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Stopped dado (housing) and glue - enough on MDF?

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Forum topic by bytebullet posted 02-20-2012 05:06 PM 1139 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bytebullet

32 posts in 1774 days


02-20-2012 05:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am going to build a bookshelf and was wondering people’s thoughts on just using a stopped housing (dado) joint and glue without using any screws?
It will be made out of 18mm MDF and then painted, but I did not really want to use any screws for aesthetic reasons.
One shelf would be 950mm x 250mm and there will be 9 shelves (including top and bottom) fixed at varying heights for a total bookshelf height of 2300mm.
The shelf will be attached to the wall and the ceiling with screws, but one whole side will be exposed and I did not want to use screws.
Will a 4mm stopped housing (dado) joint be strong enough?

-- Rod, London UK


6 replies so far

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DS

2151 posts in 1888 days


#1 posted 02-20-2012 05:39 PM

Since your unit will be painted, just countersink your screws and fill with Bondo or other polyester resin filler.

This is fairly typical for painted cabinets or post-veneered finished ends.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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bytebullet

32 posts in 1774 days


#2 posted 02-20-2012 05:57 PM

I was going to do that, but seemingly no matter what I try, I can still tell there is a screw there, even after it has been filled, sanded, primed and painted.

-- Rod, London UK

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NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2044 days


#3 posted 02-20-2012 05:59 PM

I think the dadoes and glue will work fine.

A few years back I build a bookcase out of MDF using nothing but pocket screws. It’s still holding together.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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DS

2151 posts in 1888 days


#4 posted 02-20-2012 06:59 PM

Dadoes and glue will be fine, but I would still screw the un-exposed ends.

Not sure why you’d be able to tell where the screws are. I haven’t had that issue myself.

Any filler will shrink some, so I am fairly liberal when I apply filler, then I am careful not to oversand or leave divots. A second, thinner application of filler usually finishes the effect for me. Not sure why this wouldn’t work for you.

Best of Luck though.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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bytebullet

32 posts in 1774 days


#5 posted 02-20-2012 07:51 PM

I guess I should have said, it is usually after a while I can tell the screw is there, usually a couple of years later, when the filler has lost it’s bond with the MDF but is still bonded to the screw. I have also seen this happen on other cabinets that have been installed by professionals. Which is guess why I thought it may be better not to use screws at all if I cold get away with it.

I have not tried a two part filler like that bondo mentioned above (never heard of it).

-- Rod, London UK

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DS

2151 posts in 1888 days


#6 posted 02-20-2012 08:53 PM

I could see wood putty failing as you mentioned. Bondo is a brand name for an automotive filler here in the USA. There is a woodworking branded equivelant but it costs a lot more. I’m not sure what you have available to you there, but I’ve never seen Polyester resin fail like you mentioned. (It is somewhat flexible when cured, so it holds well with some movement)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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