Need suggestions on a certain type of joinery

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Forum topic by mortatone posted 08-21-2016 05:27 AM 860 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mortatone's profile


3 posts in 819 days

08-21-2016 05:27 AM

Hi, new here but not new to forums in general. Looking for a little help please.

I have a hobby of building vacuum tube guitar amplifiers from scratch, so most of the hobby is vintage style electronics, but I’ve been housing the amps in hardwood head shells and combo cabinets (with the speaker mounted in the same housing). Last year I upgraded my dovetail jig to a Leigh Super 18 so I have that if it will help me with this upcoming project.

Here’s the situation… I have a small upcoming project that will basically be a dovetailed 4 sided box with no front or rear panels. The sides will be 3/4 bubinga and the top and bottom will be 3/4 flamed maple. Problem is, the maple I have won’t be quite wide enough to do the project and I’d like to avoid having to buy more, so I’d like to add a stripe of some dark wood down the center of the maple board, thus widening it enough for the project and also making use of the leftover wood from other projects.

And I’ll mention that I don’t have a ton of woodworking tools. Just the Leigh jig, table saw, jig saw, skill saw, drills, and routers. Given what I have to work with, what’s the best type of joint I can employ for this purpose. It does need to be fairly strong so it can support 20-30 lbs worth of electronics that will be housed in it. I thought about trying to do an end on end sliding dovetail but I’m not sure that the tail (female) ends would have enough meat left to be strong enough for the project. And to be honest, I don’t even know any other terminology to be able to search the topic..


Thanks for looking :)

8 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


1925 posts in 2165 days

#1 posted 08-21-2016 01:15 PM

To simply widen a board, a simple butt joint of the edges will be stronger than the wood. It’s the same as gluing up a panel. No biscuits, dowels, splines, or dovetail required. You do need to joint straight, smooth, perpendicular edges for the glue up. Sounds like you want this to look very nice, so you want tight joints. I use clamping cauls and regular F clamps, like this, to align and clamp.

Depending on your table saw, it might provide a cut that will work. I use a hand plane, but used to use a router table with fence to joint edges. Anything straight and long enough could be used as a template with a router, straight bit with bearing or a template bushing, to get a jointed edge.

View bondogaposis's profile


5055 posts in 2526 days

#2 posted 08-21-2016 01:21 PM

Just glue the strip in, no joinery needed. It’s a gift, don’t screw it up by making it unnecessarily complicated. Edge to edge glue joints are stronger than the wood. You will need some clamps and perhaps make some cauls.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View mortatone's profile


3 posts in 819 days

#3 posted 08-21-2016 10:01 PM

I like simple. Woundn’t have thought that just straight gluing and pressing would be that strong but I’ll give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

And in case you’re interested, here’s one example of one of my amps from a while back. This one was done with a cheap Harbor Freight jig. The little grill snag got repaired.

View marshallmosby56's profile


18 posts in 855 days

#4 posted 08-31-2016 06:11 PM

would it work if you tenon joint the two boards using two wooden sides, gluing everything nicely and using clamping cauls. If not, then gluing alone would be the best bet to go for.

-- :)

View HokieKen's profile


6609 posts in 1314 days

#5 posted 08-31-2016 06:21 PM

Straight panel glue will definitely work. But, dovetails will work too and would add some sexy!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View TheFridge's profile


10502 posts in 1661 days

#6 posted 08-31-2016 06:50 PM

That’s pretty sick.

Yep, any glue surface with the grain will be stronger than the wood.

One I made for myself. Incomplete.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View RandyinFlorida's profile


257 posts in 2243 days

#7 posted 09-01-2016 10:47 AM

I like Marshall’s idea. Tenon joint,finger joint, or even dovetails would add interest to the joint and add glue surface.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View marshallmosby56's profile


18 posts in 855 days

#8 posted 09-01-2016 07:21 PM

Incomplete yet nicely done TheFridge

-- :)

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