’ Mcgrath (Professional Woodworker, Educator, Member of AWI) – Please Click Here!

28. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Joints, Woodworking | Tags: | Comments Off on Woodwork Edge to Edge Joints: General Procedure


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