Glue alone, or add fasteners? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-09-2015, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Glue alone, or add fasteners?

I just finished a project that for the first time, the only fasteners I used were the screws to attach the hinges. I am still new to this, but I have to say, I'm a little sceptical on how well the glue will hold up over time.

Do mosy of you rely on glue (and cut joints) alone, or do you add nails, or screws to your joints?
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-09-2015, 08:29 AM
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It would vary from project to project whether or not I use fasteners. For the most part I use fasteners to speed up the assembly. For example a cabinet door could be made just fine just gluing and clamping it but if you have 50 doors to make it makes more sense to shoot a few brads in the joints so you can take the door out of the clamps and move on to the next one.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-09-2015, 04:03 PM
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Depends what I'm building. For a long grain to long grain join, the glue is stronger than the wood itself, so if I'm gluing up a slab for a table top theres no need to reinforce it. Attaching legs to the same table requires a bit more support than glue Alon. Personally, I prefer going with stronger joinery methods, e.g reinforcing the joint with dowels or something similar, rather than metal hardware like screws, but screws can work just as well.

I don't really consider brad nails in the same category as something like a screen or a finishing nail. They don't add a huge amount of reinforcement to a joint. I see them more as permanent clamps to hold two pieces together while the glue dries. I love my nailer, I use it all the time for making jigs, applying trim and in situations where clamping would be difficult, but again, its just a way to keep whatever in place while the glue dries

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-09-2015, 10:19 PM
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Well I believe that if you want to be a true craftsman that mechanical fasteners never need to be used. But that is if you want to take the time to design the joints so that glue will hold. Like was mentioned above there are those places where a mechanical fastener must be used. Also such as a table the legs may need to be removed for transporting so that is where the screw, bolts, etc. really come into play. I like to use biscuits in some applications and I have also used kreg screws to speed up a project such as kitchen cabinets.

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-09-2015, 10:52 PM
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I started woodworking with all kreg jig screws. I moved on to fewer and fewer screws and nails until I could build a project with no fasteners.

Now I rarely use screws and nails.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 12:24 AM
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In 1988, I built a simple work bench with three drawers. Last year, I tore it down when I was reorganizing my shop (garage).

I had to take a shop hammer to the drawers to get them apart. I had used plain Elmer's glue and a few finishing nails. The glue held fast and tore some of the plywood away as I beat on them. Twenty six years, and still hanging in there. They were loaded with all sorts of stuff. The glue is pretty remarkable.

I did manage to salvage parts of the drawers for other projects.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawduststeve View Post
Well I believe that if you want to be a true craftsman that mechanical fasteners never need to be used. But that is if you want to take the time to design the joints so that glue will hold. Like was mentioned above there are those places where a mechanical fastener must be used. Also such as a table the legs may need to be removed for transporting so that is where the screw, bolts, etc. really come into play. I like to use biscuits in some applications and I have also used kreg screws to speed up a project such as kitchen cabinets.
Hey, are you insinuating I'm not a true craftsman and don't take the time to make sure my joints can hold together?

Just want to make sure were in agreement

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 08:03 AM
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I am not insinuating anything but I have found great satisfaction in building things that use no fasteners other than glue. My father could build anything from houses to fine furniture and I can honestly say I could see the progression of the pieces he built and the longer he built the less screws or nails that he used. It is like putting trim on a piece of furniture or cabinet it looks so much nicer when there are no nail holes to fill. For myself if I am making an extra special piece for myself or to sell to someone I like to build with no fasteners if at all possible. But again it requires a lot more investment of time.

Steve
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 08:24 AM
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Since I do nothing in quantity and make everything as a one time project, I like to use the least amount of fastners as possible. My first project I used a Kreg pockethole jig. It came out nice but I did not feel like I learned a lot. I have never used pocketholes again as a primary source of joinery. I would say 95 percent of my joints are done without fasteners.

I find that using traditional joinery is most satisying for me. I am in no rush to build anything and I will spend a day to learn a new technique in joinery. My buffet table is taking a while because I am learning different techniques: splines, rabbetted half-blind DT's, raised panels, mortise and tenon......
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 07:11 PM
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glue can hold a joint, fasteners can hold a joint.

I generally use fasteners because it permits a greater margin of error, glue joints weaken considerably if the seam is not tight.

Most of my work is functional work, cabinets and furniture, largely constructed from ply. If I was making ornamental work with solid woods, Id be more receptive to matching my technique to my work.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-10-2015, 10:29 PM
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I totally agree with Bauerbach! If a person is trying to get multiple items done in a timely fashion then the fasteners is the way to go. If you are building a one of a kind heirloom piece of furniture then I woujld want it all glued! So there is definitely a place for both.

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post #12 of 12 Old 02-11-2015, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawduststeve View Post
I totally agree with Bauerbach! If a person is trying to get multiple items done in a timely fashion then the fasteners is the way to go. If you are building a one of a kind heirloom piece of furniture then I woujld want it all glued! So there is definitely a place for both.
Is all the same.I was trained in a machine and fastener world. Heirloom or not the quality and finish make the piece. Whether you use fasteners or not, if I don't like the piece I ainta gona buy it.
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