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Thread: Reconstructing the pew

  1. #1
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    Reconstructing the pew

    Hey, folks,

    After a week away from the shop, I'm finally back at it. Before I flew off, I had to rapidly move the pew into the shop, and of course it came apart in my hands. Now I need to put it back together, and I have some questions.

    Someone, and I ain't naming names, really went to town on it with bolts and screws. Here's a small selection of what I took out of it after they failed:

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    So now I'm left with pieces. They kind of fit together, but not really. There are some pretty big gaps (hence all the dirt, dust, and spiders:


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    Here's a closeup of the same thing.

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    See all those holes? It looks like someone did the mortise with a brace or drill press, then cleaned it up with a router plane. Here's the piece that fits over it:

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    And a closeup of the same thing:

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    That molded ply is really something: it's a good inch thick. The veneer itself is a good quarter inch thick. I needn't have worried about sanding through it...

    My problem? The joint has to be *structural*, and it has to hold both the weight of the pew, and people sitting on it. I'm worried the gaps are too big for a simple glue joint to be effective. Biscuits are out of the question, and there's no way I could get dowels to line up. So... any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Hey, folks,

    See all those holes? It looks like someone did the mortise with a brace or drill press, then cleaned it up with a router plane. Here's the piece that fits over it:

    My problem? The joint has to be *structural*, and it has to hold both the weight of the pew, and people sitting on it. I'm worried the gaps are too big for a simple glue joint to be effective. Biscuits are out of the question, and there's no way I could get dowels to line up. So... any ideas?
    Holy moly, I thought you were going to say those were all screw holes...

    You can line up the dowels with dowel centers....
    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...9&site=ROCKLER

    Drill the hole in one half. put the dowel center in to have it leave a mark for the hole on the opposite half. You may have to fill some of the other holes first though.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    what does the front side look like bill? darrens idea of dowel centers will work but maybe you use miller dowels and go from the frnt side and stain to match and not look offensive.. how much thickness do you have to hold the normal dowels on the end cap?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
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    Dang. Dowels? That's all we've got? Do you have any idea what the odds are of me finding the dowel points in my shop? The place looks like a hurricane hit it. I know they're in there somewhere, but it would take an archaeological investigation, staffed by a few full professors, giant throngs of graduate students, and several raucous pack animals...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  5. #5
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    How about cam locks/bolts?

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...7&site=ROCKLER


    I'm just assuming you don't want the fasteners showing...otherwise as Larry suggested and drill and plug holes to put screws through.

    Looks like you could do a cleat under/between the two vertical supports under the seat. then some pocket screws from the back in the back. For that matter, pocket screws all underneath.
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 04-20-2013 at 02:51 AM.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    with miller dowels you wouldnt need the dowel points.. and if you were careful you could possibly disguise them well with stain and finish
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    I'm no help, but I'll just leave this here...



    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    I'd go with the dowels also, but maybe use some nice thickened epoxy as well.

    Or even just some screws from outside, with plugged holes. Hey, if Sam Maloof can do it...
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  9. #9
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    Re: Reconstructing the pew

    Man u the best Vaughn! !!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thum bup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2
    cheers

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