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Making Wooden Flowers #4: Starting the Assembly

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Blog entry by Ronbrush posted 124 days ago 1059 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Cutting the Petals Part 4 of Making Wooden Flowers series Part 5: Adding the Final Rows »

Step Four – Assemble the Centre Petals

I prepare the petals by soaking them in water for a few minutes to make them pliable.

I set a few petals on tissue to absorb excess water before gluing.

I use cyanoacrylate adhesive because it is fast setting. Moisture helps to speed up the curing process. This makes it the ideal adhesive for this project. I also keep a can of acetone and several cotton swabs handy for those inevitable times when my fingers become part of a flower!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

It helps to have a set of patterns to help position the petals when gluing them.
There are seven rows or tiers of petals in the roses I make.
They are arranged and glued to resemble the pattern below.

I cover my pattern with a sheet of acetate to protect it from glue and moisture.
The sheet you see on my drawing board has patterns for two sizes.

You can see the process of assembling the first three rows in the next series of photos.
The fist row (the centre of the flower) consists of one petal.
Each subsequent row gets one more petal added to it.
Each row is bent into a cone shape and glued.

I have a set of sharpened dowels of various diameters to help with this task. The points on the dowels are wrapped with packing tape to make them less likely to get stuck by the adhesive.
The photo below shows the fist petal being rolled around a thin dowel.

Here is the centre petal after gluing.

Using the pattern to place petals for the second row.

The second row is glued and ready for bending.

Notice that the petals in these three rows have the grain running lengthwise.
This helps in rolling the petals into tight cones.

In this example, Rows 4-7 will have the grain running from side to side, creating a flower with gentle curves (Refer to notes on grain direction in the previous entry).

In the photo below, the second row has been rolled and glued into a cone and the single petal is being inserted.

Here is the third row, glued and ready for bending into a cone.

Here are two special “centre guide” tools made from lengths of wire with one end rolled up to make a handle.

I use the centre guide to help align the centre openings of the flower rows. Keeping these openings aligned makes it easier later in the project to insert the wire which will make the flower stem.

Three rows now completed to form the centre of the flower

-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON – www.generationstudios.com



6 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4985 posts in 2312 days


#1 posted 124 days ago

Instead of the CA glue could you use hot hide glue? From what I’ve been reading of Paul’s (shipwright) posts HHG has fast setting properties without the toxic risk of the acetone or the stuck fingers of CA glue. I’m not sure what the downsides would be.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4755 posts in 2481 days


#2 posted 124 days ago

This is so cool.
Thanks for showing us.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Ronbrush's profile

Ronbrush

28 posts in 249 days


#3 posted 124 days ago

Mark,

Thanks for your great questions.

I have no experience with hot hide glue so my comments are based on what I’ve read about it. With many admirable qualities, it does sound like the right adhesive for many projects. I like CA glue for the project under discussion here primarily because, in my experience, the adhesion is virtually instantaneous when the materials to be joined are moist. This is because water acts as a curing agent. There is no need to hold the parts together for more than a second or two (at least these small parts). Perhaps I misunderstand the characteristics of hide glues but I’m not sure that I could achieve the same instant bonding with them. With this project, the instant bond helps with the petal assembly but also when I attach leaves to wire stems. More on that in a future posting.

Regarding the use of acetone, perhaps my remarks seemed a bit “off the wall” as I tried to inject some humour into some dull writing. I treat solvents with great respect and try to understand their properties from a health and safety perspective. Although the odd stuck finger is “inevitable”, with some care, it’s not a common occurrence. My reading of health and safety sheets on acetone suggest that, at least when compared to other solvents, its toxicity is on the low end of the scale, especially when used only occasionally in very small amounts. Although this might have changed a bit, it has been the main ingredient in most nail polish removers. Using a cotton swab (AKA Q-Tip) soaked in acetone from time to time seems less of a health hazard than cleaning nail polish from one’s fingers.

All this being said I would greatly appreciate information from anyone who has more knowledge and experience with hide glues and/or acetone. I guess the bottom line is if you have any health or safety concerns with one or more of the techniques that I describe, please don’t do it. As you suggest, Mark, there is often another way.

-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON – www.generationstudios.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4985 posts in 2312 days


#4 posted 124 days ago

No worries Ron. I’ve just started using CA glue myself and have had a few minor cases where my fingers stuck to a tiny amount of squeeze out. It was actually my recent experience and then reading your blog that got me to thinking about hide glues again as my gluing of small parts is not dissimilar to your gluing of the petals.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2592 posts in 2312 days


#5 posted 123 days ago

Ron,

I see that you have answered my question about grain direction from part 3 here. Thank you.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2592 posts in 2312 days


#6 posted 123 days ago

Ron,

I see that you have answered my question about grain direction from part 3 here. Thank you.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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