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Thread: End grain glue joints versus side grain

  1. #11
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    And Ron - what I use for rock-solid end joints is the Festool Domino system, which is obviously available in Europe too. But less convenient ways of doing it strong have been around for centuries. End grain joining is competently done every day, one way or another, and was routinely done well before power tools were ever invented.
    Yes I know how to make end to end grain strong with joinery, what I meant is that end to end glueing without any other fastening joinery (like dominos) is weak....(indeed Festool are probably the best (and expensive), but I work mostly with handtools like here: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ing-box-camera).

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Did you watch the video?
    Yep, and I would say: don't let yourself mislead by that video. That end to end grain is weaker than side to side grain is a simple rule of math and physical laws: the bigger the glued surface, the stronger the joint.
    If you have worked with splines to join (strengthen) end to end grain and side to side grain, and know why the grain has a different direction in those splines depending on its use, you would understand that his examples are misleading.
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  2. #12
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    [QUOTE=Ron (Netherlands)


    Yep, and I would say: don't let yourself mislead by that video. That end to end grain is weaker than side to side grain is a simple rule of math and physical laws: the bigger the glued surface, the stronger the joint.
    If you have worked with splines to join (strengthen) end to end grain and side to side grain, and know why the grain has a different direction in those splines depending on its use, you would understand that his examples are misleading.[/QUOTE]

    Fair enough. " the bigger the glued surface, the stronger the joint. " That true. The guy in the video would agree.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
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  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    Hi Lloyd. Yes billionaires will pay for excellent hand-produced items too. But they tend to be an impatient lot. The Ming Emperors often didn't pay at all, had their own way of dealing with delays, and surrounded the workmen with thousands of soldiers properly equipped to lop your head off if the pace of work seemed a bit inadequate. Be grateful for a bowl of rice at the end of the day, though tens of thousands starved, especially building the Grand Canal which brought all those durable hardwood logs from such a great distance. Probably wouldn't have been a good idea to try and establish a labor union back then either.

    In modern times, we have the technological means to become maimed and mutilated on our own, no Emperor needed. One of the first brief jobs I had after college was driving a truck for a paint wholesaler. I'd routinely stop first at the DuPont plant to pick up 55 gallon drums of a special wood finishing oil, and then next drop that off at a large hardwood furniture plant in the same area. The foreman would sign holding a pencil in his little finger - because one little finger on each hand is all he had left! - proverbial jointer accidents. But if you want to stick to hand tools alone, seen the same thing happens with manual guillotine-style mitre choppers, likewise infamous for not mixing well with the distracted, careless, or stoned.

  4. #14

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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    One reason old wood structures survive ,is the ability to flex some between the joints when confronted with an earthquake shock, or around here, Hurricane force winds. Almost every thing I do any more is mortise and tenon, an occasional scarf joint. Cut in the shop, disassembled, then reassembled on site. Fabricating is a slow process. A poorly made joint is worthless. I am very lucky to get to build things the way I want, what ever it is. I am not so lucky as to have "currently "clients that have that kind of budget . I don't care. It's fun and I like it.
    I frequently watch these guys while I eat lunch. Multigenerational Japanese timber framers.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-xvHO-Co5QA
    Now, How about shipwrights. Joinery on the curve. As good as it gets. Luis is a great source
    https://m.youtube.com/c/TipsfromaShi...tvideos/videos

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    I'm within ten minutes walking distance of the infamous Hayward fault, known to be worse at times than the also nearby San Andreas fault that leveled San Francisco in 1906. Having a good geology education, I made bought property underlain with granite instead of the usual coastal Miocene mudstone. Everything is seriously bolted down. I use true structural screws to supplement everything I repair or remodel. Lots of marine epoxy (nasty stuff to work with).

    Glad you appreciate traditional Asian joinery techniques too. I just never had time for it personally. I'm more the type who would be given custom plate steel welded brackets left over from the facilities where I worked, along with structural beams, and all kinds of things, in fact. We had a 660 volt 3-phase table saw in the shop that could handle big dimensional stuff easily. That's how I got the structural column for my largest 8X10 enlarger sized.

    Anyway, the fellow I mentioned in relation to that Nova science special involving Ming joinery began in a career introducing modernist Asian painters to US museums. Then he ran a gallery specializing in the same kind of thing, plus my own photographic prints, which went along well with that theme. I did presentation well, and even made my own custom Zen-style hardwood frames. But then he eventually got itchy for a new career and went into high-end construction joinery, including the most expensive wood house in the world and its matching furniture (think of a particular gazoolionaire instead of a mere billionaire). Helped build his wooden yacht too, replete with full sized basketball court on deck (but still too small, so yet another yacht, the world's largest, was made by the same crew, but with carbon fiber instead - a full billion dollar project itself). My friend is now retired and quite restricted due to his wife's very poor health, but manages to frequently slip into the shop and still make wooden miniatures at using interlocking rather than glued or pinned joints, mostly with classic Japanese hand tools since there's no deadline involved.

    I worked in a wonderful neighborhood. I was in charge of perhaps the broadest selection of high-end power tools and accessories in the country, including the entire Festool line (all in stock), plus all kinds of other product lines. But just 5 minutes up the street was a small specialty shop importing wonderful high-end Japanese hand tools, many of them really expensive. They also imported things like Japanese nail pullers and handsaws for us. But if you wanted a five hundred dollar laminated chisel made by a famous Japanese sword maker, they had it. Incredible traditional plane selection too. I had more of a background in European hand tools. But most of my own hand tools are inherited from back in the day when high-quality items were being made in the US. Otherwise, as unforgivable as it might sound to you, I do 99% of the actual work using power tools - yes, the quiet and clean Euroshop kind, but still power. I also have quite a collection of the original variety of cordless tools made of obsidian and flint etc. Perhaps they did it best, way back then in the Pleistocene.

  6. #16

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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    It's amazing how a piece of flint hold its edge

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    Neurosurgeons still use obsidian when they want the sharpest edge possible. Flint was less common here locally in terms of aboriginal use, and chert a poor substitute for either, though often used for crude implements since it was abundant. But prior to the close of the Ice Age there were some stunning stone flakers that could handle even quartz or jasper with precision. I was the first to discover obsidian microliths in the Western hemisphere, so tiny and symmetrically shaped that they need a magnifying glass to appreciate. These have of course been associated with Solutrean and Magdelenian sites in Europe for quite awhile. They functioned like barbs fitted into long straight section of bone or ivory via precise burin slots, harpoon-like. All kinds of sophisticated lithic technology back then that didn't transfer past the close of the ice age except in Arctic climes, much of it deliberately beautiful and quite possibly ritualized.

  8. #18

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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Snip: I was the first to discover obsidian microliths in the Western hemisphere, so tiny and symmetrically shaped that they need a magnifying glass to appreciate.
    Is there a publication on this discovery?

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: End grain glue joints versus side grain

    I don't know what happened to all the research papers. That kind of thing happened repeatedly to archaeological research well before my day. You never want to turn it over to a University or museum. Lots of it gets misplaced or lost forever. Not long ago the forgotten life's work of a major researcher a generation before me turned up in a garage clean-out and it nearly went to the dump. My own documentation disappeared along with my art collection - was in the same safe. Know who took it for drug money, along with one big artifact cache, as well as who bought it, who will never talk because he was turned into Swiss cheese by a swat team after shooting down a police helicopter with a rifle. Stolen artifacts can bring big money. The Mafia actually raided at least two California museums.

    I still have the actual microliths in a secure location, which might make an interesting photo project some day with a macro lens. Translucent ones could actually be projected on the enlarger. Once the spiteful old head of the University Dept here finally croaked, who fought tooth and nail against anyone finding anything more ancient than he had, he was replaced by the former technical advisor for Louis Leakey (who was a lot smarter than Leakey). He saw them and was very kind. I was only 16 at the time. But my backers were geologists and paleontologists, especially a relatively young professor who went on to found the Geomorphology Dept at Princeton. They despised archaeologists back then because those mainly came from humanities backgrounds rather than hard sciences; so they were delighted to have some country kid show up and make the establishment look like fools. A lot has since changed. A rite of passage for me. There weren't any viable careers in it, not quite yet in Geomorphology either, although in this day and age my nephew makes an excellent living in Geomorph.

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