MisterDrow

Beadlock Joinery System

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Anyone here ever used the Beadlock system for loose tenons? I am nowhere near being able to afford a Domino and this looked like a pretty viable alternative in the mean time. Certainly not as fast but definitely seems effective. 

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Yes to using beadlock. It is ok and does give you an anti twist dowel using a drill and their jig. I hear most people complain about the cost of the actual beadlock dowels but you can buy a router bit to create the same profile. It is pretty quick and you can also use their mortise chisel guide to create a flat sided hole if you don't want to use the beadlock tenon sticks.

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Beadlock joints fail early in the stress tests. Like dowels they have little face grain glue surface.  That being said, both are still pretty stout.  I use a router for floating tenon joinery and probably do it enough to justify a Domino but, . . . nah.  I can still hold a router up :D.

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34 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

Do you have a router? You dont need anything fancy, router and edge guide does a great job.

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

You know, if I could go back and do it again, I'd have bought a plunge router instead of a fixed-base one... looking to pick one up next month for my birthday.

8 minutes ago, Eric. said:

Yeah I'm with Shane...just do traditional M&T until you can buy a Domino. By that time you will have earned it. I think too many new woodworkers try to find ways around fundamental techniques to their own detriment. Learn the basics then figure out how best to cheat. 

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I'm still going to do traditional M&T... going to be doing it this weekend, actually. Loose tenon joinery still looks really appealing and I was merely curious about the beadlock system. I completely understand the sentiment, though. As a software developer I liken it to those who use WYSIWYG interfaces to build applications (usually mobile) so that they don't have to learn the fundamentals of programming. There's a reason that you should learn and become comfortable with that stuff early on... and then once you are familiar with it, you will often find the non-programming programming methods to be awful.

Not a perfect analogy since loose tenons are not generally awful... but I think you see what I mean.

7 minutes ago, davestanton said:

Yes to using beadlock. It is ok and does give you an anti twist dowel using a drill and their jig. I hear most people complain about the cost of the actual beadlock dowels but you can buy a router bit to create the same profile. It is pretty quick and you can also use their mortise chisel guide to create a flat sided hole if you don't want to use the beadlock tenon sticks.

Very cool. It'll be a while before I get one but I think it could be nice to use once in a while when I don't have time (and the importance isn't as high) for traditional joinery.

5 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Beadlock joints fail early in the stress tests. Like dowels they have little face grain glue surface.  That being said, both are still pretty stout.  I use a router for floating tenon joinery and probably do it enough to justify a Domino but, . . . nah.  I can still hold a router up :D.

That surprises me. Given that the mortise is the same shape as the beadlock tenons I figured the face grain surface contact would still be very high.

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Marc does the above mentioned loose tenon technique in the Krenov cabinet guild build. Its a nice technique and definitely easy to achieve without buying a piece of equipment that you'll end up replacing down the road if you're planning to get a Domino.

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1 hour ago, MisterDrow said:

That surprises me. Given that the mortise is the same shape as the beadlock tenons I figured the face grain surface contact would still be very high.

Don't get me wrong.  Beadlock and dowel joints are quite stout.  When you start comparing a dowel joint that fails around 750lbs to a beadlock that fails around 830 lbs to a floating tenon that fails around 1400 lbs you have to ask; will I ever put 800 lbs of force on that joint!?!  Look how much cope and stick cabinetry is in kitchens all over the country and they fail at around 320 lbs.

One that surprised me was that a half-lap was stronger than a bridal joint.  I would have thought the captured open tenon would be stronger but, it seems the thicker material of a half lap wins.  Festoolians reel seeing dominos holding only a little better than biscuits but, not as good as pocket screws.with glue.

Beadlock:

beadlock.JPG

Floating tenon:

floating tenon.JPG

I have also seen tests where epoxy was substituted for PVA glue.  The joints where the connection points failed did better but, most joints fail at the surrounding material.  The more seamless that connection, the more stress is transferred away from the joint and into the balance of the material.

You need to be a subscriber for this link but, there are other tests out there on the internet that are similar.  I try not to go too weird-science on this stuff.  There are plenty of joints, some stronger or weaker than each other, that are just fine for what we're doing.

 

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9 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Beadlock:

beadlock.JPG

Floating tenon:

floating tenon.JPG

 

Interesting... I think I thought the beadlock tenons would fit more snugly in the mortise than that.I'll have to experiment with doing them with a router and my own stock... but that doesn't seem like it would be any less work than just doing a standard M&T, either.

Maybe I'll hold off for a while... if I need alignment I've always got my biscuit joiner and if I need something fast I can always just use dowels... and then I'll stick to traditional joinery for the rest.

Thanks for educating me, gentlemen! :)

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To be honest I totally ignore those stress tests.  Not only are they scientifically flawed, I simply don't care.  Truth is almost any of those joints will be strong enough to withstand normal use, and as long as a piece isn't abused, they should all be sufficient, give or take the piece's function.

It boils down to what is the best joint for strength and aesthetics that you can get done quickly and still be proud of.  If biscuits are structurally sufficient for a piece and they will never be seen, I'll use them.  If the joint is visible and requires additional strength, then it's time to use dovetails.  But I'm not gonna get in a twist over a few pounds per inch because some woodworking magazine (which employs exactly zero scientists) says I should.  You always know in your gut if the joint you're choosing is appropriate.  And like Trip used to say (RIP)..."when there is doubt, there is no doubt."  So choose another.

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Also interesting that Mathias' end grain to face grain joints tended to fail at the glue line:

joint fail 1.JPG

Where Finewoodworking's end grain to edge grain joints all failed in the wood.

joint fail 2.JPG

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That's an apples to oranges comparison, gee-dub.  The face grain in MW's test is much stronger than the edge grain in FWW's test.  Think about the way wood wants to cleave and the failure in both make sense.

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42 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Also interesting that Mathias' end grain to face grain joints tended to fail at the glue line:

joint fail 1.JPG

I'll have to go watch it again but I didn't think he used glue on the pocket hole joints for this test since so many projects online don't.

40 minutes ago, Eric. said:

That's an apples to oranges comparison, gee-dub.  The face grain in MW's test is much stronger than the edge grain in FWW's test.  Think about the way wood wants to cleave and the failure in both make sense.

This is absolutely true. FWW's test is at the end of the wood piece whereas MW's is in the middle and on face grain, not edge grain.

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1 hour ago, Eric. said:

That's an apples to oranges comparison, gee-dub.  The face grain in MW's test is much stronger than the edge grain in FWW's test.  Think about the way wood wants to cleave and the failure in both make sense.

Agreed. That is the point I was trying to make. I make a lot more joints like FWW does than the way MW does. The test gives us a good "difference" between joints either way but, the joinery method is certainly an influence. I really shouldn't post before the coffee kicks in :D.

 

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On 9/30/2016 at 7:42 AM, gee-dub said:

Agreed. That is the point I was trying to make. I make a lot more joints like FWW does than the way MW does. The test gives us a good "difference" between joints either way but, the joinery method is certainly an influence. I really shouldn't post before the coffee kicks in :D.

 

Don't feel too bad. I can't person without coffee.

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I think you asked if anyone had experience with this Beadlock, and how did it perform.  Well I've used one for 15??yrs.  It's the poor women's domino.   If you get the large kit, you can make standard M&T with help to keep the sides straight. The jig makes it faster to make a good joint, than by hand. The domino is faster and way more expensive. my 2cents.

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On Friday, September 30, 2016 at 7:25 AM, Eric. said:

To be honest I totally ignore those stress tests.  Not only are they scientifically flawed, I simply don't care.  Truth is almost any of those joints will be strong enough to withstand normal use, and as long as a piece isn't abused, they should all be sufficient, give or take the piece's function.

It boils down to what is the best joint for strength and aesthetics that you can get done quickly and still be proud of.  If biscuits are structurally sufficient for a piece and they will never be seen, I'll use them.  If the joint is visible and requires additional strength, then it's time to use dovetails.  But I'm not gonna get in a twist over a few pounds per inch because some woodworking magazine (which employs exactly zero scientists) says I should.  You always know in your gut if the joint you're choosing is appropriate.  And like Trip used to say (RIP)..."when there is doubt, there is no doubt."  So choose another.

I agree with this.  with the exception that I think (I am not 100% sure anymore) that Brian, the editor from woodsmith was a test engineer.  (And I am not claiming that it matters.)

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Just remembered one other I should have included. Joint construction quality (craftsmanship). If you can knock out a super tight beadlock or dowel joint, vs a wiggly mortise and tenon, that will influence the performance significantly as well. 

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All good points.  Fine Woodworking made 5 of each joint, tested and averaged the result.  This levels the playing field somewhat but, the variety in characteristics is pretty plentiful.

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