Shiplap attachment question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-07-2015, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Question Shiplap attachment question

So I'm working on building a bookcase out of quarter-sawn white oak (mostly), and for the back I'm doing shiplap, partly because I've never done it before and wanted to try the technique, partly because I like the way it looks, and partly because I just don't like plywood :-)

At any rate, I'm running into a slight difficulty trying to decide how to attach the pieces. My thinking so far has been as follows:

First thought: Just run a bead of glue around the edges, maybe add some nails to "clamp" them in place, and call it good. That's what I did with plywood.

BUT WAIT!!! This is solid wood, not plywood, and the whole point of shiplap is to allow the boards to expand and contract freely while maintaining a good look. If I glue all the way around the edges, they can't move. Bad idea.

So on to thought two: One small drop of glue (and maybe a brad nail) top and bottom center of each board. This would allow the boards to expand outward from center.

My concern with that is strength: this is the back of a bookcase. People are doubtless going to be slamming books against the back and the like. Would the rather minimal attachment point hold up to that kind of abuse?

Then, too, is the fact that the wood is quarter-sawn. I seem to recall something about quarter-sawn wood being more stable. Maybe I don't need to worry about expansion and contraction so much?

At that point I just figured I'd let more experienced minds than mine answer the question. So: what is the best/proper way to attach a ship-lap back to a bookcase?

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-07-2015, 05:07 PM
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I though shiplap was only supposed to be nailed? Been a while since I read the shopnotes article about it, but I thought glue was a no-no because of the expansion/contraction

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-07-2015, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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You could well be right. Like I said, this is something I have never tried before :) I was thinking glue because I simply don't trust nails to hold. With just a single nail top and bottom I'm REALLY concerned about how well the back will hold up.

Maybe the solution is to attach a hold strip of some sort across the top and bottom of the boards?
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ibrewster View Post
You could well be right. Like I said, this is something I have never tried before :) I was thinking glue because I simply don't trust nails to hold. With just a single nail top and bottom I'm REALLY concerned about how well the back will hold up.

Maybe the solution is to attach a hold strip of some sort across the top and bottom of the boards?
Id trust the nail myself. Sure, they may not last forever, but id be willing to wager theyd hold longer than most of us will be alive. If not, well, theres always small screws

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 03:54 AM
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Are you using a rabbet on all four sides of your shiplapped boards? You can use a small width board that has a rabbet on one side to hold the bottom and top of the boards in place (assuming your shiplapped boards are running vertical). The nail, screw or small drop of glue should be on the side of the board that has the rabbet facing into your bookcase. The side that has the rabbet facing out, will be held in by the next shiplapped board, until you get to the last board.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Id trust the nail myself. Sure, they may not last forever, but id be willing to wager theyd hold longer than most of us will be alive. If not, well, theres always small screws
Well, in that case I'll go ahead and give nails a shot. Should the back pop off at some point, I can always re-attach it with some other option (such as small screws, like you said). I just hesitated because pretty much every bookcase I have seen (the el-chepo particle board ones with the nailed-on back) has the back coming off of it.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ORBlackFZ1 View Post
Are you using a rabbet on all four sides of your shiplapped boards? You can use a small width board that has a rabbet on one side to hold the bottom and top of the boards in place (assuming your shiplapped boards are running vertical). The nail, screw or small drop of glue should be on the side of the board that has the rabbet facing into your bookcase. The side that has the rabbet facing out, will be held in by the next shiplapped board, until you get to the last board.
Thanks for the information on the nail placement. I was thinking center, but it makes sense to offset it as you describe. Thanks!
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 07:40 PM
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Well, in that case I'll go ahead and give nails a shot. Should the back pop off at some point, I can always re-attach it with some other option (such as small screws, like you said). I just hesitated because pretty much every bookcase I have seen (the el-chepo particle board ones with the nailed-on back) has the back coming off of it.
That's because of the material, not the nail. Particle board doesn't hold nails well at all

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-08-2015, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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That's because of the material, not the nail. Particle board doesn't hold nails well at all
Oh, yeah, huh. That makes sense. That makes me feel much better :) Thanks!
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-09-2015, 01:21 AM
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Oh, yeah, huh. That makes sense. That makes me feel much better :) Thanks!
Any time mate, i only caution against the mistakes ive made

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