Once all your boards are jointed and ripped to a combined width that is roughly 1 inch wider than the finished top, arrange the boards for the best possible match of color, figure, and grain. To minimize warping, lay out the planks so that the end grain of adjacent boards runs in opposite directions, then mark a reference triangle on top of the boards. This will help you correctly realign them for glue up. To hold your bar clamps upright, cut notched wood blocks and set the clamps in the blocks. Space the clamps every 24 to 36 inches. To protect the stock, also cut two wood pads as long and as thick as the planks. Apply a narrow bead of glue to one edge of each joint and use a small, stiff-bristled brush to spread the adhesive evenly on the board edges (above).
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