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I built a blanket chest years ago and never got the finish on it. It has been sitting in the shop being moved form one place to another over and over. I have decided to finish it up this fall. Upon inspection I noticed that the dovetail joints were loose and comming apart. I have disassembled it, quite easily, and it looked like I had put hardly any glue on the joints. I don't quite understand that one!
My question is to glue it up do I need to use another glue or will applying glue soak in and give me a good glue bond with no extra work necessary.
Also in cleaning things up and doing a dry assembly I noticed that the joints were looser than I would want them to be. What would a good glue with gap filling charistics be for this project? Epoxy?
The original glue was tite-bond.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Laurence
 

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Hi, Laurence; how loose is "looser than I expected"?
I suspect that
a) the looseness is due to natural shrinkage from air drying over the years. That also may be attributed largely to the lack of any kind of sealer, especially as it affects the glue joints.
b) the solution to the problem may depend on how loose is "looser"...
Lee Valley Tools - Important Announcement

For the record, I'll be right behind you in the checkout line up...I'm fixing our Dining Rm. chairs...mortises loose and coming apart. :(
 

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Upon inspection I noticed that the dovetail joints were loose and comming apart. I have disassembled it, quite easily, and it looked like I had put hardly any glue on the joints. I don't quite understand that one!
The original glue was tite-bond.
Well, I suppose you could have put too little on originally, but I've used Titebond II for years and years, and it's always held well for me. EXCEPT when I applied it and it was too cold in the shop - had plenty of glue, but the joint popped apart very, very, easily. What was the temperature when you applied the glue originally? Or, I suppose that possibly the glue could have been too old.

Actually, if it was me, I'd call the 1-800 number on the glue bottle and talk to those people, very helpful, very friendly, and if they can't give you a good answer, there probably isn't one.
 

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Like Dan and Theo said, wood dried and shrank and too cold could have been issues. If the wood was very porous it may have sucked up too much glue and left a dry joint. In many situations I like to put on a coat of glue and then wait 5 to 10 minutes and put another layer on. The joints could have been too tight to start with and not left enough glue in the joint. Likewise over clamping will starve a joint for glue.

I've tried the chair doctor and still have a bottle. As a glue it hasn't seemed to work better for me than any other glue. It is very thin and goes into a joint easily. Lee Valley's 202GF is a very good glue for loose joints. The GF stands for gap filler. It's too thick if you have a tight joint. If the glue got sucked into the grain and the wood looks dry then another coat of Titebond will probably work fine. If there seems to be a good coating left on the wood it may not bond well with the old glue. In that case an epoxy or polyurethane glue will probably work better. If the joints feel loose the poly glue won't give good results. It doesn't fill gaps. Epoxy will fill gaps and fillers can be added to enhance the gap filling ability of the epoxy. You can go to Lee Valley's website and research the epoxies they carry. They give excellent descriptions about the glue properties of what they carry.
 

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I have 2 wood glues in my shop, then epoxies.

I buy Titebond II by the gallon jugs and refill my glue bottles. I do most of my gluing with that. It's a good glue. I keep a wet paper towel and a cup of water around when glueing to wipe off the excess. Fine sawdust to wipe on if I have a gap (capenter's wood filler).

The other is Gorilla Glue. That is what I use for gap filler when I need it. It activates w/ water. It says it expands as is dries... but my experience says that's an understatement! If 2 pieces are glue together, like in a butt joint, if not clamped, that glue will widen the joint. Because of that, I clamp everything I glue with it. It is an amazingly strong glue. It has some other drawbacks... It dries a bit dark for my tast, so it shows the joint on a light finished piece. It it is a large gap, it will expand out to fill it seem to dry a little "grainy" in spots... like it creates bubbles in it as it expands... The surface will be smooth. But sand underneath that and it will expose those little bubble holes.

I have a full bottle of weldbond, that collects dust. Maybe me, but it's just not the same somehow.

The epoxy I use most on wood is 3M Scotchweld 2-part epoxy DP100 plus clear... Not sure, but there may be a hobbiest equivalent. I get it in 2 part tubes that need to be applied with a "gun" to squeeze it out. It also uses a nozzle that it mixes in, as it goes through it and out. Luckily the glue gun for my Horseshoing 2-part polyurethanes was the same thing and works. When you are through, release the pressure on the gun, nozzle off, cap back on. Not much waste. But like I said, I think 3M has a hobbiest blister pack of small sizes in it's own applicator. There's others out there, but i had been using that for years as a carpenter.

2 part Epoxys fill gaps well, and they don't need clamping to set the joint. It will adhere to other things well... like the old glue... so it doesn't need to soak into the wood. (hint) I use it a lot to stabilize knots in wood, before I start cutting or tooling. Sometimes after... when I thought it would have been okay, but I was wrong.

Drawback on epoxys. That is a spendy solution. I bought a case when I was in business and had money. The kind I got runs about $24 a duo pack (50ml), the applicator gun is around $80. The nozzles run about $1 a piece. The cost per ___ is much more expensive than glue. A gallon of glue for $24 goes a long way. Epoxies for me are reserved for special things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the input.
The chest was built and put together at a class at Woodcraft so the temperature was not an issue, however the glue possibly being out of date very well could have been.
The chest is Oak (not sure if white or red).
I will probably use some Epoxy to glue this back together as I need to fill some gaps. They are not huge but the joints are a real light slip fit going together.
Thanks again for the education.
Laurence
 

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Well, I suppose you could have put too little on originally, but I've used Titebond II for years and years, and it's always held well for me. EXCEPT when I applied it and it was too cold in the shop - had plenty of glue, but the joint popped apart very, very, easily. What was the temperature when you applied the glue originally? Or, I suppose that possibly the glue could have been too old.

Actually, if it was me, I'd call the 1-800 number on the glue bottle and talk to those people, very helpful, very friendly, and if they can't give you a good answer, there probably isn't one.
Theo you are so wise, you have left nothing for me to say. N
 

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Mike if you're using Gorilla glue to fill gaps you aren't getting the bond you may think you are. I've read before that the foam has poor bonding strength but I couldn't find that specifically. I did find these two statements about PU glues and Gorilla glue specifically.

"Prepare your surface: All surfaces must be clean, dust free and tight fitting." From Gorilla Glue's site.

"Shear Strength: A PU glue bond is as strong as the wood; the wood will fail before the bond will fail. However, joints should be tight (less than 0.003" gap) for a solid, invisible line and maximum strength." From Lee Valley's site about Gorilla Glue.
 
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