Joining 2x4's at an angle

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Old 01-20-16, 06:05 PM
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Joining 2x4's at an angle

Hey, I'm hoping to get some help with a project I'm working on. I'm building a frame for a built-in bed and bookshelf for my son. I've never done a project like this before. I've got the basics of framing at regular 90 degree angles down, but I wanted to add some angles at the top to make it more interesting. Here's the basic outline of what it will look like (nothing in this picture is attached to anything, it's just for me to get an idea of what it will look like).

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Problem is, I don't know how to join those three pieces of wood together the "right way." I know I can just put some screws haphazardly through one and into the other, but is there a proper way to get this done?

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Old 01-20-16, 06:11 PM
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Invest in a biscuit joiner and Titebond II glue. A few clamps would help, too.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 06:20 PM
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Another option would be a pocket screw jig. Basic ones are very inexpensive and it would work well for what you are trying to do. Kreg is the most popular brand.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 06:42 PM
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The low-tech (i.e. cheap) method that would have been used forty years ago would have been glue and "wiggle nails" also know as corrugated fasteners. Do a Google search for wiggle nails.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 07:39 PM
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Only problem is, lumber has gotten so crappy those corrugated fasteners often just split it.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 07:45 PM
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Ah but Joel how many dang boards did you split with corrugated fasteners? I hate them. The better old timer way was dowels and a doweling jig.

Me I'd build a jig to hold the corner together and use 4" or 6" Sheetrock screws and good glue. If I used 4" screws I'd recess them in an inch and fill the hole with a plug. No, 4" and 6" aren't likely to be at Big Box but I have seen them sold loose as an old time lumber yard. Instead of screws you could also drill a hole and drive in a wood dowel. With jig holding everything the holes don't have to be a perfect 90 so no doweling jig needed.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 12:47 AM
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I've not used any wiggle nails in decades but the only times I had a problem was (a) when I used them with kiln-dried wood and (b) when set parallel with the grain. You MUST use them across the grain as much as possible or splitting is a very real problem. Finding air-dried lumber these days may be a real problem.

OR, you could use Skotch (watch the spelling, Google will want to change it) fasteners. Never had a splitting problem with these.

Noble GOV Hillman Fastener Corp Skotch Fastner Wood Fastener; #2 Woodjoiner - Wood Joiner - Dowels & Wood Joiners - Buttons, Plugs & Pegs
or
Wood Joiners, 3/8" x 1" 25 Pc (04234) at Aubuchon Hardware

Regardless of the fastener, you need to use two on one side and then one on the other side as well as a good glue on the ends. Down side is that the fasteners are visible in the finished product. The wiggle nails CAN be countersunk if you are careful and covered with wood filler.

OR, you could do it the Roy Underhill (do a Google) way and use a bow tie connector. https://www.google.com/search?q=bow+...utf-8&oe=utf-8

OR, you could add plywood gussets to the joints. Want the joints to be flush? Rout out the wood to the depth of the plywood before adding the gussets. My point is that there are MANY ways to make the odd-angle joint and make it strong depending on how much work you want to do and how you want the finished piece to look. The real key point is to use a belt (glue) and suspenders (reinforcement) approach.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 12:53 AM
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Here is another option in case Eryk comes back, instead of using structural lumber (2X4s) on the wall use 1X4 or whatever width suits your fancy. Fasten the wood to the wall and use glue on the end grain at the angles. You may need to "shoot some pins" into the sides of the joints for longevity or else the joints MAY open up over a period of years. Of course if you pin the joints you will need a pin nailer and at that point maybe you would rather buy the biscuit joiner.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 06:19 AM
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My first thought in looking at the picture was to glue to the wall, similar to Joel's suggestion above. If not open to that for any reason, my next plan would be pocket screws on the backside.
 
 

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