Dovetail box glue up

Ericlassiter18

New User
Eric Lassiter
So I’m planning on making a dovetail jewelry box for my girlfriend for Christmas, and I have a question about glue up. From the videos I’ve watched you assemble the box so that it’s closed and then cut it open to create the top and bottom. My question is, do you do anything to prevent or minimize glue Squeeze out on the inside of the box, since it’s impossible to access it until you cut off the lid? I imagine sanding the dried glue out of the corners would be quite difficult.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
You can also finish the inside parts of the box prior to assembly. It doesn't have to be perfect, since you can apply another coat after you cut the lid off, but that way you should be able to remove the glue fairly easily.

The challenge then shifts from not getting finished onto the tail and pins because that impacts the glue strength. As long as you're reasonably careful that shouldn't be an issue, dovetails are strong by themselves, and it's not like a box sees a lot of mechanical stress.

A long time ago I bought something called Waxalit. It's a wax used for lubricating tools surfaces, e.g. table saw top. It also works as a glue release agent. I'd dry assemble the piece, brush on the wax along the edges where the glue would squeeze out, let the wax dry, then do a glue up as normal. Dried up glue pops off like magic, then just a little cleanup with mineral spirits. They don't sell it Waxilit anymore, but I imagine that any mold release wax would also work.

But yeah, tape works too.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
You can also finish the inside parts of the box prior to assembly. It doesn't have to be perfect, since you can apply another coat after you cut the lid off, but that way you should be able to remove the glue fairly easily.

The challenge then shifts from not getting finished onto the tail and pins because that impacts the glue strength. As long as you're reasonably careful that shouldn't be an issue, dovetails are strong by themselves, and it's not like a box sees a lot of mechanical stress.

A long time ago I bought something called Waxalit. It's a wax used for lubricating tools surfaces, e.g. table saw top. It also works as a glue release agent. I'd dry assemble the piece, brush on the wax along the edges where the glue would squeeze out, let the wax dry, then do a glue up as normal. Dried up glue pops off like magic, then just a little cleanup with mineral spirits. They don't sell it Waxilit anymore, but I imagine that any mold release wax would also work.

But yeah, tape works too.
Tape
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
Blue tape, carefully applied so that any squeeze-out will end up on the tape, and then carefully controlling how much glue that you use, is the best way. Cutting the lid off after assembly and glue-up will create a lid that perfectly fits the box, even if the box isn't perfectly square. It's near impossible to do a box glue-up that is perfectly square, so this way at least makes a perfect fitting lid and no one will even notice that it is 1/8" or even 1/4" different in diagonal measurement corner to corner after the box is complete. I usually also decide which is the best visually appealing side and place a light roughly vertical pencil line down the best side as I'm assembling the box, so part of the line is on both the lid and the box. This line then guarantees that not only is the lid oriented correctly to the box, but I place the latches and hinges correctly to keep this good side facing forward. A little alcohol erases the pencil line before I apply finish to the box.

Charley
 

ncfromnc

neil
User
If you don't like tape (i don't) you can use paste wax on the inside seams of your joints. the glue won't stick to it.
 

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