How to Join Two Boards Lengthwise | 4-Easy & Best Methods for Beginners

Do you want to learn about how to join two boards side by side? However, joining two pieces of wood lengthwise might be tricky for beginners. Because there are different types of method that exists. The carpenters are mostly using those methods that can be formed easily, and they even don’t care about the final finishing as well.

They mainly focus on the bonding strength of joinery, and they can hide easily in the case of furniture. On the other hand, in woodworking, this scenario is totally different. A woodworker sometimes can’t hide the method of joinery. This is the reason they created lots of tricks and techniques for edge joining boards. Here I will mainly discuss how to join two boards lengthwise.

How to Join Two Boards Lengthwise
Joining Boards Lengthwise

In woodworking, joining wood end to end or lengthwise is a common fact. To be a woodworker, you must gather all knowledge of joining two boards side by side and also end to end. You don’t have any ideas about what you are going to do; your projects may need joining 2×4 together end to end or joining deck boards end to end.

To overcome the weird situation before starting a project, you must have acknowledged wood joint types and the idea of selecting the best method of wooden joining. From methods of joinery of wood, you can easily pick the best and easy way to make a strong joint. The best part is that you can easily hide the joining position using a simple hack, and it’s a matter of time.

Moreover, the basic woodworking tools you need for lengthwise join, but in most cases, you can’t perform all of the methods without having some power tools. If you want to finish your projects within scheduled time with quality work, you must practice with basic power tools like a power drill, table saw, or band saw chisel, and so on.

Don’t worry; I’m here to guide you to learn how to join two wood pieces together and the types of edge joints. Do you really want to learn this topic? Stay with me and follow the step-by-step guideline of different methods. I think you will get all the ideas as required.

Before starting the main article, I would like to present the most common fact, which is very important for woodworkers. Can you guess what I’m saying? Maybe you are right, or maybe you can’t get the point of what I’m talking about. The patterns of wooden boards have three different phases which are face grain, edge grain, and end grain.

The strength of joining thick boards depends on the position and grain. The lengthwise or edge-to-edge and face joining is stronger than end-to-end joining. The end to the endpoint of lumber is porous because of the wood fiber, and if you glue in this point, you will never get a strong join. Still, for some special projects, you can join them by using mechanical support using a metal fastener, dowels, nails, or other tools.

A Step-by-Step Guideline of How to Join Two Boards Lengthwise?

Are you a professional woodworker or just it’s just a hobby or maybe you love to spend a vacation with some small wood projects? Whatever the intention you have, the main fact is we must understand the best and perfect tool kits we need to perform a project that makes your dream come into reality. This is not only for your literal tool kits; you must have some basic skills with all your tools to perform the planned projects.

There are dozens of important carpentry skills, we mostly used precisely in our projects are edge jointing longboards and joining joists end to end. This skill of joining must be covered by all professionals and also beginners. The beginners should understand the basic knowledge of at least 3 or 4 methods of joining boards side to side.

However, you already know that this job can be done differently, and you don’t need all these methods at a time. Uses of this method will come from time to time as per projects requirement, so if you acquire at least 4 methods in this regard. As an expert, I think you will be able to make a complex structure with wooden boards by joining lengthwise more efficiently.

After practicing the four techniques, you will do any projects professionally for sure. In this guideline, I will explore what kind of tools need for each method and how to perform from start to finish step by step. Follow the guideline to broaden your woodworking capabilities and become a master of your projects.

What is Edge Joining Boards?

If you are a beginner in woodworking, you may come to know this term just now, or you may see this in action at a carpentry store. When numbers of wooden boards are fastened with each other on their long side and remain flat is considered as edge or lengthwise joining.  It’s completely different from other joints that are used to make angles or stack between boards.

The purpose of lengthwise joints is to make the larger and broader structure of board or limber to use in special and big woodworking projects. Basically, the edge or lengthwise joint is responsible to create straight aligns in boards of each component whatever the length it is. Here I will explain all the methods on how to glue boards together for a tabletop. Let’s get started.

4-Methods on Edge Joining Boards

In this DIY, I am going to make a tabletop for my dining, and I will follow the basic method in this project, and I will also give guidelines for more 3 types of edge joint.

Method-1 Edge Joining Boards with Basic Glue

Tools and Materials You Needed for Basic Wood Glue

  • Selected wood panels/boards
  • Whitewood glue
  • Clamps
  • A wood chisel/thin plyboard
  • Carpenters chalk
  • Pencil

The Procedure of Using Glue

Step-1 Prepare The Wood for Weld with Glue.

The selection of wood panels is most important, and some primary jobs must be done before joining. Select the straight panel and smoothen the surface with a surface planer and make sure that your panel is oil or grease-free. Now clean the surface by using a soft cloth and make sure it’s dust-free because the bonding of the surface will hamper dust.

Step-2 Indicate Visible Part and Arrange for Alignment.

The shade and grain patterns are essential when you are making a furniture part. If you select the wrong shade and pattern, the appearance of the visible look will look odd. To avoid this problem lay off the selected panels on a flat floor or workplace.

Arrange all the panels according to their shades and grain arrangements and try to come out with the best match. After arranging all the panels draw arrow marks across the aligned boards at a minimum of 3 places using chalk and numbering them with a dark carpenter’s pencil from left to right. This mark will guide you in realigning the panel.

Step-3 Apply Glue to the Edge of the Panels. 

Next, hold the panel from the bottom part and turn for facing up the edge you want to intend wood glue from the arrangements. Now apply the bead of wood glue continuously to the surface of the edge. Apply to the entire surface slowly. Don’t use a large bead because it can be spill out the glue from the surface. The 3/16 inch bead is perfect for this job.

On the other hand, you can also use thin plywood according to your panel thickness. Remember that both sides of glue can be more challenging to finish after attaching all panels. So using glue on a single surface is a better idea.

Step-4 Align and Slide Together to Clamp. 

Now it’s time to rearrange all the panels according to the chalk marks. To secure the workplace from glue, lay off three pieces of wood scrap across the width. Now take panels individually and slide over the wood scrap matching arrow mark and also panel numbering. Once the alignment is done perfectly, you are ready to give pressure using clamps.

This pressure ensures the spreading of glue to each point of the edge between surfaces. In the case of a longboard, you must take care of avoiding the bowing effect in the final transformation. The main tricks to minimize or avoid the bowing effect are using maximum clamps along the length of boards. Now you are ready for the final process of this basic method.

Step-5 Remove the Excess Glue Splash Out From the Joining Edge.

When you arranged all the glued lumbers together, we must observe some glue spilled out. Now you have to remove this excess glue from the surface before getting dry.

It may take an hour to get dry properly in the open air, so take a wood chisel or thin plywood and remove it properly. Always try to remove within half an hour. Now leave it to dry overnight. In next day your new structure of tabletop is totally ready for the next operation.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Edge Joining Boards with Basic Glue?

There are some specific advantages of wood gluing is observed. Wood gluing is comparatively easy to perform than other mechanical methods. However, if you have a plan to make large wooden boards with maximum width by joining edge to edge, you can accomplish this method easily. The most important advantage is, the wood gluing method is much cheaper because you don’t need any specialized tools to form boards.

On the other hand, the wood gluing method creates the weakest bonding among all the available methods, though some modern glues are cable to make strong bonding and able to endure excessive pressure and weight on the joining point. Since the panels tend to expand after setting, it has a high chance to make bowing or skewing effects to length. But you can solve this problem by using a proper clamp and pressure.

Method-2 Edge Joining Boards with Biscuit Joiner

The biscuit joiner isn’t much popular for edge joining because of its complex procedure, and it requires specialized tools, pieces of equipment, and materials. In this method, some long, thin channels are created lengthwise in every piece of panel edge and after that, to secure the wooden board lengthwise some small pieces of wood are used here.

The piece of wood which is glued in channels to join two pieces of wood together is oval-shaped almost like a biscuit, and this is the reason this method is called a biscuit jointer or plate jointer.  This method is used to a large extent with plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and sometimes we observer in mortise or tenon joining because this method creates a strong bond between boards or solid pieces.

But the biscuit jointer is mostly used in edge to edge joining process to enlarge the boards for special projects. The most important part is that you need special skills and expertise to perform this method. To be specific, you need special tools as well. Let’s drive into the main procedure to make it easy and understandable for beginners.

Tools and Materials You Needed for Biscuits Joiner or Plate Jointer

  • Obviously, it would be best if you had boards that are prepared
  • Wood glue
  • Flooring clamps
  • Chisel for wood
  • Biscuits joiner tool
  • Wood chalk
  • Scale

The procedure of Biscuits Joiner

Step-1 Arrange the Selected Boards and Slot Marking.

You must arrange all the pre-selected and prepared boards for joining. In this step, align all the boards to match the color of shade and grain as required for a seamless look. If you don’t give effort in this step, you will never get a perfect appearance invisible side. When you can match all the panels, now you have to indicate the position of grooving channels on each edge of the boards. 

But the question is, how many channels do I need for biscuits joiner? Basically, we use three or more channels for lengthwise joining. So mark three or more slots across the length of panels to indicate the biscuit’s positions. These points must be equal from both edges of each panel.

We have a secret trick to make slots equidistant from both sides of each panel. Once you have matched all the panels, arrange all your boards into floor clamps and give pressure. Now put marks along with the joining point of panels using scale and pencil and transfer them to the other panels.

Later on, separate all the panels and make final marks for slots and make sure that all the mark is centered based on the previous mark and the width is based on the pieces of biscuits you are going to use.

Step-2 Prepare the Biscuits Joinery and Cuts.

In this step you know where to make cuts for the slot, take your biscuit joiner, and set the plunge depth adjuster according to your biscuit size. Here your slot must be cut as half as biscuits width.  Now set the slot centering mark in edge depth of panels by height-adjusted knob and also set the joiner base in the center position to work vertically.

Finally, you are ready to cut biscuits. Now grip the joiner by the handle and switch the power button, here you go. For better reinforcement, you can use large biscuits.

Step-3 Now Inserts Biscuit Between Two Panels.

Once the slot is created, now you are ready to join two boards edge to edge. Before joining the board, you must clear the excess dust and wood bran from the slot.

Now take a panel from the bottom of your arrangement and apply wood glue to each biscuit and panel edge and insert to the slot and give pressure by thumb and set the other board. Now clamps all the board and let them dry overnight.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Edge Joining Boards with Biscuit Joiner?

As mentioned, most woodworkers avoid this method because of its special tools and materials like biscuits, joinery, and biscuit. Moreover, this method isn’t appropriate to take literal pressure, and this bowing effect often occurs.

On the other hand, the biscuits join can be ideal in some limited areas. The joining of sheet boards like plywood or particle boards is best for biscuit joining. The best part is you can use this method on boards that are already bowed.

Method-3 Edge Joining Boards with Kreg Jig

This method is popular for most carpenters all over the world for furniture and other frameworks like tables or desks professionally. The pocket hole method is robust in between two panels. To be specific in this method, a Kreg jig or other similar tools is used to make a slanted hole or pocket and then insert the screws to make them align and join together. However, the insertion of screws allows making a strong join together in between two panels at the time of maintaining flush on the surface.

Tools and Materials You Needed for Kreg Jig

  • Previously selected wooden boards
  • Kreg jig or other pocket hole jig that is similar
  • Screws
  • Power Drill
  • Flooring clamp
  • Measurement tape
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue

The Procedure of Kreg Jig

Step -1 Mark for Pocket Hole on the Panel.

Lay off the panels on the flat surface and match grain and shade for a better look and divide the boards into 3 or 4 parts equally alongside the length using measurement tape. Here you can also make 2 points of the pocket hole. It actually depends on your board’s length. Now put final marks on the panel where you want to make holes exactly following the previous indication.

Step -2 Measure Panel Width and Set Jig’s Collar Accordingly.

At this moment, you will measure the plank thickness. After measuring the depth now, you have to set the collar of the jig you are using. For this insert the drill bit into a jig’s hole and push it until its tip touches the surface of the plank.

When the tip of the jig touches the surface now, you can easily set the collar to adjust the depth of the hole you required. You will get the entire useful measurements list from many units for attaching the Kreg jigs base. Make sure you are going to make this hole with the exact position of hole pockets with a guide.

Step -3 Clamp Kreg Jig to Plank and Start Drilling. 

Once all the necessary adjustment is made accurately now clamp your jig’s guide on marked lumber. Before beginning drilling, make sure that the jig’s position is accurate in lumber where you want to make a pocket hole. Now switch on the power button and start drilling slowly. Once you are done with a hole, now insert it into the next hole and follow a similar step to make another hole.

Step -4 Insert the Screw and Finish the Join.

Finally, you are ready for joining boards side to side by pocket hole using Kreg jigs. Before drilling screws clean all the holes. Now grab a plank from the bottom of the arrangement and apply glue on the edge surface using a small thin plywood piece and slide them over a clamp.

After arranging all planks, grab screws and drill them through pocket holes until it reaches the second wood plank besides. Keep drilling until the screw end flush the pocket holes.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Joining Boards Side to Side with Kreg Jig?

The advantages of Kreg jigs are numerous. It just not only makes strong bonds between wooden boards, but it is also the easiest process if you have proper tools and materials for the creation of pocket holes. If you are a beginner, this method is suitable for you.

The disadvantage of this method is a specialized tool. Moreover, you can’t use this jig-out-of-pocket hole method. This is the reason woodworkers are usually reluctant to buy this tool. The Kreg jigs perform well in the case of sturdy wood planks because it creates pressure by a metal fastener.

Method-4 Edge Joining Boards Using Dowels

The dowels technique is sturdy and flexible for joining wood planks. It makes a strong bond between two boards by inserting cut dowels. Let’s get how to join two boards lengthwise with the help of wooden dowels. Read our latest technique of making dowels from wood.

Tools and Materials You Needed for Kreg Jig

  • Two prepared wooden boards
  • Cut dowels
  • Masking Tape
  • Marking Pencil
  • Depth gauge & ruler
  • Mallet
  • Clamp
  • Adhesive for wood
  • Power drill

Procedure of Joining Boards by Wooden Dowels

Step -1 Make the Position for Dowels.

First of all, after matching and numbering all the lumbers grab a plank and mark the position where you want to set the dowels. To measure the location, use a ruler, depth gauge, and pencil. Since you will insert the dowels in both planks, you have to make that the location of all marks is equidistant. Be careful in marking the locations because if a single mistake occurs, the chances of getting an uneven panel finish are high.

Step-2 Making a Pilot Hole.

Before creating any messed-up situation, making a pilot hole for the test is a great idea. Take a drill bit and add masking tape around the bit to adjust the half depth of dowels’ full length. In this case, measure the diameter of the dowel and take an accurate drill bit. Now attach the drill bit and start drilling to make a test hole on the edge of the planks. Remove the wood bran from the hole and fit the dowels to check the fitting of the dowels.

Step -3 Bore All Remaining Holes.

After getting the accurate bit and perfect adjustment of depth for holes, drill all the remaining holes using bore. Now insert all the dowel rods and make sure that they are snuggly fitted.

Step-4 Slide Over the Planks and Clamp to Secure Final Bonding.

Apply adhesive to the dowels and edge of the plank and connect to planks through dowels. Give extra pressure by mallet and clamp them for rest. After 20 minutes scrape the extra glue from the surface of the boards and let them for several hours to dry.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Joining Deck Boards End to End By Dowel Rods?

This technique is trendy around the world because it requires basic tools, and it makes a flexible and sturdy join in wooden boards. This is the quickest method if you already cut dowel rods for projects. To ensure this method perfectly, you need precise measurement, and this is the only barrier for beginners. But I’m suggesting, making several holes using the same tricks on scrap wood can help you to overcome this fear.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Join Two Boards Lengthwise?

What Is the Best Method for Two Boards Lengthwise?

This question is tough to understand. The method of attaching two boards lengthwise depends on your projects, your expertise, and the required tools. If you want to make the quickest join between planks wood gluing is the best method. This type of joining method is suitable for ornamental purposes like the dresser, wardrobe doors, cabinet, chest, etc. where no issue of giving pressure or load.

Besides dowels and Kreg join is very sturdy and flexible, and this will be most durable for your projects. So if you have specialized tools and materials, you can choose one for your projects.

Final Words

After reading the entire article or just getting the DIY table of contents, you see lots of options around woodworkers for joining two pieces of wood lengthwise. All the methods are useful for joining the board’s side-to-side planks. Now grab a single method and enhance your woodworking knowledge for the next projects.

Here we’ve revealed all the ups and downs of how to join two boards lengthwise for better understanding and that will help you to select a perfect method. Moreover, if you are a beginner, don’t forget to practice those methods over scrap wood. After practicing, you will be able to join a flat edge with the DIY guideline. Keep practicing and get ready for the next woodworking projects.

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