How tight is too tight? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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How tight is too tight?

I'm new to woodworking and I've been practicing some various joinery techniques in my free time. I'm wondering how snug the pieces should fit together. I realize you don't want it so tight that you have to force it and risk shearing off a piece of material but should the pieces be loose enough to slide in and out easily? Or should they hold together even when unsupported? This is, of course, before gluing. Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 08:11 AM
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I think your word snug describes it. As you probably know, wood expands and contracts with the environment, some room for glue is usually needed, dowels and glue have been known to split the wood from too much pressure, tolerances not as critical or close as metal machining. If the joint line looks good and there is no looseness in the finished piece I think your good to go.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 08:11 AM
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Fitted and mating parts should fit with a slight friction. Clamping pressure in time becomes learned. But, a small amount of squeezeout (I call spooging), means the parts that touch are dispersing glue. If the parts fit well, and there is a light coating of all surfaces, not much will squeeze out. Here is a thread that may add some info:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/ca...lue-out-25283/








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post #4 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 09:01 AM
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Theres a direct correlation to "fit-up" and how that prescribes or affects finished system........be it wood,metal,plastic,you name it,when all things are consider'd.Just sayin........BW

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 09:08 AM
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One of the things a lot of guys don't take into consideration is the water in the glue. After you put the glue on the parts they swell a bit. And if you have parts that are tight to begin with they may not go together after the glue is on.

I was making doors with my standard shaper setup. I had just gotten a bunch of shims and I tuned up the cutters so everything fit very nice. When I went to put the doors together I had to use the clamps to get the joints to seat all the way because the glue had swollen the wood ever so slightly. After that I detuned the fit a bit. Made it so it was almost snug. Easy in and out but when you twisted the parts you really couldn't see movement. So very little slop.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
One of the things a lot of guys don't take into consideration is the water in the glue. After you put the glue on the parts they swell a bit. And if you have parts that are tight to begin with they may not go together after the glue is on.

I was making doors with my standard shaper setup. I had just gotten a bunch of shims and I tuned up the cutters so everything fit very nice. When I went to put the doors together I had to use the clamps to get the joints to seat all the way because the glue had swollen the wood ever so slightly. After that I detuned the fit a bit. Made it so it was almost snug. Easy in and out but when you twisted the parts you really couldn't see movement. So very little slop.
That's a real wake-up moment.... some "guy I know" (eyes rolling) had that happen.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 10:09 AM
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Welcome

I think everyone else has described the answer about the same but with slightly different words. So many different ways to say the same thing.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
One of the things a lot of guys don't take into consideration is the water in the glue. After you put the glue on the parts they swell a bit. And if you have parts that are tight to begin with they may not go together after the glue is on.

I was making doors with my standard shaper setup. I had just gotten a bunch of shims and I tuned up the cutters so everything fit very nice. When I went to put the doors together I had to use the clamps to get the joints to seat all the way because the glue had swollen the wood ever so slightly. After that I detuned the fit a bit. Made it so it was almost snug. Easy in and out but when you twisted the parts you really couldn't see movement. So very little slop.
I had that problem today while laminating up a 3m x 620mm counter top. I thought I machined the rebates slightly loose to take the spines, but on gluing up I had to use the clamps to get the boards together.

I think knowing how tight and how much glue and how much clamping pressure just comes with time and experience.
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