Glue… Man, stuffs amazing. They use it to build those little toothpick models, it holds toys together, the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan used to use it to graft on skin from his body to his finger tips in leu of waiting for clauses to grow. Rumor has it a lot of fine furniture is made with it! But we all know thats what drywall screws are for! Today was a new endeavor for me. I decided to make my first ever jewelry box. And i mean jewelry BOX. I’ve made a few jewelry “boxes” but not the straight forward five sides and a lid model. And i thought hey! Maybe its time i try to do something with JUST miter/butt joints, splines, grooves, dados, and glue. No fasteners or nails, none of it! And boy howdy, am i ever glad i buy so many clamps.
Let me tell you, even tho you all probably know already, this spline business everyone keeps talking about, its pretty expletive awesome. I can see why so many people dig it. The hardest part was making the jig, and that was easier than some of my dates in college. But hey, we’ve all been there… Even the ladies know what im talking about!
But right anyways. I have to say this whole process has gotten way easier now that ive upgraded my tools. The Ridgid 4512 isnt exactly my dream saw, but the thing works great for me, and it will do nicely until i can afford to buy a unisaw. Reason being this: the set up on the bigger/better saws (also upgraded my miter to a sliding DW780) is SO much easier and more precise. And it seems they STAY set up better. So this made the miters a lot easier to line up.
Other thing I loved about this process is the cheap, accurate, stable clamping system you can use for this method, masking tape? Ummm yes please. Also, never tried this before and it was great! If you’re reading this and dont know what it is, look it up! Its really spares the headaches. Obviously i did have parts that required real clamps but, heh, ohhh i’ve clamps. I’ve pleeeenty of clamps.
So right, loving the glue. I love titebond iii. I started using titebond ii, but tired the iii and ive never looked back. up until recently ive always waited until the last minute to glue so it would sit all night to cure. I had some bad experiences with ii coming apart after waiting an hour and a half, twice what the recommend, but dont seem to have any issues with iii. So i could layer my pieces, glue, clamp, wait a couple hours, and boom!
Also came up with a cute little tip for everyone. You know how your bench dogs are hard and can mar up your surface? And admit it, you’re not always thinking about it when you crank down and when you take your workpiece out you have that split second of “how did that get there???” Sure you can use wood strips, and i used to, i just get annoyed when im sanding and they fall out and you have to prop them up. You could even put leather on them, but come on, we’re woodworkers… Youve seen the price of that fancy leather furniture. My solution? It’s so easy you’d think my two year old niece thought of it. Get a few rubber bands and wrap them on there! Soft, grippy, and when youre done you can shoot them at precariously stacked pyramids of scrap.
So how did this all turn out? Pretty awesome! This really got the creative juices flowing and I’m pretty sure I’ll make plenty more for the craft show season. When its all finished I’ll be sure to post it in the projects section and put a link in my blog. Ill attach a photo of my rubber band dogs (mmm tasty) in my comments. And hey, while we’re at it, why dont you guys post your favorite random tips in the comments, get some camaraderie going here!
Now, however, its time to watch some playoff hockey and sand my buns off. Lets go RANGERS!
-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking