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Messed up glue joint

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Forum topic by OldDogNewTricks posted 02-27-2021 03:33 AM 567 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OldDogNewTricks

17 posts in 95 days


02-27-2021 03:33 AM

So I did my first woodworking project as a dog crate for my adult son. But he had to go back to NYC and we were on the clock, so when we got to putting the top on the frame, I just glued it.

As I sit back and bask in the glory of my accomplishment, I realize that perhaps that was a really bad idea. The Top is laminated walnut. I’m thinking it will expand in the spring, buckle, split, and do all sorts of bad stuff.

I’m thinking of going down there to pick up up to bring him home sometime in April and I was thinking of removing the top and re-attaching it using some wooden clips (button fasteners) or figure 8 fasteners.

My question is what is the best way to remove the top from the base? Some kind of thin kerf hand saw? A pry bar :-)?

I don’t want to mess it up.

Thanks,
MIke


18 replies so far

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1345 posts in 2154 days


#1 posted 02-27-2021 03:42 AM

If by “laminated walnut” you mean “plywood”, I wouldn’t be so concerned about it. Plywood is pretty stable and shouldn’t move much, if any, with weather changes. If this is correct, I would just leave it alone and deal with a problem if one occurs.

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OldDogNewTricks

17 posts in 95 days


#2 posted 02-27-2021 03:43 AM



If by “laminated walnut” you mean “plywood”, I wouldn t be so concerned about it. Plywood is pretty stable and shouldn t move much, if any, with weather changes. If this is correct, I would just leave it alone and deal with a problem if one occurs.

- bilyo

Sorry—I meant 4-inch wide 3/4 inch solid walnut that I edge glued together into a tabletop.

Mike

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#3 posted 02-27-2021 02:02 PM

If you used wood glue you can heat the glue joint to soften the glue. A hair dryer or heat gun can be used. Dampening the joint while heating will help the glue softening process.
If the dog crate isn’t in an area subject to humidity swings it might be ok as is.

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2154 days


#4 posted 02-27-2021 02:49 PM

It also depends on how the rest of the crate is made. A photo or two would help.

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OldDogNewTricks

17 posts in 95 days


#5 posted 02-27-2021 04:15 PM

https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/418088

This is a pointer to the project. I used tightbond 3. So I don’t think the water will help, but heat might. I don’t have any experience with how wood moves (other than knowing that it does). The top is about 30 inches wide, which is where I assume it will move the most. I used a tung oil and paste wax finish, so I don’t think there is a lot of protection from moisture (not that there ever is).

Mike

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Madmark2

2492 posts in 1640 days


#6 posted 02-27-2021 04:19 PM

Wait until it comes apart on its own. If it doesn’t, then you were worrying for naught.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 02-27-2021 07:14 PM



Wait until it comes apart on its own. If it doesn’t, then you were worrying for naught.

- Madmark2


I agree. At this point, you risk messing up a very nicely done project. Yes. The top may someday develop a split. But, walnut is a pretty stable wood and there may never be a problem. Also, that gives you lots of time to worry and fret about it. ;>)

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Loren

11141 posts in 4700 days


#8 posted 02-27-2021 07:36 PM

You can soften glue with moisture and something like a heat gun. Maybe a heat gun alone. O you could try a guitar repair method used to remove bridged and fingerboards of heating a putty knife and working it into the joint. This can cause split-out of some of the wood, so go carefully.

View Wood_Scraps's profile

Wood_Scraps

107 posts in 71 days


#9 posted 02-27-2021 08:02 PM


Wait until it comes apart on its own. If it doesn t, then you were worrying for naught.

- Madmark2

I agree. At this point, you risk messing up a very nicely done project. Yes. The top may someday develop a split. But, walnut is a pretty stable wood and there may never be a problem. Also, that gives you lots of time to worry and fret about it. ;>)

- bilyo

Agree with these guys. It very well may never develop any issues. If it does, fix it.

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jkm312

86 posts in 455 days


#10 posted 02-28-2021 01:13 AM

I remember seeing your project when you first posted the original pictures. I thought it was very well done and looked terrific. We have two Boxers, showed them the picture and said they would hang their collars in there anytime without a second thought! Then looked at me and then their kennels . . . . . . thanks!!!!!!

Like a lot of us here on LJ i’ve been immersed in woodworking for a bazillion years. Three of those projects, an ice box, TV stand and a desk have solid wooden oak tops. Two are at least 30 + years old. They are connected to the carcases by screws thru a solid pine top frame with half laps glued to the sides. They were created in the basement and carried upstairs. The tops have never moved because the house is kept at constant temp and humidity. The kennel is surely in the same environment. Wood expands in width, not in length. It may not have a reason to move.

Like MadMark2 mentions, unless it comes apart on it’s own, don’t do anything. If is isn’t broken don’t fix it. If the top does move you will most likely see the doors not fitting the openings they way they should. Then if you need to soften the glue up with some heat and reattach with some L brackets.

View OldDogNewTricks's profile

OldDogNewTricks

17 posts in 95 days


#11 posted 02-28-2021 02:40 AM



I remember seeing your project when you first posted the original pictures. I thought it was very well done and looked terrific. We have two Boxers, showed them the picture and said they would hang their collars in there anytime without a second thought! Then looked at me and then their kennels . . . . . . thanks!!!!!!

Like a lot of us here on LJ i ve been immersed in woodworking for a bazillion years. Three of those projects, an ice box, TV stand and a desk have solid wooden oak tops. Two are at least 30 + years old. They are connected to the carcases by screws thru a solid pine top frame with half laps glued to the sides. They were created in the basement and carried upstairs. The tops have never moved because the house is kept at constant temp and humidity. The kennel is surely in the same environment. Wood expands in width, not in length. It may not have a reason to move.

Like MadMark2 mentions, unless it comes apart on it s own, don t do anything. If is isn t broken don t fix it. If the top does move you will most likely see the doors not fitting the openings they way they should. Then if you need to soften the glue up with some heat and reattach with some L brackets.

- jkm312

Thank you for the kind words. It seems the general consensus is, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Right now the piece is housing my son’s mini Australian shepherd (who absolutely adores it). So I’ll tell him to look for signs that the glue joint is failing or that the top is buckling.

If I do need to remove it, what is the consensus on the best approach? I was thinking one of those thin Japanese pull saws or a very sharp knife. If I can split it, I can sand both sides down, and re-attach with buttons.

But I’d rather spend time doing something new, rather than fixing the old.

Thanks,
Mike

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#12 posted 02-28-2021 12:48 PM


I remember seeing your project when you first posted the original pictures. I thought it was very well done and looked terrific. We have two Boxers, showed them the picture and said they would hang their collars in there anytime without a second thought! Then looked at me and then their kennels . . . . . . thanks!!!!!!

Like a lot of us here on LJ i ve been immersed in woodworking for a bazillion years. Three of those projects, an ice box, TV stand and a desk have solid wooden oak tops. Two are at least 30 + years old. They are connected to the carcases by screws thru a solid pine top frame with half laps glued to the sides. They were created in the basement and carried upstairs. The tops have never moved because the house is kept at constant temp and humidity. The kennel is surely in the same environment. Wood expands in width, not in length. It may not have a reason to move.

Like MadMark2 mentions, unless it comes apart on it s own, don t do anything. If is isn t broken don t fix it. If the top does move you will most likely see the doors not fitting the openings they way they should. Then if you need to soften the glue up with some heat and reattach with some L brackets.

- jkm312

Thank you for the kind words. It seems the general consensus is, if it aint broke, don t fix it. Right now the piece is housing my son s mini Australian shepherd (who absolutely adores it). So I ll tell him to look for signs that the glue joint is failing or that the top is buckling.

If I do need to remove it, what is the consensus on the best approach? I was thinking one of those thin Japanese pull saws or a very sharp knife. If I can split it, I can sand both sides down, and re-attach with buttons.

But I d rather spend time doing something new, rather than fixing the old.

Thanks,
Mike

- OldDogNewTricks


Oscillating multitool would do it. Do it from the inside, if possible. A cleat on each end with elongated screw holes to attach the top would be another option.

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jkm312

86 posts in 455 days


#13 posted 02-28-2021 01:21 PM

Titebond III is good stuff. It creates it own problem here. The glue bond is stronger than the wood fibers. If you try to split the joint, the wood fibers will most likely tear apart, no control on how they tear.

Seems to me you would have to control the cut. I would try an oscillating multi saw first, like JIMMIEM mentions above. Turn the kennel upside down and from the inside use the bottom of the top as a straight line reference point to guide the saw blade. They cut slowly and make a lot of noise, but they do get the job done.

I would just keep an eye on it for the near future. Most likely it will be OK on it’s own.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6929 posts in 2439 days


#14 posted 02-28-2021 01:44 PM

If you do decide you want to prevent problems rather than risk damage down the road, I would try Loren’s approach and use heat to break the glue joint. Heat is the enemy of PVA glue and you may be able to soften it enough that you can slowly work a putty knife into the joint. Once you get one spot soft and get the knife in, the rest will go pretty quickly. Heating the knife may also help the process. After you break the joint, attach some cleats with oversized holes and screw it down from below.

BTW, Did you finish the underside of the top? You will definitely want to make sure that you have a finish on the underside to make sure that you don’t have the problem of differential moisture change on the top an bottom adding to your problems.

The crate table looks great, BTW.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1675 posts in 779 days


#15 posted 02-28-2021 04:02 PM


So I did my first woodworking project as a dog crate for my adult son.
Thanks,
MIke

- OldDogNewTricks


Is this like time out?
How do you get him to go in there?

I’m kinda rough around the edges so if it were me, (plan A) I would just knock it off with a hammer and see how it goes. If it’s really on there, (plan B) knock it off with a bigger hammer…
A lot depends on how well it was put on. lot of glue, lot of clamps, little glue few clamps. good flat fit…
You kind of have to play it by ear and make sure it’s not pulling up chunks of the oak.
I would start in the back corner.

I would have a new top already made, because the time and work to fix the old split, or buckled top wouldn’t be worth it. Save the wood for something else.

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