Gluing up panels...

Today's newbie question: In gluing up panels for a mission style hope chest http://us.st8.yimg.com/store6.yimg.com/I/woodstore_1744_2801352 , do you glue the panels into the rails and stiles, or let them float free?
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-- Jim in NC
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Let em float! :)
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 5 Reviews: - Woodworking Techniques & Projects - Kreg Right Angle Clamp - Bosch 3912 (GCM12) 12" Compound Miter Saw - Dowelmax Doweling System - Ryobi CDL1802D Pro Series 18v Cordless Drill ------------------------------------------------------------
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out of the shop and said. . .:

let them float, and use a product called "space balls" to remove the rattle and help center the panel in the frame
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/showdetl.cfm?offerings_id 20&objectgroup_id96&catidx&DID=6
or
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fid883&gift úlse&mscssid~CBE56626BB4E91A944B7655DF994DB
watch word wrap
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"Traves W. Coppock" <newsgroups-AT-farmvalleywoodworks-DOT-com> wrote in message Crawled

96&catidx&DID=6
úlse&mscssid~CBE56626BB4E91A944B7655DF994DB
I use a home version of space balls. If you put a line of silicone caulk onto wax paper and let it dry, you can cut it up into lengths. Put a small drop of glue into the panel slot, drop a (I call them worms) worm in and continue the glue up. -- Jim in NC
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FWIW ... Pieces of string, or twine, will do the same thing without the fuss or expense.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
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Window screen spline tubing ia available in at least 2 sizes and considerably less expensive than space balls.
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 03:17:02 -0500, Traves W. Coppock <newsgroups-AT-farmvalleywoodworks-DOT-com> wrote:

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Remember to stain 'em or get some finish on prior to floating them. When they contract later it could be embarrassing.
If you don't like "space balls" you can use screen gasket, or you can touch a dab of glue on opposite ends and let it move right and left of your choice of fixed points.

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The other answers suggested good methods of cushioning the panels so they don't rattle.
But if you are a newbie, you may not know that the purpose of the floating panel is to give the wood room to expand and contract across the grain. You want a wide board to have room to expand and contract with the humidity. That's the purpose of the dadoes in the rails and stiles. Most people figure around 1/4" per foot across the grain for movement. If you constrain the panel, you defeat the purpose of the floating panel design and you could end up with cracked panels.
You could glue the panel at one spot only, or use the cushioning methods suggested by the other posters ... but definitely don't glue it fully in so it can't move.
Cheers, Nate
p.s. My apologies if my answer is too basic, but you did say you were a newbie :-)
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They do? Who says 1/4 inch per foot? So a 2 foot panel will move 1/2 inch? On which planet? -- Jim in NC
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Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:

Agreed
i always leave 1/4" overall for expansion...1/4" per foot would be overkill of the highest order!
Traves
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Doesn't Hoadley show an example resulting in about 0.26" of movement in a 12" equivalent, on his book p89? Sure, there is a fair humidity change in that example, but it's also made using a material with a modest tangential shrinkage range.
I agree that for most of the time, 1/4" is overkill. On the other hand, I bet if I built a 12" white oak panel here in dry Colorado and shipped it to my relatives in Houston, I'd be glad to have at least 1/4".
Anyway, I admit I am a relative newcomer to this. How much do you more experienced guys allow?
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But is it always necessary to put in cushions? If you look at the picture of the chest (listed somewhere below), it's pretty solid with small 1/4 inch panels that are actually in 1/2" dados as 2 1/4" panels back-to-back. Much less lateral movement in plywood, and not much rattling in back-to-back panels, I'm guessing. Though I wonder, should I glue the two panels together or let them float independent of each other?
As an aside, in my first effort since HS I made a nice built-in storage unit/computer desk from base cabinets, with bookshelves on top. Came out very well, but I made the doors with 1/4" oak ply panels with no cushions, and they rattle like nobody's business when opened or close.
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