I am trying to make a hanging shelf/sculpture out of a bunch of individual wooden hexagon containers. Each hexagon is about 3" across the opening, the pieces they're made of are 1/4" thick, and they are some sort of lightweight balsa/pine wood. I don't have a staple gun that would fit into the containers to attach them together and any staple would need to be 1/2" long or less. Is wood glue going to be enough to withstand the pull/weight of the hexagons on each other while they're hanging on a wall?

(they are sitting together in the formation I want in the photo, but not attached yet) enter image description here

  • 2
    Wood glue is going to be perfectly sufficient here, given the likely light weight of each piece and the distribution of weight this is well below what even a so-so glued joint can withstand. Lightly sand the faces to be joined (here's why) and clamp the pieces together fairly tightly. These have bases don't they? Because of those you could reinforce from underneath/behind if you had to/wanted to, by glueing on popsicle sticks or similar thin strips of wood.
    – Graphus
    Jan 7 '19 at 20:01
  • If you can't clamp these tightly because the hexagons are too weak you can use epoxy instead of PVA-type wood glues (both white and yellow versions, because they require high clamp pressure to achieve max bond strength and epoxy does not).
    – Graphus
    Jan 7 '19 at 20:02

Wood glue should be fine here, assuming the pieces are unfinished. In fact, in such thin material I think that wood glue would actually be stronger than most mechanical fasteners (anything short of bolts with washers). However, I would make sure to mount it in a way so that the places where there are only one connection don't get stressed.

More specifically, I would apply a thin coating of wood glue (i.e. titebond 3) to both faces to be glued together, then clamp them in place with a spring clamp.

Another thing to consider would be to make a backer board in the overall shape of your piece and attach each hexagon to that board in addition to attaching them to each other.

  • 3
    If a backer board is not part of the design (i.e., we want the floating look), you could fake it by having one or more hidden strips following lines of hexagons that would provide good support both for the hexagons and installation.
    – jdv
    Jan 7 '19 at 19:00
  • 1
    Or, the backer board could be cut to the shape of the wall hanging, but slightly smaller to ensure it's not visible from the front.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 8 '19 at 20:12

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