Saturday, May 27, 2017

When all other clamps fail...

I am in the middle of restoring an amazing English drop leaf candle stand made from great old English Oak.  I have become quite fond of English Oak or Oak in general and look forward to working with it more in my work. 

The table came into the shoppe because a leg needed to reattached, another leg was loose, and a few fragments of the post started to crack and fail.  While gluing the parts back to their locations, I quickly noticed that from the broad selection/style of clamps I own nothing was going to work. 

This is where the infamous upholstery springs came to the rescue again. The clamps get cut with wire cutters and the tips get ground or filed to blunt tip. I love these clamps because they give me the desired pressure where it is needed.  These clamps are easy to make and I highly recommend having many on hand. I often use them for so many clamping situations.  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What size screw is this?

I have an addiction to old/vintage slotted screws.  Why? Slotted screws are easy to use, don't strip easy, old stock are made from quality steel, and the threads really bits into the wood. But what if the screws in the box are not what they say they are? Now imagine buckets of screws, how do you determine what size the screw is?

Buckets of old slotted screws that no one wants because they are so called hard to install.  I love buckets of screws. 

To easily determine the size of the screw I own/use many standard screw gauges. Screw gauges can easily inform you of the the size of the screw and the length. I often buys these gauges at flea markets for a few bucks.  Many may not need to know what a screw size is but for someone who repairs furniture knowing what screws I need really saves a ton of time.  
Standard Screw Gauge to determine screw dimensions. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Clamp pads

There isn't a rule stating what the ideal clamping pad material is. But if there was one rule it would surely would be to make certain the clamping pad you plan to be using is softer than the wood you are clamping. For example I wouldn't recommend  using hard maple pads to clamp eastern white pine. The reason being is the hard maple will most likely dent the pine under clamp pressure.

Most my clamping cauls I use are either plexiglass, thick leather, bending plywood, or homasote soundboard. Each has there place but all of them won't dent the wood.  There are times in gluing or repairing furniture that I want make certain I can see my joints/repairs coming together nicely and this is where the plexiglass comes in nicely.  The bending plywood is great for areas that not straight and I need the plywood to conform to the surface.  The thick leather is often used for really delicate glues up. Lastly the homasote is used for all general purpose glue ups.

There are times where I do use wood for cauls for when clamping dovetail drawers or chests. Or even when I am making chairs and need angle wedges. But after that I use the pads mentioned above. I keep them all in a wooden box with handles ready and with in reach. Its amazing how many you need and the wide selection of sizes.

Happy clamping.