I'm hoping someone can tell me a couple things about how the clipboard pictured below was made. It appears to be three pieces of wood (the same kind of wood), each stained separately, and then joined together.

First, does this technique have a specific name?

Second, do you know how the pieces are joined? It is very sturdy despite how thin the wood is.

wooden clipboard

  • Looks like some real craftsman inlaid the dark piece. It looks like walnut and the rest looks like oak.
    – getterdun
    Jan 27 '14 at 5:47

They are joined...with wood glue. No, seriously...it actually is "stronger than wood". Bandsawn lamination is about as close as you'll get for a "specific name", though it could also be done with a router and templates. Or a CNC router, for that matter, these days.

The efficient approach will result in this one and a dark one with a light section, by sawing in stacks, then shuffling. This also has veneer strips along the glueline.

  • Haha, my first thought was glue... but then I thought. "No way glue could be this strong. People are going to laugh at me." So I erased that bit. Thanks for the help!
    – mrtsherman
    Jan 26 '14 at 3:58

Those pieces are almost certainly glued together. Wood glue forms an extremely strong bond if properly applied to side grain. It actually can be stronger than the bonds that hold the wood together.

I'm not sure if there's a name for this other than "gluing". Maybe you could call it "laminated", but I think that's usually applied to a piece made from many thin layers, as in plywood.


Although what Ecnerwal and Henry said is 100% true in general, I don't think what you have is a side-grain-glued board. If I'm not mistaken, what you're holding up is a clipboard, which is usually about 1/8" thick.

At these thicknesses, and given the board's width, the bending moments will easily break the glue bond. I think what you have might be a veneer inlay. If it is at least 1/4" thick, then it could just very well be solid wood joined by glue.


This is done by doing a complementary lamination of the shapes using a router (rough cut is usually done at the bandsaw but the final shape is done using a router with a guide and template). Usually, the pieces are butt-jointed using only glue.

When you have enough thickness, you can add biscuits, loose tenons, or dowels for a stronger joint, but it's then very tricky to align the pieces due to the curve.

Every woodworker will tell you that, when properly applied, glue is stronger than (most) woods :)

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