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which way the grain should run (Read 552 times)
 
Dale Dykhouse
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which way the grain should run
Aug 2nd, 2016 at 6:01pm
 
I would like to know which way the grain should run when gluing pieces together.
For example for a bowl using three different types of wood 1 inch thick.
I usually glue with the grain perpendicular, but was told it all should be parallel. Which way do others glue, and does it matter?
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Ed Weber
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #1 - Aug 2nd, 2016 at 7:13pm
 
a flat surface to flat surface or (butt) joint is strongest when the grain is running parallel and weakest (also more prone to wood movement) when the grain is perpendicular.
There are always certain circumstances when you can get away with changing the grain direction but the more you're able to keep all the grain running in the same direction the stronger and more stable (less prone to joint failure) your piece will be.
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Walt
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #2 - Aug 3rd, 2016 at 10:38am
 
Its called the co-efficient of thermal dynamics.  Different wood species expand and contract at different rates.  If you feel the need to have cross grain joint the rule of Thumb is that the cross grain should be 1/4" or less.  Otherwise you will end up with joint failures down the road.  Depending on your atmospheric condition in your "neck of the woods" the failure could happen next week or in two years.  Where you display an item can also have an affect. like in direct afternoon sun for example would be a bad thing.
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Dale Dykhouse
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #3 - Aug 3rd, 2016 at 11:28am
 
What about wood of the same species?
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Ed Weber
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #4 - Aug 3rd, 2016 at 5:04pm
 
It doesn't matter if the pieces are of the same species, this is about wood movement.
Wood expands, contracts and deforms in all sorts of ways, primarily perpendicular to the grain. There is very little movement if any along the length of a piece..

If one piece is stable and one has potential to move, then you're risking failure. Designing your piece and keeping the segments aligned in the same direction is just part of the challenge of segmenting.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #5 - Aug 4th, 2016 at 3:24pm
 
If you lay the segments like lego blocks with the side or face grain on the top and bottom of each ring you should be ok.


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John Cepko
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #6 - Aug 5th, 2016 at 7:31pm
 
I was always taught that glueing end grain was a no no.
Is there a way to avoid that when doing the glue up?
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Ed Weber
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #7 - Aug 5th, 2016 at 8:17pm
 
John Cepko wrote on Aug 5th, 2016 at 7:31pm:
I was always taught that glueing end grain was a no no.


Ed-grain to end-grain is a weak joint but it only needs to hold together for a short time. Just long enough to be sanded and glued to the adjacent ring. Once glued to the next ring the strength will be dramatically increased since your once weak joint is being supported by the adjacent layer with a long-grain to long-grain joint which is much stronger.
Hope that makes sense.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #8 - Aug 6th, 2016 at 7:31am
 
John Cepko wrote on Aug 5th, 2016 at 7:31pm:
I was always taught that glueing end grain was a no no.
Is there a way to avoid that when doing the glue up?


Think once again of lego blocks. Place two blocks side by side and you'll see that they can be easily separated. Now place a third block on top of the two, spanning both the lower blocks. Once they are locked in place the three block have a stronger bond. Wood works in a similar fashion with each layer supporting the layers above and below.
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John Cepko
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Re: which way the grain should run
Reply #9 - Aug 7th, 2016 at 4:53pm
 
I got it...Thanks for clearing it up.
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