Question for joining small pieces of wood! Help please! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-18-2015, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question for joining small pieces of wood! Help please!

Hi guys! I am a rookie and untrained hobbyist "woodworker" ... I usually just make my own canvas frames and art panels - that is basically the extent of my wood working so far, but I am trying to expand my knowledge, in the attached photos you will see my latest project.

I want to attach oddly cut/shaped wood to this panel, in the fashion of the stained lines on the panel the in question pieces lay on in the picture. I will also try to build a few support points for the unstained pieces in the picture, I want to suspend a couple levels of floating wood-lines and then adhere dimmable LEDS to their underside :D


ANYWAY, how would you join these? I was thinking dowels? I can only find 6mm diameter wood dowels (besides maybe searching for some hobby store source with specialty dowels). I think that they might work but I want some advice! Or maybe instead of rod shaped dowels maybe those leaf shaped ones? I dunno! I can of course join a few of the pieces with the support points that will eventually be built in so that they "float" above the panel.

Any advice/input would be greatly appreciated! For what it's worth I have a miter saw, jigsaw, and small router with a few bits, otherwise I do not have many special things here at home - but enough I think! (Well of course I have a drill and such as well).

Thanks for looking!
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Last edited by bulletshell13; 09-18-2015 at 02:38 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-18-2015, 02:48 PM
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Half lap joints would work if you have the tools. (Table saw w/ dado set or patience LOL; router table, hand plane.)


If you want to raise it I think using 1/4 or 3/8" metal rounds would look nice. You can counter sink about 3/32" into the board and the piece. I did this for a few boxes I am in the process of making. (rough cuts so far....I am going to either chmfer or round over the edges. I just wanted to see how it would look)
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-18-2015, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mengtian View Post
Half lap joints would work if you have the tools. (Table saw w/ dado set or patience LOL; router table, hand plane.)

If you want to raise it I think using 1/4 or 3/8" metal rounds would look nice. You can counter sink about 3/32" into the board and the piece. I did this for a few boxes I am in the process of making. (rough cuts so far....I am going to either chmfer or round over the edges. I just wanted to see how it would look)
Hey, thanks for the reply. Hmmm, well I have no table saw :( a router table of sorts I suppose I could eventually setup but not sure I really would need to use it often :\ but I agree that kind of joint sounds pretty damn ideal for my needs! Hmmmmm any other suggestions?

I think you're idea with the metal rounds for the raising is a good idea! Would look very clean with those!

Thanks again for the post!
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-18-2015, 11:39 PM
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Not sure of the thickness of the pieces, but biscuits should work well in this application. I've joined 3/8" bending plywood together with an undersized biscuit joiner, can't remember the size biscuit though. The biscuit is about 1/8" thick.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-19-2015, 01:58 AM
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Quick question, will this joint be under any stress? Unless it needs to be fully self-supporting from one end, there no real need to get too fancy. For a decorative application, a butt joint would be more than strong enough, just use plenty of glue. Maybe a wide-crown staple in the back of the joint if youre worried.

If youre still really, really paranoid about strength for those joints, seems like a good fit for pocket screws to me

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post #6 of 13 Old 09-19-2015, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Quick question, will this joint be under any stress? Unless it needs to be fully self-supporting from one end, there no real need to get too fancy. For a decorative application, a butt joint would be more than strong enough, just use plenty of glue. Maybe a wide-crown staple in the back of the joint if youre worried.

If youre still really, really paranoid about strength for those joints, seems like a good fit for pocket screws to me
I agree, glue should be fine, if you really want to stiffen it up a piece of the same material, narrower, glued across the joint on the back would work well.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-19-2015, 11:13 AM
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A quick and dirty method to mount the piece off the surface would be to use standoff nuts. They come in varying lengths (and are easy to cut if needed), and should have reasonable strength threaded into properly sized holes in the wood piece then secured through the back with screws.

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post #8 of 13 Old 09-19-2015, 12:09 PM
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If you're looking for cheap and simple, little blocks of wood would be about as cheap and simple as it gets. The metal would definitely add a ton of character, but a very dark stain would kinda make the blocks disappear and add some character as well. Just round the edges over & sand them so they don't look like scrap wood.

I'd glue the butt joints using tape as clamps. For the stand-off blocks, I'd just use a little wood glue and some weight.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-19-2015, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Cool! I am really pleased to get so many responses and extra ideas! Very cool! Um, yeah, the piece if decorative so yeah probably just buttjoints with glue would work - the idea with some staples on the underside is not bad either - also I am gonna need to look into how to get some pressure into these strangely angled joints though...

Nick - what do you mean by using tape as clamps? I have tons of normal clamps but yeah you cant really use them for these angles. I might have to research some creative ideas for "clamping" strange angles.

Anyway - I am cutting more wood for the "layers" of floating pieces - plan to have about 4 different levels of floating wood - I really like the idea for metal pieces as the supports guys. I am also considering making one level of the floating pieces out of metal - but that might get a little complicated...

Thanks so much again! Great forum apparently :D
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-20-2015, 10:24 PM
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Half-lap joints would be the strongest and easiest to glue up since you could put a spring clamp over the joint to hold it while it dries, no "creative ideas" needed for clamping angles (which won't glue up well since it's end grain).
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-21-2015, 09:43 AM
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Nick - what do you mean by using tape as clamps? I have tons of normal clamps but yeah you cant really use them for these angles. I might have to research some creative ideas for "clamping" strange angles.
It's a simple technique. You pull the joint tight and tape the seam. Flip it over, open the seam up and apply glue. When you lay it back flat, the tape acts like a hinge and the joint should close up. Often you put another piece of tape over the other side just to hold it all together. Masking tape, I believe, is the go-to for this.

Please follow up with pictures of your build as you progress!
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-22-2015, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys! I did some tests last night and this morning! Was educational/informative!

I attached some pictures with test pieces (the same as the smallest pieces on the actual project) - anyway in the first picture you can see I have some pieces of scrap drilled into a table in my "workshop" and just simply screw them into the table in a manner which lets me wedge the to-be-glued pieces, sort of gives me a little bit of pressure.

In the second you can see the "finished" test joint, I sanded and stapled the backside of the joint so it would be realistic. Why not staple, its a little overkill but whatever... Overkill!? Ha well as you see in the other 2 pictures I picked up some 3mm and 4mm round stock and have created my own dowels! Haha, I drilled the pieces together and cut small dowels from the stock for even more insurance - however I think it is a bit overkill :D

BUT I will say that compared to the pieces from last night these joints feel actually a decent bit better in my hand. I made some joints just from glue and staples last night and broke them all - they all broke apart much much easier than the dowel reinforced ones.

The last photo is a failed dowel joint (with 2 dowels from the thicker stock - they need too much space double, two from the thinner works though) - but anyway, I found that just one dowel from the slightly thicker stock is much easier - I also made a double dowel joint but thats only possible with the thinner stock - either way 1 of the thicker is pretty much the easiest. Though I would say the double dowel with the thinner stock seemed just a tad stronger during the break test with my hands.

Tonight and tomorrow starts the fun joining phase of the project... have plenty of joints to work on!
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-24-2015, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Little update! I have about 40% of the joining work done as of just now. I ended up going with the double dowel with the thinner round stock + glue + 2 staples on the hidden side solution. I just really like the way these joints feel in my hand - compared to the just glue and stapled test joints these feel like they could take maybe a little accident during assembly or something without failing... so I opted for the slightly more tedious solution (but really it doesnt take so long to drill for the dowels, plus they hold the joint together really well for the glue to set.

Anyway, here is a picture! Tomorrow I will do a little bit more and will definitely have 2 of the 4 floating levels fully completed by the end of Friday - 2 from the 4 will be ready for staining :D
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