Hello O Wise Ones, new to woodworking so I hope you will forgive my simple questions, firstly, when gluing rough sawn timber should I plane the mating surfaces so they are smooth, to get a better surface (long grain to long grain) contact and secondly what finish/preservative would you recommend I apply to stuff made out of the softwood supplied by local timber merchants, sold as whitewood, many thanks in advance for your assistance, Andrew
Gluing of wood usually involves close-meeting surfaces being pressed together with some force so that the glue painted atween them is forced into the cells of the wood, making a strong join often stronger than the inherent clag of the timber sticking the wood fibres to each other. So a smooth surface with the maximum close-joining area will be best.
But some glues are made themselves to have strength so will join wood or other materials without those materials touching each other. Such glues aren’t generally used in woodworking.
So plane your mating surfaces flat before gluing them together with clamps.
“Whitewood”. Presumably some form of softwood - pine, spruce, ??? ? What are you using it to make? The appropriate finish on a wooden thing is dictated by what you use it for, where you use it and what the timber type is. Heavily-used items living outdoors made of softwood probably need to be coated in something pretty tough whereas a magazine rack in a house with a constant humidity might need only a bit of wax.
You might want to consider planing both mating surfaces and using ‘biscuits’ to keep them in line,