Bookshelf: Gluing, Sizing, and Fitting Panels

Getting panels glued up always looks sort of silly the way I’ve been doing it:

It works, though. Those little go-bar setups that luthiers like would be better, I think, but I’m far too lazy to make one of those right now.

While waiting for the (liquid hide) glue to set, I cut the grooves for the panel. With my mortise marking gauge and the same fence that I used for my original dovetailed box project, it was a lot less horrible than I expected. I still want a plow plane sometime, though.

With the glue reasonably dry, I squared off one of the ends of a glued-up panel and sawed away:

Yep, that’s the Pax copy of the Disston D-8 panel saw that I noted in a previous post, now waxed and sharpened. This saw works nicely now.

Of course, using this saw without a knife line on this wood will introduce a little tearout, so I had to clean it up a little. No big deal; it’s just another day in the life of my Veritas low-angle block plane:

After measuring out the height and repeating on the other side, it was time to mark out the width. In this project, those lighter strips are to be in the center of the panel, so I measured the final width from the edges of those strips. It was pretty simple arithmetic. Cutting to the width was a matter of using the tenon saw again (see the previous post).

Then it was time to test the panels. The first one fit well, and the project was really starting to look like something:

The top panel, however, did not fit as well at first, because (for whatever reason) the back of the dovetail didn’t quite line up in the rear. To fix this, I used my side rabbet plane for the first time ever; I just widened the groove at the top of the side by a small amount.

I don’t have a photo of the final test assembly (hey, it would ruin the surprise, anyway). Glue-up comes next.

3 thoughts on “Bookshelf: Gluing, Sizing, and Fitting Panels

  1. Hi Michael, everything in the project is yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), and the panels come from the same boards as the sides and shelves. The lighter colored parts are the sapwood. Here’s the post where I sawed the panels from the main portion. I guess I should get better at cross-referencing this stuff.

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