29 October 2013

The Double Square Cabinet

The Double Square Cabinet on it's new stand has been finished at last.  The new one is subtly thinner in all sections and has two end rails instead of just one as in the old stand, all surfaces have been made flush.  There are also 'feet' made from Indian Ebony...

…and the stub tenons are now raised, rounded and wedged with some more Indian Ebony. 

Drawer detail remains the same...

…with a view showing the rear of the cabinet as well...

…which is mirrored on the back.

The stand, although English walnut, is a slightly darker shade as it came from an altogether
different board.  Finnish is two coats of Osmo PolyX, followed by some of my favourite Alna Teak Wax.

Altogether, not too shabby and a big improvement on the original ash stand.

22 October 2013

How do you remove yours?

Excess glue that is...if you thought it was anything else, you've got wrong Blog!

I've seen lots of enquiries on various forums about the best way of removing the excess glue squeeze out...one such answer was to purchase a triangular hook scraper, the sort of thing usually used to rip off paintwork, which in my view is completely inappropriate for glue removal.

The pic above shows a corner of the new framework for the Double Square Cabinet with the glue squeeze out clearly seen...so why hasn't it been removed?

The very simple answer is that it doesn't need to be removed.  All the internal surfaces have been pre-polished and then waxed, and you should be able to see the smear of wax on the closest rail.  The wax acts a 'resist' in exactly the same way as in the process of making a fibreglass lay up, where the resist prevents the resin from sticking to the mould.

In my case a urea-formaldehyde glue (Cascamite) has been used which in a couple of hours will partially set to a jelly like consistency.  It's at this point...

....that the glue squeezy-outy tool is used.  This is just a piece of plastic ground (on the disc sander) at both ends like a double ended marking knife. Offer up the edge (or point, as appropriate) and you'll find the glue will just lift off in one long bendy strip.  Even if it sets 'glass hard' (after about six hours, or overnight) it will still lift away from the resist with no effort.

If you're in a situation where the glue has to be removed, then the best thing to scrub the joint with a cut down glue brush (almost a stencil brush) using a few dabs of water on the bristles...don't drench the joint or the water will  dilute the glue.  The brush is used damp, not wet.

'Dab' is the operative word!

Finally, wipe the joint with a dry cloth to ensure that any glue or water left behind is removed.

The process isn't difficult, but you'd be amazed how many people make a pig's ear of it.

14 October 2013

Domino delight...

With the safe delivery of the Ink Blotter project (for which I was paid a tidy three figure sum) I've begun to make the replacement stand for the Double Square Cabinet...

...as the original in ash was a mite too 'clunky' and the inset single rail at the end didn't look right.  The walnut has been drying in the 'shop for a couple of months now so that in the last couple of days all the jointing at the corners, sixteen in total (twin rails now at the end) have been jointed with 8mm Dominos.

Had this been done by in the normal way...chop or rout mortices, cut and fit tenons, I could almost guarantee that a few would fit well, some would be tight, others a bit sloppy and mating surfaces that ought to be flush would be high/low/cock-eyed or generally require some severe tweaking to get spot on.

Not to mention the slight issue of time...probably around two or three days to cut and fit them all.

Do it with a Domino and the whole thing, sixteen joints... completed, done n'dusted in 15 minutes and every one fits perfectly.

Expensive?...yes (mine was second hand though) but worth every penny (or $ or cent or shekel) particularly if you happen to be in business making stuff.  Even if you're not (like me) and appreciate the time saved, the Domino system is just about the best thing since 'sliced bread'...if you like sliced bread, which I don't, but you get the drift.....

06 October 2013

Blot on the Landscape.

Back in the summer (and what a glorious summer it was, for a change)  I was nattering to the editor of F&C, Derek Jones about this and that.
We happened to be at Pete Sefton's annual summer bash held during the hottest part of July and where we were it was particularly sweltering.

During the course of the day, he asked me if I'd do a couple of things for one of his clients, an old boy who wanted a desk blotter.  He apparently writes everything out in longhand using a fountain pen...very 'old school' but nothing, I should add, remotely wrong with that.  I still use my fountain pen very occasionally, usually at Christmas time for the cards.

To cut a long story sideways, this is the end result of that little commission, a desk blotter in faux suede and Indian Ebony as Derek's client stipulated that the wood used should be black.

Although it looks deceptively simple, each part had to made, fitted, polished and assembled separately as I couldn't afford to get the suede surface contaminated with glue or wax.

It consists  of a 6mm ply base with the faux suede glued down on both sides.  The corner pieces consist...

...of a mitred 'L' shape with 2mm veneer on the underside and 3mm on the top (really to indicate which is the upper surface) and by carefully building these corners I was able to make enough clearance for a sheet of  blotting paper to slip underneath.  The sides consist of 'U' section pieces of ebony glued onto the edged to cover the quite untidy edge of suede.

It's turned out quite well, so now I have to work out how much to charge for it...answers on a postcard?