Gluing Finger Joints - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
Assemble the box dry, and apply blue painters tape in the corners, on each board. This will keep the inside clean

Then use small brushes like those show above, and glue up. After the glue dries, peel off the tape inside. You may need to run a chisel into the corners if there are any small beads left over.
Excellent idea. Thanks. I was particularly concerned about getting the glue out from those inside corners.

Rick

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Box Glued

I checked the one open hardware store in my town and the closest other three, 1-hr away and no one had the Titebond Extend. I could not wait to order some, so I went ahead with the TB3.

Worked out great. I trimmed down one of those foam brushes and also an acid brush. I tried the trimmed acid brush, but it put too much glue where I didn't want it. I went with the head-chopped-off-Q-tip. That worked perfectly, getting good amounts glue right where I wanted it, in the joints and not too much.

The glue up went without a hitch. I really appreciate the tip about using painters tape at the corners/edges. There wasn't much glue to wipe up, but what there was, was easy.

The joints came out quite nice, I think. I'm very impressed with the Incra LS Positioner. As stated in their documentation, using their tool/methods on box joints, if they are too loose or too tight (too loose = oversized, too tight = undersized), it is a problem with the bit not the LS. My joints were too tight. I tried shifting the fence a few thou., but that didn't work out. I just cut them regular and worked the joints a bit to get them to fit. I also measured my bit (1/4" Freud spiral upcut). It is 0.244", 0.006" undersized and by about as much as I tried shifting the fence. Still, I need to get a bit that is on size for this cutting.

Rick
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 08:02 PM
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If the bit is undersize, you need to recut 1 side only of all the joints after offsetting the fence the needed amount.

Ger

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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If the bit is undersize, you need to recut 1 side only of all the joints after offsetting the fence the needed amount.
Thanks. I tried that. It means offsetting for each stack and I think that is were I got off-track, keeping track.

Rick

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:50 PM
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I make a sanding aid that would help you with that Rick. I take scrap high pressure counter top laminate (Formica to you) and cut it into rectangular pieces about 1 1/2 to 2" wide by 3 to 5" long and I glue sandpaper to the back side of them, usually 80 grit. Because they are thin and stiff it would allow you to take a couple of strokes on all the joint surfaces without risk of rounding the edges off and you can stay flat across the fingers too. I glue them on with Lee Valley's fish glue because it's water soluble and it allows me to peel the worn out paper off and replace it with new paper on the same laminate piece. I try to keep at least one of these sanding aids within arm's reach any time I'm doing anything in the shop.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:54 PM
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You have done very well at this first, of likely very many boxes in your future. They are fun to make when you finally manage to get the tools to make them well. I make a lot of boxes now.

Here are a few tips for when making your next box, since I know you will, because they are so very addicting when they are easy to make.

For a small box you don't really need the slower drying rate glues. For larger boxes, it takes more time to get the glue on all of the needed places and then get the box together before the glue sets up. Excess glue on the outside isn't so important, because it sands off easily. The blue tape right close to the corner inside makes it easy to remove glue, but don't wait too long after the glue sets before you remove it. The next day the glue will be hardened on it and the tape will tear around it, requiring a chisel or knife to get it out. You can go with the White Elmer's glue for a slower drying rate too. It isn't quite as strong as yellow carpenters glue, but dries a bit slower, and it dries clear. The Titebond Extend is the better choice, but a box joint is very strong no matter what glue gets used in it.

Whenever I get excess glue on the inside of a joint I use a plastic soda straw to remove it while it's still wet, or at least soft. I push the end of the soda straw into the corner so it conforms to the joint angle and then just push it forward. The excess glue gets scrapped up, collecting inside the straw. I then either cut the straw shorter to do the next joint or throw the straw away, which I do anyway when the last joint has been cleaned. I have often been asked why I have a box of straws in my shop and this is the reason. It works to get most of the glue off of the blue tape too.

I have learned the hard way to make the fingers a bit long (about 1/16") and trim off the excess later after the glue has dried. I use a flush cut bit in my router table and a spacer to hold the box above the router table so the excess length of the uncut fingers don't touch the table. This keeps the box side being trimmed parallel with the bit and at a right angle to the table too.

I have a Join-Tech jig which works much like the Incra. When I started making box joints a lot it didn't take me long to decide that I needed a better way and bought the Incra I-Box jig. It was well worth the investment. With it and a Freud SBOX8 blade set I make box joints on my table saw with great results. This blade works better than a dado blade because it cuts a smoother square cut. The dado blades are OK for larger box joints, but aren't the best for small box joints. I also have a Freud 1/8" kerf square tooth ripping blade that I use with the I-Box jig when making very small box joints.

For making the bottom slots I now use Lee Valley small diameter box slotting router bits in my router table. I dry assemble the box sides and then just run the box sides around the router bit to cut the slot. Being a small diameter and with a bearing, these bits cut a perfect groove all the way into the corner. It's not visible from the outside of the box and you only need to slightly round the corners of the box bottom for it to fit and leave no gaps.

Box-Slotting Bits - Lee Valley Tools

Happy box making.


Charley

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 07:30 PM
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What about using Hide Glue which has a longer working time ? Here is a site I came across with hardware:

Small Box Hardware - Brass & Nickel Plated Specialty Hardware
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Charley. Good information.

As noted, I went with the Titebond 3. Since it was a small box, there were no problems with working time. Went very well. I have not yet, but need to order some TB Extend. I don't have any more boxes planned for the immediate future, so hopefully I order it in time.

Flipsaw. I did see some hide glue at the local store. Decided against trying it, as I felt comfortable with the TB3 for this box. Also, I found that small box hardware site and ordered some from them, and a couple others. It was hit or miss finding what I thought would work. Still waiting on all of it to really find out.

The blue tape worked great. I like the idea of the soda straws for picking up the glue. We have a supply for my granddaughter.

With this box, I discovered that I did not make the fingers long (deep) enough and have a few of the ends that are short of the surface. I should be able to sand them flat, as they aren't that far short.

I was not aware of the Join-Tech jig. It never showed up in the searches I was doing, but I was very focused on the Incra jigs. I almost bought the I-Box jig before discovering the LS Positioner. I opted for the LS so that I have the ability to do both. I'm very pleased with just the very limited use I've made of it. The precision aspect of the LS really suits me. We'll see if it really makes much difference as I use it down the road. I am anxious to try a dovetail, but only have a 1/2" bit now and no lumber I want to use. It means planing something to 1/2" thickness and that doesn't fit with what else is going on at the moment.

Those slotting bits look really great. I'll have to get a couple, once I figure out better what are my needs. I used the same slightly undersized 1/4" bit for the slots that I used for the joints.

Chuck. Your sanding aid trick sounds pretty slick. I recall my father taping a full sheet of carborundum paper to a granite surface plate when he needed to sand something really flat. I will have to wing it some other way, as I do not have any laminate, scrap or otherwise. I have a granite surface plate, but I'm not using it for this. I use the mesh-type sanding media (Mirka Autonet) on hook-n-loop sanding blocks and have a supply of the same in orbital sander discs. The blocks are not as flat and firm as laminate would be, but so far I'm satisfied with the results I'm getting.

Rick

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:09 PM
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Tom,

I'd be interested in info about your invisible hinges. I've been searching various sites for small hinges and am not that satisfied with what I've found - for this particular box.

Rick
They are quite small, but disappear. You can get them in several sizes. I got some at Rockler.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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They are quite small, but disappear. You can get them in several sizes. I got some at Rockler.
Very nifty looking. I will definitely use these on something in the future. The web site doesn't give their depths, but the technical data sheet does. The 10mm (0.394") are too large for the <1/4" Baltic birch plywood used in this box. The other larger ones are deeper than their diameters.

Thanks though, those will come in very handy,

Rick

"If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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