A bit of a problem... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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A bit of a problem...

So I made this panel with breadboard ends:



I learned eventually that I jumped the gun and may have made a serious mistake. When I assembled this, I glued only the middle portion of the tennon, as I was supposed to. However, I added the dowels AFTER the ends were glued on, and at that point I hadn't pre-drilled any dowel holes. So the problem... Is that the tenon doesn't have elongated holes for the outer dowels (the center ones are fine).

Am I destined to run into issues? Will this likely end up with several big cracks if the wood expands or shrinks? My options are:

1) Leave it alone and hope to hell it never happens. The risk is having to remake the entire lid.

2) Drill out the outer dowels, and insert a dowel that has the middle section, corresponding to the tenon, thinned out a bit to allow for movement. Or just drill out all of the material within the tenon and put a very short plug in that doesn't reach the tenon at all. The only risk here is if I Don't line up the hole perfectly, those dowels might look a bit oblong.

The dimensions are 18.75" x 38.6".

I made the BB ends as a sprung joint, so the outer dowels aren't really even needed other than for decorative purposes.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 07:50 PM
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What size dowels did you use? My gut feeling is that with a 1/4 or 3/8 dowel, the dowel would flex before the top and still allow the wood to move, but 1/2 or above would cause some problems. Just a gut feeling though

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Dowels are 3/8", but the hole is drilled 3/8 straight through. I can't see it flexing...

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-15-2015, 11:12 PM
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You were suppose to elongate the holes on the tennon for the outer dowels but at this point I wouldn't fix it unless it breaks. I don't think it's worth taking apart now. It may take many years before it shrinks enough to crack.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 12:37 AM
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If you wish to put the work into it you could redrill the holes to remove the dowels then you could file down the middle of the dowels a 1/16" and equal to the tenon thickness. Also if the MC is pretty low several coats of whatever you're using for cover the project will eliminate moisture intake and limit expansion to seasonal heat which is somewhat less.

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghidrah View Post
If you wish to put the work into it you could redrill the holes to remove the dowels then you could file down the middle of the dowels a 1/16" and equal to the tenon thickness. Also if the MC is pretty low several coats of whatever you're using for cover the project will eliminate moisture intake and limit expansion to seasonal heat which is somewhat less.
That's what I was thinking about doing if it came down to it. I jumped on Steve's advice and just started slopping finish onto it... I'll cross my fingers that nothing happens, and if it does, I can make an even better one.

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt BOMBULOUS View Post
Dowels are 3/8", but the hole is drilled 3/8 straight through. I can't see it flexing...
Youd be amazed. A joint like a draw-bored mortise and tenon relies on the dowel being able to flex 1/16 or more, which is why i dont imagine youll have too many issues

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 01:41 PM
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Please follow up after a season and let us know how everything turned out. You're in Maryland where indoor humidity varies from 0% in a heated house in the winter to near 100% in the summer. Right now, humidity is around 50%, so it might work out.

What wood is that?
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt BOMBULOUS View Post
That's what I was thinking about doing if it came down to it. I jumped on Steve's advice and just started slopping finish onto it... I'll cross my fingers that nothing happens, and if it does, I can make an even better one.
If it were just the dowels it would be a good plan to drill them out but the tongue and groove is glued in the middle and would tear up the rails and perhaps the tongue getting it off. Then you might end up having to cut the center board shorter and make the rails on the ends wider just to elongate the dowel holes.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-16-2015, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If it were just the dowels it would be a good plan to drill them out but the tongue and groove is glued in the middle and would tear up the rails and perhaps the tongue getting it off. Then you might end up having to cut the center board shorter and make the rails on the ends wider just to elongate the dowel holes.
If I'd drilled the outer dowels out, I'd thin the middle of them where the tenon is. Or just put a tiny bit of dowel in each end so they're ornamental only. If it cracks... 90% of the wood will be re-useable and I'll just make a new lid. Still far faster than remaking the whole toy box.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-17-2015, 12:45 AM
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I have a 22" wide soft curly maple tabletop that I put breadboard ends on. I glued them solid.

It's been 10 years now and it's still perfect. I'm actually surprised. I figured it'd self destruct. But so far so good.

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post #12 of 12 Old 11-17-2015, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Please follow up after a season and let us know how everything turned out. You're in Maryland where indoor humidity varies from 0% in a heated house in the winter to near 100% in the summer. Right now, humidity is around 50%, so it might work out.

What wood is that?
It's white oak. Which is another possible worry, since oak has pretty high expansion values.

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