FWW Crossgrain glue up?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by HTown posted 11-11-2017 05:31 AM 672 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

11-11-2017 05:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fww glue joint joining

I’m looking at a small silverware tray that Christian Becksvoort featured in FWW #274 Nov/Dec 2017.
The bottom is glued from underneath directly to the sides. It seems like this would create a cross grain situation that would fail due to differential expansion.

Can anybody explain why this joint wouldn’t fail?

Please don’t take this as a critique of CB’s design, I really admire his woodworking and journalism. Here is a link in case you missed the article:


7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4250 days

#1 posted 11-11-2017 05:58 AM

He mentions using quartersawn pine. Quartersawn
wood moves less. It’s a risk he’s willing to take
apparently on a small box.

A few months back there was a discussion here on
making chessboards where examples were shown
that took risks with wood movement but hadn’t
had any problems. I believe there were also
some examples of failures.

View Andre's profile


2995 posts in 2408 days

#2 posted 11-11-2017 07:06 AM

From the Pic. it looks like long grain to long grain for 2 sides so shouldn’t be a problem. Could always dowel if really concerned.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View jdh122's profile


1120 posts in 3419 days

#3 posted 11-11-2017 11:11 AM

Quartersawn softwoods move very little (see chart A piece of QS eastern white pine 9 inches wide (seems reasonable size for an inbox) that varied seasonally from 6 to 16% moisture content would only see 6/100 of an inch movement from smallest to largest.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2597 days

#4 posted 11-11-2017 02:27 PM

The growth creates stress in a constrained joint. If that stress exceeds the strength of joint, it fails. A mechanical engineering type guy could tell you the strength of as cross grain glue joint and figure out how much stress gets created when the wood grows.

On a small box or tray the amount of growth is small, so perhaps the glue joint is strong enough to survive. Paul sellers made a box on YouTube recently with a cross grain glue joint. Must work on the same principle.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2088 days

#5 posted 11-11-2017 04:10 PM

I have no basis for this arbitrary measurement but I keep it under 6” or less. I do it on jewelry boxes all the time and haven’t had any problems.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

#6 posted 11-12-2017 02:03 AM

Thanks for the insight. I decided to go with a loose bottom for a chisel tray I’m making.

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

#7 posted 11-12-2017 11:37 PM

So here is the tray I was hoping to build today. More of a till to fit in a drawer. I ended up making a loose panel in grooves rather than gluing the bottom in.
I didn’t have any quartersawn material to devote to this project.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics