Loose tenon joint separating.. need filler advice


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This is a face frame i made using the Festool Domino. I guess I didnt have enough glue in the joint so there is some separation happening. The frame is going to be painted, so I need some ideas on how to fill and bond this location. I tried spackling and drywall mud, but they both just split again.

 

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Slight undercut might help, but very slight. The stuff you've got should work if it's not dried up & too stiff. Let it dry till the smell is completely gone before sanding. Fingernail polish remover won't work to thin it but will clean your fingers afterward. Pure acetone can thin it but use very sparingly. 

Next time buy Timbermate. It smells funny but it works great !

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Timbermate wood filler will fill in the gap but it will not provide any bonding for the loose joint.  If your piece moves again the gap will return.  If you can spread the joint enough to add epoxy, sand then you may need to apply the Timbermate.  The epoxy will provide some level of bonding, depending how far into the joint you can get it.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok. Need more ideas. I used wood filler and glue as best I could. Everything looked great. I primed sanded and sprayed 4 coats of paint, lightly sanding between.

After moving the unit from the garage to the office where it will live, the joints showed splitting again. This was really a punch in the gut as I had spent a ton of time making sure the finish was near perfect.

What can I do at this point? I was thinking about cutting a vgroove at these joints as a "feature".

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Use a clamp backwards to force the joint open enough so you can really get enough glue in there. If the crack exists after regluing and reclamping I would wait 24 hrs or more then undercut the joint like a micro sliding dovetail joint and pack that with the filler. Let the filler dry a good long time before sanding. Good luck !

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Spackle.  Then a little paint touch-up.  I just did the casework in my basement and spackle was great for filling tiny gaps in a couple miters.

I wouldn't put a groove in those joints.  That will just draw the eye right to it.

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If you are getting these cracks by moving the piece it seems like you may have a larger issue. Why is it flexing/moving so much? Is there a large span or are all of the joints just starved for glue?

Can you post a pic of the entire piece?

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2 hours ago, Alan G said:

If you are getting these cracks by moving the piece it seems like you may have a larger issue. Why is it flexing/moving so much? Is there a large span or are all of the joints just starved for glue?

Can you post a pic of the entire piece?

I'm pretty sure the joints are starved for glue. This is just a face frame, so I didn't think much of it at the time. I just don't know how to fix it at this point. I built this in 4 sections and screwed them together this at least 20 screws around each joint. It won't move once it is in place.

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6 hours ago, Eric. said:

Did you try some spackle and paint?  You're not gonna be able to force that joint back together at this point.  You're in cover-up mode now.

Not yet. Is there a particular spackle I should use? I thought I read somewhere about a particular brand that is good for wood.

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17 minutes ago, Cygnus A said:

Not yet. Is there a particular spackle I should use? I thought I read somewhere about a particular brand that is good for wood.

I used this stuff on my casing.  I wouldn't use it on big gaps but just to conceal tiny ones it did the trick.  I wouldn't use it until your cabinets are screwed into place and locked down.  Bondo might be a better option but I've never used that stuff.

 

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I have used bondo on various projects. I had always used the two part product. It was fine and when you need a lot it's the way to go. 

What I have found is that for small filling on paintgrade stuff using the Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty is better. 

Its premixed so I just squirt out a small amount and get to work. 

You can get it on Amazon for a premium but you can probably find it at most auto parts stores. 

Bondo in general is great stuff. A bit stinky and sometimes that red color is hard to cover but it is a great filler. 

However, until you get the root problem fixed with that frame anytime you move it your joints are going to crack.

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