Joining narrow oak strips

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Bingy man

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I’m looking to make a couple of simple oak tables and I’ve purchased some fairly cheap off cuts to make the table tops . I’m aware of alternating the growth rings to prevent cupping but some of my off cuts don’t seem to have a definite direction. My question is will it make any difference where I can’t make out the direction of the rings . Secondly I’m planning to use biscuits to join the strips together and I’d like to know if I should apply glue to the slots and biscuits or or just the slots . Will try to send picks when I’m back home /thanks lads and lasses.
 

clogs

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Bingy man,
just done the same with Oak planks.....
I just place the glue in the slots and usually get a good squeeze out..keep the biscuits dry...
dont wait to long before assembly....plus alternate the clamps, under and over and they dont need to be extremly tight....just a good nip......
wipe off the glue when wet or when nearly, dry scrape/cut off with a chisel....
Warning ...depending on the thickness of the boards sometimes the biscuits will echo thu to the surface...so a def good sanding will be required....
Plus remember to mount the table top on/in slots for the screws...
this allows for the t/top to expand and contract with heat and humidity.....
never really had a prob with oak cupping...do ur best thats all I'd worry about...
2 trains of thought and I dont know whats best....
those board with a def grain pattern....alternate the grain and use in the middle with the clear boards on the outside edges ...
or the complete reverse.....
someone will be along soon with more knowlege....
lastly have u checked to see if they are really dry.....
plus I always acclimatize the boards to the room where they will be used.....often taking a few months to get the job done.....
 

Fitzroy

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I'd echo clogs, giving the boards as much time as possible in the end conditions before final thickening will minimise the risk of any cupping in the finished piece. If you can't work out the ring direction I expect that's because the board is close to quarter sawn, in which case it's less important so don't stress it. I've never used biscuits but understand they help with alignment not strength so I'd not worry about gluing them. There is a great post on hear from 'Custard' regards edge jointing that you should take a look at.
 

Bingy man

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Many thanks clogs and Fitzroy- it’s not a serious project atm more a practice run to see what results I can achieve. The off cuts appear to be completely dry but I’ve got a moisture meter to double check. Good tip regarding positioning of clamps cos I’d probably of clamped all from one side . Not expecting a perfect result as it’s only my 2nd attempt. I previously made a oak enclosure for my amp and c d player and mixer but can’t afford the twin CD player to put in it / however it’s been on top of my wardrobe for 9 months and no of the joints have opened up ( reclaimed oak from old furniture) btw the off cuts are approx 20 mm thick x 50 mm wide . Would use wider if ££ were not an issue 🤔🤔 photo shows a rough layout of what I’m planning. Thanks all .
 

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Bingy man

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This my amp / cd enclosure - I can see a few mistakes but tbh 1st attempt , used simple but joints just to get a feel for joining boards together and had to use a softwood strip at the bottom as ran out of oak and money ( this is quite frequent with a 13 yr old autistic Xbox gamer lol 😂 I’m open to fair criticism all the same ..
 

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RobinBHM

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I’m looking to make a couple of simple oak tables and I’ve purchased some fairly cheap off cuts to make the table tops . I’m aware of alternating the growth rings to prevent cupping but some of my off cuts don’t seem to have a definite direction. My question is will it make any difference where I can’t make out the direction of the rings . Secondly I’m planning to use biscuits to join the strips together and I’d like to know if I should apply glue to the slots and biscuits or or just the slots . Will try to send picks when I’m back home /thanks lads and lasses.

my recommendation is dont bother with alternating growth rings -just select the best face of each board
glue up boards leaving them well over length

biscuits are important to stop slippage as the clamps are tightened -but TBH they dont really need gluing in much if at all

when youve set your boards out, mark them 1, 2 , 3 etc and if you like draw 2 diagonal lines across the boards -sort of like a giant Vee -its easy to see if the boards go together in the correct order.

if the ends of the top are seen make sure the biscuits are well away from the

when you come to glue up, lay the set of boards out as they will be, then starting at the front flip each board so they end up on edge -leave the last on laying down. Then glue all the edges facing up. bang in biscuits....

PS -always get your sash clamps to the right position before applying glue

always sash clamp both sides an dcheck with a straight edge that its flat

make top a bit wider than necessary so any clamp pressure marks can be removed


finally -be careful with steel sash clamps and PVA glue on oak, if you are messy with the glue and it gets on the clamps you might get a black stain mark.

wipe off / scrape off as much glue as you can whilst wet or tacky
 

Bingy man

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my recommendation is dont bother with alternating growth rings -just select the best face of each board
glue up boards leaving them well over length

biscuits are important to stop slippage as the clamps are tightened -but TBH they dont really need gluing in much if at all

when youve set your boards out, mark them 1, 2 , 3 etc and if you like draw 2 diagonal lines across the boards -sort of like a giant Vee -its easy to see if the boards go together in the correct order.

if the ends of the top are seen make sure the biscuits are well away from the

when you come to glue up, lay the set of boards out as they will be, then starting at the front flip each board so they end up on edge -leave the last on laying down. Then glue all the edges facing up. bang in biscuits....

PS -always get your sash clamps to the right position before applying glue

always sash clamp both sides an dcheck with a straight edge that its flat

make top a bit wider than necessary so any clamp pressure marks can be removed


finally -be careful with steel sash clamps and PVA glue on oak, if you are messy with the glue and it gets on the clamps you might get a black stain mark.

wipe off / scrape off as much glue as you can whilst wet or tacky
Thanks - plenty to consider and always good to hear different opinions, I don’t use steel clamps but nevertheless that’s worth knowing. As I said my aim is a practice run so I don’t end up spoiling expensive timber so I’ll probably try 2 or 3 methods and stick to the one that gives the best results and I feel most confident with. Your advice is appreciated.
 

RobinBHM

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Thanks - plenty to consider and always good to hear different opinions, I don’t use steel clamps but nevertheless that’s worth knowing. As I said my aim is a practice run so I don’t end up spoiling expensive timber so I’ll probably try 2 or 3 methods and stick to the one that gives the best results and I feel most confident with. Your advice is appreciated.

A practice run is a good idea if you’ve not done much gluing up.….it can get a bit stressful, especially when doing something complicated - like 12 panel Georgian glazed doors!
 

MorrisWoodman12

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Being the complete cheapskate I often find old tables etc on feeble/ trash nothing websites where people are only too pleased for you to take it away to be recycled. It's often a source of well seasoned wood.
I also have a wood recycling business close by in Sussex. The wood is inexpensive but tends more towards soft wood which I suspect is ex-building industry stuff.
I concur with the advice others have given above and put much better than I could say.
 

Bingy man

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Being the complete cheapskate I often find old tables etc on feeble/ trash nothing websites where people are only too pleased for you to take it away to be recycled. It's often a source of well seasoned wood.
I also have a wood recycling business close by in Sussex. The wood is inexpensive but tends more towards soft wood which I suspect is ex-building industry stuff.
I concur with the advice others have given above and put much better than I could say.
I’m sure that many of the members on this forum are all aware of the cost of timber and even the standard 2x2 or 3x2 now costs an arm and a leg, so I will often save money by sourcing timber from skips, junk shops , charity shops etc . Sometimes you get lucky and what you thought was softwood turns out to be oak or mahogany etc and unfortunately your attempts to save what appears to be hardwood is actually the dreaded mdf. 😩😩
 

Bingy man

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Wow a lot of information to absorb in your link but I’m glad I asked for advice. A week ago I would of just glued up , set my clamps from the bottom only and it would of probably failed at some point , I certainly wouldn’t of placed the panel in a plastic bag -again thanks for your reply.. yes it’s a trial run but wastes of time and materials if it’s doomed to fail from the offset..
 
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