It is true that a good glue joint is stronger then the wood itself but too
many people take that at face value. That statement is only half the story,
the other half is glue area. Put two pieces of wood togeather with just a
dab of glue in the middle and that joint will fail, at the glue joint, under
much less pressure then it would had the whole width been glued.
On an ordinary table, say a dining room table, constructed with a skirt
mortised and tenoned into the legs you will usually find some form of
mechanical cross anchors at the corners. They aren't there because the glue
joint is particularly weak but rather due to the fact there is a relatively
small area glued up and there is a need to spread the various stresses of
lateral forces that will be applied to the table during it's life IE sliding
it across a floor when it is moved or someone has to push it away after
particularly good thanksgiving turkey dinner.
From your description of the construction I think there will be enough
exposed area in enough directions that any mechanical fastening wouldn't be
necessary and there isn't enough cross grained glued up wood to where you
will have problems with wood movement. Plus, yellow glue does say somewhat
flexible and will accommodate the small amount of movement you would
experience. For those that have a problem with that statement please look up
However, if you don't feel confident in doing the job without some
additional bracing I'd suggest some 1/4" dowels glued through the joint.
They will do the same job as screws or bolts and can look quite decorative
at the same time.
My preference for glue is either hide glue or yellow glue. For various
reasons I don't like poly glue and only use it for special glue up problems
but, to give the devil it's due, it will do the job of securely joining two
pieces of wood. If you want to give it a try, have at it. You won't be
gaining or losing anything in terms of strength.
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