What is the difference between edge glued panel and fingerjoint

Two types of glued panels. What the difference?

This is the first question for anyone who takes interest in wood and panels the first time. These two types differ in their price and appearance. But most importantly – they differ in configuration. We will discuss the differences and what type of shield it is better to use in a certain situation.

On the left - fingerjoint panel, on the right - edge glued panel. Oak as an example.

1. Fingerjoint - your reliable support in the kitchen

Configuration of fingerjoint panel

Fingerjoint panel consists of short lamellas (lamella - a board which is planned from all sides). The lamellas are glued to each other by 4 sides.

Glued to each other lamellas. Coming fingerjoint panel.

The length of lamellas is usually from 200 to 500 mm. The width of lamellas could be in two options:

A) narrow, 20 mm width.  

With such narrow lamellas you could get motley panels:

Panels with 20 mm lamellas

Such a small size of the workpiece allows using any residual wood for woodworking manufacture. Even though there is a lot of work to glue all the small items together, still, this is the cheapest type of panels.

B) standard, 40-50 mm width.

Example of ash fingerjoint panel with standard lamella

A standard fingerjoint panel looks like parquet. It does not look as solid as edge glued panel. However, it has his own advantages. One of the rules of woodworking sounds like - the more gluings you have the stronger the item you have. The number of gluings in fingerjoint panels is several times higher than in edge glued. So fingerjoint panels are a great decision for kitchen countertops, where there is a high level of exploitation. On the comparison, fingerjoint panels don’t look nearly as organic as an edge glued sheet in case of staircase steps.

Price for 1 m³ of fingerjoint panels does not depend on the length of it. For a manufacturer, it is insignificant, whether the panel is 2m or 4m long. Reason being, fingerjoint panels usually use those lamellas, that were too short for an edge glued panel.

2. Edge glued panels - the right choice for steps and long expensive tabletops


Configuration edge glued panels

Edge glued panels consist of long lamellas (aka 4 sides planned boards). The lamellas are glued to each other by 2 sides. The length of the lamellas is equal to the length of the panels and is limited only by the availability of raw materials. As in the previous section, here we can also separate all the panels into two types according to its lamella width:

A) standard, 40-50 mm

Example of ash edge glued panel with standard lamella

B) wide, >50 mm

Wide lamellas are usually in the ranges of 60-70 mm, 80-90 mm, 100-120 mm. The wider the lamella is, the more "natural" looks the panel will have and the more it resembles typical wood that we imagine. However, at the same time, it makes the panel less resistant to deformation. When working with a wide lamella panel, it is necessary to clearly imagine all possible difficulties. For example, if You have a tabletop on minimalistic metal legs, it is certainly advised to strengthen the tabletop on the bottom with a metal clamping.

Worktop with 120 mm lamellas

Price for edge glued panels depends on its length. The longer the shield is, the higher its unit price per cubic meter. This is due to the complexity of making the long lamellas. For them, you need great forest, large amounts of raw material, without defects and knots. Such trees are rare nowadays and are expensive.

Sphere of use does not have any borders. You could make windowsills, decor elements, facades etc. from edge glued panels. But the main place to use them is a staircase. Steps from edge glued wood are a real classic.