Q & A: Perfectly Flush?
I recently bought a plate joiner in
hopes that it would help me get perfect
alignment when edge-to-edge gluing.
I’m still getting some unevenness
at the joints.What gives?
Biscuits help considerably with
alignment, but getting absolutely perfect
alignment is unlikely.Having glued
up what seems like acres of tabletops, I
find that slight variations in wood
thickness,minor warpage or loose-fitting
biscuits can all throw off the joint.
A slight tipping up or down of the
plate joiner can also cause a misaligned
You can overcome some of this misalignment
during glue-up by tapping or
pressing high spots into place before
fully tightening the clamps. Otherwise it’s best to accept a slightly uneven joint
and then sand or scrape it flush.
Another option is a spline joint. Use
a slot cutter in your router. Then mill
your own spline to fit. Because the
spline joint runs the full length of
the board, it offers very consistent
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker June 2001, issue #87.