jdcook72

How would you put this together (joinery)?

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A friend is having me build him a pair of oak speaker stands. The design is simple but I was curious what options to consider for putting everything together. The picture shows the design, dimensions of the squares from bottom to top are 10", 8", 6" and 8" with a  4" square post in the middle. Total height is 18". Not very big and they don't ever need to come apart. The only requirement is that there are no screws visible. The simplest thing I could think of would be to screw the inside panels into the post and then face glue the outside panels to those. These aren't anything fancy, just a quick and dirty project, but I was wondering what else I could do. What if I didn't want to use screws? Making the end grain connection to the posts is what is worrying me for strength.

Thanks

SpeakerStand.jpg

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Welcome to the forums..  

As I don't know what tools you have or where your skill level is, I'll just toss out a suggestion..

Build the top and bottom from thicker stock (8/4) and just cut the set back around it.  Build the post as a solid piece.  Use epoxy and dominos the attach the top and bottom.

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Hi, thanks.

I forgot to mention, each square is 3/4" thick so 1 1/2" total for top or bottom. I have a basic compliment of tools: jointer, planer, band/table saw router, etc. No domino though. Beginner/intermediate skills. I had thought about a mortise and tenon to attach the post to the top and base but didn't know if 3/4" length would provide enough purchase. How about a double mortise and tenon or would a single square tenon be fine, make it an inch long and go through both squares? The long dimension of the mortises and tenons run with the grain in the squares and post respectively so that there is more face grain to face grain contact for the glue up, right?

SpeakerStand_v2.jpg

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What you have in your picture would work fine.  If you made the top and bottom from one piece instead of 2, you'd get more bite out of the M&T joint.  I'd still go with epoxy for the glue up tho.

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2 hours ago, jdcook72 said:

 These aren't anything fancy, just a quick and dirty project,

Given this statement, why wouldn't you use screws?

But if I were going to make it without screws and keep it quick and dirty, I'd probably do essentially the same thing: glue on the inside squares. drill in some dowels for reinforcement, then glue on the outside squares to cover the dowels.

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I would dry clamp the smaller square to the top and drill holes for dowels thru that piece and into the end grain of the post.  Then do the same for the smaller bottom piece.  Use something like 1/2" diameter dowels - as many as you want. No need to measure and locate them exactly.  Now the alignment of the top and bottom are guaranteed at final assembly.  Unclamp and then glue the 2 top pieces together and the 2 bottom pieces together.  Then glue the assemblies to the top and bottom using the dowels for strength and alignment.  Epoxy glue for this last step is a good idea.

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The way you mentioned doing it in the original post is fine. Who cares about endgrain gluing, just screw and glue  the inside square and face glue the top. You could even screw and glue the base, as no one would ever see it. 

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Seems like dowels would be a nice compromise to using screws and not fussing with more complex joinery. In the end, screws would be just fine but I think an opportunity try something different with dowels would be fun.

A couple of people mentioned using epoxy, is that because regular wood glue wouldn't be strong enough, what would be gained? There's not a lot of stress in this type of application, I wouldn't think.

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16 minutes ago, jdcook72 said:

Seems like dowels would be a nice compromise to using screws and not fussing with more complex joinery. In the end, screws would be just fine but I think an opportunity try something different with dowels would be fun.

A couple of people mentioned using epoxy, is that because regular wood glue wouldn't be strong enough, what would be gained? There's not a lot of stress in this type of application, I wouldn't think.

I suggested it because of the end grain on your post. That combined with not using screws, you'll just get a better bond with the epoxy.

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Of all the options listed, I think the glue and dowels through the inside plate, then face glue the outside plate, is the best compromise between strength and simplicity. Essentially the same as m&t, without the hassle. If you dry clamp things together while boring the dowel holes, it would even be simple to transfer them to the outside plate for a little extra bite.

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Theres enough surface area here, straight glue will be fine if the surfaces mate properly. Since you have multiple pieces, you can just screw in the "middle" pieces to the longer piece. Tenons and dowels seem pretty overkill to be blunt.

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