Creating wide solid wood panels with glue and clamps is a routine procedure in woodworking, and a safer bet than hoping to buy super-wide solid wood from your lumber supplier
Woodworking is basically three procedures: cutting, shaping & gluing. So, the tried-and-true way to get super-wide solid wood is to glue it up from narrower boards, then trim it down to the required size.
The majority of hardwood lumber in 4/4 thickness is less than 12" wide. It's not impossible to get 12" or wider lumber, it's just not the norm.
There Are Other Ways to Create Wide Panels
Shelving, desk tops, chest lids, conference tables, and cabinet doors are just some of the projects that call for wide panels. Solid wood works as long as you're good with gluing it up to acheive your width.
But you can save time and money by using:
- High quality veneered plywood
- Veneered panels made in your shop
Plywood can be treated with a solid wood edge that
- allows you to rout a decorative profile, and
- can provide the appearance of a 2" or 3" or thicker panel without the weight, the cost, and troubles of a solid wood panel of the same size
Veneer can be purchased in numerous varieties of wood, and choices like burls and figured woods are much higher and consistent in quality than what you can routinely find in solid wood. Veneer can be applied to a plywood substrate and also treated with solid edge to create the appearance of a thicker panel.