Picked wrong design, now whats the best fix? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Picked wrong design, now whats the best fix?

Hello, I could use some help.

I am in the process of building 3 sets of exterior shutters out of cedar. I should have done a little more research before I picked my design for assembling them. I am constructing them using 2x4 cedar for the outer frame and I have edge glued 3/4" cedar boards together to make the inner panel.

Unfortunately I did not design it to be a floating panel in a groove like I have since found out I should have, to allow for expansion and contraction. My idea was to route out a rabbit in the back of the frame just like you would do a picture frame and then glue the panel into the frame. I now know that this would probably wind up splitting or cracking from expansion and contraction by not allowing the panel to move. Especially because it is not plywood.

The problem now is, I have already glued and assembled the frames. (Using pocket joinery...I know, I should have used M&T but Im a beginner and was intimidated). So I dont want to rip apart the frames to be able to put the panel in free floating as this would destroy the wood and it was way to expensive to repurchase. So my question is, what would be the best way that I can float the panels in the rabbet on the back of the frame? I was thinking I could use some silicone adhesive caulk or something around the panel, as I made my opening about 3/16" larger than the panel for expansion, and then use some simple flat metal brackets screwed to the back of the frame overhanging the panel snugly to keep it from falling out, but yet allowing it to expand when necessary.

Does anyone have any better ideas? Or is it possible I could just glue the panel in and have a good chance of it not cracking?


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post #2 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 11:14 PM
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The size of the shutters and the quality of the wood is a huge factor.

We could be more helpful if there were some photos.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 11:30 PM
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From your description I think I would make a tongue and groove joint for the outer frame and then either use a glued up panel or pickets re-inforced from the back with blocking.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 03:10 AM
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Squint, I like your idea of the clips on the back to hold the panel in place. I would then put one screw (or glue center top and bottom) to keep the panel from rattling in wind. (just glue a center spot not the whole panel edge) This will secure your panel and allow the wood to move seasonally.
Hope this helps.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 05:44 AM
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Here's a few options. You could simply use a type of panel retainer, like one that would be used to hold a glass panel in a rabbet.

Or cut some strips out of Cedar, like " - 1" wide by " thick, and install the panel and add the strip to the frame overlapping the panel. Use no glue.

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