Author Topic: Timber joinery  (Read 275 times)

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Offline manc_don

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Timber joinery
« on: November 16, 2019, 03:56:30 AM »
Bit of a random one, but has anyone done any timber joinery themselves, in particular using a CNC machine?  Looking to create some of my own furniture out of plywood but struggling to find decent videos on youtube.  Any tips would be appreciated.



Online RicoS321

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 08:35:04 AM »
Me. Apart from the CNC bit, but I've done CNCable designs (shite ones) on fusion 360 (you'd need another piece of software like v-carve or something to generate the files I think dependent on type of machine etc). Can I ask why CNC? I would only consider that if I was doing a massive run of pieces. If you're just doing a handful of dining chairs or whatever then there are much better ways to go about it. Even if you're looking for precision for a particular design then hand or power tools will do anything a CNC could.

If you're looking to get into it as a hobby, I'd still recommend going down the hand and power tool route first. You'd get far more enjoyment and understanding doing it that way. For plywood, a  jigsaw, router, hand plane(s), tracksaw, lots of clamps and very good dust collection and mask (if you can stretch to it, then a bandsaw and drill press) will do everything you need.

Unless you just always fancied the CNC computing side of things and have no interest in the wood side of course.

Offline manc_don

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 09:02:54 AM »
Nice one Rico.  Nah, only reason why I said CNC was because I have access to one and fancied having a crack at it. But I do want to get into making some joinery anyway and probably have access to the relevant tools. Only thinking of making a few bedside tables and eventually a dinner table. But want to do a couple of test pieces.

Any particular tips when dealing with plywood, or videos you recommend ?  Or is it just a case of getting on with it and testing stuff out?  Been trying to find good examples of screwless furniture, but a lot of it that I found online was pretty crap. Quite interested in the jointing techniques.

Online RicoS321

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 12:26:21 PM »
Plywood is expensive for decent stuff, but can be very nice if done well. If you're veneering anyway then MDF is cheaper. Both are good if you're using biscuits or dominoes for joining or if you want knock down furniture that you can take apart and put together again. I built a fitted chest of drawers recently with MDF as it needed to fit an exact space and I didn't want to deal with inevitable wood movement had I used actual timber. There are good reasons for using MDF and plywood, but unless you absolutely need to, or finances dictate, or you want the look of plywood layering for example then I'd use hard or softwood.

In terms of screwless joinery, then hard or softwoods are yer best bet. I find hardwoods easier to work, but softwoods better and cheaper to practice on. The old classics such as dovetails are still the best for drawers and definitely best to learn to handcut.  For table legs and stiles the mortice and tenon or wedged tenon are fantastic and will last 100 years. For more complicated joinery, her Jap and Chinese joints are sublime. Somebody like Dorian bracht on YouTube is worth checking out to visualise the joints themselves. Ishitani furniture also gives a lot of good ideas for entire furniture projects with a good blend of hand and power tool.

My advice would be less tools more work (a mistake I made) and hand tooling is often far superior to power tools if you're just doing the odd piece.

Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 01:07:06 PM »
Very interesting, guys. As someone with zero skills in this field, I don't "envy" you. Nor do I wish I had the patience and manual dexterity to try it. My attention to detail operates in other spheres. I am however very impressed at your ambitions and your efforts. A mate of mine is a fantastic builder and joiner and it's a beautiful skill to have, a life skill which I greatly admire.
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Online RicoS321

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 02:08:37 PM »
Very interesting, guys. As someone with zero skills in this field, I don't "envy" you. Nor do I wish I had the patience and manual dexterity to try it. My attention to detail operates in other spheres. I am however very impressed at your ambitions and your efforts. A mate of mine is a fantastic builder and joiner and it's a beautiful skill to have, a life skill which I greatly admire.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very much a hobbyist and one that struggles to get much time for that hobby, so I wouldn't be in the same league as your mate. I've probably done just enough over the years to be able to avoid a lot of the basic mistakes, which is probably half the battle. I probably spend as much time watching videos or buying tools than I do in the garage these days. Life getting in the way and all that


Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 03:44:03 PM »
My mate has literally a life skill. He made his first million buying, doing up and selling property. It's his job, or at least it was. He takes on very little these days so as good as retired but started off as an apprentice joiner, did his time and learned his trade. Professionals and experience is always best but good on you guys for getting into it and giving it a go.
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Offline manc_don

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 06:46:20 PM »
Been looking at ply mainly for the aesthetic. Something both my wife and I quite like. Will be using an osmo oil or similar on to bring out the timber rather than laminating it. All ideas at the mo but will check out the video on YouTube, cheers  :thumbsup:

The jointing methods just fascinate me. Clever stuff, really clever stuff.

Online RicoS321

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Re: Timber joinery
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2019, 08:37:50 PM »
Yep, plywood can look really good if showing in places. I'd probably use loose tenon joinery like dominos or even biscuits with ply. Given it's not really subject to movement yer things like wedged tenons aren't really that great. The material is so solid it's difficult to wedge. You can laminate (not veneer) ply in such a fashion that you can make mortice and tenons really quite simply just by leaving a hole in the lamination of 3 pieces (or more) of ply or leaving a piece longer than the rest to form a tenon. Save a bit of dosh by getting cheaper ply for bits you can't see and only get one side hardwood where possible. Good luck. Show us yer pictures when finished.