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Glue for complex 'chess board'

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DonJohnson

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Hi,

I've been left the task of finishing a rotating bookcase by a good friend who recently died rather suddenly. I have made one previously similar to an earlier version he made:
,
so I can cope with most of the task. However, just before he died, he showed me a sketch of how he intended to finish the 18 x 18 inch top.
I have fiddled with this in Sketchup to produce a design which I think I can manage - he was a very skilled woodworker but I am a relative newcomer to joinery rather than carpentry.



The larger strips are 3 x 1.5 x .125 inch light oak (so nice grain lines) and I am thinking of using .75 inch end-grain mahogany for the small squares - which will match the mahogany vertical side strips and top and bottom mouldings to be used on this version, which has light oak shelves and central column.

Obviously the layout cannot be done by making strips as with a chess board, so the glue-up is giving me some pause for thought.

Like the shelves, I will be using a square of oak-veneered mdf for the top, and glueing the strips to its top surface.

I realise I'm going to have to be pretty accurate with squareness and sizes, but it would be nice if I could just place each piece down and have it stay put after a few seconds adjustment. Clamping for one - or more - pieces would be time consuming, and I'm sure something would move in the process.

I looked at various posts about glues, and like the fast PVAs, but wonder about the advantages of the pull-down of hide glue.

As I've recently joined this group, I thought that I might use the collected experience of members to get some hints and suggestions before I embark on this 'sticky' problem. :roll:

Your comments would be welcome

Don
 

Jacob

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Hot hide glue for a quick stick. Also can be undone if it goes wrong.
 

bugbear

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DonJohnson":392244od said:
Hi,

I've been left the task of finishing a rotating bookcase by a good friend who recently died rather suddenly. I have made one previously similar to an earlier version he made:
,
so I can cope with most of the task. However, just before he died, he showed me a sketch of how he intended to finish the 18 x 18 inch top.
I have fiddled with this in Sketchup to produce a design which I think I can manage - he was a very skilled woodworker but I am a relative newcomer to joinery rather than carpentry.



The larger strips are 3 x 1.5 x .125 inch light oak (so nice grain lines) and I am thinking of using .75 inch end-grain mahogany for the small squares - which will match the mahogany vertical side strips and top and bottom mouldings to be used on this version, which has light oak shelves and central column.

Obviously the layout cannot be done by making strips as with a chess board, so the glue-up is giving me some pause for thought.

Like the shelves, I will be using a square of oak-veneered mdf for the top, and glueing the strips to its top surface.

I realise I'm going to have to be pretty accurate with squareness and sizes, but it would be nice if I could just place each piece down and have it stay put after a few seconds adjustment. Clamping for one - or more - pieces would be time consuming, and I'm sure something would move in the process.

I looked at various posts about glues, and like the fast PVAs, but wonder about the advantages of the pull-down of hide glue.

As I've recently joined this group, I thought that I might use the collected experience of members to get some hints and suggestions before I embark on this 'sticky' problem. :roll:

Your comments would be welcome

Don
Complex marquetry effects like this are normally assembled face side down on tape, and the stuck down to the workpiece in one go.

Lots of stuff here, for example:

http://www.redbridgemarquetrygroup.org/ ... _Pages.htm

BugBear
 

Chrispy

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Hi Don
If I were given the job I think I would make it up in veneer, all taped together first and when satisfied glued down in one hit. also with this type of design the ends of each strip are sometimes scorched in hot sand to create shading at the ends, this can give the whole a real 3D effect.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Don

There is an article in this months Furniture and Cabinetmaking of how to do a very simmilar pattern.

Pete
 

DonJohnson

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Thanks for the comments - some food for thought there.

The hot sanding suggestion would be better than my idea of a small bevel at the end of each strip - which would create a massive number of dust traps! I shall have to experiment.

Also, I guess I should pop out to W H Smith and find the magazine.
 

DonJohnson

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Well, the job has been done!

I milled the oak to 1.5 inches thickness, then cut off strips about 1/8th inch thick. I did this on the table saw, which although more wasteful than a bandsaw, has a nice blade which produces surfaces almost as good as from a planer. I set up a sledge and cut 49 3 inch lengths, plus the various shorter and narrower bits required. I laid them out, and although everything looked ‘square’ there was some variation in the sizes of the square ‘holes’. As there were 64 of these, I blenched at the idea of sizing each individually, and came up with the idea of using a woodfiller – dyed to a mahogany colour to match the side bars that would be on the bookcase – to fill the holes. When I asked my style guru – wife Avril – she declared the idea totally ‘naff’, and told me to do the job properly using real wood!

I glued the strips to one of the shelves just using plain pva, but the design is such that it was difficult to do anything else but put them in position and hope for the best. When this was done and set, I cut some mahogany lengths to a square cross-section just larger than the largest ‘hole’. I then sat and chopped slices and fitted them using the sander portion of an old bandsaw which had been previously cannibalsed for this purpose rather than just junked. Surprisingly, it took less time than I expected to fit all 64 slices, and they fitted pretty well at the end – although there was a certain amount of filler required to make the job ‘perfick’. I thought that using endgrain would make the squares more ‘anonymous’ but still match the side bars.

This is how it turned out:



And here is the completed bookcase:



Thanks to anyone who contributed ideas - I may not have used them, but they helped me to decide what to do :)
 

gasman

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Good result! That looks really good. I have done things like that and they are fiddly but rewarding. Great job
 

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