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Box construction with a brad nailer

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  • #16
    Originally posted by donradick View Post
    I"m really P!SSED 0FF that I can't seem to align the panels and joints perfectly each time, and it takes a lot of time to sand the joint flat or use a router with a flush trim bit.

    My newest method is using 90 degree clamps when assembling, and getting the boards lined up really good. I then shoot brads to "lock in" the alignment.
    Once I've got 4 sides done, I will pull it apart, glue and reassemble (the brads and respective holes ensure alignment) and clamp.
    Still not perfect, but the best method I've found so far.

    FWIW, neither biscuits or dowels seem to line up as good as the brad technique.
    I have to disagree. Not that I’ve built many but I really like biscuits! They hold the alignment perfectly for me. Using Titebond slow drying glue I can assemble five sides in one shot. YMMV!

    Have Fun! Mark

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    • #17
      Donradlck I have been using miters so I can use the “tape” method. My miters were not great (but I am getting that taken care of) and they do not suffice for a square box so a jig is still useful. But I want to learn some other techniques.

      I am using some Corian also and that will just have to be done with jigs.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by donradick View Post
        I"m really P!SSED 0FF that I can't seem to align the panels and joints perfectly each time, and it takes a lot of time to sand the joint flat or use a router with a flush trim bit.
        Time spent making sure all your cuts are right on (accounting for actual plywood thickness and such), and then trying to line up everything such that you won't need to buzz the box with a flush trim sounds like a lot more time spent than buzzing the box with a flush trim to me.

        My technique: make the last panels a touch bigger than need be, apply glue, put the panel on, pop a brad or two in so that it doesn't wander during clamping (since it will wander unless you have magical always square clamps) and clamp it up, flush trim later.
        Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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        • #19
          Hot topic.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by djg View Post
            Hot topic.
            Lots of pain for peeps who are not master woodsmiths.

            I agree with the "miter" post. I did that for a few boxes, and it was dream come true to be able scuff sand a mitered joint and it came out perfect.
            I might do that again. Need to make a 45 degree zero clearance insert.

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            • #21
              Back when we were all younger on "The New Yankee Workshop" Norm Abram would often use brads to "hold it until the glue dries" (which became a woodworking cliche).

              Problem with "brad nailers" is "What size are you talking about?"

              There are the tiny "wire nailers" which are almost impossible to see once driven up the the 15 gauge "brad nailers" (.072 inch dia) that can use 2" or bigger "brads".

              One thing all "brads" have in common is that driver will put head below the surface so you can't pull them once driven.

              That leaves them hidden and in the way of any additional woodworking like routing edges, etc.

              Also if driven into end grain of plywood they have been known to make a hard turn and come out of the side of the panel. (Or into holder's hand, etc. DAMHIKT!)

              Right now I'm glueing some MDF boxes together. I'm using screws to "hold it til the glue dries", then I'll pull them and bondo any holes before I start sanding/finishing.




              Last edited by mikec; 01-07-2020, 09:43 PM.

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              • #22
                I suggest using a double rabbet with some adhesive and clamps. With clamping pressure the double rabbet provides a lot of self alignment.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JRT View Post
                  I suggest using a double rabbet with some adhesive and clamps. With clamping pressure the double rabbet provides a lot of self alignment.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  I like this and when I get a router table, I am all over it

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                  • #24
                    https://www.infinitytools.com/routin...uter-bits-3220

                    I just saw these bits the other day, specifically for MDF and ply, look very interesting, but haven't tried them.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by skatz View Post
                      https://www.infinitytools.com/routin...uter-bits-3220

                      I just saw these bits the other day, specifically for MDF and ply, look very interesting, but haven't tried them.
                      Even though they provide a setup block, changing bits and heights between cutting the two mating surfaces adds a lot of complexity and room for error.

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                      • #26
                        I have been using a brad nailer for decades. I find it fast and convenient BUT I have not generally been making furniture quality items either. A little fill is needed, but, unless you are doing mitres, you are filling anyway.

                        A carbide bit will plow right through brads no problem; and while I truly have yet to ever have a bit get chipped by a brad, it could happen so for roundover and chamfer bits I like to use either exchange-a-bit bits or economy bits.

                        For brads curling and exiting the side of the material - I have found that if the nailer is kept perpendicular to the edge it happens WAY less. I would say never if you are careful with the angle of the nailer; but only Siths deal in absolutes

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by dwigle View Post

                          Even though they provide a setup block, changing bits and heights between cutting the two mating surfaces adds a lot of complexity and room for error.
                          If you are using all 3/4 or 1/2 material there is no need to change heights/bits, so it still looks fairly easy to me. I have some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, so I may spring for this and a set up block. But my shop is unheated so I won't be using them for a while! Did you look at the video?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post

                            I like this and when I get a router table, I am all over it
                            I do that all the time without a router table, just a 3/8" rabbet bit set to 3/8" depth. Of course MDF and ply aren't exactly 3/4" thick, so there's some tolerance issues, but that's well within my clamp guided cut tolerance anyway so it works out just fine.
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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by skatz View Post

                              If you are using all 3/4 or 1/2 material there is no need to change heights/bits, so it still looks fairly easy to me. I have some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, so I may spring for this and a set up block. But my shop is unheated so I won't be using them for a while! Did you look at the video?
                              These look cool and when I get my router table I will be tempted to try them.

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                              • #30
                                You'll try them, but eventually will realize that it's taking you three times as long to do the job as with simple butt joints. More complicated methods are only called for with furniture that's not braced to the extent that speakers are, which relieves stress on individual joints.
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