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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is your process of gluing a small box using 1/4" box joints? The wood is baltic birch (the good stuff). My glue up didn't turn out so well because I had small spaces in the joint. I did dry fit it so I know the joints fit good.
 

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What is your process of gluing a small box using 1/4" box joints? The wood is baltic birch (the good stuff). My glue up didn't turn out so well because I had small spaces in the joint. I did dry fit it so I know the joints fit good.
wipe glue on the insert edge of the sockets so that the fingers push the glue into the sockets...
also apply glue to the bottoms of the opposing sockets...
gaps in the glue say you didn't apply enough glue
 

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Theo
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Titebond II, and not exactly slop it in, but make sure there is ample, and covers all, then wipe off the excess with a damp cloth when you assemble.
 

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Don,

It sounds to me like you may have made your box joints a bit too tight, although they may have been quite loose before the glue was applied. I use Titebond Extend glue when making boxes because it dries much slower, giving more time to get the box joints together. I use Bessey parallel jaw clamps to pull the box joints together, but once the joints are fully pulled together, I loosen the clamps some, so they are just tight enough to hold the pieces together. This allows the box sides to straighten before the glue sets up. After about an hour, I completely remove the clamps and carefully set the assembled box on a flat surface, protected by kraft paper, until the next day when the glue is completely dry. I've made about 30 boxes so far this year, and all but 4 were made with box jointed corners. I'm getting pretty good at it.

If you should fail to get one completely together leaving a small gap, mix some sanding sawdust from sanding the same kind of wood, together with glue to make a thick putty, and push this into the void leaving a small excess on the outside. When dry, trim and sand the corner smooth It won't be perfect, but it will take most stains and finishes.

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don,

It sounds to me like you may have made your box joints a bit too tight, although they may have been quite loose before the glue was applied. I use Titebond Extend glue when making boxes because it dries much slower, giving more time to get the box joints together. I use Bessey parallel jaw clamps to pull the box joints together, but once the joints are fully pulled together, I loosen the clamps some, so they are just tight enough to hold the pieces together. This allows the box sides to straighten before the glue sets up. After about an hour, I completely remove the clamps and carefully set the assembled box on a flat surface, protected by kraft paper, until the next day when the glue is completely dry. I've made about 30 boxes so far this year, and all but 4 were made with box jointed corners. I'm getting pretty good at it.

If you should fail to get one completely together leaving a small gap, mix some sanding sawdust from sanding the same kind of wood, together with glue to make a thick putty, and push this into the void leaving a small excess on the outside. When dry, trim and sand the corner smooth It won't be perfect, but it will take most stains and finishes.

Charley
I think your right Charley the box joints were a little tight but I was following the instructions. The glue swelled the joints a little.

Thanks
 

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Don,

Sometimes even the best box joint cutting will still produce a slight problem when glue is applied. I always use parallel clamps to pull the joints together, but sometimes I still get an area where part of the corner is too tight and the clamps aren't pulling it completely together. For these, I found that hitting the end of the clamp nearest the failing joint with my dead blow hammer has added just enough additional shock pressure to get the joint to go together. Once together I always check the diagonal measurements to be certain that the box is square, and I'm now in the habit of doing this several times before the glue completely dries.

Using parallel clamps to force the joints together can bow the box sides, so I always let the glue set up for about an hour after I've made certain that all the joints are completely together. Then I loosen each clamp to allow the box sides to straighten to eliminate the bowing, but still leave the clamps in place. The glue is still weak enough that the sides will straighten, but the clamps will hold just enough pressure to keep the joints from opening up. Several hours later I'll remove the clamps and set the glued assembly carefully somewhere for it to dry overnight before I do any additional work on it. When assembling many boxes, I sometimes end up stacking these glued assemblies, rotating each 45 or 90 degrees from the one below it, because I can run out of bench space in my small shop very quickly. The unused area of my Unisaw side and out feed tables, covered with a piece of Kraft paper, is where these glued up assemblies usually get placed for the overnight drying time.

When I bought my Unisaw, it came with a 52" Unifence and even though my shop is very small, I couldn't bear to cut the fence rail down (I'm hoping to some day have a larger shop again). So the right end of my saw table is up against one shop wall between my garage and passage doors, and my work path is only around the left end of the saw.

Titebond Extend glue is almost a "Must Have" when gluing box joints. It takes time to put glue on all of the needed surfaces and assemble the box joints. Unless the box is very small, the regular Titebond glues just set up too quickly for this type of extended assembly process. The Titebond Extend makes gluing up box joints much less of a race condition. A tip - put blue tape next to each joint on the inside ends of each box side to make it easier to remove the glue squeeze-out later. Squeeze-out on the outside of the box can be sanded or wiped off easily. Not so on the inside of the box. I carefully remove the tape after I remove the clamps, but while the glue is still a bit soft. If you wait until the next day you will need a scraper or chisel to get the inside of the joint completely clean of glue squeeze-out. It will almost always peel off easily on the tape if you remove the tape about 2 hours after gluing and assembling the joints.

Charley
 
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