Lighting Pendants #2: Oops, Eureka, Cool!

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Blog entry by MarkTheFiddler posted 06-29-2014 03:12 AM 1630 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Truncated Icosahedron challenge. Part 2 of Lighting Pendants series Part 3: I like it! »


I did a glue up last night and didn’t notice I slipped when clamping. This morning I noticed big time. The clamps had pulled my work in too much. There was nearly an eighth inch gap on the outside. I tried to break it loose. Nothin’ Doin’! Oops.

I thought about filling the gap and despite my reluctance, it was going to happen. The only thing is that the gap and bad angle were going to throw all the geometry off. I’d never get the whole thing together. I came up with a plan to end the truncated icosahedron without closing it off. Consider a fish bowl and you’ll get the idear. I started to like the idea. In fact I started to like it better than the original design. Eureka!

I was sanding some of the pieces before another glue up and didn’t think about my work sitting on top of the make shift table. My progress just slowly and imperceptibly skittered toward the edge. Off it went!! It crashed to the concrete and broke into two pieces. Yep, the good part and the bad glue up from last night came apart. The was no other damage. Cool!

I’m still switching to my fishbowl version. All the segmented pieces will become the ‘cage version. I’ll need to cut a few more solid pieces but I have it covered.

I learned a different trick today. How do you glue up a tight angle. I believe this trick will only work for very obtuse angles. I’ll explain with pictures.

Tape the pieces together.

Get some glue on them.

Lightly clamp across the length.

Clamp from the vertices to your other clamp shaft.

Tighten both clamps gradually. The butt joint will close right up.

Hope the trick makes your life easier one day.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

12 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2441 days

#1 posted 06-29-2014 03:21 AM

Cool. I’m looking forward to you posting this when you get it finished.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 06-29-2014 04:16 AM

Hey Mark
Next time this happens try heating the glue joint it will come loose after a bit of coaxing and for clamping the joint do as you did but instead of a clamp just use tape instead .

-- Kiefer

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2337 days

#3 posted 06-29-2014 05:01 AM

Thank you Klaus! The two piece joinery works nice with that trick. Then it ends. I must use tape as you recommended for every other joint. I tried painters tape. Not enough grab. Tried box tape. Stretches to much. I’m using duct tape now. I hope it does better. If you have a
Better choice of tape, I’ll run and get some.

Thanks for the heat trick. I suppose I can get a cheap heat gun from HF.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View stefang's profile


15952 posts in 3483 days

#4 posted 06-29-2014 08:12 AM

Those must be difficult to glue Mark. I have been through some nightmarish glue-ups of angled pieces myself and it was quite stressful trying to get everything clamped before the glue set.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2337 days

#5 posted 06-29-2014 12:07 PM

Howdy Mike!

I keep thinking that if I can find a type of tape that holds like iron but won’t damage the wood when removed, I’ll be thrilled. Klaus’ point of only using tape is making more and more sense. I don’t mind cleaning up with mineral spirits if I get residue.

This project is reminding me that I need better day to day woodworking skills and knowledge.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Gary's profile


9353 posts in 3581 days

#6 posted 06-29-2014 12:16 PM

BUMMER, Mark. Now I’m going to have to go try this.
really….neat trick, good thinking

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21321 posts in 3254 days

#7 posted 06-29-2014 04:01 PM

Hi Mark. I hate when that happens. I find that those quick grip clamps slip the parts a bit when the glue is wet. I put end blocks around them to contain the parts some time when I expect it and have used small 1/8” dowels to precisely align the parts when gluing and they stay put that way. It depends on the application and what you are limited to do. That is how we learn something new every day and when you see it here , others can file the solution away for their future projects.

Good luck, My friend!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3261 posts in 3257 days

#8 posted 06-29-2014 07:37 PM

I’m watching how this comes together. I made an icosahedron from copper many years ago, and have a sketch somewhere for one out of wood strips. It is skeletal for lack of a better word.

Have you tried Gorilla Tape? Made by the same people who make Gorilla Glue. Just be sure to remove before too long, as it gets more stuck over time.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View NormG's profile (online now)


6253 posts in 3152 days

#9 posted 06-29-2014 08:10 PM

Since it is a difficult glue up, would it be better to do them all at once

Glad to hear it came apart though

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2337 days

#10 posted 06-29-2014 11:33 PM

Howdy Gary,
It seemed to work well but only on those pieces. I’d love to see another Texan knocking out the crazy angles.

Hey Jim,
I saw a guy use dowels on the open frame version. I don’t remember where on the web it was but it seemed like a cool trick.


Since I decided not to build the frame version for the bottom half of these, I have the entire set of frames cut and ready to be used. It’s gonna be a bear. BTW, I’m going to try Gorilla tape. Hopefully, it will clean up with solvent.


Building and glueing all at once has been done successfully. I glued a 10 sided dodecahedron up once with titebond 3. It has a longer open time. I got glue everywhere and was cleaning up for a month. The joints didn’t fit any better. The skill to do that correctly is out of my league. Butnwho knows – one day perhaps.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3261 posts in 3257 days

#11 posted 06-30-2014 02:36 AM

Gorilla tape should be fine if it is only on overnight. I left some on my wife’s van for a year, holding down some roof trim. That stuff sticks better than the glue I reattached the trim with!

You might try using the built article to develop a support to make the skeletal version, since it will be the correct shape. Kind of a negative of the final article.

I had a lot of fun soldering my copper one together. On top of getting it aligned properly, I had to contend with a propane torch, dripping solder, and it was HOT, to boot.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2337 days

#12 posted 06-30-2014 11:58 AM

Lightning, you have me intrigued. I’d love to see your copper version. Let us know where we can see it please

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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