Gluing particle board

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Forum topic by jimhester posted 719 days ago 1967 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1768 days

719 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: joining

Hello All. I have a question about gluing dados in particle board. I’m making some cabinet boxes for my son and am using dado joints where possible. After cutting the dado slots (5/8”), the fit of the full thickness 5/8 is extremely snug. I’m talking drive it in with a mallet snug. I’m concerned about 2 things. One, if moisture from the glue will cause the particle board to swell and break the joint. Two, if I should cut a groove down the middle of the bottom of the dado to allow for squeezout. The joint is so tight that I don’t think the excess glue can get out as it now stands. Also, there is 1/8” overhang on the face frames outside the level of the boxes. Should I space that up with some hardboard before applying the band clamps to help the band clamps keep the assembly square while tightening them? All advice will be greatly appreciated. Jim

-- Jim

7 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3098 posts in 1308 days

#1 posted 719 days ago

That sounds pretty tight. you might sand a little off the part that goes into the dado. With no grain to worry about that might be doable. You do want those joint snug but we don’t want to break the dado open either. I see your concern. others might disagree but I think I would try a little sanding action on the end of those pieces.

View Nicky's profile


636 posts in 2725 days

#2 posted 719 days ago

Gramps (sorry, couldn’t help it) has got it right. Sanding the edges for a slip fit will work. Particle board will swell when glued. Don’t “over-glue” and you won’t have to worry about the squeeze out. An even coat in the dado, and an even coat on the edge of your panel

I’m having some trouble understanding the band clamps. Are you gluing a face frame to the particle board carcass? Are you gluing up the carcass separate or trying to glue everything together?

-- Nicky

View jimhester's profile


16 posts in 1768 days

#3 posted 719 days ago

Grandpa and Nicky….........thanks for your input. I’m going to sand. Too much work done already to chance it now. Yes, I’m gluing the face frame and carcass all at once. I thought maybe that would be the best way to stay square. Jim

-- Jim

View chrisstef's profile


10696 posts in 1639 days

#4 posted 719 days ago

I wonder if construction adhesive owuld have the same swelling properties as glue? Thinkin liquid nails.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Loren's profile


7431 posts in 2281 days

#5 posted 719 days ago

Skim 1/32” x depth of your dado off the bottom
of the shelf edge on the router table. In the future
you can dado 1/2” and rabbet the shelves to fit this

In terms of rabbet tongues interfering with band clamps,
you are correct.


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16 posts in 1768 days

#6 posted 716 days ago

I just got back to the project last night. Turns out that Mother Nature is my “frienemy”. When I retried the joint to see how much to sand off, it slipped right together with hardly any effort. I didn’t know why until I realized that when I was working on it last week, the weather here was hot and humid. Now it’s much cooler and far less humid. The only thing I can figure is that a few days of high humidity had the partcleboard swollen enough to cause that overtight fit. I guess I’ll try to get it sealed as soon as possible after glue-up while the humidity is low. It sure would be nice to have a climate controlled workshop.

Speaking of glue-up, I’m thinking about trying the Titebond Extend glue because it has a slower setup time. Short of having to heat hide glue, does anyone have any suggestions?

I was discussing the tight dado situation with my wife. She said “Why don’t you just nail it together?” Before I could explain why, she said that when she was a little girl her dad made her a great nightstand with just a handsaw, hammer and nails, and some purple paint. I helpfully (I thought) suggested that she assign a number to all the “my dad in shining armor” anecdotes and it would save us both a lot of time to just say the number instead of repeating the whole thing. I assume that she’s busy working on that idea since she hasn’t said a word for several hours now.

-- Jim

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14726 posts in 2309 days

#7 posted 716 days ago

And they think they are punishing us when the give the silent treatment! :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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