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Forum topic by RedneckRuss posted 01-30-2013 09:33 AM 1953 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RedneckRuss

7 posts in 642 days


01-30-2013 09:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rabbet help dado tongue cedar chest question joining

I’m in the planning phase of building a Cedar chest, and have some questions as this will be my first project using wood joinery (have only used the kreg jog in the past). I have a plan from U-Build (http://www.u-bild.com/woodworking-projects/572.htm) that calls for rabbet joints and glue with finishing nails. For me the nails are an issue. I would like to do without the nails if possible. I was thinking of the tongue and dado (lock rabbet) joint. http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ag335e/AG335E32.gif My question is how strong is this joint, and will it hold up over time? I was also looking at the box joint idea as well but I really wanted a simple look with this chest. I really want as little nails showing on the outside as possible. Thanks in advance to any comments.
I will be building this with an Eastern Red Cedar tree that I cut down and had milled.

-- Russell


10 replies so far

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#1 posted 01-30-2013 11:22 PM

For large boxes like this you will need all the strength you can get. I can’t see clearly from the link site what kind of joint they suggest, but if it is a simple butt joint nailed together, I’d be leery of picking it up, let alone carry it full of stuff. I’m not a big fan of the tongue in rabbet because it’s not strong. Look at the short grain left between the dado and the end of the board. You can snap that off with your fingers. If you want a clean look on the outside where the joinery doesn’t show so much, then a lock miter is a good choice. It’s a tough bit to set up, but once done, it gives great results. That is the only kind of miter I could recommend. Plan ahead for clamping.
Otherwise a box joint or dovetails will make this a true heirloom. They will be worth the effort for value and durability. You should know that I’m not a fan of metal (nails and screws) substitutes of good joinery.
Is the cedar dry? If the 3/4” boards have been properly kiln dried you should have little problem. If it is air dried you need at least a year in a weighted sticker stack to be sure it’s ready. A standing dead tree doesn’t count for drying time. If you are not sure, check the moisture content using either a meter or weighing a small chunk before and after 2 hours in an oven at 200 degrees.
After looking at the web site offering the plans I get the distinct feeling that the hype on the page is not what you will get following their advice.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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Jim Finn

1700 posts in 1610 days


#2 posted 01-31-2013 12:48 AM

I have built about 50 red cedar trunks and I put poplar dowels in the glued up joints and clamp them until set. I do not know how long they will last but I once knocked one off of a table to a concrete floor with no damage to the trunk.

-- In God We Trust

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bondogaposis

2594 posts in 1039 days


#3 posted 01-31-2013 01:32 AM

How about screws and plugs?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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AandCstyle

1381 posts in 945 days


#4 posted 01-31-2013 02:34 AM

It would not be my first choice, but 23G pin nails are virtually invisible. FWIW

-- Art

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bandit571

7146 posts in 1371 days


#5 posted 01-31-2013 03:17 AM

Cedar Cedar chest

Raised panel sides. Corner posts are joined with a tongue& groove joint. Top drawer is a fake, open the lid and there is a storage area under it, bottom two drawers are real.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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RedneckRuss

7 posts in 642 days


#6 posted 01-31-2013 12:09 PM

Thank you all for the replies. Dan I think I’ll buy one of those lock miter bits and practice using that on some scrap wood. If I don’t like it I will probably go with the box joint. I will have plenty of time to practice. The boards are not currently dry enough. I cut the tree down about 19 months ago and coated the ends with sealer, and the log got milled 1 month ago, and when I stacked it I used my meter on one of the thicker boards and it was about %15. I’ve got some time to wait on that stack to dry, unless I can find someone local to my area with a kiln. I would like to build my own solar kiln eventually. Any recommendations on a glue type?

-- Russell

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#7 posted 01-31-2013 12:22 PM

Bandit makes a good point about the corners. The T&G in the corner is strong because the glued grain is parallel. Using this orientation, even a plain miter would be strong. Just remember that the panel between the posts must be mechanically trapped, not glued because of movement.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

452 posts in 1059 days


#8 posted 01-31-2013 01:35 PM

My recommendation is to spline join the sides; that is, route or TS a 1/4” dado in each corner, inset by 1/4”, then create a 1/4” spline the length of the side – this creates a ~20” floating tenon joining two 20” wide mortises. I then reinforce the joined edge with a triangle-shaped piece of wood: the right-angle portion of the triangle is glued to the mated sides, and provides substantial strength to the corner – big boxes that will be moved should have very strong joinery.

If you’re interested in this approach, please see my Blanket Chest project posted on LJ, or e-mail me. This approach requires more woodworking; however, it’s very effective.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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kizerpea

746 posts in 1055 days


#9 posted 01-31-2013 02:33 PM

Just posted one…another in my projects..

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

7146 posts in 1371 days


#10 posted 01-31-2013 04:37 PM

One more suggestion: Instead of a flat top

Cooper the top.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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