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Thread: Bevel Joint (with Dominos) Dry Fit OK but After Adding Glue Impossible to Tighten

  1. #1

    Bevel Joint (with Dominos) Dry Fit OK but After Adding Glue Impossible to Tighten

    I have a Festool Domino DF500. Been using it a while and am competent cutting Dominos at 90 deg. and 45 deg bevels. This was my first glue up with 45 deg bevels and first time using Titebond 3.

    Each bevelled face got 3 dominos with opposing sides with elongated slots for adjustment room. It dried-fit fine and the bevel joints came together. However, after putting glue in the slots I couldn't close the bevel shut again. The dominos didn't go in all the way (half-and-half) and after 5-10 mins of trying to close the gap, I decided to pull all dominos out and just brad-nailed the joint together. As I pulled the dominos out, I noticed it was really stuck in there.

    TB3 was suppose to be slow to set so I don't think it was because the glue had gone tacky. I'm wondering if I'd put too much glue in the slot (the smaller slot of the two mating faces), the domino/slot swelled up, making it difficult to push the dominos in all the way.

    If you've ever done this joint, how much glue did you put in the slots? Did you cut both sides extra wide?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    never used a domino or seen one but if you put too much glue in and it cant escape that will stop a dowel from going in if there is no way for the glue to escape. Imagine the same on a domino though should look for a photo.

    With a lamello too much glue just squeezes out the ends of the slot.

    I looked them up and two brands I saw have fluting on the outside edges would imagine the glue squeeze out could have come out through those but maybe not if really tight.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 11-23-2021 at 2:53 AM.

  3. #3
    With dowels I drive them through a 1 thick piece of steel drilled with holes and then slightly countersunk. Yellow glue is mixed with small amount of water that makes the dowels swell tight. Too tight dowels often break while being driven and the glue is removed in that effort.
    The dowels swell tight and Ive never broken a project using them.

  4. #4
    The problem is not glue being trapped behind the dominos. The spines on the domino edges allow glue to escape, unlike dowels (and even there fluted or spiral dowels will do the same. I suspect the problem had more to do with speed and clamping tactics. It would have helped to drive the dominos all the way into the narrower mortises before further assembly.

    Any water based glue will swell a spline tenon, so you have to work expeditiously- have your cauls and clamps all ready to go following the dry run. The best way to clamp up joints like that is to use beveled cauls that apply pressure at 90 degrees to the glue surfaces.

    For sheet stock or long grain solid wood in this situation I would use a miterfold joint. It is plenty strong and easier to do.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 11-23-2021 at 9:03 AM.

  5. #5
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    I have used dominos for slab waterfall joints and hot glued 45 deg offcuts on both sides of the joints for direct perpendicular clamping pressure on the joint. I was sweating a bit when the joint
    had "gaposis" but the solid clamping pulled it together. Slab was ~2" thick and ~28" wide and the clamps pulled it together--extruded the glue???-when tightened. I think that would work for
    sheet goods as well. Good luck.

    Hi Kevin, What is a miterfold joint?? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John C Bush View Post

    Hi Kevin, What is a miterfold joint?? Thanks.
    It's a simple glued bevel joint w/o reinforcement, "clamped" with tape. Typically the mating pieces are arranged in plane with the tips touching, clear packing tape is applied and burnished, then glue is applied and the joint folded into shape. A gusset may be used temporarily to maintain the desired angle.

    Some situations call for reinforcement with splines, and that usually requires cauls and clamps. One commercial restaurant job I was involved in had waterfall ends on tables made out of fingerjointed pine slabs. The material was thick enough to accept #20 biscuits oriented in line with the long grain, allowing for the joints to be folded up with tape. a strong and easily assembled method.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    The problem is not glue being trapped behind the dominos. The spines on the domino edges allow glue to escape, unlike dowels (and even there fluted or spiral dowels will do the same. I suspect the problem had more to do with speed and clamping tactics. It would have helped to drive the dominos all the way into the narrower mortises before further assembly.

    Any water based glue will swell a spline tenon, so you have to work expeditiously- have your cauls and clamps all ready to go following the dry run. The best way to clamp up joints like that is to use beveled cauls that apply pressure at 90 degrees to the glue surfaces.

    For sheet stock or long grain solid wood in this situation I would use a miterfold joint. It is plenty strong and easier to do.
    I tried wacking the domino into the narrow slot with my mallet but any harder and I'd probably break the bevel. Hard to tell what the issue was given that this was my first run and I had to act fast to save the joint (it was a lot of work up to that point). I will have to practice some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by John C Bush View Post
    I have used dominos for slab waterfall joints and hot glued 45 deg offcuts on both sides of the joints for direct perpendicular clamping pressure on the joint. I was sweating a bit when the joint
    had "gaposis" but the solid clamping pulled it together. Slab was ~2" thick and ~28" wide and the clamps pulled it together--extruded the glue???-when tightened. I think that would work for
    sheet goods as well. Good luck.

    Hi Kevin, What is a miterfold joint?? Thanks.
    If it works with a waterfall joint with 2" thick slab, then the problem was probably technique/swollen tenons. *Face palm* I definitely didn't think straight because, looking back, I could have tried putting in 3 clean dominos.

    Hadn't considered using hot glue; more readily available than CA glue. Will definitely try to make those 45 deg clamping cauls on my practice runs. Appreciate the tip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Too much glue in the mortise with no place to go can indeed keep the joint from closing when the "piston" (the Domino/tenon) can't push the glue out of the way because there's no place for it to go. The ribbed tenon stock (Domino) can only accommodate so much squeeze. Coat the mortise with glue and spread with a brush, but do not "fill" the mortise. This is no different than traditional mortises that are closely fit.

    I urge caution using TB-III BTW. Yes, it has a slightly longer open time, but it allows for no errors...you just plain cannot release it once it's dry. It also tends to have a little more glue creep. I went back to using original TB for almost all projects unless they are outdoor destined where I do use TB-III
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 11-23-2021 at 11:36 AM.
    --

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

  9. #9
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    Switch to 1 hour epoxy and enjoy the glue up stress free. I just did a glue up with over 20 loose tenons, the poor man's Domino, and it had to be done in one shot. I went through a mock glue up and quickly realized there was no way I would be able to do it fast enough using yellow glue to avoid the same kind of panic you just experienced. So I used epoxy and it was simple and stress free. Epoxy acts as a lubricant, too, so the tenons never bind in the mortises and if the joints fit well it takes only minimal clamping pressure to pull them tight.

    John

  10. #10
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    ^^ I meant to mention this option, too. It's what I'm using for table top glue ups now, particularly for large slabs. Rather than "one hour" specifically, I'm using T-88 which is a structural epoxy with a very nice long open time.
    --

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

  11. #11
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    I am guessing you didn't move quickly enough or your clamping method wasn't proper and didn't apply force perpendicular to the joint surface. I have built these columns out of 8/4 Maple with several dominos in the joints (12 pieces for each column, 4 column in total) and all joints came out perfect.

    20140301_145232.jpg20140301_171510.jpg20140312_151707.jpg20140317_190857.jpg20140320_202700.jpg

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    I am guessing you didn't move quickly enough or your clamping method wasn't proper and didn't apply force perpendicular to the joint surface. I have built these columns out of 8/4 Maple with several dominos in the joints (12 pieces for each column, 4 column in total) and all joints came out perfect.

    20140301_145232.jpg20140301_171510.jpg20140312_151707.jpg20140317_190857.jpg20140320_202700.jpg
    Looks fantastic and sounds like the issue was with my execution. Clamping was for sure an issue. I need those angled cauls so I can clamp in the interior. I expect some gap since I followed the advice of some youtuber who recommended cutting 45.5 deg bevel (won't be doing THAT again; not good for this application) but the original issue was that the joint didn't close at all.

    I just put another bevel joint together and this went more smoothly. The bevel, with dominos, closed as far as it can go. Some things I did differently, in order:
    1. Put glue in just the narrow domino slots (don't slather the face of the bevel with glue yet), insert the domino and pound it in (I don't think I did it last time or maybe I didn't strike it hard enough).
    2. Wipe any squeeze out once the dominos are in and dry fit the joint again. If not, pound the dominos in some more.
    3. Once the dry fit goes well, slather the face and proceed with glue-up.

    1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Minh Tran View Post
    I tried wacking the domino into the narrow slot with my mallet but any harder and I'd probably break the bevel. Hard to tell what the issue was given that this was my first run and I had to act fast to save the joint (it was a lot of work up to that point). I will have to practice some more.
    Well, maybe part of the problem was too much glue in the mortise then. You just want enough to coat the mortise walls and tenon cheeks. You should not have to whale on the spline tenon to seat it. I have found though that any extra will extrude under clamping pressure between the domino and mortise ends- the barb on the domino edge gives a bit of space there. I leave a flat on the edge of shop-made spline tenons for the same purpose.

    Epoxy is what I keep on the shelf for extended glue-ups (and Titebond Extend for a little extra time). The assembly in question could be done with pva glue if you have everything ready and move along in an organized way.

    You do really need cauls the length of the joint (as well as a good fit from accurate bevel cutting) to pull it together and get any strength out of the glue bond other than what the dominos supply.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 11-23-2021 at 1:26 PM.

  14. #14
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    One piece of advice I have learned if building a full circle out of beveled pieces: no matter how accurate the bevel cuts are, when multiplied by 12, the error will result in imperfect fitting. I've learned that in order to make a round piece using 12 (or whatever) pieces, only glue two 6-piece half circles, then run both half-circle pieces over the jointer to get perfectly flat side of the half circle and then glue the two half circles.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    One piece of advice I have learned if building a full circle out of beveled pieces: no matter how accurate the bevel cuts are, when multiplied by 12, the error will result in imperfect fitting. I've learned that in order to make a round piece using 12 (or whatever) pieces, only glue two 6-piece half circles, then run both half-circle pieces over the jointer to get perfectly flat side of the half circle and then glue the two half circles.
    Yes, I see Frank Howarth on Youtube do that all the time.

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