I thought I'd run this idea by everyone. My made-from-strips board-making
problems are largely with alignment issues in all three axes during
glue-up. I took every possible precaution to cut and clamp these pieces
well, but I have low-end equipment, and I just don't think I can do any
better. I might salvage the most recent one, but I'd like to be
uncompromising on this project, so I'm thinking hard about taking another
So what I just tried out is the original tinker toy idea I was tossing
around back when I asked for my initial advice on this. After doing three
pieces, it _seems_
like it might work, but I thought I'd put it out for
people to point out my obvious stupidity before I start to commit any more
valuable wood to this endeavor.
1) clamp a stop block to my crosscut sled *securely*
, maybe even screwing it
down to be sure it never moves.
2) joint the edge of a board so that it's perfectly perpendicular to the
face, and perfectly straight
2a) test and mark grain direction
2b) mark which face is up
3) cut off a small strip to get a straight edge
4) push to the stop, crosscut into strips
5) take the strips, rotate 90 degrees and push into the stop, effectively
ripping like a crosscut
6) take the resulting squares to the DP, to a jig built to *just*
7) use the DP to drill four holes into every piece, keeping the same face
8) stick dowels into all the little holes, and assemble like tinker toys,
then surround with a frame
I get all the holes drilled perfectly, this will solve the alignment
problems. If the two woods are of a slightly different thickness (and they
will be), one face should still come out very close to being in the same
plane. I could even drill the end-grain holes all the way through, and
have long dowels that run through the entire piece.
* that's a hell of a lot of glue work to do in 15 minutes
if the holes don't come out perfect, everything will be out of whack
* clamping from two different directions simultaneously while keeping
Seems with all the parts interlocking, I could get away with light glue.
Maybe just a few dots, which would speed up the spreading. Thoughts?
Other than the obvious "wow, that's a lot of work, why don't you just cut
strips and follow conventional wisdom" type responses, does this sound
I already thought of doing alternating strips, then cutting into checkered
strips and then running dowels through those. The problem is that my
checkered strips are made of segments that aren't perfectly parallel to
each other, making for an irregular distance from the fence or doweling
jig. I could try planing the board after the first glue-up, but the last
time I tried that, I wound up with a chucker. I'm hoping to minimize the
amount of opportunity I have to screw up the board surface with my poor
planing skill, and I want to do light planing only.
With so many interlocks, could I get by without clamping at all? I've got
stuff I glued together without clamping that has lasted for years, and this
doesn't have to take any weight. It *will*
be the lid of a hinged box, if
that makes any difference. Hinges attached to the surrounding frame. Not
having to clamp would simplfy matters. Seems like this thing might hold
together fairly well with no glue at all. Especially if I put two dowels
into every side of every square.
64 squares * 8 dowels = 512 alignment pegs minus ((8 *
4) * 2 = 64) for edge
pieces = 448 dowels. Probably want to buy ready-made dowels for that, but
with 448 dowels holding everything together, the glue wouldn't have to be
OK, I'm babbling now. How *else*
could I ensure proper alignment in all
three axes when careful cutting and careful clamping aren't doing it? The
bottom line is that the pieces are coming off the saw parllel to each
other, but not perpendicular to the earth. They're ever so slightly
slanted //// so they squeeze into funny shapes under pressure. When I
tried jointing them with a plane, I just made every strip a different
width, which resulted in a total ruin. I have to glue them straight off
the saw, or not do this at all, so I have to live with and compensate for
the minute slant. I can't get my TS to behave any better than this. This
is all a Skil 3400 is good for.
Blah blah blah... Sorry. Thinking as much to myself as asking questions.
Writing helps me think.
I've about convinced myself to try it anyway, FWIW. What the hell. I
already have $40 worth of future turning blanks. May as well make this the
most obscenely expensive simple chess box the world has ever seen and go in
for another $20 or so.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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