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Thread: Humidity?

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    Humidity?

    Got started on a bathroom wall cabinet a couple days ago made from white oak.

    Made some dados and grooves. Everything seemed to fit fine. Not sure what a good fit is but was able to put a piece in a dado and groove by hand and could pick up the piece without falling out. Now, I have to take a dead blow to it and have to knock it loose with a dead blow. Seems too tight.

    Thinking I could make a pass to two through my planer or drum sander. Should I?

    TIA

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    Re: Humidity?

    I rely more on hand tools, so it’s very easy to make a final adjustment in thousands of an inch. Power planers and drum sanders usually won’t afford that level of control or precision, so I would be concerned about altering the dimensions too far towards a looser joint.

    But more importantly, are you finished milling the parts for that assembly?

    Are you ready for the final dry-fit and then assembly with glue?

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    Re: Humidity?

    The test pieces I cut fit fine. I knew I had cut the shelves a little long so I could sneak up on the length. I haven't made the final dry fit yet but everything has been milled.

    Its the shelves I was thinking about making a skim pass on. I doubt I could line things back up to widen the grooves and dados.

    Thanks

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    Re: Humidity?

    Not sure what a good fit is but was able to put a piece in a dado and groove by hand and could pick up the piece without falling out. Now, I have to take a dead blow to it and have to knock it loose with a dead blow. Seems too tight.

    in a dado and groove by hand and could pick up the piece without falling out.
    You've got the fit just about right. Did the shelves come out fairly easy before needing the dead blow a day later? Higher humidity, which is inevitable in the Carolinas, probably swelled the width of the dadoes. You may want to hand sand a hair off of the shelf ends (3/4" t x 1/2" l?).

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    Re: Humidity?

    I would just hand sand the edges that are tight until they have the fit you're after. Too easy to go too far with a power planer or sander. A tiny, tiny bevel on the edges won't show especially on the under or inside.
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    Re: Humidity?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOfCary View Post
    I would just hand sand the edges that are tight until they have the fit you're after. Too easy to go too far with a power planer or sander. A tiny, tiny bevel on the edges won't show especially on the under or inside.
    +1. This is exactly the way I would do it. Your fit sounds about right. Now just tweak the ends w/ sanding until each piece fits perfectly. Leave the dados alone.
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


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    Re: Humidity?

    Ever heard of "killing the wood"? By using a hammer to compress the fibers of the shelf until it fits (might be a bit harder to do on white oak, but something to consider).

    Once its in there, its in there.

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    Re: Humidity?

    DrBob, Interesting what new ideas you can learn. I probably wouldn’t use a hammer myself, but I’ve used a machinist vise to lightly compress the fibers and then expected the glue moisture would cause the fibers to expand. The problem for me was predictability and precision.

    A properly used basic hand plane would turn this into a very simple task. Spot sanding is probably a good alternative, but I will do just about anything to avoid more dust.
    Last edited by TENdriver; 05-14-2018 at 10:40 AM.

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    Re: Humidity?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdukes View Post
    Got started on a bathroom wall cabinet a couple days ago made from white oak.

    Made some dados and grooves. Everything seemed to fit fine. Not sure what a good fit is but was able to put a piece in a dado and groove by hand and could pick up the piece without falling out. Now, I have to take a dead blow to it and have to knock it loose with a dead blow. Seems too tight.

    Thinking I could make a pass to two through my planer or drum sander. Should I?

    TIA
    Or you could wait until the humidity drops - say mid-January 2019 ?!?!

    Signed - NOT a fan of the humidity typical to NC; mourning the passing of winter.
    Henry W
    Prolific creator of sawdust, and sometimes shavings - with the occasional completed project.

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    Re: Humidity?

    I found it best to mill/shape/glue as I go. The longer a piece of wood sits milled and shaped without being in glue, the more it's going to move around. Usually in ways I don't want it too.
    Last edited by CrealBilly; 05-14-2018 at 10:52 AM.
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    Re: Humidity?

    Touching up the edge is the quickest and the least risky way to get a nice fit with a board fitting in a dado or "routed channel."

    My technique is to use a card scraper near the edges to remove a little bit.

    Why the scraper? It leaves a nice crisp surface and it is easier to keep it square-- no rounding over.

    Just another approach to getting a good fit.

    If you don't keep a card scraper in your back pocket, maybe its time to give it a try.
    Last edited by danmart77; 05-14-2018 at 11:12 AM.

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    Re: Humidity?

    Got the to fit.

    I hadn't done my final sanding and still had pencil and chalk marks to remove. So I did that and then took a piece if 3/4" plywood, slapped a piece of self adhesive 120 grit paper on it. A couple light passes through the dados. Now a little fist bump seats them.

    Thanks!!

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