LumberJocks

Glue-up technique for dovetail cabinet with stopped dado shelves

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by FoCoJo posted 06-23-2020 03:16 PM 406 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FoCoJo's profile

FoCoJo

4 posts in 45 days


06-23-2020 03:16 PM

Hello,
I am new to this forum and fairly new to woodworking as a hobby. I hope I am posting this question in the right place:
I am in the process of building a hanging tool cabinet. The carcass (hard maple) is dovetailed, and the shelves (cherry) are in stopped dados. The front corners of the shelves are notched to hide the dados. Additionally, the shelves themselves have dados cut into them to accept various vertical dividers. I’m not sure if it’s relevant to this question, but the back of the carcass will have a 3/8” rebate around the interior cut 1/2” deep to accept 1/2” ply backing (back of shelves sit flush to this rebate cut).
I am preparing for glue up, but prior to this have only experience with small dovetails boxes. Do I glue up the carcass first then put glue in the shelf dados and slide the shelves into the carcass? Or do i need to assemble the case “around” the shelves already placed in their dado slots (yikes!) How about the vertical dividers? I can’t imagine the logistics of doing the whole glue up at once. I’m also not sure I have enough clamps to do it all at once, but I will follow suggestions because I want this thing to last forever. I planned on using Titebond 3, just because it’s what i’m used to.
Thanks,
John




9 replies so far

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1165 posts in 3621 days


#1 posted 06-23-2020 03:29 PM

I would probably glue up the main four pieces (ie the dovetailed carcass) first. Measure diagonals carefully to make sure it’s square. Once the glue has cured (overnight) or at least dried (an hour or two) I’d add the shelves. And once the shelves are dry add the dividers.
Life’s stressful enough without trying to do a glue-up like this in one go…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

681 posts in 1423 days


#2 posted 06-23-2020 03:40 PM

Titebond 3 gives you a fairly long open time. Do a dry run (or two) and see how your clamps work out. I’d be tempted to do it all in one go and save the verticals for last. They shouldn’t even need glue as they are captured by the dadoes and the back. Might be just the excuse you need to pick up a couple of clamps. You can never be too rich, too good looking, or have too many clamps.

Nice work by the way.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3177 posts in 2601 days


#3 posted 06-23-2020 03:54 PM

I agree with comments above. Glue the case first keep it square as possible checking diagonally .
I have suggestions make cauls to close your joinery and accomplish your work during the coolest part of the day or night.
Looks good

Good Luck

-- Aj

View FoCoJo's profile

FoCoJo

4 posts in 45 days


#4 posted 06-23-2020 08:00 PM

Thanks for the replies. I will try and talk my wife into letting me pick up a couple more long parallel clamps, I already “had to get” a plunge router for the shelf dados ; )
I will definitely follow your advice and make up some cauls for the glue up:
During dovetail layout I set my marking gauge just a hair thicker than the sides and plane off excess after glue-up (results in about a 1/64” protrusion) In the past for the few small boxes I’ve made I spent time tediously making cauls that put pressure only on the pins/tails depending on the face I was clamping. I have read that some people just use a soft wood so the caul itself molds over the slightly proud pins/tails once clamping pressure is applied, does this really work?
And if I were to assemble just the case and put the shelves in afterward, do I just spread glue along the entire dado and slide them in and clamp from the sides?
Keep getting tear-out on interior faces of the case….so I guess i’ll start sanding.

Thanks again!
-John

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3177 posts in 2601 days


#5 posted 06-23-2020 08:19 PM

Thumbs up to cauls pushing on the tail board if you really want to get fancy make them for the face of the pin board too. :)
Have you forgotten about a card scraper. Most prefer a card scraper to sanding.
Keep us posted even if you no comments

Good Luck

-- Aj

View FoCoJo's profile

FoCoJo

4 posts in 45 days


#6 posted 06-23-2020 11:41 PM

Looks like I need to learn about card scrapers, thanks AJ!
-John

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1165 posts in 3621 days


#7 posted 06-24-2020 11:13 AM

As far as gluing in the shelves once the sides and top are already assembled: as you slide the shelf in a good bit of glue will get pushed out. So by all means apply glue all along the dado, but once the shelf is halfway in, apply glue to the part of the shelf that has not yet entered the dado.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Robert's profile

Robert

3788 posts in 2284 days


#8 posted 06-24-2020 02:26 PM

Pipe clamps are the best way to go on a budget.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View FoCoJo's profile

FoCoJo

4 posts in 45 days


#9 posted 06-24-2020 03:16 PM

That’s what I ended up using. I actually had a bit of a struggle getting it square and once I got it perfect, I didn’t want to move any clamps so I only clamped the dovetail boards and not the pin boards. I had pretty uniform squeeze-out so hopefully it’s ok. Will def take your advice on gluing the shelves thx Jeremy.

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

HomeRefurbers.com