Cross Grain Glueing on Small Boxes

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I haven't made many small wooden boxes (ie., Recipe Boxes, Jewelry Boxes etc.) I am starting a jewelry box for my daughter. I can't see anyway of not glueing the lid top to the four lid sides without glueing across the grain. Can someone tell me the rule here.
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Dado it in and use no glue in the dado. Like the panel in a raised panel door.
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Tom H wrote:

Tom, I can't tell you a rule, but I've managed to get away with cross-grain gluing where the cross-grain part is up to about 6 inches wide. I tried it once on a panel about 24 inches wide and the results were disastrous. I'm sure the answer will vary with species and humidity swing.
DonkeyHody "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgement."
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Veneer plywood?
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Tom H wrote:

I can't speak with authority on the matter, but I can tell you what I would do... I'd figure a jewlery box lid was rather small (maybe 9"x12"?) and cross-grain gluing would matter little here. I would also use polyurethane glue as it's tougher than regular wood glue.
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Like Leo said, make a floating panel out of both the top and bottom. If you have a bandsaw, you can make the top and bottom match. I usually leave about 1/16 inch gap to account for wood movement across the cross grain, and less than that for long grain. For panels around 16 inches, I will leave 1/8 inch. robo hippy
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robo hippy wrote:

I have a question for you. You say that in this instance you would be concerned about cross-grain gluing and would recommend a floating panel. Fair enough.
Let's assume that if the jewlery box were 1" square, you would NOT make a floating panel and just glue the top on. Given that, it stands to reason that somewhere between 9" or so and 1", is your belief that cross-grain gluing ceases to be a problem.
Can you tell me where that point is? At what length do you believe it ceases to become a problem as a practical matter?
Joe Barta
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AFAIK there is no written rule however the answer to that question is more dependent on climate conditions and the variation of those climate changes. Basically, with experience you will find a rule of thumb that you are comfortable with.
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Joe Barta wrote:

Joe (and Tom), Both of you asked essentially the same question, but I notice that nobody has given you a definitive answer. That's because no one can, given the broad scope of the question.
All wood shrinks and swells with changes in moisture content which is driven by relative humidity. All wood moves more tangetially (around the circumference) than radially (from the center of the tree out) but hardly at all lengthwise. So, a flatsawn board will change more than a quartersawn board of the same species. Then, some species change dimensions more than twice as much as others.
And we haven't even addressed the question of how much change in relative humidity you expect to see. Some of our houses see huge seasonal variations in relative humidity, and some stay nearly the same year round.
Then there's the question of glue. Some glues will allow a little "creep" without failing, while others hold fast until the wood splits.
The folks at the USDA Forest Products Lab are trying to interject some science into our art of working with wood. You can get coefficients of expansion for different species and other good information here: http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/ch12.pdf
However, this informations still doesn't tell you how much movement a particular species will tolerate before it splits or buckles when constrained by being glued to another piece with the grain running crossways.
One of the things that makes woodworking interesting to me is that it still remains somewhat of a black art, subject to many variables imposed by the woodworking gods that be.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best of people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
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DonkeyHody wrote:

Relatively new to this stuff myself...I figure the more forgiving my glue is, the better off I am. Can you give me some examples of the more forgiving types?
And for that matter, can you steer me away from the less-forgiving while you're at it??
Right now I use TB III.
Build mostly furniture...case goods, tables, etc. No chairs, no cabinets. All hardwoods, mostly cherry.
Thanks in advance.
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

First the disclaimer. I've never done any controlled experiments. I've tried this and that over the years, but conditions varied too much to be sure what caused what.
Life is full of compromises and Titebond II has seemed to have the best blend of features I need for most applications. I haven't tried Titebond III yet, but I'm sure it's good too. Titebond in general has a good reputation among the group.
I think it's generally accepted that yellow wood glues allow a little creep without failure and that poly glues such as Gorilla Glue are more "brittle" for lack of a better word.
That's not to say poly glue is junk; I use it in some applications, and it has never failed me. But it's certainly messy and hard to clean up, not to mention more expensive.
In general, I'd prefer to design for wood movement instead of depending on glue creep to save me. I was just making the point that many factors influence what you can get by with in cross-grain glueing and what works under one set of circumstances may fail under another. It's hard to make hard-fast rules without adding a lot of conditions.
If you are having success with Titebond III, I see no reason to change.
DonkeyHody "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain
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DonkeyHody wrote:

I sorta figured the exact opposite. Polyurethane glue after it's cured feels a little flexible and wood glue feels hard. Maybe I'm interpreting that wrong... or maybe I should just shut up and sit down.
Personally I LOVE Gorilla Glue. The stuff is the most amazing glue in the world.
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Joe Barta wrote:

Joe, you may be right. I had the same impression, but I read somewhere that the thin layer you get with clamping is brittle. Maybe it's only the foamed part that's flexible. Maybe some bonafide glue expert will chime in here with some bonafide facts.
I've had great success with poly glue too, it's just so hard to get off my hands.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him."
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DonkeyHody wrote:

Hands are no problem.... it wears off after several days ;-)
Now clothes... that's a different story. My favorite sweatshirt has had a couple glue spots on it for a few years now. After lots of wearing and countless washings the glue is as intact as the day I leaned into the glue.
I did some research back then and by all accounts (including a poly glue manufacturer) there is no known solvent that will remove dried polyurethane glue.
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

After I answered your question the first time, I began to wonder if I was remembering correctly what I had read. I was afraid I might have told you wrong, so I did a little checking. According to the results of a quick internet search: 1. White glue (Elmers) allows more creep than yellow glue (Titebond). 2. Yellow Glue allows more creep than polyurethane (Gorilla). 3. Creep is generally considered more a liability than an asset. Too much creep will allow even parallel grain joints to move enough to feel the glue line. However, the glue line still has to expand and contract with the wood. An extremely brittle bond would fail over time. All woodworking glues seem to allow enough creep to prevent this from being a problem. 4. Polyurethane, while strong enough for most applications, is not as strong as yellow glue. Its primary advantage seems to be water-resistance, and the fact it sticks to almost anything.
I hope this helps. I'll be sticking with Titebond II and III, with an occasional squirt of Gorilla for special applications.
DonkeyHody "Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
>> Relatively new to this stuff myself...I figure the more forgiving my >> glue is, the better off I am. Can you give me some examples of the >> more forgiving types? >> >> And for that matter, can you steer me away from the less-forgiving >> while you're at it?? >> >> Right now I use TB III. >>
...snip >4. Polyurethane, while strong enough for most applications, is not as >strong as yellow glue. Its primary advantage seems to be >water-resistance, and the fact it sticks to almost anything. . >I hope this helps. I'll be sticking with Titebond II and III, with an >occasional squirt of Gorilla for special applications. > >DonkeyHody >"Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
I had a bunch of kitchen and dining room chairs that sprung the cross pieces from the legs and repaired them with Gorilla glue. It was a PITA to keep the legs clean of the constant out-foaming of glue, and within a few weeks the chairs all sprung apart again anyway. Once again I carefully cleaned all the spindles and mortises and this time used yellow glue - have had no separations in the last two years. I threw the Gorilla glue in the can.
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Sailaway wrote:

I'll bet it was. The trick is to let it foam and dry completely. Then go back and easily scrape off the excess.

Oddly I had the exact opposite experience. Several years later and Gorilla glue is still holding strong where yellow glue had failed miserably.
Maybe the looseness of the joints has something to do with the effectiveness of each glue? Don't know.
Joe Barta
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Joe Barta wrote:

From what I've read PU has almost no gap-filling ability (the foam has very little strength) while some PVA glues have at least moderate gap-filling ability (but not very much).
Epoxy, on the other hand, *requires* a bit of a gap to work properly, and can fill fairly substantial gaps itself.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

Never thought of using epoxy for the chair. Actually sounds like a really good idea.
Oddly, the timing of this is interesting. Not more than 20 minutes ago I was in one of those chairs I repaired a few years ago with Gorilla glue. I leaned back a little hard and heard a crack. Seems I loosened the back/seat joints. This is the last of an old set, and if I recall, it did have rather wobbly joints. I had counted on the glue to also fill gaps. (The rest are still solid [knock,knock]... and they suffer the abuse of teenage boys tipping back on them all the time.)
I think maybe I'll try another repair using epoxy this time.
If you or anyone has a thought on a particular brand or type of epoxy for such a repair, I'd be interested in hearing it along with any reasons for your preference.
Joe Barta
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Tom H wrote:

May I be so bold as to suggest Box Making basics out of this group? http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=46098&cat=1,46096
I have adapted a few of his designs to my needs. He covers the basics -- and the complexities -- very well.
It really is quite good. Without knowing your intended construction style it is a little tough to make a suggestion.
If this book or another good one doesn't answer your questions in a few minutes -- I'll eat the front cover -- as long as I can add salt and pepper.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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