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Advice needed! Glue, clamp, and let dry before pocket screw?

Hi All,

I am building a small child's stool from cherry.  Please excuse the crude mock-up below; it is only for demonstration purposes.  I have three legs attached to the stool, each cut at a 22-degree angle.  In each stool Ieg, I bored a pocket hole to attach to the top.  My problem is, I cannot figure out a way to clamp the legs to create a tight joint.  I can use a Kreg right angle clamp, glue it, let it dry, and then put the screw in.  Does anyone have experience doing this?

Any other suggestions that don't involve me buying more cherry (: ?

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What you're proposing sounds like it will work, but one of the joys of pocket hole joinery for me has been allowing the screws to hold the pieces together while the glue dries, allowing assembly to move forward quickly.  In that vein I have a suggestion.  Assuming the legs are not turned pieces and have flat sides you can clamp onto; clamp a wooden hand screw to the sides of the leg as it sits flush with the underside of the seat.  Apply glue to the pieces being careful not to get glue on the hand screw (probably should tape the hand screw) and align them in place.  Clamp the hand screw to the seat using F style clamps. Once everything is secure, go ahead and drive in the pocket screw.  This should allow you to glue all three legs in one setting then let everything dry overnight.

Hope this helps, Don

Hi Justin, What Don is saying is true as that is the advantage of the Kreg screw technology.  In looking at your example it would appear to me that you are going to have some end grain in the glue joint.  What I would do is apply a coat of glue to the end grain and allow it to soak in and then apply a second coat and then screw in with the Kreg screw.  The screw should pull the joint tight enough that it will give you a strong glue joint.  One of the common mistakes made if glue and clamping is the tendency of the clamp pressure being too great and forcing the glue to squeeze out creating a dry glue joint.

If worried about strength in this joint, consider using a mortise and tendon  of which you could also use a Kreg screw as well.  You would need to create the mortise and the tendon at the same the angle of the 22 1/2 degree to the leg so that the leg would fit into the seat at 90 degrees vertical to the seat.  (mortise would not be straight mortise cut into the leg)   The advantage of the mortise tendon would prevent the leg from twisting and give it joint strength.

Thanks for the advice guys!  I will let you know what I end up doing soon!

Absolutely follow Jay's advice about gluing the end grain twice. I agree that the pocket screw should be all the clamping pressure you need. But if you want more, you can take one of your cut offs and glue it to the leg facing the other direction negating the angle, allowing you to clamp it to the top. To make the fail easier to remove, put glue on the leg, put a piece of paper over the glue, apply more glue to the paper, then clamp the caul on. Allow that to dry and then assemble the leg to the top. The paper will allow you to remove the caul more easily and then plane off the glue and any paper that is left.

Ok, I am planning on doing a mixture of what you guys suggested.  I will follow up with how it turns out, this time with actual pictures!  One question, how long should I let the wood glue soak in for (using Titebond III)?

Justin, when the glue becomes tacky it will have soaked into the wood grains enough that you will have a good bite with the glue.  Then add some more and attach the two mating surfaces.  End grain in wood is like straws and it will suck in the glue.  The idea here is to make sure you do not have a dry glue joint when you assemble the joint.  The length of time will depend on several factors such as how liquid is the glue, how open are the end grains of the wood, the humidity of the air and how thick was the first glue application.  Don't wait until the glue has dried to a point that the added glue will not mix with the original application.

  Please do send photos as it is always interesting to see different methods of work.
Justin said:

Ok, I am planning on doing a mixture of what you guys suggested.  I will follow up with how it turns out, this time with actual pictures!  One question, how long should I let the wood glue soak in for (using Titebond III)?

You'll be able to tell.  Like Jay said, that end grain will soak it up like a sponge.  Depending on wood species and how dry it is, it will either get tacky or the glue will simply disappear and start to change color like it is setting, although with TB3 that takes awhile.  I've found the TB3 has a slightly longer open time than TB2 and that the color change is more pronounced.  Depends a lot on species and water content.  But you'll know when it's time to add more glue.  Dry pine?  5 minutes.  Dense red oak?  I might let that sit 10 minutes to really seal off the end grain.

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