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Dumb question about box glue-up - Aram - 02-06-2019

This is kind of dumb, but how do you center the bottom when you glue up boxes? I'm talking about a solid wood bottom, standard rabbets into grooves, no spaceballs or anything like that. Some people (me, sometimes) put a little glue on one edge, or in the middle of both ends. After I bang the dovetails together, the bottom is usually off center. I pry it into position with a thin ruler or whatever, and wait for the glue to dry. Kind of cheeseball.

So kind of dumb, but how do you do it?


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Big Dave - 02-06-2019

Personally, I've never worried about centering the bottom... As long as all the edges are contained in the grooves I'm good to go. And although the bottoms are cut a bit smaller than the groove dimensions, they're usually not cut so small that a small amount of movement is noticeable.

Is there a reason you need the bottom centered? Grain alignment? Just curious...

Dave


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Aram - 02-06-2019

(02-06-2019, 05:00 PM)Big Dave Wrote: Is there a reason you need the bottom centered? Grain alignment? Just curious...

Dave

Great question.

Personally, I like to be able to look at a box I make from any angle, including the bottom, and know that I took the time to make it crisp looking. Some people don't care, and that is understandable. Some do. Krenov wrote about this - for example, building the back of a cabinet or a drawer to the same standard as the rest, so someone might enjoy looking at it. I agree.

That's the only reason. Personal preference. Not for everyone.


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Big Dave - 02-06-2019

(02-06-2019, 05:05 PM)Aram Wrote: for example, building the back of a cabinet or a drawer to the same standard as the rest

Personal preference.

I understand completely. Yes


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - brianwelch - 02-06-2019

(02-06-2019, 04:28 PM)Aram Wrote: This is kind of dumb, but how do you center the bottom when you glue up boxes? I'm talking about a solid wood bottom, standard rabbets into grooves, no spaceballs or anything like that. Some people (me, sometimes) put a little glue on one edge, or in the middle of both ends. After I bang the dovetails together, the bottom is usually off center. I pry it into position with a thin ruler or whatever, and wait for the glue to dry. Kind of cheeseball.

So kind of dumb, but how do you do it?

Not sure of your aversion to space balls (I have used pieces of window screen spline), but that should give you the centered, crisp look you are seeking. Too tight and you risk expansion/contraction issues (IMHO)
I do applaud your interest in doing everything as perfectly as possibly, after all aren't we all our own worst critics?
Brian


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Aram - 02-06-2019

(02-06-2019, 06:37 PM)brianwelch Wrote: Not sure of your aversion to space balls (I have used pieces of window screen spline), but that should give you the centered, crisp look you are seeking. Too tight and you risk expansion/contraction issues (IMHO)

Another excellent point. I don't have an aversion to Spaceballs. I rather like them. I have used them for larger cabinet doors. I have hundreds left over in Altoids tins for someday. Some of the boxes I build are small, and the sides/ends are not very thick. That makes it hard to have a deep enough groove to capture the bottom with enough extra depth for space balls without risk of the piece breaking.

That's the only reason.


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Dan Moening - 02-07-2019

Quote:Some of the boxes I build are small, and the sides/ends are not very thick. That makes it hard to have a deep enough groove to capture the bottom with enough extra depth for space balls without risk of the piece breaking.
I've cut them in half, even quarters, to fit into narrow grooves.
IMO/E they don't have to be round to function.


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - Aram - 02-07-2019

(02-07-2019, 12:16 AM)Dan Moening Wrote: I've cut them in half, even quarters, to fit into narrow grooves.
IMO/E they don't have to be round to function.

Good idea! Thanks.


RE: Dumb question about box glue-up - David Katz - 02-07-2019

(02-06-2019, 04:28 PM)Aram Wrote: This is kind of dumb, but how do you center the bottom when you glue up boxes? I'm talking about a solid wood bottom, standard rabbets into grooves, no spaceballs or anything like that. Some people (me, sometimes) put a little glue on one edge, or in the middle of both ends. After I bang the dovetails together, the bottom is usually off center. I pry it into position with a thin ruler or whatever, and wait for the glue to dry. Kind of cheeseball.

So kind of dumb, but how do you do it?

Use a card scraper after the glue-up to space the bottom in its grooves. Just make sure you have a 1/16-1/8 reveal around the bottom of the perimeter.