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gluing butt joints

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Forum topic by dfox52 posted 157 days ago 517 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dfox52

6 posts in 320 days


157 days ago

What would be the best way to butt join some short lengths of pine I have laying around? I have this idea to use up my short lengths of scrap to make small tops for painted items like end tables. I was thinking of using a biscuit joiner but am wondering if the grain in the biscuits might be less than ideal for gluing end-to-end. Should I use dowels instead? The butt joints will get some reinforcement from long grain on adjacent boards (picture staggered joints like a hardwood floor) so I’m thinking that the biscuits will suffice. What do you think?


12 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10653 posts in 1633 days


#1 posted 157 days ago

IMO if youre going to have staggered joints on either side there’s no need for anything at the butt joints. The long grain glue joints would be plenty strong to hold it all together. If you were worried about the butt joints you could half lap them together. That would give you the most glue surface. You could also use pockets screws.

-- "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 crank49's profile

crank49

3371 posts in 1598 days


#2 posted 157 days ago

Half laps would be great for strength and I think you need that to keep the finish (paint) from cracking over time at the butt joint.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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dfox52

6 posts in 320 days


#3 posted 157 days ago

Half lap sounds good! Never thought of that. Ya, I figured the adjacent boards would hold it all together but as crank said, I would be afraid that the butt seams would let go later on and crack.

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Rick M.

3873 posts in 1007 days


#4 posted 157 days ago

Scarf joint would be the the next easiest but butt joints would be fine since they will be staggered. Wood shrinks very little along the grain.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

1942 posts in 757 days


#5 posted 157 days ago

dfox, good question, I was wondering this myself – I’m considering doing this for an outfeed/general purpose table.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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MT_Stringer

1832 posts in 1858 days


#6 posted 157 days ago

Are all of your short pieces the same thickness? That would help. Or, plane them until they are the same thickness. Your job would go alot easier.

Then cut the half laps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3873 posts in 1007 days


#7 posted 157 days ago

With half laps you will have 2 smaller butt joints but still butt joints.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 575 days


#8 posted 157 days ago

Really this is the only way to go for a strong end grain joint
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/131053304290?lpid=82

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NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1203 days


#9 posted 157 days ago

Half laps would be great. While it’s still a butt joint, you have the additional strength of the face grain glue surfaces of the laps.

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

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dfox52

6 posts in 320 days


#10 posted 156 days ago

Rick, the glue strength in the half lap comes from creating two long grain faces. The two “half” thickness butts created from the joint contribute little to nothing in terms of holding the two pieces together.

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dfox52

6 posts in 320 days


#11 posted 156 days ago

My last comment posted twice. There was no delete option so I edited it with this text.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3873 posts in 1007 days


#12 posted 156 days ago

My understanding of the OP was the concern of butt joints showing up under paint, not really strength because they sandwiched between other boards so where are they going to go. Butt joints would probably be okay but it’s a valid concern because getting end grain butt joints perfect can be tricky. I agree that half laps would minimize the problem but you are still left with 2 small butt joints that you have to get perfect. In a commercial piece they would be finger jointed like Shawn suggested. I suggested scarf joints because they are strong, quicker than half laps, and eliminate the straight lines.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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