Appropriate Glue for Unorthodox Dado Joinery

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 05-16-2011 08:22 PM 1002 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

178 posts in 2734 days

05-16-2011 08:22 PM

I am building a solid wood cabinet/side-table that I designed myself. There are wide panels for the sides and bottom of the carcase (the bottom is elevated off the ground). And some narrow slats that will form the top and back (to be covered later by more visually appealing elements). Now, the grain of the sides goes up and down while the grain of of the other pieces goes left to right. The bottom panel fits into a dado on each side while the slats at the top fit into a rabbet on each side.

So basically there is no face-grain to face-grain gluing happening. There will be lots of face-grain to end-grain surfaces glued together inside these dados and rabbets. Because of this, I was thinking PVA glue would be a poor choice as much of it would wick into the end grain and not provide a strong joint. Instead, I was going to try epoxy for all these joints.

Epoxy doesn’t seem to be a very common adhesive for joinery, so I wanted to get your take on what I am doing. Thanks for the help!


2 replies so far

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2179 days

#1 posted 05-17-2011 03:19 AM

epoxy will still wick some but not as much i use it alot but it does get pricey i like the hour open time kind and you could always spread a little glue on the end grain let it dry a few min then glue it like normal the first layer of glue kinda seals up the end grain

-- As Best I Can

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3161 days

#2 posted 05-17-2011 03:45 AM

Like you already know, end grain doesn’t glue well. Is it possible to use a sliding dove tail joint instead of the dado? The joint would help decrease the possibility of joint failure.

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