To glue or not to glue? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 03-20-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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To glue or not to glue?

Should I glue the center panels in or let them float on my kitchen cabinet doors. I'm making shaker style doors with red oak frames and using 1/2 inch plywood for the center panels which will have the back side rabbited to fit the grooves of the stiles and rails. Everything will be stained in water base stain if it matters. Thanks
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post #2 of 31 Old 03-20-2012, 10:11 PM
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If the panels are ply there is no true grain orientation as in a solid wood panel... So movement if any is negligible.

Glue it.

...build n burn - live n learn...
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post #3 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 08:25 AM
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Let them float. There will be movement, regardless of the wood type/construction. No glue.
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post #4 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 10:55 AM
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Well, that answers everything!
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post #5 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autre
Well, that answers everything!
Yeah really, huh?... I guess we need a tie breaker....

That or the OP can just go eeny meenie minie...

Or go by whose more hansom... Baby wins every time

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C-MAN: I added the stuff after tie breaker...

Last edited by firemedic; 03-21-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 01:17 PM
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Since panels are normally not glued in place, not gluing will be fine. Since the panel is plywood, gluing probably won't make a difference either way. I'd say save the glue and let 'em float. But I doubt it matters in your case.

Disclaimer: I have never made a panel door. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night*!


* not really
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post #7 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 01:32 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to let them float. The reason I advised glueing them is because ply panel doors are notorious for rattling... Gluing it, if just a few dots here and there, prevents that.

Good luck!

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post #8 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 01:33 PM
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Somebody correct my ignorance if I'm wrong, but I thought plywood movement/expasion was fairly minimal, so I would think gluing would be a viable option. If you're asking this question in the first place because you're rather let them float but don't want a jiggling sound you could consider putting a small dab of silicone on the inside edge of your rabbits and let it dry before putting your panels in place. This would hold the panel still, allow for slight movement, and prevent any noise.
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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Something like "Space Balls" http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2020 would eliminate any rattle. You could probably use a bead of rubber cement, a strip of rubber band or some other piece to rubber to achieve the same effect.
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post #10 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well my first door I made the groove and rabbit a snug fit. Thinking just a couple of glue in some spots along the panel. What's the worst that can happen if it does expand?
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bvh56
Well my first door I made the groove and rabbit a snug fit. Thinking just a couple of glue in some spots along the panel. What's the worst that can happen if it does expand?
It's not going to expand... It's plywood.

...build n burn - live n learn...
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
It's not going to expand... It's plywood.
+1. I agree. I glue them all the time. Plywood, or any composite really is stable. I've never had a problem with the R&S's (movement wise). Gluing the panel will make for a very rigid door.






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post #13 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 05:36 PM
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It wouldn't be the plywood panel that moves, it would be the rails and stiles. The wider they are, the more they may move. Depending on the style of the rail and stile grooves, how deep and how thin, the movement could split the rails or stiles along the groove. Shaker type doors often have wider frames, but you didn't give any dimensions or species. If the rails and stiles are wider than 2", I wouldn't take the chance by gluing the panels. In my climate, there are wide swings in humidity, in a desert, maybe there isn't much to worry about. Usually there is enough to worry about when gluing up doors, keeping them square, flat and not getting glue all over the place. Gluing the panels is just more to deal with and it wouldn't offer any significant advantage to a properly joined frame.
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1
It wouldn't be the plywood panel that moves, it would be the rails and stiles. The wider they are, the more they may move. Depending on the style of the rail and stile grooves, how deep and how thin, the movement could split the rails or stiles along the groove. Shaker type doors often have wider frames, but you didn't give any dimensions or species. If the rails and stiles are wider than 2", I wouldn't take the chance by gluing the panels. In my climate, there are wide swings in humidity, in a desert, maybe there isn't much to worry about. Usually there is enough to worry about when gluing up doors, keeping them square, flat and not getting glue all over the place. Gluing the panels is just more to deal with and it wouldn't offer any significant advantage to a properly joined frame.
???

Ok, let's really break this down.

Wood moves side to side... It doesn't get longer or shorter. Ergo the out sides of the rails n styles could potentially move but even that is almost negligible until you start talking about entry doors... no effect on the panel though - it's moving AWAY from the panel.

This is why we take an otherwise unstable panel and put it in a frame. The frame doesn't really change.

In a solid panel door the frames stays the same while the panel moves... If that weren't the case you COULD glue solid panel doors.

On the flip side, frame doesn't move + ply doesn't move = it can be glued.


...???

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post #15 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 07:23 PM
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Relative to humidity, I've seen panel doors expand and contract in height and width. The inside dimensions will vary very little if any at all.

As for the op, a plywood panel can be glued, or not.
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post #16 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 08:15 PM
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A problem I've seen is stress on the joints of a rail and stile door with a floating solid wood panel. One stile is carrying the weight and manipulating the opening and closing. Over time, with the small gap allowed for the panel is enough for some doors to rack (get out of square).

That's not a problem with a slab door, or a panel that's glued in. The door is a rigid unit, and has no options but to maintain its shape.

There is an alternative to using solid wood for a raised panel. You can use 3/4" plywood. I posted the following suggestion several years ago...

For rectangular or square door panels one method is to glue up sections of solid wood and then machine the edge detail needed. There are issues with solid wood panels concerning movement. There's also the labor of jointing the sections to be glued, selecting suitable looking pieces to glue up, clamping up, and sanding flat. Those panels may not joint up tight, or stay flat. Glue lines are sometimes noticeable.

An alternative to solid wood for a panel would be to use plywood and adding a solid wood edge. The procedure will facilitate long grain on all the edges. This will eliminate endgrain at the top and bottom of the panel. The same details can be run on the edges. Aestheticaly speaking, an interesting panel can be created with using a different wood specie on the edge.

Using plywood for the major field of the panel permits other advantages. If you don't have or use a rail and stile (cope and stick) bit set to make the rails and stiles, you could simply cut the rails and stiles, machine any profile you want, miter the corners, and rabbet the back edge to receive the panel. This fabrication will permit a full back with no reveals if desired. The panel can be glued in, the mitered corners can be glued, and you wind up with an easy to finish, very stable door with no movement issues. Or, the panel can be machined to be used in a cope and stick process, and be glued into the groove.

A glued panel will also strengthen the stiles that carry the hinges, reducing the twisting forces that a floating panel permits.

I've done this using the same specie for the edging of the plywood, different and/or contrasting wood and the results are excellent. If you have many doors, or large doors, using a hardwood veneer faced plywood for the panels can provide a very uniform grain and color result.






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post #17 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Glue it is boys. Thanks all .
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-21-2012, 10:37 PM
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I dont use any glue on panels on 5 pc doors. Only spaceballs. I dont care what anybody says...Wood,glass,metal etc all expand and contract. Last thing I want to worry about is glue getting all over my panel
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-22-2012, 12:07 AM
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I've always glued the panels in on plywood or mdf panel doors. It's the solid wood panels that it is very necessary to let float. If you glue those in, when the wood shrinks the panel will split in two.
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post #20 of 31 Old 03-22-2012, 12:22 AM
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i ALWAYS glue mine. put glue in the dead center of the panel and it will expand each way from the center out. it will help rattling.



and firemedic is right when he says plywood wont expand.

build it right or not at all
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