Saturday, February 28, 2015

miter glue up and........

I got my miters figured out (famous last words) so today's post isn't about that. I did try something new and I got frame #3 glued up without any hiccups. I had a few minor ones but nothing that warranted giving anything flying lessons.

woodpecker miter clamps
I got a comment from Sylvain about these clamps I got from Woodpecker. Just like their write up states, these are dead nuts 90 degrees. I checked all four of them.

four mating pieces are dead nuts also
Sylvain pointed out that maybe my frame pieces were too large for these clamps. The woodpecker site shows thinner width stock being clamped in them.

so while the hide glue warmed up....
cut a couple small pieces to miter and shoot on the shooting board
roughly 1/2 as wide as frame #3
dry clamped is looking pretty good
clamped tight and it's still closed up and not open at the toe or heel
frame#3 dry fitted and it's tight
clamped
This is a huge improvement over yesterday's clamp up. These are the ones I re-shot on the shooting board at 45 again for the last time. The heel is a wee bit open but that may swell shut on glue up.

dead nuts 90 according to Mr Starrett
My conclusion is that this is nothing to worry about. These clamps are precision made to clamp at 90 degrees. Frame #3 is made up of stock I 6 squared and shot 45s on. The frame parts are not perfect matches. There are slight differences and I think those are what are causing the slight open toes and heels. The pieces that are 1/2 the width of frame #3 are almost perfect with almost no variances and they clamped up pretty tight. In order to get a perfect 90 with these clamps the two pieces must be as perfect as possible. If they aren't, due to the precision of the clamps the toe or heel will open some.

a bit loose
I wanted to leave this natural and apply shellac to it. However, I still have to clean this up and remove all the pencil marks and that will thin the frame a bit. Along with the frame, the panel will shed some thickness too. The two combined will make this panel too loose and it will rattle around in the frame. Not to mention an unsightly gap around the edge of the panel and frame. I won't be planing and cleaning this up. Instead I'll be painting it like I am doing frame #2.

waxed the frame and panel before glue up
hide glue
I am not sure if sizing is necessary with hide glue but I did it anyways. The end grain of the 45 absorbed the first coat of glue and I definitely needed a second application. I have glued up bare faced 45s with just hide glue before and not one stayed together once the clamps were removed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

the PITA glue up
The frame is doing what I thought it would do. As I was applying any pressure the other corners were slipping by each other and opening. There aren't any splines to help hold it's shape.  I was hoping that the hide glue would grab and hold so I could get this clamped up. I had this band clamped once but had to start over again because the band slipped off a corner.

finally clamped up
I first got the band clamp on and tightened. I checked the four corners on the top and bottom of the frame for flush, tight, etc. Once I was happy with that and satisfied that the band clamp had the frame securely held, I put on the quick grips to even out the pressure on the miters.

Then it went by the furnace to cook until tomorrow. I'll have to wait until then to see how well the hide glue is holding the miters together. If that is ok I can cut and add the splines and those will help to beef up the miters.

the bridle joint lid is too small
I cleaned up the lid on the corners with a block plane. It's shy of the edge by a 32nd on this side.

almost a 1/16 on the opposite side
slight skew in the lid with the back flush
the box is square on all 4 corners
the lid is slightly out of square
The lid is over sized side to side by about 1/16" strong and short front to back by about the same. I think I have sufficient stock that I can square the sides to the back. I am making the back of the box my reference edge because I will be hinging this lid to the box. I want that edge to be square and straight so the hinges work freely.

add a filler to the back?
I'm leaning in the direction of gluing a strip to the back so the front of the lid will be at the least, be flush with the front edge of the box. Since I have a cherry panel, the filler strip will be cherry too. I can use it as a design element of the overall box.

base stock
I'm not sure but I think I have enough scrap pine here to make a base. I'm going out to dinner with my wife tonight so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if I have enough stock here. This will give me something to talk to my wife about and see how quickly I can get her eyes glaze over.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In the United States a Red Cap is a baggage porter and a Redcap in England is?
answer - a Military Policeman

Friday, February 27, 2015

miters - chapter closed........

I am done with the miters. I learned a lot about doing them over the past week.  I learned a few things about myself also. I am doing better with them but I'm sure that they will give me fits again. But for now, I have the upper hand with them. I've got a foot hold on another hand tool skill.

frame #1
This is one frame that looks like it was drove over, repeatedly, by a fully loaded dump truck. All of the corners have damage like this with this one being at the head of the class.

front
The miters tightened up a lot. The glue up must have swelled the joints because they look better then they did dry.

back
Even these closed up. Not my best miters but for shop use they will be fine.

more blowouts
Got lazy here and tried to plane this corner with my left hand - big mistake. The opposite corners are uneven and I knocked that down and flushed them.

this isn't looking too good
this confirms it
I could tell it was twisted in the first pic and this tells me it is toast.  According to the bars here this is twisted about 1/4"+. I will salvage the panel but the rest of the frame is firewood.

frame #3 dry fit is good
slightly opened at the heel
before I clamped it closes up tight
I decided that I was going to try and close up the heel. To close the heel up I had shave some off  the toe. I went back to the shooting board and took a couple of shavings.

very thing shavings
got the heel closed and the miter is tight 

shot all miters and flushed them
toast
I got perfectly tight miters when I clamped all the pieces individually but it won't come together. If the corners were reasonably close to 90, I would not have this gap on the last miter. The accumulative error on each miter is biting me on the butt here.

not square
I was so intent are removing the perceived heel error that I ended up planing this out of square. Time to go back to square one.

square one
Set the arm to 45 degrees. I am accepting this angle as being 45 degrees and that the miter I shoot will be the same. I will not become an anal retentive nut job obsessing about a tiny sliver on the heel or the the toe. I shot the angles again as best I could and left them at that.

what will it be
a nice tight frame off the shooting board
I am leaving this as is.

frame #2
This frame is now square and the miters are all tight. I should get the same results with the one I am playing with now.

panel sized and it is ready to be grooved
dry fit is good
I think this frame has the potential to be a PITA to glue up. What I want to do is glue and cook the frame first. Once that is done, add splines to the corners. I don't want to paint this one but leave it natural. The finish will most likely be shellac.

dry clamp looks very good
I rounded over the top and I got no blowouts this time. My miters closed up and if the heels are open I can't see it.

the bottom
This looks as good as the top. I'm not gluing this up tonight. I still have to clean up the frame parts and the panel. I'll tackle the glue up on friday night. I have to go make a calzone for dinner.

What did I learn? Trust the setting of the shooting board. Don't obsess about tiny dry fitting errors. This is pine and it will give and compress a little. Use a very sharp iron set shallow and try to shoot in one straight stroke. Don't expect anal retentive perfection or go out into La-La land chasing it. This is good enough and maybe someone else years from now will look at this and wonder about it like I did.

I was never able to do miters well with machines. I tried doing them on both motorized miter saws and table saws. It didn't matter which one I used they still came out so-so. By hand I have done it and gotten very good results and I'll be using miters a lot more often now.  I have finally overcome the mystery and perceived difficulties of this joint. My confidence in doing hand tool joinery is increasing with each joint I do. I never got miters like this off of a machine.

We'll see how well I do on the next set of miters and how much I retained.  One thing I have noticed with hand tool work is that it isn't like riding a bike. I have found that not doing a particular joint for a while that when I do do it again, it isn't that good. Point in case, the differences in the joinery in the first two mitered bridle joints I did. I think it'll be a good practice on my part to maybe make a few test joints before I commit to the real one.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the most plentiful element in seawater?
answer - chlorine