A Flat-Out Simple Solution for True Blue Glue-ups

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Few woodworking tasks are more frustrating than gluing up and clamping a large, flat panel. For hassle-free tabletops the rest of your woodworking life, invest a few hours in building this nifty jig. 

When my wife announced recently that she wanted a new coffee table, I began thinking about the best way to glue up a really flat panel for the top. This can be a harrowing experience. Positioning clamps under and over the boards simultaneously while trying to tighten them before the glue begins to set … well, it just makes your heart pump! I’ve read many solutions for this, and even tried a few. It seems, though, that I always end up running a hand plane across the surface of my panels, then a belt sander and finally a random orbit sander, just to get the surface flat. Then, of course, I have to flip the panel and go through the same procedure on the other side. In the end, I get a great workout — and a nice panel that’s always a bit thinner than planned.

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