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Breaking Titebond Joints (or other ideas)

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andrewm

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Ooops, I’ve boobed :oops: I have spent all weekend assembling and finishing a set of drawers. These are constructed from 12mm birch ply with 6mm ply base and 19mm veneered MDF fronts. At the design stage I was very careful to include an extra 19mm on both the top and bottom drawers to allow for the thickness of the carcass. This is what has tripped me up. In putting the drawers into the carcase I have discovered that the bottom drawer won’t fit. On assembly, it would seem, I have put the extra 19mm at the top and not at the bottom. Having a gap at the bottom is not too much of a problem but the whole set of fronts are cut from a single piece of veneer with an interesting grain structure so I am reluctant to interfere with this by cutting the extra off the top of one drawer.

The ideal solution is to disassemble this one drawer and reassemble with the front in the correct position. But, it is glued with Titebond (not Titebond II). Is there and easy way to get these joints apart or can the collective minds of this forum suggest any other way of reaching a solution to this dilemma?

Any help much appreciated as I am having trouble seeing where to go from here.

Andrew
 

Noel

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Andrew, all I can suggest is to try and slice as much of the joint as you can with a suitable blade (craft or marking knife etc) and then tap the joint apart. From past experience if done carefully and with care the end grain surfaces should come apart ok but the long grain surfaces may involve some tear out.

Noel
 
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Anonymous

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Andrew

Bad luck. A sad post late on Sunday night after a hard weekends work.

Titebond isn't waterproof and I believe is susceptible to heat. Perhaps you could think along the lines of heat guns, domestic irons, steam wallpaper strippers whatever you can lash up that won't damage the surrounding structure. Prize apart with reversed cramps rather than blows, spread the load with packing.

Just a few random thoughts to throw into the pot for you.

Good luck with that.

Regards

Roy
 

Chris Knight

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Andrew,
Supposedly you can reverse a Titebond joint with heat and moisture but I have never tried it except in a small test piece - it did work but may be very hard to do over a large area like a drawer front. Some people suggest vinegar helps to break down the bond.

Personally, I would be wary of this approach, I would worry that I might damage the drawer or front badly. Instead I would suggest trying to resaw the drawer front on a bandsaw. With it cut in half, you can do whatever you need to the bit still attached to the drawer and then reglue the front half with its attached veneer to the drawer in the correct position.
 

andrewm

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Thanks for all your responses.

Chris, resawing the front was one thing that I had not thought of. I will investigate but fear that because it is the bottom drawer in a stack of ascending sizes it may be too tall to go under my bandsaw. I had considered just cutting the sides to remove the front in one piece and then regluing in the correct position either by making the whole drawer slightly less deep or using biscuits (can one use biscuits on 12mm plywood?)

Might take a couple of days to get anything started but I will post again to let you know how I get on.

Andrew
 

Chris Knight

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Andrew,

If it is too tall for your bandsaw, you could (assuming you have one) use a tablesaw, cutting as deep as possible from both sides and finishing off with a handsaw. I have resawn lots of planks this way and it produces a very acceptable result - the two tablesaw cuts help keep the handsaw on course.
 

thomaskennedy

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bash it wiv an 'ammer :roll: :D

But seriously, if i have got the drift of the problem maybe you could just keeo the front of the drawer??

Is there a reason why you cant just cut all the oter pieces off if the front is so special? :shock:

Ta

Tom
 

ike

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Andy,

How is the drawer sides jointed to the front? . If I'm picturing this right, is there a left and right overlap on the front as well?
 

andrewm

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Ike wrote:
How is the drawer sides jointed to the front? . If I'm picturing this right, is there a left and right overlap on the front as well?
The front of the drawer overlaps the side pieces on each side by about 8mm. The side pieces have what can only be called a tenon on the inner side which fits into a slot routed 14mm from the edge of the drawer front. The rear of the drawer is fitted using a lap joint to either side. The base slides into grooves on either side and the front.

Hope this makes it a bit clearer.

Andrew
 

ike

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OK Andy, I think I have it pictured. Simple joints that might be to your advantage in this unfortunate situation.

FWIW, my suggestion would be as follows (this is what I would do if it were mine),

Cut the sides off the front just super flush with jack/tenon saw, or on TS with side resting on 8mm packer.
Flush finish remains of old tenons in mortices and re-route mortice in correct position.
Slide out base panel and re-route tenons on side cheeks.
Shorten base panel and reassemble.

End result: Drawer slightly shallower front to back. Remains of old tenon on underside of drawer so not immediately visible.

Ike
 
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