To glue or not to glue, that is the question. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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To glue or not to glue, that is the question.



I know that you donít glue in raised panels because they can crack when they expand and contract. I have also read that you arenít supposed to glue table tops to the aprons either. That got me wondering what other things I should not glue.

I have two questions one general and one specific.

Specifically, if I create 3 raised panels for a cabinet, should I miter and glue the corners or use screws?

Generally, in what applications would you use screws versus glue?

Thanks,

David
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 04:10 PM
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Been sitting here trying to think of the last project I used screws in for the joinery.

One year I got a pocket hole system for Christmas. I used it to build a bathroom vanity. Haven't used the system since. It works fine, but it's really not my style. I prefer to use as little hardware as I can and rely on joinery and glue to hold it all together. Anything with a face frame I guess it works OK for, but there are other techniques that work just as well.

I've got nailers, but only use them when doing the rough stuff, never on something I am going to put a finish (other than paint) on.

For added strength in a miter, I'll use a dowel and glue over a screw every time. I'll pin a M&T joint with a dowel also.

I don't glue table tops or raised panels, or anything else that I want to come apart later. i.e a china hutch top to its base or bed rails to a headboard, you know what I mean.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 10:27 PM
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I'm not a real knowledgable woodworker, but I understand that you shouldn't glue anything where the grain runs perpendicular on either side of the glue joint, unless it's narrow pieces like door frames, face frames, etc. If you must connect wide boards in an orientation where the grains are perpendicular, you must use other methods of attachment. I built a sofa table several years ago with breadboard ends. In the winter you can clearly see the glued up table top shrinks at least an eighth of an inch in the direction perpendicular to the grain when compared to the breadboard end. \

I'm not understanding you last question about glueing the corners. Don't glue the panels to the frames. But it's OK to glue the corners of the frames (rails & styles).

Just my two cents. I'm sure the experts can give a much better answer.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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The question about the corners was about joining 3 raised panel cabinet sides to form the cabinet. I was going to miter the styles of the cabinet sides/walls and glue them to the cornering styles.

Does that make sense?

David
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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Geoguy has pretty much put it in a good nutshell.

Wood expands mostly WIDTHWISE, not LENGTHWISE. This expansion is a factor of humidity differences, width of the panel involved, species of wood, amongst other things.

You can glue narrow things like frames, molding, edging, and so on because the width of the pieces involved makes the expansion/contraction factor negligible.

Once you get into wider pieces (panels, table tops, etcetera) you need to take this into consideration. There are many, many techniques for handling this aspect of woodworking - from breadboard ends (which notably include SLOTS for the screws - thus allowing movement) to over sized pilot holes - once again allowing movement - to "undersized" panels - once again allowing movement. The key is to allow the movement to happen without breaking apart the furniture. You can't stop it - you just have to deal with it.

Just about any good woodworking book will discuss this in detail - have a look in your local library. You'll eventually find a text that you like and can refer to easily - buy that text and put it in your own library for easy reference. I'd make recommendations, but they'd only reflect my own tastes and methods - not necessarily yours.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-11-2008, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djonesax View Post
The question about the corners was about joining 3 raised panel cabinet sides to form the cabinet. I was going to miter the styles of the cabinet sides/walls and glue them to the cornering styles.

Does that make sense?

David
Shouldn't be a problem, David. For the most part all the glued parts are narrow have the grain going in the same direction. And if the panels still "float", you're OK. Sounnds like your cabinet will be very nice.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-11-2008, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Geoguy View Post
Shouldn't be a problem, David. For the most part all the glued parts are narrow have the grain going in the same direction. And if the panels still "float", you're OK. Sounnds like your cabinet will be very nice.
I hope so... Right now I'm in question and answer mode, I probably wont build it for a few more months. It may sound funny but I like to have a project built in my mind before I start. I'm sure as I build my project in my head I'll have more questions... :-)
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-11-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by djonesax View Post
I hope so... Right now I'm in question and answer mode, I probably wont build it for a few more months. It may sound funny but I like to have a project built in my mind before I start. I'm sure as I build my project in my head I'll have more questions... :-)
When I was attending trade school, our drafting instructor liked to say that he built the furniture there, on the drafting table (or the CAD program) - us woodworkers simply "assembled" it in the shop. He had a point.

Turning things over in your mind is a good thing - much easier to correct your mistakes. Do yourself a favour and commit those thoughts to paper - in the form of drawings.
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