woodworkers I need advice on joining some maple boards

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greybeard

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I have been tasked with making a small round tabletop out of maple. Finished piece will be 19" circumference. This is not something I am experienced at doing. I have five 5 1/2" boards cut to 20" lengths and run thru jointer and planer but they are slightly bowed end to end. The planer didn't take the bow out because it just follows the bow. Planned on doing a glue up using biscuits and I 'can' clamp the boards down and take the bow out to use the biscuit cutter but then will be faced with clamping the boards down individually and have to somehow clamp down each board and somehow be able to push each board laterally into the biscuit cuts and keep them clamped until the glue dries.
My other option is to just cut the biscuit grooves without any clamping,, do the glueup and then use my router and a router sled to remove the bows after everything is dried and set, then cut the round circle out, sand to finish and remove any router marks.
The bow is slight and I have exaggerated it in the drawing. In reality, it is not much over 1/8" total runout end to end. (yes, I know I accidently left a biscuit out of the drawing)
Any suggestions? How close to put the biscuits in relation to the edge of the circle?
tabletop.jpg
 
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Rafter S

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If you hadn't already planed them down to thickness I'd suggest maybe screwing each end to a flat board and run both through the planer to get one flat surface, then take it off the straight edge, flip it over, and run it through again by itself, but now I got nothing. Sorry about that, and I wish you luck.
 
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greybeard

greybeard

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I thought of that (actually, I ran them thru the planer just enough to take the mill saw blade marks out) but figured once I removed the screws from the flat board, the bow would return.

I've used a router sled before, to bring down a big piece of red oak from over 5" thick down to about 1 1/4" thickness. It was VERY time consuming but worked out ok.slab6.jpgslab7.jpgslab2.jpg
 
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Rafter S

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I thought of that (actually, I ran them thru the planer just enough to take the mill saw blade marks out) but figured once I removed the screws from the flat board, the bow would return.

I meant to put a screw at each end, with the board bowed up, so the screws were just holding them together but not pulling the board flat. My thinking was that the planer would shave the top of the bow down, but maybe the pressure of the planer would flatten it out instead?
 
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greybeard

greybeard

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Is the concern having a perfectly flat top or being able to glue the pieces with biscuits together?
Being able to glue the pieces together.
I can make it flat I think, once it's glued up and set. Router sleds work wonders if they are set up right. It's vital tho, that the outer frame be perfectly level end to end and side to side. An 1 1/2" 3 blade bit will do the trick pretty quick since I won't be taking much off.


Use a piece of 1/4" plate on the bottom. Clamp it down to that and screw them together tight.
Permanently?
Not an option. The table top is to be mounted on an old milk can and daughter-in-law doesn't want it to have a base plate under it.

No table saw?
Yes I have a table saw but it won't cut the full width of the 5 1/2" wide boards.
The bow is slight, but end to end . I could do it tongue and groove but would rather not as the T&G joint would show on the ends once I cut the round shape.
bow.jpg
 

1982vett

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usafchief | Jan 14, 2017 12:03pm | #6
That is more work than the board is worth... Glue sacrificial
strips to the board's edger that are wider that the board's thickness plus the gap between the board's bottom surface and the top surface of the bench and run it through the thickness planer. Once you have a flat surface turn it over and surface the other side. Both methods will reduce the thickness. And the thickness planer is far more safer than using the jointer.
 

Named'em Tamed'em

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usafchief | Jan 14, 2017 12:03pm | #6
That is more work than the board is worth... Glue sacrificial
strips to the board's edger that are wider that the board's thickness plus the gap between the board's bottom surface and the top surface of the bench and run it through the thickness planer. Once you have a flat surface turn it over and surface the other side. Both methods will reduce the thickness. And the thickness planer is far more safer than using the jointer.
I don't know if this helps but I used angle iron to keep it flat while pipe clamps held the slabs together. Just finished this for the wife.
 

Grayme

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I have been tasked with making a small round tabletop out of maple. Finished piece will be 19" circumference. This is not something I am experienced at doing. I have five 5 1/2" boards cut to 20" lengths and run thru jointer and planer but they are slightly bowed end to end. The planer didn't take the bow out because it just follows the bow. Planned on doing a glue up using biscuits and I 'can' clamp the boards down and take the bow out to use the biscuit cutter but then will be faced with clamping the boards down individually and have to somehow clamp down each board and somehow be able to push each board laterally into the biscuit cuts and keep them clamped until the glue dries.
My other option is to just cut the biscuit grooves without any clamping,, do the glueup and then use my router and a router sled to remove the bows after everything is dried and set, then cut the round circle out, sand to finish and remove any router marks.
The bow is slight and I have exaggerated it in the drawing. In reality, it is not much over 1/8" total runout end to end. (yes, I know I accidently left a biscuit out of the drawing)
Any suggestions? How close to put the biscuits in relation to the edge of the circle?
View attachment 9487
I've done woodworking,cabinetry since high school. Now 65 yrs old(young?). I've never used biscuits, dowels,etc to edge joint boards. Lay your pieces out with bow alternating if grain allows it ,then when clamped,before tightening all the way, hammer them level using a piece of wood on top to protect them. If I can help any more, don't hesitate to message me. Good luck!
 

Rockdale

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The purpose of the jointer is to give you one flat face and an edge that is perfectly square to the flat face. The flat face is then fed through the planer on the bottom of the board so the upper face becomes parallel with the flat face. As you found out, feeding a bowed board through the planer will not take out the bow.

Is it too late to return to the jointer? That would correct your problem and make the glue up much easier.
 

Bob-s

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Temporarily, use a plywood piece that is large enough, say 24"x24". Otherwise mark the biscuits in each board and cut them making sure the board is clamped as flat as possible when the biscuit is cut..

Start with the middle board. Screw it to the plywood, making it as tight and flat as possible. There should be enough waste material to screw it so the finished circle has no screw holes. Add the next board on one side which will flatten that board Clamp them temporarily to make a tight seam and screw it to the plywood . It will be tricky to join a bowed board to a flat piece and get it tight together and then screwed flat.

Add the next board on the opposite side and screw it. Repeat until all boards are joined with biscuits and screwed to the plywood. The screws through the waste act as clamps for holding the boards tightly together as well as flat while the glue dries.

Let the glue dry. Unscrew the boards from the plywood carefully but expect a little bowing after all screws are removed.

Use your router sled to make it flat. Cut out the circle. and mount it to the base.

My $.02. Note: You might use a piece of plastic in between the plywood and the boards so the glue won't stick them together.

Whatever you do I hope it turns out like you want.
 
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greybeard

greybeard

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The purpose of the jointer is to give you one flat face and an edge that is perfectly square to the flat face. The flat face is then fed through the planer on the bottom of the board so the upper face becomes parallel with the flat face. As you found out, feeding a bowed board through the planer will not take out the bow.

Is it too late to return to the jointer? That would correct your problem and make the glue up much easier.
I think you are talking about a jointer/planer combination.
I don't have one or access to one.
I ran the boards individually thru the planer. One side, then the other. Then, ran the edges thru the jointer. In each case, took off just enough to clean up the mill saw marks and get a smooth surface.
(the face of the maple was pretty 'fuzzy' to begin with)
 

Rockdale

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No sir, separate machines. You should always flatten the face of a board on the jointer first before the edge. That gives you a flat face and a edge that is square to the face before using the jointer.

Using a jointer
 

Rockdale

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I just noticed I misspoke in my last response. It should say "No sir, separate machines. You should always flatten the face of a board on the jointer first before the edge. That gives you a flat face and a edge that is square to the face before using the PLANER." My apologies for any confusion.
 
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