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Forum topic by DenverDave posted 09-23-2010 02:27 AM 1059 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DenverDave

41 posts in 2314 days


09-23-2010 02:27 AM

I’m building a bench similar to this one:

I’m fairly new to woodworking and wasn’t sure whether I should glue the vertical slats in the backrest or just let them float. They will each use mortise and tenon joints. It seems like it would be more rigid with glue but there’s the issue of expansion, since the grains will be perpendicular. But is that really an issue since the boards are only a few inches wide?


4 replies so far

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#1 posted 09-23-2010 03:53 AM

Hi Dave, I like the bench you’re building..I built one similar about 10 years ago for a customer when I lived in Memphis. It was almost like yours, but it had a lid for the seat. It went in an upstairs bathroom, and the lady used it to put linens, towels, etc. in. It was solid oak, and I put the back staves in and glued them in so they wouldn’t rattle or give any. I made the tenons just a hair smaller, plus the glue, to give room for expansion and contraction with seasonal changes….I talked to her not too long ago, and asked her about the bench.She said it’s still just as solid as the day I delivered it to her…...no cracks or splits….But… if you’re worried about it, then I’d do as Boise Joe suggested, and try the space balls…. The only thing I really like to “float” is drawer bottoms
and plywood panels…....It just a matter of choice…....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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swirt

2118 posts in 2436 days


#2 posted 09-23-2010 05:02 AM

The bench looks like it could be either an indoor or outdoor design. If it is indoor, probably no harm in gluing. If it is outdoor, you are better off not gluing. The glue can act as a moisture trap that keeps the tenons from being able to dry out after getting wet. This may cause the tenons to decay prematurely.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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Gregn

1642 posts in 2447 days


#3 posted 09-23-2010 05:50 AM

I agree with swirt on the interior / exterior application aspect of the bench. Since the question is glue or no glue I would say no glue. I also wouldn’t just dry fit the tenons either. What I think I would do is use blind wedge tenons. They’ll keep the joint tight without the use of glue and not loosen up and rattle like a dry fit tenon. Just my 2 cents.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View DenverDave's profile

DenverDave

41 posts in 2314 days


#4 posted 09-23-2010 04:53 PM

[I might use those space balls or something like that to lessen the rattle.]

Good idea.

[It was almost like yours, but it had a lid for the seat. It went in an upstairs bathroom, and the lady used it to put linens, towels, etc. in…]

That’s a good idea. This one’s going on the back patio but I may make another one with a cedar chest bottom and put it in our bedroom for blankets.

[The glue can act as a moisture trap that keeps the tenons from being able to dry out after getting wet.]

Thanks for that tip. I think I’ll just put a few drops of glue on one side of each tenon to keep them from coming loose. That way, they’ll still be able to dry out.

[What I think I would do is use blind wedge tenons.]

I had to look up “blind wedge tenons.” That would work. I think I’ll try that on another project.

Thanks for all the responses!

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