|Project by scottb||posted 03-17-2007 06:05 PM||3132 views||8 times favorited||8 comments|
Last weekend, I was looking for a quick little project to fill in some time, while I was waiting for glue to dry on my little cherry box.
I’ve been meaning to make this pair of tongs, from an older Wood magazine project for some time. I grabbed a piece of nice straight grained oak, I’d rescued from the fire, and proceeded to cut my own quartersawn stock!
Paired up the adjoining pieces and cut out two sets on the bandsaw. A little sanding, then it was off to the microwave for some high tech steam bending!
I put a damp towel between the pieces, and wrapped another around them. 2 minutes on high and that was it. Then I jammed the ends together and let the lignins in the wood set overnight. (the article said It only would take an hour… but I didn’t want the spring to wear out before I even finished, so I waited.)
Some sanding and drilling out the holes for the hinge (1/8” brass rod) revealed cracks in the grain. I wedged these apart and got some glue in there, reclamped them, and waited some more.
All nicely healed, I gleaned up the glue, assembled them (placing a small brass washer in between each piece of wood) and peened the ends slightly. The fit was snug, so the rod probably won’t fall out. Now it can’t!
Then a light final sanding, and a mineral oil finish, and now I have a couple new tools for the kitchen (and my artisan house!), that will let the non-stick pans breathe a sigh of relief. I may even retire their clunky metal brethren!
If I make more of these (and I probably will) I think I’ll make the pieces a hair thicker. These are 1/4” and with the brass rod being 1/8” I’m afraid there may not be enough wood to keep the hinge from popping open when straining. These should be fine with all the Titebond III, but It would also be nice to avoid such repairs in the first place. I’d also like to have a little room to carve out small bowls in the spoon end.
These flip over to fold flat for storage. The second photo is pre-finish. In their raw state, I liked the cleaner grained one better, but the finish really made the other one pop.