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  • strongest joints for box making

    what are the strongest joints for box making? i want to be able to build my boxes without screws do to the design i have in mind for the corners, what do you guys do? one of the boxes will be a 10" sub box, will it hold up without screws?
    Last edited by mikegraveling; 04-01-2009, 11:27 AM. Reason: added

  • #2
    Re: strongest joints for box making

    Try lock miter joints. They are self locking and are much easier to keep aligned while clamping the joint when gluing. The router bit to cut the joint costs around $40-$50.

    -David

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    • #3
      Re: strongest joints for box making

      I like to use 45 degree mitered joints for small enclosures. You apply 2 inch masking tape on the outside of the joints, apply glue to the mating surfaces and close it like a book. If you align them carefully and they are quite small, you may even get by with little or no clamping. I prefer to clamp any way. I try to do four sides and one end at a time to help square every thing up. The mitered joint yields plenty of glue surface area and rounding over the corners still leaves a strong joint.

      More recently I have used a biscuit joiner and biscuits with but* (censor software) joints for larger enclosures. This method makes for even easier assembly than miter joints. It also self aligns and is more stable under clamp pressure. I always oversize the edges and flush trim them with a router after glue up.

      Marv

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      • #4
        Re: strongest joints for box making

        Depends on what you have to bring to bear in terms of equipment and skills - dovetail joinery is incredibly strong and has maximum glue surface and is the most self aligning. The next best, as said is locking joinery - also self aligning and lots of glue surface. Next would be half lap with corner blocks to align things for you. And lots of clamps. Lots of clamps. Oh, yeah, lots of clamps.


        When you run make sure you run,
        to something not away from, cause lies don't need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere.

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        • #5
          Re: strongest joints for box making

          Originally posted by mikegraveling View Post
          what are the strongest joints for box making? i want to be able to build my boxes without screws do to the design i have in mind for the corners, what do you guys do? one of the boxes will be a 10" sub box, will it hold up without screws?
          I agree with David. The lock miter joint works good with MDF, plywood or hardwoods. All you need to do is tap in together and clamp.

          http://www.binkyswoodworking.com/DrawerLockMiter.html
          This link is for drawers but shows two kinds of bits to use. You will also need a descent router table
          Dave
          http://www.pellegreneacoustics.com/

          Trench Seam Method for MDF
          https://picasaweb.google.com/101632266659473725850

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          • #6
            Re: strongest joints for box making

            Originally posted by biff View Post
            Depends on what you have to bring to bear in terms of equipment and skills - dovetail joinery is incredibly strong and has maximum glue surface and is the most self aligning. The next best, as said is locking joinery - also self aligning and lots of glue surface. Next would be half lap with corner blocks to align things for you. And lots of clamps. Lots of clamps. Oh, yeah, lots of clamps.


            Nice job Bif. Those look great! I haven't done dovetails in a long time.
            http://www.pellegreneacoustics.com/

            Trench Seam Method for MDF
            https://picasaweb.google.com/101632266659473725850

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            • #7
              Re: strongest joints for box making

              I would like to get a biscuit jointer for this. Itís not as strong as the ones already mentioned, but it is easier, and has a different appearance. The only time I have used one it was for bu++ joints, but I think it would work well for corners. I am a believer in clamps. The masking tape trick also works on bu++ joints.

              I know you said no screws, but maybe this will be helpful. I have had good luck with putting a ĺ by ĺ strip in the corners with glue and putting screws through it from the inside out. This gets you lots of glue surface and does not require clamps if you pre drill the strip. I have used this with furniture mostly. Obviously one side of an enclosed box cannot employ this technique. If you put glue on the screws they go in easy and donít come out.
              Thanks'

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              • #8
                Re: strongest joints for box making

                Although more elaborate joints are better, I find that simple b*tt joints are adequate, providing that the edges are nice and square.

                Remember it's a speaker, not a chair... unless you plan on sitting on it or otherwise abusing it.
                Form does not follow function
                Form is simultaneous to function

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                • #9
                  Re: strongest joints for box making

                  Box joints are also strong and simple -- you can make them with a router or table saw and dado.

                  I've made a jig for TS box joints in about 10 minutes, another 10 or so to get it set up just right, then you can knock out box joints all day long.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_joint


                  And while we're talking joining wood remember that "Finewoodworking Magazine" tested a bunch of different types of glue and good 'ol Titebond was best. "Gorilla Glue" came in at the back of the pack, especially for gap-filling.

                  I'd suggest you find a collection of FWW and read the articles on the glue test and the joint test they also did -- glue had some really surprising results, joint didn't but was still informative!
                  Last edited by mikec; 04-01-2009, 12:49 PM. Reason: added glue comment

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                  • #10
                    Re: strongest joints for box making

                    Originally posted by davepellegrene View Post
                    Nice job Bif. Those look great! I haven't done dovetails in a long time.

                    Much as I would love to take credit for those, the cabs are Cizeks from the 70's, in a beautiful Koa wood - heavy and THICK stuff. As strong as they are ,I had two choices with these, refinish and reuse these for speakers or block up the Dakota while we rebuilt the brakes.

                    The cinderblocks weighed less, so I used them on the brake job, though I think the cabinets are stronger.
                    When you run make sure you run,
                    to something not away from, cause lies don't need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: strongest joints for box making

                      Just do double layer box for a sub.
                      1) glue it and screw it with 3/4 inch mdf.
                      2) glue and screw in a few braces
                      3) then 1/2 inch mdf over the 3/4 inch mdf .
                      4) glue it and clamp it.
                      5) paint or veneer over the nail less top layer of mdf


                      for subs heavy thick boxes work well. you can do this and then use solid wood over the smooth layer of veneer. lowes sells 1/4 inch pieces of oak and you can use strips of it alternating with strips of maple from this ebay seller see link.

                      http://stores.ebay.com/JX3-HARDWOODS

                      these are some nice pieces he has

                      http://cgi.ebay.com/I1025-GOLDEN-CUR...742.m153.l1262

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                      • #12
                        Re: strongest joints for box making

                        thank you everyone for your suggestions, i think i have an idea of where i am going now.

                        thanks

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                        • #13
                          Re: strongest joints for box making

                          I have the jigs to do the elaborate joinery and use them for furniture. For speaker cabinets a simple **** joint works fine with cleats on the interior. I use a brad nailer to hold it together while gluing.

                          How durable are they? I had suspended a 3 cubic foot sub enclosure about 6 feet off the shop floor to get it out of the way while building another one. You guessed it, the hook failed and it landed on one of the corners. The joints held but the corner required a half a can of bondo to straighten out.

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                          • #14
                            Re: strongest joints for box making

                            Originally posted by mikegraveling View Post
                            what are the strongest joints for box making? i want to be able to build my boxes without screws do to the design i have in mind for the corners, what do you guys do? one of the boxes will be a 10" sub box, will it hold up without screws?
                            A simple rabet joint will work well with MDF or plywood. Modern glues (e.g. Titebond) are really, really good. -- Doug

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                            • #15
                              Re: strongest joints for box making

                              Hello,
                              as my skills in woodworking are limited, I use ordinary nails and white wood-glue. After that I brace all the bonds on the inside with hardwood of abt 1"x1". See my folders for details.

                              Regards//Lasse
                              Perry Mason talking to his dentist:

                              "Do you swear to take the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth, so help you God?"

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