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Old 05-12-2015, 10:36 AM   #1
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Joinery?

As I ponder and plan the buildout of my van (1997 e150 conversion van, so I'm going to keep it minimal/light) I'm wondering about joinery, and what people do. I don't have the skills or tools (yet) to do anything fancy/right.

Can I get by with glueing and screwing, if I'm comfortable with the visual trade off?
It's not 4x4 and that's probably not going to change, so it won't be driven on 4x4 trails and shaken to death, but will be used on dirt roads some.

I'm talking a battery box (agm), door galley and a smallish cabinet with drawers and/or cubbies.

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Joinery?

Getcher one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-R3-Pocket-Ho ... reg+jig+k5

I love mine and use it all of the time. I'm not so much on the woodwork, and these help me along for sure.

Get the clamps and the kreg screws while you are at it.

B
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:02 PM   #3
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Re: Joinery?

Sportsmobile basically puts their cabinets together with L-brackets and pocket screws (at least in my van), so do whatever works for you!
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Re: Joinery?

Another quick, easy, light and strong way to do it is to use a small 'cleat', like a 1x1, as internal corner piece/frame and just screw and glue thin ply (3 or 4 mm works well) to it at all the joints. If the framing pieces are straight and square it follows that the rest will be too. This will be very light and the frame gives more than enough strength as well as a place for attaching shelves, doors, drawers etc. If adding work surfaces or sink or stove, use 9 mm ply for the tops. If you tend to chop road-kill and vegetables with a hatchet, glass the top first...
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: Joinery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belltownbikes
Getcher one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-R3-Pocket-Ho ... reg+jig+k5

I love mine and use it all of the time. I'm not so much on the woodwork, and these help me along for sure.

Get the clamps and the kreg screws while you are at it.

B
Thanks for the recommendation. That looks like a great tool.

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Old 05-13-2015, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Joinery?

Thanks for the responses/ideas.

Question about the pocket screw jig-
Is this type of joinery significantly stronger and/or more durable? Or is the main improvement aesthetic?

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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Re: Joinery?

It depends on the comparison of the pocket screw. It is likely stronger than simply nailing, but its biggest advantage is creating an aesthetic connection. I would most certainly use it in conjunction with glue for a dependable joint.

If you can afford the space and don't mind the way it looks, I think using a cleat to aid in construction is nice and simple, as well as effective.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:52 PM   #8
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Re: Joinery?

Pocket framing is something I have only ever seen in the USA, just seems to be the way cabinet frames are made. It's not super strong in and of itself but is quick and easy to do with the jig, makes hiding the fasteners fairly easy, gives a square joint and will be plenty stiff if you use ply to overlay the heavier framing. Generally though, I see the pocket frame used to surround the ply so the strength gain from the ply is minimal.

With the other method, you use light small pieces of wood and provide the stiffness from overlaying the ply on the frame. As long as you can cut the cleats straight and of consistent length, the rest is easy and adjusting the ply to the frame once glued is as easy as a sander. I suspect it's a bit lighter and maybe a bit simpler this way.

I do a similar thing with boat work but just edge glue the ply and make a inside corner filet of thickened epoxy for the stiffener/cleat. Quicker and simpler still but I wouldn't recommend it for a starting project. It's messy and depends on getting several things right at the same time.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:15 AM   #9
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Re: Joinery?

I use Kreg's jigs for a few projects, some as stand bases for heavy glass pane storage. While the resulting joint isn't very strong---as compared with more complex joinery---how you design the finished part or cabinet greatly affect the overall strength.

Keep in mind for the most part pocket holes seemed to be designed with stationary cabinets or boxes, things like built in cabinets found in kitchens, bathrooms etc. A carcass assembled with 90 degree joints of the tops/sides tends to have a front face frame and back, both secured to the carcass with screws. Those pieces are what makes for a strong cabinet against racking.

If a cabinet will be assembled with pocket screws and ultimate strength is the end goal gluing the joints would be best. Use regular carpenter's glue---no real need for exotic adhesives like Gorilla Glue or epoxy---they're just not that much stronger than Tite-Bond or it's variations.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:32 PM   #10
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Re: Joinery?

I just dado the plywood and use either modern hardened square drive screws or staples along with yellow PVA wood glue. Simple, strong and square. For most joints, the screws and/or staples just hold the joint together long enough for the glue to dry.
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