How To Join Wood Planks For Table Top

Woody Jackson | Last modified on January 5th, 2022

To build a table top that looks good and feels great, you need a high-quality wood plank for the frame. However, buying a full sheet of wood can be cost-prohibitive because you don’t need that many boards to add up to your desired size.

How To Join Wood Planks For Table Top Guide

If you are going to join two or more wood planks, you can get the ideal look and feel while saving money at the same time. Keep reading to learn proven steps on how to join wood planks for table top in an easy way.

Proven Steps On Joining Wood Planks For Table Top

This article will give you some tips on how to join wood planks for a table top. The quality of the final project depends on how well you prepare and clamp them before gluing them up. The first thing that you need is a solid worktable with a strong edge clamping device as this will keep your work piece motionless during assembly.

Proven Steps On Joining Wood Planks For Table Top

Prepare The Workspace

You should prepare a clean area with ample space on all sides for the wood to rest without getting damaged or scratched. A sawhorse can be used to keep the wood off the ground and get it at a comfortable height for you. The table top will need to be kept flat once it has been joined and that’s where your work table really comes in handy. It will form the ideal surface for clamping and gluing the wood planks.

Run The Planks Through A Planer

If your wood is freshly milled and you haven’t had a chance to run it through a planer, now is the time to do so. It will ensure that you have an even thickness from one plank to another which means they will stick together more easily than if they were of varied thicknesses. You don’t have to waste time trying to match the thickness with your wood planks, just run them through a planer as soon as you get them home.

Arrange Wood Planks

Evenly space the wood planks on the table top so that they sit in a tight formation. To make sure each plank is in line with your stylus, find and mark the center of the plank. This will help you more easily when it comes time to glue things up. The best way to keep each plank centered is by aligning them with one another at an angle, which is why you need a strong clamp-like edge roller clamp for this job.

Prepare For Edge Gluing

Get your edge roller clamp ready to go. Make sure that you have a pair of sharp scissors handy as well. Each plank should have a 1/4″ edge, which is about the width of your stylus for your table top if you want it to be a perfect fit. If any plank has an overhang, use a saw to trim it down before continuing with the next step.

Prepare For Edge Gluing

Clamp The Wood Pieces

Place each wood plank across the edge roller clamp and apply pressure until it sticks to itself and won’t move. Be sure to clamp them with the grain running perpendicular to the edge roller clamp. This will keep the wood from splitting while you’re gluing it up.

Dry Run And Glue Up

You’re finally ready to glue your wood planks together. Carefully peel off the first plank from the edge roller clamp, run it across some glue, and place it back on top of your next plank where you want it to go. Continue this process all around the table top until you have reached both edges and all of your planks have been used up.

Wipe-Off Glue Squeeze-Out Immediately

Now that your table top has been assembled, you don’t have much time to get the glue off. The sooner that you wipe it off, the less likely it will get dried on your wood.

Go over a small table top section with a damp rag and rub vigorously. You can also use acetone to remove any remaining glue but be careful because this substance can damage your wood if used on its own without some sort of barrier between it and the wood surface.

Inspect The Joints

After you have added every plank to the table top, take a few minutes to inspect your work. Is there any glue squeeze-out left over? If so, use the damp rag and acetone to wipe it off immediately.

Do some of the wood planks look like they don’t lie flat, or is there still a bit of a gap between them? Identify the issues that need attention and address each one individually before moving on.

Add The Next Couple Of Wood Planks

Assemble another layer of planks near your initial layer and glue it into place in the same manner as you did with your first layer. If you still have some wood cut off, you can glue it to the edges of your table top before moving on. Continue this process with each layer until you are satisfied with the length of your piece.

Sand The Entire Surface

If you’re using a belt sander, use 80-grit sandpaper to get rid of any excess glue and to even out any irregularities that may be present on the surface of your table top. If any extra glue is present after this step, use a wet cloth and acetone to wipe it off.

Sand The Entire Surface

Finish The Table Top

You have a couple of options when it comes to finishing your table. For example, you could apply a layer of polyurethane to the entire piece. Alternatively, you could paint it with a water-repellent stain to protect the wood from absorbing water and make it much more resistant to damage. Water-repellent stains are available in many different colors and shades, so you can get almost any look that you’re after.

Finish The Table Top

The Bottom Line

Joining wood planks for a table top is simple once you get the hang of it, but there are certain things that must be done for the ideal final product. Have fun and enjoy the process!

FAQ

How Do You Join Wooden Planks Together?

Joining (or gluing) wooden planks together is usually done with wood glue and a clamp to ensure the pieces stay in place. However, boards with a tongue and groove joint can be joined at either end very simply by lining up the grooves, then clamping one side as you push it into the other.

How Do You Glue Two Boards Together?

There are a few different ways to glue two boards together.
1. Scrap pieces of scrap wood, add glue to the joint, add the other board on top, and press down to hold it in place while the glue dries.
2. Use a telescopic clamp to hold the boards together as they are being glued together.
The main thing to remember is no matter how you choose to glue up your boards, once you have them clamped tightly together, there should be some sort of weight placed on top of the boards for at least 24 hours for the glue to dry.

Is Joining Wood Planks For Table Top Worth It?

Joining wood planks for a table top is a project that may be worth the time and effort. Joining wood planks for a table top is not an easy task, but it is certainly possible to finish with the right tools and equipment in a relatively short period.

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