Do you assemble joints immediately after milling? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Do you assemble joints immediately after milling?

Hello all. This is my first post here. I'm not new to working with power tools but I am somewhat inexperienced with the actual field of woodworking. I've made a few things, just small things though. I'm attempting to teach myself so I may ask some strange questions from time to time. My first question deals with not having enough time to start and finish a project very quickly. I'm thinking of routing dadoes and then some time passing before I get to assemble the joints. Is there a chance that the joints will fit at first but then later not fit maybe due to expansion? If so, do you mill them further or maybe do something else to get them to fit? Also, can you assemble a joint entirely with glue only and expect it to hold or do most need further fastening like screws or nails?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 11:12 PM
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joinery and dry wood

Its best to use kiln dried wood, however I mill my own lumber and then air dry it for several years. Then I measure the MC and move it inside for several months.
It's best to mill any lumber to dimension after it has been in the shop a few weeks since any movement will be minimized. Also it's best to remove material from both sides of a plank when milling to thickness. Resawing will expose new wood on one side while the opposite side will have acclimated slightly more depending on the thickness. You can sticker or separate the slabs and clamp them in reverse after sawing to allow them the further acclimate.
Small mortises and tenons will not be a an issue but larger one may need to be pared slightly for a snug fit.
Dados and rabbets are less of an issue in my experience.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 11:26 PM
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That can happen, but it's fairy easy to avoid. I've just assembled eight base cabinets for a kitchen job I'm doing. Three of them have four drawers each and one has one drawer and a microwave shelf. I cut and milled all of the sides over a week ago when I milled the sides for the uppers. They were laid flat and sat for several days until I made the dust frames, tops and bottoms, and assembled everything. They went together without a hitch. If I hadn't laid them flat, I probably would have seen some twist or warp.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 06:25 AM
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If you mill your dado's with too tight tolerances and the weather becomes damp the wood can swell enough you may have to do some sanding to get the parts together. It happens so rare I wouldn't concern myself with it. As far as gluing a joint with glue only, it would depend on how good the joint was and the application. I normally glue a joint and use nails to keep from having clamp everything. The nails are to hold the joint together until the glue dries. I have worked for companies that would not let you put a nail anywhere that showed.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 06:50 AM
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To answer your last question last. Glue is entirely sufficient for the vast majority of joints.

As for not finishing a project right away I have no qualms. Right now I have most of the parts for a desk and hutch for one of my granddaughters waiting for me in the garage. I built one desk for the older granddaughter last spring and cut the pieces for the other desk at the same time. My intention was to wait until this fall to complete the second desk. Those pieces that needed routing were routed at the same time to save having to set the router again.

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for so many answers so quickly.

As it is, my shop is in my basement that has direct outside access. Since I don't have dust collection and the basement also has living space in it as well, not to mention my shop is not very well sealed off from other parts of the house, then I do all my cutting, routing, milling outside and then bring the parts back inside for assembly and finishing. I don't think being outside for as short a period as it takes to cut them is enough to have outside conditions affect the wood a whole lot but I didn't know, and I know that once the parts are milled that I'm probably done for the day most times. Assembly would come later. It takes a fair amount of time to set up tools needed and then clean up everything once finished so I'm doing well to get the parts shaped for next time. I'd hate to spend all that time working on them and come back the following weekend to find they don't fit or are too loose to fit right.

Up until now I've been able to make parts and assemble immediately but my projects have been limited to small shelves, or other similar things. I'd like to try something larger like a bookcase but I know to do that right it will take more time than a single afternoon. I will want to dado the sides to hold the shelves. I suppose some of this might depend on the type of wood I use. Prior to now I've made everything from pine and poplar. I've been buying it from Lowe's in the millworker section so it's planed smooth and needs very little sanding. It's fairly expensive so I don't want to waste it from foolish mistakes. I'd love to know another source for wood to work with besides just Lowe's.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 09:27 AM
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Keep in mind when you dado for bookcase shelving the dados are there just to keep the shelf from moving downward over time from the weight. You don't have to make the dados so tight you have to hammer the parts together with a mallet. As long as the parts easily slip into the dado you shouldn't have problems with the wood swelling up and not fitting into the joint. For bookcases I would use nails in conjunction with glue.

As far as a source for wood it would depend on where you live. In many areas the box stores your lucky to have that much. I live near a large city so I am able to get just about anything easily. Many here use www.woodfinders.com to locate the wood they need in their area.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 04:23 PM
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"For bookcases I would use nails in conjunction with glue. "

Why? That idea grates on my nerves like fingernails on a blackboard.

George
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-20-2012, 04:38 PM
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Most fitted joints don't need to be assembled right away, if they are well fitted, and tested before assembly. Some joints do need immediate assembly like oily woods (Teak for example) that need to be wiped with acetone, and then glued up promptly.





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