Carpentry question: How flat will a panel stay? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Carpentry question: How flat will a panel stay?

I have a carpentry/woodworking question.

I have made a stand out of 2x4/6 lumber. It's up and fine, but (as planned) ugly. I promised the boss I would later "skin" it to make it look more like furniture.

So I bought some 1x4 oak, routed a cutout on the back for some 1/4" panel, and make a sample planel, about 35" x 24" wide. The wife picked some fabric she liked and we are going to cover the plywood panel as we could not find a vernier + stain she liked. I think that will go fine.

The panel is made by mitering the 1x4, and gluing while clamped, then gluing the plywood into the slot. Think picture frame.

The miter joints have no biscuit (as I have no cutter) nor dowels (as I was sure I couldn't get them to line up straight without any dowling tools, though I do have a drill press.

And guess what -- it's stiff and nice and square.

Note these panels are intended to be removable (not sure yet what will hold them up - magnets with some wooden guides maybe) to get to the underneath area.

So the real question is whether it's going to STAY square, or twist.

Especially since I was thinking of making the side panel (6' x 3') the same way as one unit, so think big picture frame with 2 dividers of 1x4 and 3 panels).

I think I can make it square -- but will it twist over time?

And if so -- what can fix it?

Buy a biscuit jointer and add some support at the joints? But will that really matter, or will the boards warp?

I really don't want to screw (etc) it to the base as that's both ugly and difficult when it is time to clean the filters (etc).

What kind of alternatives do I have?

I was thinking of some kind of trim that, behind them, I put dowels and at the corners and a couple places interior on the long run literally push them into the 2x4s' (but not permanently, just so they pull out). That would hold them from sliding around, but not well from warping out.

Or is nice dry 1x4 oak unlikely to warp later? Should I not worry?

Note this is all cosmetic, it carries no weight other than its own, it is not being used to brace the stand (it has braces for that).

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:21 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
OK, I'll take a shot:

Living in Florida, if your home is heavily air-conditioned and humidity levels remain stable for most of the year as a result, you shouldn't see much warping. If you let the oak acclimate to your home's humidity before assembling, it should be fine. I think the worst that could happen is that some point the glue joints will fail because of wood shrinking or swelling. The big plus for biscuits, dowels, nails, other fasteners is that the joint isn't 100% dependent on the integrity of a thin line of glue through the seasons. In the case of biscuits they also add more surface area that isn't in the same plane as the mitered faces of the frame components and swell within the biscuit's joint.

I think I can visualize the fabric-covered plywood panel within the framed door, but can't be much help with how to attach it to the stand without screws or hinges. It sounds like you're trying to get to an easily-removable panel that simply adorns the 3 visible sides of the stand?

Angelo

"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
Bushkill is offline  
post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:34 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
A thought:

Come up with some sort of a "tray" or slot along the front and sides of the stand that the panels will sit in. They can be loosely fastened at the top with a wooden cam knob or removable retainer of some sort at the top.

Angelo

"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
Bushkill is offline  
 
post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
OK, I'll take a shot:

Living in Florida, if your home is heavily air-conditioned and humidity levels remain stable for most of the year as a result, you shouldn't see much warping.
You would be correct (about the humidity), at least short of sustained power failures from a hurricane, but those are likely to flood the tank anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
The big plus for biscuits, dowels, nails, other fasteners is that the joint isn't 100% dependent on the integrity of a thin line of glue through the seasons. In the case of biscuits they also add more surface area that isn't in the same plane as the mitered faces of the frame components and swell within the biscuit's joint.
I'm farm-handy. By that I mean I can build strong things with rough cut wood, and occasionally put up some trim in the house to paint. This is my first foray into real furniture. I say that as a prelude to....

Would someone who has never tried one be better off with, or without, a biscuit cutter to do this?

I can get a 45 simple planar miter to work OK. I just have visions of me using a biscuit jointer and having these really strong boards that are 1/8th off from aligning (or something like that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
It sounds like you're trying to get to an easily-removable panel that simply adorns the 3 visible sides of the stand?
Well, 4 sides, but 1 side is going to be drawers (I just bought unfinished ones that were the right size to slide into the hole, and will trim around it with matching boards.

The tank is sitting in the middle of our living room, all 6' x 6' x 2' of it.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
A thought:

Come up with some sort of a "tray" or slot along the front and sides of the stand that the panels will sit in. They can be loosely fastened at the top with a wooden cam knob or removable retainer of some sort at the top.
Even if nothing more than a bent piece of metal that doesn't stick out much I could do the bottom, but where could I find samples of the top -- I've tried home depot and Lowes and didn't see anything. Or are you saying I need to shape something (somehow)?

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:56 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
They'll stay flat so long as you seal them in some fashion. Use a poly. But do it on both sides. Paneled doors for cabinets stay flat. These should also. The problem I see is you used a miter joint. You really have end grain mated to end grain with little surface area for glue. That is a weak spot. You could have splined the joint for greater strength or even used a half lap miter. There you have face grain to face grain. Strongest possible joint without a mechanical fastener. And the glue is stronger than the wood itself.

With just a table saw you could have even done a groove for the panel on all four pieces then did a tongue on the rails just like a door with only basic tools.

BTW a biscuit adds absolutely no strength to a joint. I use them only when I have a tough joint to line up. I don't ever count on them for strength. A dowel is way stronger.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Rereading your post I see you glued the plywood panel into the rabbet. Generally that's not a great idea. You wind up with a cross grain situation and as the panel swells it tends to do so in one direction more than the other. 1/4" plywood should be OK but any thicker I'd be looking for the miter to split down the road a spell. Panel doors rely totally on the tongue and grove. The panel is floating and is kept from rattling by space balls. OK that's a product name for little foam balls you put in the groove that keeps the panel form shifting and rattleing

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
...You could have splined the joint for greater strength or even used a half lap miter. There you have face grain to face grain. Strongest possible joint without a mechanical fastener. And the glue is stronger than the wood itself.

With just a table saw you could have even done a groove for the panel on all four pieces then did a tongue on the rails just like a door with only basic tools.

BTW a biscuit adds absolutely no strength to a joint. I use them only when I have a tough joint to line up. I don't ever count on them for strength. A dowel is way stronger.
I had a wonderful table saw, room to rip full sheets of plywood, tall ceilings, and other nice stuff. Then I moved from a farm to Florida and I work in a garage on borrowed saw horses with a circular saw and a router (no table) that I barely know how to use.

So I need stuff I can do without real tools.

A biscuit cutter really adds no strength?

I thought about trying to drill for dowels with a drill press, set the holder at 90 degrees, but that's still only one axis aligned. I just have images of nothing being square. I looked at home improvement shops for dowling jigs but didn't see anything that would do miter joints. A biscuit cutter seemed easier, looks like for about $100 I can get a OK one.

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Rereading your post I see you glued the plywood panel into the rabbet. Generally that's not a great idea. You wind up with a cross grain situation and as the panel swells it tends to do so in one direction more than the other. 1/4" plywood should be OK but any thicker I'd be looking for the miter to split down the road a spell. Panel doors rely totally on the tongue and grove. The panel is floating and is kept from rattling by space balls. OK that's a product name for little foam balls you put in the groove that keeps the panel form shifting and rattleing
That makes perfect sense but I had never considered it. I can't begin to do a tongue and groove, well, not without doubling up on thickness.

Should I glue the sides and leave the ends unglued, or count on 1/4 being OK?

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Forget the doweling jigs. They're crap.

(Stiles go up and down. Rails run across. A stile runs the full length a rail goes in between the stile.)

Get a set of dowel centers.
Drill your holes in the end grain of the rail.
Put the dowel centers in the holes.
Put the stile in a roofing square and put the rail on the other leg.
Press the rail to the stile.
You now have marks from the dowel centers on the edge grain of the stile to drill your holes.

I've seen testing done on various joints and the biscuit did not fare well. The venerable face grain to face grain joint with only glue usually broke any place but the glue joint. The glue is stronger than the wood. Of course it depends a lot on glue surface available. End grain to end grain is the weakest possible joint.

As for the biscuit joiner. I've got better than an OK one and I hardly ever use the thing.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Get a set of dowel centers.
Drill your holes in the end grain of the rail.
Put the dowel centers in the holes.
Put the stile in a roofing square and put the rail on the other leg.
Press the rail to the stile.
You now have marks from the dowel centers on the edge grain of the stile to drill your holes.
I've seen those, I may have even inherited some (now that they are mentioned), but that gets the hole started in the right place, but how does one make it square in the 2 axes against the end?

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:53 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
I've seen those, I may have even inherited some (now that they are mentioned), but that gets the hole started in the right place, but how does one make it square in the 2 axes against the end?
I do it by sight. You could use a square to line it up.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I do it by sight. You could use a square to line it up.
Maybe I'll get some scrap and experiment. I just can't see myself doing that by eye. Maybe some creative clamping and guides on the drill press.

But is strength there really my issue? I was initially worried about warping. Other than just carrying their own weight well as they are lifted off and on, and I guess possibly being dropped, I don't anticipating them carrying much weight.

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 10:55 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 327
I have another suggestion for your corner. Get a mini Kreg jig. Runs around 20 bucks here. It has been a big help with my beginner carpentry projects. I have built 2 entertainment cabinets, snake cage, and a few other assorted pieces out of plywood. Every joint has remained snug and strong. I live in a high humidity area and like open windows.
wildroseofky is offline  
post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildroseofky View Post
I have another suggestion for your corner. Get a mini Kreg jig. Runs around 20 bucks here. It has been a big help with my beginner carpentry projects. I have built 2 entertainment cabinets, snake cage, and a few other assorted pieces out of plywood. Every joint has remained snug and strong. I live in a high humidity area and like open windows.
OK, I can see how that works, though in 1" stock there's not a lot of depth for the screw to penetrate, still I guess it's a bit like a short dowel?

Will that help with warping?

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 11:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Lin, I am talking about the strength of the panel itself to stay intact.
Kreg jigs are pretty nice. I got my setup about 4 years ago at a show here. Somewhere in the $200-250 range for everything. You've got to be careful though or your 2 pieces won't be even at the joint line.
1" stock is really 3/4" thick. Plenty enough to grip with the Kreg. But you really don't need the expense when dowels will do fine and cost way less.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome