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How to Glue the Dovetailed Box

Welcome to the most stressful part of any project, assembly. There's no way to avoid the increased heart rate that this stage brings. The only thing you can do is simply make it easier on yourself. In this video I show you how to prepare for a glue up and how to quickly diagnose and fix problems along the way.

Lesson Objectives

We will cover things such as pre-sanding internal faces to ensure that the inside of the box is in pristine condition after assembly. This avoids having to sand into an internal corner which is near enough impossible to get a consistent finish when doing so. We also take this a step further and sand the internal corners which are difficult to accurately round off after assembly.

We also cover the importance and construction of glue blocks and how they can aid the fit of your joints. And of course we cover how to pull a skewed box into being square using nothing but changing the angle of the clamps. There are a lot of great tips in the video that you don’t want to miss out on!

I am using Titebond 2 for this glue up as it’s yellow colour matches the wood tones of this project and it is extremely easy to clean up after assembly. I also like it because it sets relatively quickly which is ideal for a simple glue up like this as it means I can get it out the clamps sooner and get to work again. However, if you would prefer a glue with a longer open time, I would suggest Titebond Extend.

If you’re looking to improve the glue you use in projects, this is the best all rounder I recommend.

By the end of this lesson, you will have your box fully assembled and drying in the clamps.

Titebond II
Axminster Standard Duty Parallel Jaw Clamps

For this glue-up, I am using the Axminster Parallel Jaw Clamps. These are the standard duty clamps which are nice and lightweight compared to their Heavy Duty counterparts. This means that less stress is induced on the carcass as a result of the weight of the clamps and makes gluing up far less cumbersome and unpredictable.

The beauty of parallel jaw clamps is that they do exactly what they say on the tin. The jaws stay parallel to one another, despite having a much larger throat than standard Sash Clamps or T-bar Clamps. This makes them incredible for gluing up small boxes such as this because it means clamping pressure can be achieved up the entire height of the box.

The 300mm Parallel Jaw Clamps would be suitable for this project, however may be limiting in the upcoming projects. I would recommend getting the 600mm clamps to begin with, then expand as needed. 

Previous Lesson

How to Adjust a Dovetail Joint

Next Lesson

How to Cleanup Dovetail Joints

Have you got the plans yet?

Package includes working drawings, a cutting list, and a 3d SketchUp model!

The Student Series

Want to see another beginner make this project before you? It’s a great way to scope out any mistakes before you make one yourself!

Removing tearout in small areas using a cabinet scraper – 2:43

Removing tape on the inside faces: 6:10

Overview – 8:00

Robs suggestion for gluing blocks – 10:04

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