Frame & Panel Door Glue-Up: What Am I Doing Wrong?


I recently completed my first glue-up of a frame and panel door. I used "space balls" to allow for expansion/contraction of the panel. However, I think that when I clamped the door after gluing, some of the glue from the rail and stile joints squeezed into the space at each corner of the panel between the top of the panel and the bottom of the rail (or the bottom of the panel and the top of the rail for the bottom rail). If so, the "space balls" seem like wasted effort since the panel is now glued to the rail and/or stile at each corner of the panel.
I will appreciate any advice regarding the proper way to glue the stiles and rails without glue squeezing onto the corners of the free floating panel. The only suggestion I found in the archives was to place wax paper between the panel and the rails/stiles. I am hoping there is a better solution.
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Just be careful to not put too much glue in that location. The balls help keep the panel centered while assembling and after. Chances are that the small spot of glue will break loose as the panel expands or contracts.
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Also, if you prefinish the panel (which you should or you could end up with an ugly naked line if/when the panel shrinks), the glue wil have minimal holding power on the panel.
-Steve
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did squeeze out onto the panel. It just seems to me that it must have.
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Les Andersen wrote:

BTDT... :( Typical of "first effort" and unless you had a really large amount of squeeze-out, probably not enough of a bond to really hurt.
However, the solution is less glue, more strategically placed...use only enough glue to cover the surface and keep it away from the inner corner--there will sufficient squeeze-out/flow to make the joint. You should only have sufficient glue for a tiny bit of squeeze-out to occur--anything more is simply being wasted, anyway. There's nothing like making a couple (or several) of the rail/stile joints on scrap pieces and gluing them just for practice to experiment on how much glue and where...one can even then go the resulting step and experiment to verify how strong they really are...
As an aside, I've never thought the space balls any real necessity, myself...
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Thanks for reply. I did make some practice joints with scrap being careful to minimize the amount of glue I used. I found that I could break the joints apart with my hands unless I used more glue than I had been using. Therefore, when I did the glue-up on the actual panel, I wanted to be sure to use enough glue. I don't think I used an excessive amount of glue, but I wanted to know whether there was a technique which eliminated the concern as to whether or not the glue contacted the panel.

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"Les Andersen" wrote in message

The best "technique" is to pre-finish the panel before assembling the door. Among other benefits, it will solve any glue squeeze out problem as most wood glue will not bond with finished wood.
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Les Andersen wrote:

what I do is this. first make a thinned batch of glue- thin enough to brush on cleanly and soak in a bit without dripping everywhere. use that to prime the glue surfaces, especially the end grain. depending on the complexity and number of joints, that will have dried/soaked in enough by the time you get done with the last joint to start back on the first joint with unthinned glue. now spread a thin layer of full strength glue and assemble. the result is very little squeezeout and a strong joint.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I like it and will try it on the next door.
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Les Andersen wrote:

Wax the tongues.
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dadiOH
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If you finish your panels before assembly, simply applying wax to the edges of the panels will prevent glue from sticking to them. Come to think of it, if your careful with applying the wax and only get it on the edge that fits within the groove, I don;t see why it wouldn't work for unfinsihed panels as well.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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panel edges on my next door.
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