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Thread: How do I attach bullnose molding to a shelf?

  1. #1

    How do I attach bullnose molding to a shelf?

    Hello,
    For my fireplace mantel project, I need to put a 3 /4 inch wide by 5/8 inch thick length of bullnose molding (that I bought from Lowe’s) onto the front and side edges of a 5 foot long piece of 1x6 oak that will be used for the mantel shelf. This bullnose will simply be used to enhance the edges of the shelf.
    My problem is, how do I attach this bullnose to the edge of the 1x6? I know that my only choices are glue, nails or a combination of the two, but I cringe at the thought of trying to predrill for nails into the rounded edge of bullnose molding, since I’m afraid that the bit will just slip off if I use a hand drill. Should I use a drill press with the molding clamped to the bed of the press? Should I use brad point drill bits?
    I suppose that glue by itself, without the nails, would hold, but then I have to worry about how I’m going to clamp the bullnose to the 1x6, since I don’t want to mar the front of the bullnose with the clamps, not to mention the fact that a flat clamp may slip off the round bullnose.
    Any suggestions on how to get this done would be greatly appreciated.
    Louis

  2. #2
    louis, gluing an applied moulding to endgrain is not wise, if you must glue it only glue the front couple inches. as for drilling, drill from the flat backside and go slow when you`re about to break through so as not to split the wood face...02 tod
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  3. #3
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    Good intentions,

    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    louis, gluing an applied moulding to endgrain is not wise, if you must glue it only glue the front couple inches. as for drilling, drill from the flat backside and go slow when you`re about to break through so as not to split the wood face...02 tod
    But I'm missing something here, Tod. I have glued, clamped, nailed, glued and nailed, and clamped moulding to end grain for forty years. I'ts still there. Since I have a pin nailer, that's what I'd use, now. Way back when, I used a brad for a drill bit, for a pilot hole. I guess it's just me.
    Phil in Big D
    The only difference between a taxidermist and the taxman, is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Use a nail to dent the location that you want to drill. Try in scrap if uncertain. Make a sandwich (board molding board) and clamp the outside of each board and you will not need to worry about clamp marks.
    Scott

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Phelps
    But I'm missing something here, Tod. I have glued, clamped, nailed, glued and nailed, and clamped moulding to end grain for forty years. I'ts still there. Since I have a pin nailer, that's what I'd use, now. Way back when, I used a brad for a drill bit, for a pilot hole. I guess it's just me.
    phil, what`s your trick? i`ve glued-n-shot mouldings like louis is talking about to solid oak on the endgrain and usually with the first seasonal change the joint fails. i just don`t do it anymore `cause the call backs are embarrassing. if i use solid wood for a shelf i`ll cut the profile into the board instead of applying it. .02 tod
    Last edited by tod evans; 06-09-2006 at 5:08 PM.
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  6. #6
    Glue only will be fine to use on front. [Guess you do not have a brad nail gun?]
    Glue, clamp up, protect your molding by using a block between clamp and molding.

    End grain. I'm with tod. Glue only the front inch or two, brad nail the rest of it. [or drill and nail]


  7. #7
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    Do you want to get fancy and dovetail the endgrain and then cut the tail into the molding? No?

    Or, you could make a tenon out of the endgrain and then cut a mortise (or two or three or four) into the molding? No?

    To prevent marring, make a caul/jig that will fit over the molding for clamping. You could also try using biscuits...easy to cut in the board, hard for the molding (maybe use the caul/jig you created above?).

    Hope some of this gets the creative juices flowing.
    Crown Molding: cut, cope, cuss, caulk, chill....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  8. #8
    Glue only will be fine to use on front. [Guess you do not have a brad nail gun?]
    Glue, clamp up, protect your molding by using a block between clamp and molding.

    End grain. I'm with tod. Glue only the front inch or two, brad nail the rest of it. [or drill and nail]


  9. #9
    I would use the caul method. I too have glued molding on end grain without it comming off [as far as I know]. No call backs.
    If sawdust were gold, I'd be rich!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    phil, what`s your trick? i`ve glued-n-shot mouldings like louis is talking about to solid oak and usually with the first seasonal change the joint fails. i just don`t do it anymore `cause the call backs are embarrassing. if i use solid wood for a shelf i`ll cut the profile into the board instead of applying it. .02 tod
    Well, maybe the wood was better years ago. Really, that's all I can think of becase I haven't edged a board in years. I mean, I used to use egg n' dart mouldings all the time with no problem. Times, they are a changin'.
    Phil in Big D
    The only difference between a taxidermist and the taxman, is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    I dunno...

    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    phil, what`s your trick? i`ve glued-n-shot mouldings like louis is talking about to solid oak and usually with the first seasonal change the joint fails. i just don`t do it anymore `cause the call backs are embarrassing. if i use solid wood for a shelf i`ll cut the profile into the board instead of applying it. .02 tod
    Well, maybe the wood was better years ago. Really, that's all I can think of becase I haven't edged a board in years. I mean, I used to use egg n' dart mouldings all the time with no problem. Times, they are a changin'.
    Phil in Big D
    The only difference between a taxidermist and the taxman, is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    How about biscuits?
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  13. You have a couple issues
    One is heat. Heat will trash most glues. If the mantel doesn't get hot then you are golden. If it does you might want to rethink it.

    Another is humidity. If the fireplace is used it'll dessiccate everything nearby. Granted it's always a matter of degree, but you don't want to construction techniques to limit how you can use a fireplace. When the wood dries it'll move. When it reabsorbs moisture after the fire is out it'll move some more. The back and forth will post a serious issue along the end grain.

    Concievably you could rout a dado in the end grain and get some side grain cross grain gluing. I'd recommend Hyde glue not the pre-packaged stuff - the real macoy. I think it's got better long term holding power, but I still don't see much chance of success as the wood will move a lot and no glue can deal with movement beyond some point. An alternative might be epoxy if you can fine an elastic formula

    Another alternative is the good old fashioned NO-Glue joint. Rout a sliding dovetail along the end grain and make the parts fight rather tightly when the humidity is about as high as you expect it to get. It'll loosen over time with the movement but it won't fall out. The bullnose along the front edge willcover the DT.

  14. #14
    Louis, have you tried drilling into the face of the bullnose molding? I don't think you have to worry about the drill bit slipping off a 3/4" wide rounded molding, as long as the bit is sharp and your hand is steady. A drill press would work, but I'd freehand it myself.

    Also, as Tod mentioned, the most effective way to have a bullnose edge on the shelf is to simply machine the edge of the shelf itself. A roundover bit on a router can do it, as can a rasp and some sandpaper.(A plane could speed things up if you're doing it manually.)

    - Vaughn

  15. #15
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    Glue and tape to "clamp" it. A spline or biscuits for alignment are fine, but not necessary.
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