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How To Create Panels for Tables and More
Make Narrow Boards into a Wide Panel
When building a table, or any other project that requires wide panels, you need a reliable way to join narrow boards together. Pocket-hole joinery works great for this.

Simply cut your boards (in this case, 1x6s) to the desired length. Then drill pocket holes on the underside of one piece. Start about 1" from the edge and then drill holes every 6" inches or so, and then again 1" in from the other end. This ensures your top will stay together tightly and not have any gaps.
Clamp on the Joint Line
Next (if desired), spread glue on one of the mating edges, get both edges flush and then drive in Kreg Screws. Be sure to clamp on the joint line, with a Kreg Bench Clamp or Face Clamp, for a smooth, flush joint.

For best results, flip the piece over and sand the faces smooth to eliminate any ridge that might exist where the boards were joined. If you need a larger top, you can simply repeat these steps.
Cut Your Pieces Extra-Long
Keeping the board faces and ends perfectly aligned when you’re assembling a panel can be a little challenging. To make it easier, start by cutting your pieces a couple of inches extra-long. Don’t worry about aligning the ends. You’ll cut the panel to size later.

Just be sure to drill the first pocket holes a few inches from the ends. After assembly, the faces may not be perfectly flush, but you can sand the panel smooth easily.
Mark Panel to Prevent Over-Sanding
Before doing that, though, make a pencil mark over the panel. That line acts as a guide so you can see where you’ve sanded and where you haven’t. This helps prevent you from over-sanding the low spots. 80-grit sandpaper is a great place to start.

Just keep the sander moving and watch as the lines begin to disappear. It takes a little time, but soon enough you’ll sand away all the marks and know that your panel is smooth. When you’re finished sanding, you can cut the panel to length. 
Cut the Panel to Length
First, use a square to make marks near one end of the panel. Then align a saw guide, like the Kreg Accu-Cut, with the marks, and cut this end.

Then, flip the panel end to end and mark the final length. Once again, line up the saw guide and cut this end of the panel to length. With that, you will have a nice, flat tabletop with ends that are smooth, straight, and square.
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