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Thread: So...where does the glue go?

  1. #1
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    So...where does the glue go?

    Hi all. I'm building a dining table designed by Daniel Chaffin and featured in FWW back in 2013. Picture attached. I'm getting ready to glue up the base and have a couple of questions.

    Chaffin Table.jpg

    First, where the heck does the glue go? More specifically, it's not clear to me whether I should apply glue between the vertical table post and the horizontal table braces. It's a ~9" wide face-to-face cross-grain joint...gluing the whole thing attracts me for strength, but I'm worried it'll tear itself apart. The alternative is to just apply glue between the braces and the rails.

    Second, while I have you, I'm thinking of prefinishing several components with at least a coat or two of Tried and True varnish oil before the glue up. (The post-apron-stretcher joint area seems like it'll be a bear to deal with.) Is it a bad idea to prefinish the ends of the through tenons as a way of helping to deal with the glue squeeze out?

  2. #2
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    Sam, if I understand your question correctly, I see no reason not to glue every joint pictured. I donít see any risk of expansion/contraction putting undue stress on the joinery. Obviously, you would not glue the top to the braces...those should have elongated screw holes to allow for the top to expand and contract.

    Regarding pre finishing, I do as much as possible on my projects. I tape off all glue to glue surfaces to keep finish off. Keep in mind when a piece is pre-finished, you can wipe away squeeze out without any risk of finish issues. Thatís one of the reasons I like to pre finish in addition to the ease of getting into corners, etc. I donít see any reason why you couldnít pre finish the ends of the through tenons.

  3. #3
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    Nice project, hope you post some pics as your making progress.

  4. #4
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    The only place you will not be using glue for sure is between the table top and the base...it also appears in that plan that the horizontal table top supports are notched to fit over the base and use a screw to hold them in place...this is likely to further help with seasonal movement. All of the M&T gets glue for sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    No doubt on the through M&T joint. It's the face joint between the brace and the post that I'm wondering about. The area above the ruler pictured below.

    Jim, while you're paying attention, I've seen your posts on Tried & True varnish oil. I really want a natural feel to the tabletop here, and I'm thinking of using that product. If it ends up feeling too fragile, can I polyurethane over the top? I know, that would sort of defeat all the work, but I'm just making sure I have an escape hole.

    brace joint diagram.jpgbrace joint pic straight.jpg

    PS Carroll, the second pair of pictures show you where I am. My table is an extended version of the one in the plans. Daniel Chaffin incredibly graciously took a call from me to help scale it up. His larger table is also pictured below.

    Before the shaping.jpgPost and Foot assembly.jpgChaffin big table.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Sam Shankar; 01-24-2021 at 11:37 AM.

  6. #6
    I don't think it is necessary to glue that joint at all. Just screw the brace securely to the stretchers. You could glue just the center portion. Depending on the MC gluing the entire width could potentially lead to a crack in the upright if it shrank later.

  7. #7
    How about wedging the through tenons. That would help lock it up..

  8. #8
    Hi Sam. I built that table a few years ago in spalted maple. I glued all the joints. Added breadboard ends but that was just to cover up a mistake... used 4 coats of Waterlox and it has held up well

  9. #9
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    With those supports indexing into the double stretcher at the top like they do, I think I'd actually not glue the table supports...just do the screw. That will make it even easier to knock down in the future for a move. They are not really going to move with that construction design.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    How about wedging the through tenons.
    I've thought about that but not sure how I could get a clean slot or wedge into a 3.5" x 7/8" through tenon that is 3/8" proud where it comes out of the post. I have a little 10" bandsaw that might be able to do it but I'm real concerned about botching things in such an obvious spot. If the piece weren't 5' long I would stand it up vertical and run it through the table saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    With those supports indexing into the double stretcher at the top like they do, I think I'd actually not glue the table supports...just do the screw. That will make it even easier to knock down in the future for a move. They are not really going to move with that construction design.
    Interesting. I've been really worried about racking in this table. I've never built a trestle table before and I've just been assuming that they are prone to creaking when someone leans on either long edge. So I've been fretting those lateral joints a lot.

  11. #11
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    Try it without glue. If it's solid...be done with it. If it rocks (assuming you have things properly leveled with the floor), then glue them.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    So now I'm thinking of wedging those through tenons where the aprons go into the post. Trouble is that the mortises are already cut, they are not tapered, and I a little leery of going in there to chisel out a taper when the tenons are already cut. Is there any point in wedging the tenons if the mortises aren't tapered?

  13. #13
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    If you want a more massive wedge, it's going to require the taper, IMHO. But your alternative is to drawbore and pin with dowels. Those tenons are not going to move with that (no racking) because of the pins carrying through both the vertical member and the tenon. Two per will completely lock it in place.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Your alternative is to drawbore and pin with dowels.
    Aha. I like that idea. So drill through the post (kind of a pain because of the curve, but doable) with a 1/16 or so offset in the tenon, glue up, and then hammer a beveled dowel all the way through. Since it's a double apron I can't go all the way through but presumably that's okay as long as I make it into the tenon.

  15. #15
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    Yes, drill through holes through the post, pardon the expression , slip the tenon in all the way and mark the through hole location, pull out the tenon and mark for the same size hole slightly offset (it doesn't take much) so that whacking the dowel through will make the joint even tighter. While you actually do not even need glue for a good draw-bore secured joint, I'd still use it personally. No need to taper the dowel other than a chamfer on the end that goes in first (leave the dowel long) so it seats. Drive it "beyond through" so you can flush cut on both sides and clean up for finishing. You can use the same species or something contrasting...personal preference...as long as the dowels are at least as hard as the species they are holding together. Since I'm anal, keeping the grain direction of the dowels the same (probably horizontal and parallel to the tenon) across all of them would be visually important to me.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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