uneven wood The back piece isn't attached yet. I'd like it to line up with the side piece, instead of having that ˜3/32" difference in height.

A 43x2x3/32" piece of wood to put under it would be perfect but there's no way I can cut that with a 15" hand saw (the only saw I have).

What methods are appropriate for making those boards line up?

I've debated planing and sanding the edge of the side piece, or finding something the right size to stick under the back piece (multiple layers of paperboard cereal boxes cut to size perhaps).

For the curious: this is a result of the terrible decision to disassemble and salvage wood from three couches. With only a few exceptions every single board is exactly 1" thick. I measured a bunch of them and then just started eying it. I didn't discover that the board I put behind that back piece was only 29/32" thick until the glue had already dried.

  • 2
    Door shims or wood roof shingles can be used to raise the height. The advantage is that their trianglular profile allows you to adjust the height exactly.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Mar 5 at 0:26
  • Just need to check one thing, relating to a previous Comment about wood movement. What is glued to what here?
    – Graphus
    Commented Mar 5 at 8:01
  • @Ashlar Roof shingles look too thick but shims might work if I buy a pack and trim them just right. thanks for the idea!
    – user66598
    Commented Mar 5 at 15:11
  • @Graphus I didn't put glue on the ends of the boards, and the vertical pieces in picture aren't glued together. Other than that there's glue everywhere. I know the boards will (try to) get wider with summer humidity but hopefully the nails and adjacent boards will limit that and keep the glue joints from breaking. There are no complaints about that on the site with the plans so I'm hoping it's not an issue.
    – user66598
    Commented Mar 5 at 15:40
  • I just got back from the lumber yard looking at shims. They'd work but I'd need to use at least three or four packages at $7 each and I'd have to trim each one and then glue them in pairs. I don't wanna plane but it appears to be the easiest solution.
    – user66598
    Commented Mar 5 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


I've debated planing and sanding the edge of the side piece

If I'm interpreting the photo correctly, hand planing is what I'd recommend if planes are available.

Planing is the way to reduce thickness, since taking off material is what a plane does. This will require more effort if you don't have any specialist planes intended for taking off lots of material (e.g. a jack plane set up traditionally) but still doable without.

Perhaps move the cap iron/chipbreaker back from the edge a little, adjust for a thicker cut, go for it. Slow down and adjust the plane back to normal settings to complete.

If you work carefully at the end you can actually do this so that there's no need to sand when you're done; however, do so if you need to even up surface finish with other boards in the project (not necessary if you're painting, paint is a great equaliser).

  • I have the HART 7" block plane. Nothing I plane comes out flat but with effort I can usually get a flat looking result. It's work but I can definitely do it. Paperboard appealed to me because one of the couches I disassembled had a lot of (quite thick) paperboard in it, so it's at least a semi-acceptable material and could be a lot less work. It's not a sure thing tho. I don't have super thick "couch" paperboard, just cereal boxes, and zero experience using them in woodworking. I suspect I'll procrastinate and then plane in the end.
    – user66598
    Commented Mar 5 at 15:02
  • 1
    I dragged it all outside, planed and sanded and now it looks much better. Good enough to proceed anyway and it was a lot less hassle than I expected. Thanks for your advice.
    – user66598
    Commented Mar 5 at 23:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.