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Slots or tabs?


Vickid
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I'm about to dry fit my Garfield together.  I have to finish the first staircase with finil layer - wall papter or paint, I'm not sure yet, but want to put it in and see the walls around it.  My question, should I make the tabs smaller or the slots larger?  I'm talking about a tiny bit, to make it fit.  Also one tab seems to be too long and keeps the bottom from fitting flat.  My thought process is make the longers one a tiny bit shorter, and make the slots larger because I can use wood filler in the slot to make it strong again, and the tab would still have the same amount of area for the glue.  Suggestions?

 

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Vicki, I find that if the tab is too wide for the slot I very gently shave very thin bits off of each side of the tab until it fits perfectly into the slot and the edges of the wall and floor (or walls) also match.

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I find it easier to make tabs smaller than to make slots bigger. Even if you cut off like half of the tab, it should be stable. You can fill in the empty space in the slot with glue.

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I find this problem with every single build. I will actually do either - shorten the tab or widen the slot - based on the direction of the grains in the wood. I do it by hand with an Xacto knife, and it's easier to cut "with" the wood, than across it. So whichever piece seems easier to cut, gets shaved with my knife.

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As a general building technique, a "tab" can NEVER be replaced and be expected to have its original, structural integrity/strength.  A hole, or other opening, can ALWAYS be filled, sometimes with more strength than it originally had, and will usually be covered up with some final finishing (e.g., artwork, wallpaper, flooring, etc.).

Just my 2¢

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I find that gently shaving the thinnest of layers off of each side of the tab until it slides into its slot and fits is easier than trying to enlarge the slot,  I don't believe anyone suggested removing structural tabs altogether.

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I was just trying to cover all of the bases and certainly hope that no one would actually, completely remove the tabs.  Although, it was suggested in some other post, but I believe that was a "last resort" situation during a repair job.

By all means, do whatever you need to do and whatever is easiest for you to do.  In the case of opening up a slot, I've "found" a couple of the wife's (don't tell her) old emery boards hiding in her makeup bag, that work beautifully for such a task.

 

20220115_150811.jpg

Edited by BigKahunaFL
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