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Author Topic: Does a Box Joint really matter?  (Read 2939 times)
contactme_11
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« on: December 12, 2008, 09:13:38 PM »

I realize that using a box joint adds much strength to the corners. But if you were to just butt joint the corners with glue/ screws, would it really make that big of a difference? Anyone have any experience with the lifetime of boxes built like this? Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2008, 05:30:54 AM »

I have always used Rabbet joints with just wood glue and 2 inch brad nails, not problems at all.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbet
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jimmyo
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 07:32:06 AM »

I have old equipment that someone else had before me. Box joints seem to last longer than rabbit joints and the rabbit joints seem to last longer than the butt joints.
 Those boxes don't just sit around in the same spot for years at a time. they are moved around with heavy comb inside them. they are pried sideways every time you open a hive up. There is allot of activity in those joints. When you pry up on a side you put pressure on the joint. the box joint pushes up on the whole box where a screw or nail will want to bend or make the hole larger. In all cases you use glue (Gorilla Glue) no matter what joint you use.
 When I make my boxes I use a box joint but not the typical one inch type. I make the fingers 2 to 3 inches wide. I do this because I hate making all those little fingers. But I also know that a box joint will outlast all the others.
  Jim
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Nate
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 07:33:18 AM »

Glue is the secret.  It is much easier and more efficient if you are making your own boxes to use rabbet joints.  Less passes on the saw per box.  Butt joints would hold up but rabbet joints reduce end grain exposure and is just as easy to do.  Using larger fingers like jimmyo says would probably make the box joints a lot easier and faster to produce.
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 08:12:16 AM »

Box joints do stay tight much better, long term.   I have some box joint supers that are over 30 years old and still tight, whereas all the rabbet boxes I had have loosened up and needed work.  Butt or rabbet are a fine options, but longevity is not the same, even when glued.  If you just have hives in your back yard,  it really doesn't matter, but if you have bee yards and will be moving supers back and forth,  the racking with eventually cause the butt/rabbet to loosen, especially if they are heavy with honey.

Recently I have switched to half-blind dovetails since it is much quicker to do than box joints, One pass of the router per corner and less exposed end grain.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,1525.msg35529.html#msg35529

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 08:39:43 AM »

I've never made a box joint, although I've bought a lot of them.  I have made dado joints and butt joints.  Glue and deck screws is the secret.  They all work fine in my opinion.
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HomeBru
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 11:52:02 AM »

Not to hijack the thread, but I've made dozens of boxes using this Lock Miter joint bit and am planning on using it and a polyurethane glue (a.k.a. gorilla glue) for my boxes.

I have a cedar chainsaw tote made this way that hasn't come apart in five years of HARD use...

J-
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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 12:39:44 PM »

Not to hijack the thread, but I've made dozens of boxes using this Lock Miter joint bit and am planning on using it and a polyurethane glue (a.k.a. gorilla glue) for my boxes.

I have a cedar chainsaw tote made this way that hasn't come apart in five years of HARD use...

J-


I think Brushy Mountain use to make their boxes with the lock mitre and advertized how much stronger they were.  Seems they no longer offer it, wonder why huh  Eliminates end grain, that is for sure.

I have the bit, but have never been able to get it to cut cleanly without breaking off the tips.
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HomeBru
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 01:04:28 PM »

I have the bit, but have never been able to get it to cut cleanly without breaking off the tips.

I had similar problems and changed my cutting order: If I'm using this joint, I cut to length, rout the joint and THEN cut to width that way I can cut off any blowout.

I'd imagine that this joint would be more expensive in production than finger or rabbet joints...
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 02:02:08 PM »

I had similar problems and changed my cutting order: If I'm using this joint, I cut to length, rout the joint and THEN cut to width that way I can cut off any blowout.

excellent, I'll give that a try... thanks
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bluegrass
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 09:13:46 PM »

Not to hijack the thread, but I've made dozens of boxes using this Lock Miter joint bit and am planning on using it and a polyurethane glue (a.k.a. gorilla glue) for my boxes.

I have a cedar chainsaw tote made this way that hasn't come apart in five years of HARD use...

J-


I have seen a locking miter joint used too...very strong joint and far superior to rabbits or box joints because it leaves zero end grain exposed. I have gotten away from using a router so now I make mine with locking rabbit joints done with a dado on the table saw.
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 12:43:05 PM »

I used to use box joints,but now I use a corner lock design so that when I put my boxes together there is NO exposed endgrain.
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saskbeeman
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 07:47:04 PM »

Rabbet joints with at least 2 1/2" (preferably 3) staples/nails and glue are the simplest, and are very durable.  Interlocking corners like the suppliers sell tend to rot out quicker than these.  Using good wood glue and long enough fasteners is the trick.
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dpence
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 09:35:36 PM »

a polyurethane glue (a.k.a. gorilla glue) for my boxes.


I've been using Elmer's Ultimate Glue (like Gorilla Glue) with great success.  I have a box joint jig I use.  Robo, I like your idea on the dovetails.  That's an extremely strong joint.  The combination of glue and nails or screws greatly increases the joints lifetime.  Just my 02.

David
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