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Ready, Fire, Aim: Twisted Laminations Cane #1: Why not?

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Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 03-07-2011 09:30 PM 3459 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Ready, Fire, Aim: Twisted Laminations Cane series Part 2: So Now How Do You Get It Round? »

Thursday last a very good client asked if I could make him a cane. “Unique” was his only request.

I have made canes before, but mostly by putting a T-handle on a limb of some gnarlment.

In pondering the word unique I couldn’t get past the cliche of multi-colored lamination with purpleheart in the middle. Hey, it looks great, looks right, looks strong.

Then I thought about giving it a twist.

Friday:

First I cut my 1.25 inch stock (various species) to length—38”—and then stacked and line bored them. Then it was slicing time on the TS: 3/32” thick.

I stacked them for color—ash, cherry and mahogany, with a single piece of walnut in the middle—and pondered what next when Dan Zerbe walked in, saw what was going on, and said I’d need a tube to keep it straight. I had assumed it would just want to be straight, but I think he’s right.

I soaked the pieces (wire ties loosely through the holes) for a couple hours, wiped them down, spread my polyurethane glue and bundled the whole shebang in plastic wrap and installed the bolts. Things are bubbling away now; a sensitive mic could have picked up the molecular rumbling.

I slipped it into the tube, which I had tested for diameter and pruned the stacked slats to fit. But they’re getting bigger, both with moisture and the ubiquitous glue. I ended up pounding the last few inches.

Images show the setup: Tube in the vise, Crescent wrenches on the ends, clamp holding one in place. I let it sit over the weekend.

Monday first thing: Drive the tube off the stick—effort required—but there was no glue adherence to deal with. Just the densely bubbled glue.

I feared the glue in the joints, not being actually clamped, would separate them. Very little, it turned out—the twisting actually forced the surfaces together.

More to follow…

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"



4 comments so far

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 2130 days


#1 posted 03-07-2011 09:43 PM

Can’t wait to see how this turns out. What is polyurethane glue and how does it adhere to wet wood?
Did you twist the glue up after it was in the tube?
Where did you get the idea for this process?

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2313 days


#2 posted 03-07-2011 09:54 PM

Polyurethane glue is a water-blown adhesive that requires moisture to make it set. It’s been around for some time, but was just introduced to woodworking in the last decade. It has some real good applications. It is very water resistant, better perhaps than Titebond Insert Big Number Here, but, as legend has it, the rep of an adhesive company was heard to say, “Guys are using it to build boats because it’s easier to use than epoxy, but I ain’t going out in one!”

So in this instance, it was the only choice for speed’s sake. I could have bent the wet lams up and let them sit for a week until they were dry and then used another adhesive.

Look closely on the early images and you can see how the glue bubbled out and literally filled the tube from the edges where it oozed out. The stick was a tight enough fit in the tube that no glue got into the area where the flat sides were.

I did all the twisting after it was in the tube—poly glue starts to work right away but has a pretty forgiving open time.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to do this, but I just did it—hence the “Ready, Fire, Aim” title. Not a big investment in the wood, I was pretty sure the tube would be salvageable, and I’m always game for prototyping. Turns out the first generation of this is absolutely usable!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3111 posts in 2397 days


#3 posted 03-07-2011 10:17 PM

Interesting.

Was the plastic wrap for clamping?

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2313 days


#4 posted 03-08-2011 12:00 AM

Yeah, I thought it might squeeze the laminations together a bit. Surely not as snugly as metal clamps. I also thought it might make it easier to get the product out of the tunnel, but I doubt the glue would have stuck to the inside of the ABS.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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