Packing Gaps with Hide Glue

You may look at the photos and say wow dude that looks like crap. Sure does and intentionally.  I purposefully made some gaps in these dovetails as an experiment to see if Hot Hide Glue would fill up the gaps.

I filled the gaps with saw dust first and then covered the surface with the glue.  It took somewhere between 30-60 mins before the glue hardened.  I know from experience with liquid hide that it should remain gummy for a couple of day if left on the surface, I think the urea has something to with the slow curing but I’m not entirely sure.  However, this isn’t the case with HHG and I actually didn’t know that before.

The glue has been hardening for about 5 hours now and I didn’t want to wait till tomorrow to see how it’s going.  So I’ve done the finger nail test and pressed into the gap. Sure enough it’s rock solid.

I know it’s appalling and none of us ever wants our dovetails to turn out like this, but it is nice to know that on the off chance we make a small blunder and have a small gap nothing as big as this I hope, that if packed with a little bit of saw dust covered with HHG that it will work.  I also sanded most of the glue away and the glue is still holding the dust as it seeped through the gaps and solidified the dust.

Well another effective examination wrapped up, another myth demystified and something new learned.

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Correct Hide Glue Ratio Mix

I see innumerable recordings on YouTube innocently giving out the wrong information on the ratio mix of water to granules.  Why are there so many mislead? My own particular musings to this is were all gaining from each other. In the event that one source puts out deluding data, at that point it spreads like an infection tainting thousands consistently. My issue with some YouTube recordings is the mundane, relentless, unconcerned, easygoing, detached demeanor they take towards the art.

For this situation I will just allude to shroud stick. You hear words like “oh I don’t measure how much water I use, I just pour it in and cover the surface.” That’s not by any stretch of the imagination how it goes and the reason they say this, is they don’t realize what is the right proportion blend.

On the off chance that you’ve perused my magazines you will see antiquated articles revealing to you the right proportion blend is 1:1. It doesn’t state what looks great to the eye. They additionally don’t take this nonchalant disposition towards the art where I’ve heard some say on the off chance that if it looks square then it must be square. I believe this attitude is just an exterior facade to influence the viewer into believing or at least make it appear that hand tools are a no fuss operation.  Rip it and tidy up the edge with a couple of swipes of your plane and Bob’s you uncle. This is implausible, unrealistic woodworking.

Today is my roster day off so I don’t want to spend too much time on this as I’m under the gun to go back to the build for the third issue. So I’ll simply demonstrate to you a progression of photograph’s and afterward you’ll realise what the right proportion blend resembles.

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Lo-and-behold I didn’t take a photo of it mixed! Unbelievable.  I’ll try to describe it to you, but if you mix 1:1 you’ll see what it looks like.  The water level should just cover the surface of the granules. Not flood it or drown it but just cover it.

What’s additionally imperative is the nature of the granules and I’m referring to its quality.  I purchase mine from Patrick Edwards; he gets it from Milligan and Higgins. I don’t know Behlen items whether they utilize Milligans and Higgins and simply slap their own particular mark on it or on the off chance that they make their own. In any case, Milligans and Higgins is a trusted and experience organisation and if it’s sufficient for Patrick an incredible Marqueter with 40+ years of knowledge and experience at that point it’s adequate for me.

_DSC1701_DSC1702 If I’ve offended someone in this post then toughen up.

 

A message to blog site owners

Our lives are hectic enough without having to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say.  None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.

WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month.  This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post.  Fake commentators were with female names.

Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.

Tip – Locate holes for your vice

The heading is a little misleading as I don’t know the correct word for it, but the picture will put you in the know as to what I’m referring too.

viceI’ve been cleaning up my bench top, you know flattening it and taking out as many scores as I could.  This morning I decided to replace the timber on my vice and locating the holes with the vice installed got me stumped for a good 5 mins.  Measuring in from the side and top was an option, but then I remembered I had these dowel centre finders, but they were a little too small and kept falling out.  So I used masking tape to temporarily hold them in place while I pricked the board.  It takes the guess work out of locating the holes which may lead to potential misalignment.

old-bench

Now isn’t she pretty.  I couldn’t take out all the knife marks, chisel marks and drill holes and but she looks better than what she was before. I’m such a pig of a woodworker.

Time for a new decent workbench is long overdue and I’m going to start saving up for it. I know it’s going to be close to 2 metres long, space permitting.  I also know I want a tail vice and since I’ve never built one I rightly don’t know if I should attempt it or just buy this neat little one from HNT Gordon.

HNT-12203-1 It looks OK and I reckon it will do the trick, but I think a traditional vice would suit me better.  To make moulding planes I can clamp them them vertically, also if I needed to bore a hole in the end grain I can clamp them vertically.  For carving  they also work like a dream and I’m sure I would find many more uses for it.  But there’s a catch I won’t be able to install another face vice  as the tail vice will be in the way for re sawing or clamping large panels.  Having a bandsaw suffices 99% of my re sawing needs, but what about those wide panels where it’s too wide for a bandsaw?  I may have to make a small bench just for that like the one Roubo shows, but that also means eating up precious shop space for something that won’t be used on a regular basis unless I sell my bandsaw which I don’t foresee that happening in this life or the next. In fact, I’ll take it with me to the afterlife, that’s how useful that machine is.  The only two useful machines I have in my shop is my lathe and bandsaw.  I don’t ever use my portable thicknesser and I don’t know why I still have it.

I will keep the current going through the lathe until I can figure out how to make a treadle lathe spin 2000 rpm.  I’ve seen many foot powered lathes work and I don’t how people are not frustrated with it.  Greg Merritt recently built his and he’s having a ball with it, but who knows maybe if I tried one I too would like it.

Here is a picture of a model bench I found on the net I would like to base mine on.

bench2-web

Lastly on vices, I still haven’t decided if I should make one or buy one with a quick release. My current vice is a quick release dawn, but it’s making a clicking sound since I did that glue test of trying to snap the board with it.  Amazing isn’t it how strong this glue is.  Ever since I figured out that it needs thinning it’s been my go to glue.

I’ve been blogging a lot lately and that’s because I’ve had three weeks off work. Sadly I haven’t won the lottery to make it permanent so I’m back on this weekend.  I won’t be as active as I was but that’s life ain’t it.

Just to let you know I still have a fair way to go in finishing Issue III. I’m going to include the moulding planes build which I hope you will enjoy.  I’ve been reading some of the comments people are writing about the magazine on other forums.  Many people like it, but there are some who want a magazine that’s written for advanced woodworkers.  I have always stated from the very beginning at opening this blog that I’m not catering towards the beginners.  However, I do realize that we were all beginners at one stage and I should and will cater for all.  In truth, there is only so much one can write about the craft before you end up repeating yourself.  What I don’t want to do is write about how to saw, or using reference edges for your squares.

I have included many useful articles in the magazine about various topics.  I understand not every topic would be of interest to everyone and advanced or not you will learn something new. I know I have and still do everyday.  The topics written by me are my own experiences and findings I have learned and discovered over the years through use, the topics written by others are their own and the topics written by our ancients are the most experienced and most beneficial to us.  I have said this in the past, who can know more about working with their hands than those guys who worked it everyday 150 years and more ago.  That’s why I put them in and will continue to do so as long as this magazine is active.

I will include many projects from clock making to building furniture.  I’m not a wonder boy but I will do the best I can.  However, finding new contributing authors has proven to be more difficult than I had previously thought.  I thank Greg, Brian and Josh for their contributions and I also thank Matt for his contributions.  These guys really gave it all they had for the love of the craft.  “Give and you shall receive.”  I would love women to also contribute articles, I know according to the statistics on this blog and my YouTube account that it’s only 3% that are actively viewing.  I’m sure this percentage is probably larger elsewhere and if it is why not showoff  your skills and contribute.

One last final point I really need to make clear.  I’m not interested in portraying myself as a know it all.  I know people on YouTube and other blogs where they are deriving an income from it, have to make themselves appear that they are flawless and a walking encyclopedia of woodworking knowledge.  I never want to head down that road irrespective I’m making money from the craft or not. I think that image portrayal is bullshit, it’s the biggest load of crock and I don’t want it.  I’m me, I’m down to earth, I’m honest, hard working and fallible. I make mistakes like everyone else and I certainly don’t know everything, but I learn something new everyday. I want to be the best I can be and genuinely want the same for you.

So there it is in a nutshell, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and this magazine is not perfect, but I did pour my heart and soul into it. If given the financial resources and time to put into it, I know I could make it better.

Is that wishful thinking, I wonder.

 

Structural Integrity Paranoia

I built this for my wife oh about two decades ago for her 20th birthday, how time flies. My daughter has this now and it’s in tact and it hasn’t fallen apart nor has the stain faded. It looks the same as the day it was made.

I made it from radiata pine and stained it with rosewood mahogany. The finish I used was my dad’s 15 year old automotive clear lacquer. They say old paint won’t stick but it hasn’t worn off after 20 years unlike the gloss I bought 15 years from a big box store. That’s the difference between industrial made finishes and the finishes made for the DIY’s.

Some of my woody friends said the rails will snap because there isn’t much meat due to the scrolled leaves. I suppose they would of snapped if you stood on the table or even sat in the middle, but if you use it as it’s supposed to be used then it won’t and it hasn’t and never will.

The moral of this story is:

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Don’t fret too much over structural integrity, even nails (cut nails) will hold a toolbox together for a couple of hundred years.

I build a table back then that 5 ft square, it was a split top hinged lidded table. We used to place DVD’s in one half and children’s toys in the other. It was held together with wooden nails and the tabletop was doweled at 2″ spacing. My kids were jumping on it, dancing and even I who was overweight then stood and jumped on it several times, the darn thing never broke.

If the table was built from chipboard it would of snapped like a twig. If it was built from MDF it would’ve snapped like a twig. That’s why IKEA furniture and any furniture made from chipboard and MDF rarely last very long.

Fish glue it works

24 hours has passed since I edge glued a test piece with Lee Valley’s Cod fish glue.

I must admit I was nervous that it would fail because I thinned it.  I tried squeezing it in my vice and I think I may have buggered my vice, it’s now making some clicking sound.  I changed the strategy and placed the panel flat in the vice and got some multi grips.  Finally I managed to break it and it was no where near the glue line as you can see in the picture below. Also notice in the second picture that it’s virtually impossible to spot the glue line.

I think the results speak for itself.  Fish glue is truly as good as any PVA on the market strength wise however, it does take a full 24 hours to fully cure  and I don’t think that in truth is any different to any other PVA on the market.

I am also of the opinion that instrument makers who have not had much success with it either, used an inferior version or didn’t thin it and therefore the glue had lumps. Lumps will not allow a join to completely seat itself and also the glue won’t be absorbed by the timber.

 

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.