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Splining Boards on Table Top

  • Posts: 40

chaplaindoug created the topic: Splining Boards on Table Top

Quite some time ago I asked here whether it is recommended to put a spline between each board in a table top when gluing up. The consensus them was that just gluing the boards edge to edge will provide a sufficiently strong joint and splining is not necessary (overkill). I recently had another furniture maker say that in Virginia's climate it is best to put splines. So I am confused again. I have made and sold a dozen tables (pine, oak, walnut) with just gluing the edges. I guess I am looking for confirmation that I am doing the right thing.
  • Posts: 486

colin replied the topic: Splining Boards on Table Top

Hi Doug, you will always get conflicting information when you ask a question. What you need to do with the information is to either judge which of it is most relevant to your situation and use that, or experiment with a couple of different options to see what works best for you. I am not just talking about the use of splines, but many, many things woodworking related.

The one thing I have learned most in the past 5 years is that there are often many different ways to accomplish the same thing and some people will be adamant that their way is the only way or the best way, when really, it just one of many options.

I think you have already proven that what you are doing is working just fine based on your past success in making tables. Sounds to me like you don't need to tinker with success buddy :)

Keep up the good work

  • Posts: 40

chaplaindoug replied the topic: Splining Boards on Table Top

Thanks for the help Colin. If you have time, take a look at our creations at:


Any helpful comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for maintaining this forum. It has been a GREAT help.

P.S. You are gracious in your approach to folks. Are you a Christian? Just askin'.
  • Posts: 58

eric422 replied the topic: Splining Boards on Table Top

In my opinion, splines are helpful when it comes to lining up the boards when gluing them up. It helps prevent them from shifting upwards or downwards resulting in less work when it's time to cleaning them up.

It could be a little stronger because you are adding a little more long-grain to
long-grain glue surface with the biscuits. However, just edge gluing them is still very strong.

Like Colin said, it really depends on your situation and what works the best for you. A couple things to consider would be:
1: Are you willing to put in more work
  • Marking out all the slots for the biscuits
  • Then cutting out the slots
  • Then gluing the biscuits into the slots (making sure you don't put 2 biscuits in the same slots :whistle: )

2: Or you can save time by
  • Not using the biscuits
  • Spreading glue over all the edges of the boards
  • Clamping them up
  • But you will be fighting the boards from shifting up or down

It all depends on what effort you are willing to put into it and what you are comfortable doing. Either one of these options will still give you a good table top though.