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Yikes! What the heck happened?!? I need to make two of these panels, the first one came out perfect, but this one.... how do I fix this? The deflection is nearly 3/8"!

Well, after days of fretting and lots of suggestions from friends, I've come to the conclusion that I need to start over. Ok, lets get on with it!
Here I've marked where I'm going to cut up the cupped panel, right on the old glue lines. I also marked reference numbers so I can re assemble the panel the same way, so the grain matches nicely. 

I also marked an "F" on each piece, on oppisite sides of each piece. This represents the side that will be close to the fence when I rejoint the pieces. The other side of each piece has an "F" on the oppisite edge.

The idea is to correct any adjustment problem with your jointer. If the jointer is even one degree out, that error can be multplied many times if the pieces are all aligned the same way.  But, if you alternate each piece, so the angle from the jointer is alternated, then the angles will cancel each other out, and give you a better shot at a flat panel. Lets see if it works.

Here's a pic of all my hard work cut up into little pieces!

I used biscuit joinery to assemble this piece, not a problem, when I go to cut new biscuit slots, I'll aim for the old ones.

See my Ride: 1600 Vulcan Crusier
Here you can see the first piece being placed on the jointer. Note the red "F" going against the fence. Now the mating side to this joint will be dressed going the other way thru the jointer, so any angle in the jointer fence will be cancelled out. 
Ok, I know what your thinking, why not just set the fence to 90 degrees? Good question, thats what I've always done in the past. 

Also this method sometimes has you jointing the pieces in a direction that may cause chipping. I like to joint my pieces with the grain sloping downwards at the end of each pass. 

The picture shows just the oppisite. I suppose you can correct this problem with more planning in the layout stage.
Here all the pieces are jointed and laying next to each other, looks ok so far.

The next step is to re layout for the biscuits. I haven't changed the depth of my biscuite joiner, so cleaning out the old ones was no problem. 

Here is the assembly, back in the clamps. Notice the clamps are not all on the same side, but alternating top and bottom. Also I bring up the pressure slowly on each clamp, and check with a straight edge as you go.
 You can clamp straight boards to the edges, but that will hide any pressure problems caused from the clamps. I will clamp short pieces over the joints if I have alignment problems. 
If you do be sure to use wax paper between your project and any alignment blocks so they don't get glued together. 
Tada! Perfect! And after a week sittin in the shop it's still flat, so I have to say this method has some merrit. Give it a try!
Back to Becky's Cradle project page

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