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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 03-27-2016 01:05 AM 708 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


03-27-2016 01:05 AM

I have been working on a night stand on and off for months making slow progress.
I modeled the design after something I found but I wasn’t sure of the exact construction.
First I will admit this project is much harder than anything I have done so I am making mistakes and learning.
There are two “frames” inside that hold the two sides together to make up the structure.
The frames are made of four pieces with M&T joints which I have already made.
However I came to realize that when gluing the frames to the sides, the grains are perpendicular so the sides may expand / contract differently than the frame. The sides are made up of two white oak boards glued together and are 13.5” wide. I did some research and it seems they could change in width by 1/4 inch or more which was a real surprise to me. I believe the design I copied uses plywood for the sides so it isn’t a problem. I used solid wood because I got a bunch of it free. After some thought I think the best option may be to remake some of the frame pieces so that the grain runs the other direction matching the sides. See the piece with the blue tape in the picture below, it is about 10 inches long and I have boards wide enough to do this but will probably have to use loose tenons. I really want to glue the frames and sides together completely so that it is strong. Another option might be to just leave that piece out, but it might make gluing more difficult with more loose pieces and keeping things square. Another thing I didn’t realize is how heavy a piece of furniture made from solid wood is, in the future I might consider using more plywood for both the weight and wood expansion issues. Thanks for any advise.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


16 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2658 posts in 2645 days


#1 posted 03-27-2016 01:18 AM

I would use slotted holes for screws, keeping it pretty tight but allowing for expansion.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

687 posts in 1259 days


#2 posted 03-27-2016 02:47 AM

I agree with Allen looks like screws are your only option.
A sliding Dovetail joint or plywood sides are the other options I can think of.But then again maybe I’m not understanding your project.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


#3 posted 03-27-2016 03:11 AM

Thanks – but I don’t think screws will work with the design and would not give much strength.
Any reason why making all the pieces the same grain direction wouldn’t work if glued togther?

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#4 posted 03-27-2016 03:48 AM

Cut a dado in the side, and just glue the front 1/3 of the frame in place. This way the assembly will be strong, and the frame will always be flush with the side at the front. Any expansion or contraction can occur at the back.

You can glue about 5-6” of the frame without any issues.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Aj2

687 posts in 1259 days


#5 posted 03-27-2016 04:11 AM

Making a the piece with the grain running the same will give you short grain,I’m thinking it would be easy to split.Plus it might be more prone to cupping Are your frames there to support drawers?
That will give you problems.
I agree with pinto d.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


#6 posted 03-27-2016 04:54 AM

How deep would you make the dado?
It would be visible from the front and cut into the front legs unless I make it blind which is possible.
If I do that I might just glue strips to the frame instead of having to cut into it.
The frames besides providing structure act as drawer dividers. Here is a drawing of the front, the frames are top and bottom most horizontal rails.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


#7 posted 03-27-2016 09:42 PM

Ended up going 3/8” deep seems fine.
I think I need to get some Dado blades.
Ended up cutting the edges of dado on the TS and then router to finish, way too much work compared to dado blades. I think this will work out well.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#8 posted 03-27-2016 09:49 PM

Way over thinking this, I do not allow for wood expansion at all on any of my tables or any other project, I use oil base Poly, have AC in the summer when rally hot and /or humid, other wise windows are open, and in the winter no humidification, spring and fall windows are open, I have NEVER had a problem here in WI.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1429 posts in 3019 days


#9 posted 03-28-2016 02:04 PM

What’s wrong with using those figure 8 fasteners that go between the base and the top? I’ve used those on every small table I’ve ever built.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1191 days


#10 posted 03-28-2016 02:23 PM

Conifur is on the right track. Too bad most people make too much out of something that they need get advise from a lot of other overthinkers. All that does is prolong the project, and can lead to unnecessary work and sometime expense…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#11 posted 03-28-2016 03:27 PM

Sounds like you figured it out, nice work. Dado blades are really useful, and I just bought another one with more teeth for finer cuts. That said, I am usually stuck using a router for stopped dados.

Nice Job.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#12 posted 03-28-2016 03:31 PM

Here’s a great resource about wood movement. Some folks say it’s not a problem but I’ve seen a good number of tables and other pieces that have cracked or pushed the joinery apart because of improper cross grain joinery.

http://toddpartridgedesign.com/sr_pages/documents/UnderstandingWoodMovement.pdf

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


#13 posted 03-28-2016 04:32 PM

Thanks for all the feed back.
This is really my first experience with designing / building furniture so I don’t know if the wood expansion problem is something to worry about but seems like it could be. I don’t mind spending the extra time adding the dados as this project is a learning experience and has been going very slowly anyway due to lack of time to work on it.
I would think oil based poly would reduce moisture absorption to some extent. I am wanting to have a more natural look and will be using Tried and True original finish so it will be less of a moisture barrier.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#14 posted 03-28-2016 05:00 PM

If you scroll down to top of page 49 on the link I furnished, you will see a way to use a dovetail which is a little more solid way to connect the sides but still allow for wood movement.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Joel_B

294 posts in 842 days


#15 posted 03-28-2016 05:46 PM



If you scroll down to top of page 49 on the link I furnished, you will see a way to use a dovetail which is a little more solid way to connect the sides but still allow for wood movement.

- a1Jim

Jim,

Thanks that looks like a nice article on furniture construction which is something I have been looking for.
Any other resources you would recommend? books, magazines, etc.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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