Titebond glue joint failure

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Forum topic by greatview posted 07-15-2017 04:38 PM 1672 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View greatview's profile


135 posts in 3936 days

07-15-2017 04:38 PM

Imagine a picture frame and one corner fails. I’d rather not break the opposing joint so that I can cleanly remove any glue residue (I can if I have to). I could probably get some “super glue” to wick into the joint. I might be able to get some other glue into the joint. The wood is cherry and the original glue is Tightbond II. I’ve done dozens of the same joint and never had a failure. It may have been over stressed but I’d like to repair it as easily as possible. Thoughts??

-- Tom, New London, NH

21 replies so far

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1519 days

#1 posted 07-15-2017 04:47 PM

Is it fully separated, or just cracking?

If it were me, and the crack was large enough, maybe try to slide in a piece of sandpaper to scuff the inside of the joint, then try to apply glue in a similar fashion (using a thin piece of scrap to apply inside)?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Ripper70's profile


1377 posts in 1687 days

#2 posted 07-15-2017 04:49 PM

Do you think perhaps a corrugated nail or two would work instead of re-gluing?

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View greatview's profile


135 posts in 3936 days

#3 posted 07-15-2017 05:30 PM

The joint is still tight but fully separated as I can move one piece relative to the other slightly. A corrugated nail really would’t work as the material is cherry and fairly dense and hard. Also not thick enough.
I’ve attached a photo and you’ll see that it is a set of nesting tables and one of the corners (smallest table) has separated. If I must, I can refinish the repaired table.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View bigJohninvegas's profile


776 posts in 2240 days

#4 posted 07-15-2017 05:43 PM

Wow that’s a tough repair. What about a spline on the underside? Can you remove the legs to get to it? Just like a Domino, or dowel except exposed from the bottom.

-- John

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3813 days

#5 posted 07-15-2017 05:52 PM

That’s very attractive, and I like the aesthetics and the light tones in that cherry.

It looks like end-grain to end-grain joint. I would consider something like a spline to support the joint, or else open the joint completely and add a biscuit, dowel, or floating tenon. I understand your hesitation, but I think that just hoping the glue will hold an end grain joint is optimistic, especially over time.

-- Barry,

View greatview's profile


135 posts in 3936 days

#6 posted 07-15-2017 06:07 PM

I’ve made a dozen or more sets over the last few years and never had a joint fail. I’ve thought about some type of reinforcement (spline, dowel, etc.) but never did as I had no joint problems in the past. What I may do is to make a new top for the one that’s failed and use the old top for a new set after cleaning out the glue. With a narrow kerf blade I could split the opposing joint and have a top slightly smaller. Or, just ignore the size difference and reinstall the top to the leg assembly. Here’s a better photo of the assembly. I typically give these to local charities which sell them on auction and they sell for about $300 per set.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View Rich's profile


5627 posts in 1368 days

#7 posted 07-15-2017 06:08 PM

I’d be temped to try staples. The T50 staplers are powerful enough to drive it flat to the surface (not flush though). The 1/4” crown staples are heavier gauge and the pneumatic stapler should be able to drive it flush, but you need the gun and a compressor.

It seems like you should be able to open the joint enough to get some glue in there without breaking the other joints and that would help stabilize the joint however you choose to strengthen it mechanically.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3813 days

#8 posted 07-15-2017 06:14 PM

Those are very attractive.

-- Barry,

View Aj2's profile


3100 posts in 2576 days

#9 posted 07-15-2017 06:17 PM

The miter joint has no jointery? Just glue on the end grain if so I think your ahead of the game.
They are nice looking tables and design

-- Aj

View Planeman40's profile


1499 posts in 3539 days

#10 posted 07-15-2017 06:39 PM

If you failed to spread glue on both sides of the joint before assembling, this may have cause the joint failure. Titebond is a really good glue and I see it as unlikely that a properly glued joint would have failed unless under extreme stress. Some people only spread glue on one side of the joint and this doesn’t give you the strongest joint. I learned a lot about gluing wood when I was building my first homebuilt airplane. Nothing makes you more focused and knowledgeable than building something that might kill you! : )

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5813 posts in 3087 days

#11 posted 07-15-2017 07:14 PM

How about a bow tie across the back side. flush of course

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View JackDuren's profile


1236 posts in 1738 days

#12 posted 07-15-2017 09:57 PM

I don’t think this was glue failure but rather the butt joint, It needed more than glue. Spline,dowels,Domino,etc

View greatview's profile


135 posts in 3936 days

#13 posted 07-15-2017 10:06 PM

I agree that a spline (or whatever) would strengthen the joint but I’ve made many of this design (maybe 15 – 20 sets with twelve joints in each set – 200 joints or more) without an issue and was hoping to find a solution to the broken joint that I now have.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12186 posts in 4207 days

#14 posted 07-15-2017 11:01 PM

On end grain joints, I always spread a very thin coat of glue on both surfaces. (I use TBII, also). I use my finger and really work it in. When it dries it has effectively sealed the pores so it won’t suck up the new glue and starve the joint. Which, I suspect happened in your case.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View pintodeluxe's profile


6159 posts in 3591 days

#15 posted 07-16-2017 04:55 AM

That actually doesn’t surprise me at all that a relatively small miter joint failed. It isn’t the glue, but the very nature of the joint used. In the future I would use a #20 biscuit at each corner.

As far as a quick fix for the current project… what about a pocket screw from underneath? Use a clamp to align the parts when driving the screw. The smaller Kreg jigs would work great. A little more glue wouldn’t hurt if you can work it into the joint.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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