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Hi I am reading about all the different joint types and when to use them. I am building a frame out of 2x2 lumber, joined at 90% most of the time, that will be under a lot of stress. I figured out that mortise and tenon seems to be the strongest joint I can make. Sadly it seems way to time consuming to do it for all parts of the frame.

I got it down to screwed and glued butt joints vs glued dowels.
I really like the idea about the dowels as they will help me to get the angles right without the need for rigorous clamping.
However I am concerned that the dowels will loosen over time caused by the moving frame.

On the other hand screwed+glued butt joint seem to be strong and should hold over time.

What are your ideas about this?

  • Would the glued dowels be expected to have the glue fail over time, leading to the conclusion of "dowels loosen over time caused by the moving frame?" I suspect the strength difference will be related to the clamping force of the screws (with glue) compared to the clamping force applied to the doweled parts (with glue). A weak clamp on the doweled parts means weak joint. A loose screw means weak joint. – fred_dot_u Mar 27 '18 at 14:28
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    I think we need to know more about the context of the frame you’re building. If it’s going to be a static framework to support something then a screwed butt joint may be enough but if it’s any kind of moving object (you say “the moving frame”), be aware that screwed butt joints tend to loosen over time when moved. Also even if the frame is stationary then it depends on how it will be loaded. It seems this might be a case of an XY problem: perlmonks.org/index.pl?node_id=542341 - you're asking about what you think the solution might be rather than directly asking about the problem – WhatEvil Mar 27 '18 at 14:43
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    If used in exactly the same way dowels will be much stronger and provide a much more long-lasting reinforcement because screws do not hold well driven into end grain. Although there are screws that are much better at this than others you're using 2x material which is inherently a bit weak, so dowels would be the far superior choice. Screws on the other hand can be used in pocket holes, which can speed and simplify the whole construction process. – Graphus Mar 27 '18 at 15:02
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    I have to add this though, nothing takes the place of proper joinery if absolute strength is what you want. – Graphus Mar 27 '18 at 15:02

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