I'm an absolute noob when it comes to woodworking, but now I'm in the middle of my first (some sort of) drawer/shelves building project. I've glued together all four sides (store bought edge glued pine boards) with butt joints using clamps, and to me it seems like the joints are tight and solid, but in retrospect I feel like I should've used wood plugs cause that'd make the fitting so much easier. I used Titebond III.

Anyway, now I'm wondering if I should reinforce the joints to secure them more even if the glue has dried? Will it even make a difference with nails or screws at this point? I'm going to put in drawer slides that will carry some weight, so I don't want the glued joints to be the weakest link in the build.

  • 5
    There is a fair amount of discussion on this here already. Did you look in the Related section to the right? In short: a good glue joint is stronger than the wood around it. and therein lies the rub: how do you make a good joint, and how strong is that wood, anyway. You can also search previous Q&A with, and I kid you not, "butt". There's a butt-load of Q&A already.
    – user5572
    Nov 27, 2021 at 1:43
  • Re. the point in the Answer from @VolframK about your glue joints not being 100% as strong as they could be, this is likely from two major causes — insufficient clamp pressure (almost everyone doesn't clamp as hard as they can, because of a persistent myth that this can somehow compromise joint strength) and also due to one or both joint faces not being very freshly worked, see this Answer for why this is important.
    – Graphus
    Nov 27, 2021 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


Yes you should reinforce because you probably did not glue perfectly so your joints won't be 100%. Storage furniture may be moved when full and heavy, pulling on all corner joints, so it is good to build very strongly.

Nails, screws or dowels from outside into edges are all possible. Pre-drill for screws or nails to prevent splitting. Drill undersized holes for nails, this way for screws:

screw holes

Minimum length for dowels or screws is maybe 60mm or 2.5", 2 or 3 per joint. Nails can be shorter because you will use more, maybe 4-5.

Many related Questions here to help with similar builds in future, these ones may be most useful to you:
Quick corner joints in practice
Not-so-obvious disadvantages of butt joints

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