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How Do I Join Bookmatched Boards W/o Glue?

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Forum topic by B0b posted 07-16-2011 10:59 PM 2759 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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B0b

101 posts in 2153 days


07-16-2011 10:59 PM

I have a table I am building entirely with hand tools and I need to connect two boards side by side and don’t want to use biscuits, dominoes, or dowels. The joints on this table are all exposed, so I would like to continue that by an exposed mechanical connection with no glue. I remember seeing friction joints in the past, but can’t remember any right now.

Any suggestions?

-- Time to get started


9 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3200 days


#1 posted 07-16-2011 11:05 PM

You could use a sliding dovetail the whole length of the edges. Male on one side and female on the other. You will have to be very careful so the fit is perfect, but it can be done.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 2015 days


#2 posted 07-17-2011 12:22 AM

I’d butterfly it in a contrasting wood. Exposed mechanical connection with no glue. You’d have to make sure they go only partially through the wood they join, and I’d probably try to make them with a slight cut so you can use a tiny wedge to lock them in tight.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#3 posted 07-17-2011 03:44 AM

You can drill dowel holes with an accurate dowel capable or accurate
repeated dowel positions (the DowelMax and Jessem dowel jig are
two examples of accurate jigs), then use overlong 3/8” dowels
(you may want to make them yourself), with 3/8” ID metal tubing
over the exposed area between the parts.

Another interesting approach is to cut a 1/2” wide groove in each
edge and glue 1/2” plexiglass in there to bridge the gap. Regular
1/2” plate glass could work too, but you’d have to pay special attention
to the way you engineer the base of the table to get away with that.

If you’re going for a traditional look, glue is traditional.

Board and batten type construction with either dovetailed battens
or pegged battens.

View moshel's profile

moshel

865 posts in 3147 days


#4 posted 07-17-2011 11:56 AM

if you don’t care too mach about how the underside looks, you can some sort of wedging to keep the plates together. very hard to keep flat, though. I would try for sliding dovetail as john said, maybe with tiny wedges on the sides to keep it ultra strong and flush. disclaimer – never did this kind of joint! but i think it would look great with the wedge in the middle

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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moshel

865 posts in 3147 days


#5 posted 07-17-2011 12:21 PM

Just stumbled over this

Thats a very complex joint, but it does exactly what you want, I think

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

1094 posts in 2101 days


#6 posted 07-17-2011 01:45 PM

You didn’t mention how thick your table top is going to be. If it is thick enough you could cut a deep dado in both of the mating edges and then cut a spline to fit. Peg the spline on both sides of the joint every 6 inches or so being sure to off set your peg holes in the spline slightly from the holes in the top so that the joint will draw together.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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saddletramp

1094 posts in 2101 days


#7 posted 07-17-2011 04:05 PM

As an after thought, I think if I was going to join the top with a spline, I would also do bread board ends.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View B0b's profile

B0b

101 posts in 2153 days


#8 posted 07-17-2011 08:37 PM

Thanks for the tips. This is for a small side table, and the top was supposed to be roughly 1” thick, but my brother’s bandsaw wandered horribly on the first attempt so they ended up around 11/16 (changed blade, zero wander; doh!). Moshel pointed out the type of thing I was looking for, but I was searching for something simpler much simpler as this table is no frills. My brother agreed with part of Loren’s comment though, saying I should just glue the boards

-- Time to get started

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2622 days


#9 posted 07-17-2011 09:41 PM

Pocket holes with contrasting plugs can be a nice look.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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