Hairdryers for Woodworking

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For us blokes going bald or are bald a simple towel will suffice, but they’re not just for drying hair.

We use them on wood too. Don’t let your wife or daughter catch you using her’s just buy a cheapy.

So what can they be used for?

If you’re using animal protein glues and you know your glue up is going to take a little longer than usual that ‘s where a hair dryer can be useful.  Heat up the parts that need to be glued.  The open time will be slightly longer and the adhesion will be better.

If you’re using Fish glue, the recommended clamping time is 12 hours. Once 12hrs has passed you sometimes notice the glue line feels a little tacky.  That’s normal with fish glue as the exposed glue line hasn’t fully cured to a hard state.  It’s still structurally sound, bonded and workable. Not much different to some PVA’s  where you only need to clamp for 4 hours before you can begin working on it and the same rule applies to fish glue.   It will still take 24 hrs before the glue has fully cured.  However, to get rid of the tackiness a hair dryer works quickly.  You only need to use it for less than minute to dry it.

I wouldn’t recommend using it to dry your finishes even though some people actually do.

In regards to yesterdays post on thinning fish glue.  This morning I unclamped the test pieces.  12 hrs did pass and the glue line was tacky, so I used the hairdryer to dry it to the touch.  The results are no gaps due to lumpiness, I thinned it to the right consistency, and the bond is super strong.  I will let it sit for another 12 hrs to fully cure and then try to break the edge bond.  I’ll use a clamp or stick it in my vice to break it apart.  If it breaks along the glue line then it failed, but if it breaks anywhere else, then it’s a success.  

This will be my final test with fish glue. I really don’t expect it to fail. 

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