The chances of me ever embarking on a project this advanced is remote,
but I always figure I can learn something nonetheless. Toward that end,
I have a question or two.
You've masked off the areas around the mortises very precisely. I assume
that's because you want the glue to adhere to bare wood. Were the parts
merely stained or did you go further in the prefinishing? Meaning, would
stain alone have affected the adhesion?
How did you tape off those areas so precisely? My guess is that you
taped over a larger area and cut off the excess using either a template
block with a tenon in it, or perhaps the mating piece itself. If so,
would you not have cut into the wood a little? Maybe that doesn't
matter, as the line will be exactly where the pieces mate?
I ask this because I am tossing around the idea of a coffee table
project in my head. We just got some new furniture (a bad idea, by the
way, as it sets in motion a process that requires the replacement of
every object within a four block radius of the new piece) and we'll need
a table that's long and relatively narrow. Assuming I actually get
around to it - what with the electrical work, painting, new shelving and
rerouting of cable TV and audio wiring that is now in the works - I
would probably use (Beadlock) loose tenons to put the frame together.
I think I see the wisdom of prefinishing parts now. Again, how much
prefinishing did you do? Only stain, or more? And how did you decide?
One more thing. In this photo:
What is the clamp whose handle is closest to the camera doing? It looks
like it is only in contact with the jig and the top end of the front
leg. Inquiring (novice) minds want to know.
Thanks in advance.
On Thursday, December 6, 2012 11:55:48 AM UTC-6, Greg Guarino wrote:
I'll venture a guess. One or both ends of the jig are loose (maybe/probably the sides also), allowing placement of the chair parts within the jig before clamping. That clamp pulls that front leg unit square with the ply base of the jig, which is the "template" for properly aligning the whole assembly.
I've made mistakes with my ply base templates, as that, sometimes, when I don't pay attention to the z axis of alignment, i.e., flat onto the ply base. X and Y axes line up, but I've forgotten to check that the flat plane of the assembly isn't raised on some corner, or somewhere, until it's too late. Frustrating!! Often times, the subsequent application of the stretchers will "fix" the problem, but not always. That's not the fix you would want to have to do.
the sides also), allowing placement of the chair parts within the jig before
clamping. That clamp pulls that front leg unit square with the ply base of the
jig, which is the "template" for properly aligning the whole assembly.
don't pay attention to the z axis of alignment, i.e., flat onto the ply base. X
and Y axes line up, but I've forgotten to check that the flat plane of the
assembly isn't raised on some corner, or somewhere, until it's too late.
Frustrating!! Often times, the subsequent application of the stretchers will
"fix" the problem, but not always. That's not the fix you would want to have to
A man who has BTDT! :)
Most glues used in woodworking _joinery_ will not adhere to a
stained/finished surface, thus, depending upon the glue, you generally
want to glue bare wood to bare wood.
There are exceptions to this. I often use CA glue to attach design
elements, like corbels and trim, to legs after all other parts have been
stained and assembled, mainly because placement of these elements can be
affected by final assembly.
(Aruguably, the end grain of an apron, glued to the face of a leg, does
not provide that much adhesion, but does contribute some, and with
chairs every little bit adds up to a stronger piece)
With a little practice, and knowing the reveal between the legs and
aprons, you can simply lay, by eye, a piece of 3/4" tape about 1/2"
beyond either side of a mortise ... even if you're off slightly, NBD,
you can go back and clean/touchup any areas after assembly.
I then run the razor blade around the inside edges of the mortises so
that I can insert a loose tenon, and the matching apron, to use as a
guide to trimming the tape ends to match the apron.
Since the tape is the same width as the apron, there are only two edges
It is indeed tedious business, but overall saves much time in detail
sanding and glue cleanup, and affords a much nicer, overall end product.
No need to slice the tape, just lay a razor blade on edge against the
apron and lift up on the excess tape and pull it against the sharp razor
It actually goes fairly quickly once you get the hang of it ... and
quickly depends upon your inherent dose of anal retentiveness. :)
Sanding, sanding, sanding, and one more bit of sanding, _before_ staining.
(I sanded daily for the better part of three days before staining, which
took another two days ... four chairs, each with 29 separate parts, or
116 chair parts - legs, aprons, slats, back rests. )
Each and every part has been machine sanded through 3 grits (100, 120,
150), and hand sanded through one final grit (180 or 220), which also
includes a gentle "breaking of the edges" by hand.
Then for those projects which require to be stained to match other
pieces, I <gasp> stain.
(don't let C_Less see this as he takes loud exception to what he refers
to as RBS (red brown shit)). :)
After final glue-up/assembly of the pre-stained piece, I do any
cleanup/touch up that needs to be done, then apply a top coat(s) ...
usually sprayed on shellac with these type pieces (Mission/Arts & Crafts).
Everyone has their way of doing things. Personally I hesitate to go much
further than 150 when staining, depending upon the wood (open grain,
like red oak, etc is an exception where I would routinely go to 180).
When doing a hand rubbed oil/poly/wax finish, I routinely go to at least
220, and more often, 320 ... then again, I'm usually working with cherry
or walnut on those projects.
The 220 in this case was just what was needed to break the edges, while
giving me a chance to touch and feel all the parts for any problems,
including swirls parts. Except when pre-finishing, I usually save that
step for last, after the piece is assembled.
Ideal situation is to have a drum sander ... ask Leon just how much of
this particular kind of time that saves.
Although a drum sander would be something I would jump on should I find
one for sale, basically I can justify the expense, but not the space ...
gotta draw a line somewhere. ;)
You can start to see the payoff in this:
...then multiply by four and all that "tedious business" starts to
For all practical purposes, all those sub assemblies need is a top coat,
and they're toast.
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