Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

What is the best adhesive for lignum vitea?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Gerard Scanlan

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2011
Messages
316
Reaction score
7
Location
The Netherlands
I noticed the Lignum Vitea I recently picked up has a slightly oiled like feel to it, more so than teak. Can I just use a white pva for glueing Lignum vitea or does it need something else or different treatment prior to glueing?
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
Gerard Scanlan":2u9lrlii said:
I noticed the Lignum Vitea I recently picked up has a slightly oiled like feel to it, more so than teak. Can I just use a white pva for glueing Lignum vitea or does it need something else or different treatment prior to glueing?
Hi Gerard

You are quite correct in that lignum vitae and the various substitutes are highly oily woods. They seep oil for perhaps hundreds of years...the lignum vitae bearings in many hydro plants in the USA have been in there 80 years or more exposed to water and friction and are still lubricating. Indeed...that is one of the benefits of lignum vitae.

In all the tools I make with it, I ensure there is a mechanical bond...handle a perfect fit to a mallet....brass rods to anchor brass plate to the block in gauges...friction fit in the optical punches...all of them have to be locked in place.

Epoxy is then used but only after keying the lignum vitae with very rough abrasive to give many surfaces to lock into.

When I made the prototype gauge...I bonded the brass face to the block with just epoxy and let it set for three whole days. On turning on the lathe to face it up, the brass suddenly parted company with the lignum vitae and shot past my head at a fair rate of knots...so...no...it doesn't glue well at all mate. Sorry.

What do you want to make with it and I might be able to help?

Jim
 

Gerard Scanlan

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2011
Messages
316
Reaction score
7
Location
The Netherlands
I want to glue the lignum vitea to a length of lemon wood and rosewood to make a lid for a box. Sounds horendous :D .
The lignum vitea will be glued edge to edge with the lemon and rosewood and the planks are about 12mm thick. It is not going to be under a tremendous amount of strain but I would like the top to stay together.
Would a tongue a groove joint be strong enough? I normally just glue the edges of timber of this thickness together for box tops with PVA and I have never had one fail. I had also understood that the smoother the joint the better the adhesive will work. Although a rough surface would seem more logical for giving the adhesive a good key I had been told this actually weakens the bond. Is it possible that the brass could have a different expansion rate to the lignum vitea and that also contributed to the bond weakening?
The top will be enclosed in a frame and the top dimensions about 300 x 400 mm. From what you are suggesting a mechanical bond seems essential.
Appreciate your help.
 

RogerP

Established Member
Joined
7 Jan 2011
Messages
3,785
Reaction score
2
Location
Gloucester
I had also understood that the smoother the joint the better the adhesive will work. Although a rough surface would seem more logical for giving the adhesive a good key I had been told this actually weakens the bond.
In the past I used rubbed edge joints a fair bit. The wood needed to be smooth and perfectly fitting - plus I used the old hot pearl/animal/fish glues. I don't know well it would work with lignum vitae.
 

custard

Established Member
Joined
20 Aug 2008
Messages
7,111
Reaction score
479
Location
Hampshire
Twenty-five years ago I made a desk with lignum vitae drawer runners, and glued a lignum vitae slip to the bottom edge of the quarter sawn oak drawer sides with PVA. I seem to remember wiping the lignum first with meths to clean away any surface oiliness. Anyhow, those joints have held up just fine to a quarter century of regular use.
 

bugbear

Established Member
Joined
16 Jul 2004
Messages
13,074
Reaction score
1
Location
North Suffolk
custard":17gswazx said:
Twenty-five years ago I made a desk with lignum vitae drawer runners, and glued a lignum vitae slip to the bottom edge of the quarter sawn oak drawer sides with PVA. I seem to remember wiping the lignum first with meths to clean away any surface oiliness. Anyhow, those joints have held up just fine to a quarter century of regular use.
Assuming LV lives up to its reputation of sliding rather well, the load on the glue line in your application will be very low indeed.

Primus famously offer planes with an applied LV sole, and they don't trust glue very much. The joint is (diagonal) castellated, or "finger".



BugBear
 

twothumbs

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
394
Reaction score
0
Location
Edinburgh
LV was used for the dead eyes in sailing vessels. Its qualities of slipping would ease the ropes but not burn them. It was also used for the brake blocks in mine shaft cages. Stilll used in the 50's and would also be spark proof; important in some mines!
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
custard":kbq0o3m0 said:
Twenty-five years ago I made a desk with lignum vitae drawer runners, and glued a lignum vitae slip to the bottom edge of the quarter sawn oak drawer sides with PVA. I seem to remember wiping the lignum first with meths to clean away any surface oiliness. Anyhow, those joints have held up just fine to a quarter century of regular use.
I was waiting until someone came along with long lasting experience of gluing before I commented again that it absolutely can't be done. De-oiling is certainly one step that is necessary whatever glue is used but it is interesting that the glue inside the wood didn't simply push off the glue after a short time.

Clearly what has happened here is that the surface cleaning (which can also be done with lighter fuel)...must have removed enough for the PVA not only to key but also to seal the lignum vitae against further seepage. I wouldn't want to put the joint under any strain though and I think large surface area gluing is also needed.

Jim
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,826
Reaction score
533
Location
Leeds
could you use somethink like a sliding dovetail to edge join the boards, or do as you suggested with a tongue and groove, but secret nail them?
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
I re-read your second post and thing that if it were in a frame that would do it mechanically...if you put a small rebate to hold the whole top. Even if the rebate were flush (not housing) at the top...the other woods, particularly the lemonwood, would fix it firmly enough.

Jim
 

Gerard Scanlan

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2011
Messages
316
Reaction score
7
Location
The Netherlands
I think I will have a go at a mechanical bond, degreased and then a smear of pva just for good measure. I can leave the top for a couple of weeks before I try and actually use it for the box top. I just could not resist the vibrant green colour when I picked it up, it has a very pungent fragrance too.
So next question is obviously, what finishes will it take. I would like a high gloss finish, yet with all those oils I am concerned it is going to fight with a normal varnish, will shellac do the trick? Or should I be just oiling it? This timber feels like it belongs to another age.
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
Gerard Scanlan":23lbel7h said:
I think I will have a go at a mechanical bond, degreased and then a smear of pva just for good measure. I can leave the top for a couple of weeks before I try and actually use it for the box top. I just could not resist the vibrant green colour when I picked it up, it has a very pungent fragrance too.
So next question is obviously, what finishes will it take. I would like a high gloss finish, yet with all those oils I am concerned it is going to fight with a normal varnish, will shellac do the trick? Or should I be just oiling it? This timber feels like it belongs to another age.
Hi Gerard

I doubt very much if any finish other than oil will work for LV.

This finish...



...is achieved by abrasives...shape the raw wood and then rub down with Abranet 120G to 400G followed by MicroMesh 1500M to 12000M. I then just rub Camellia Oil into it...as it doesn't take or need a varnish this will just shine it up for quite a long while.

Rosewood is also able to be treated like this.....



...(there is no finish on this plane insert which is Indian Rosewood )... but I'm not sure about the lemonwood. You will have to do a test run.

Good luck with it...and of course...post some pictures!

Jim
 

Gerard Scanlan

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2011
Messages
316
Reaction score
7
Location
The Netherlands
Thanks Jim,
The lemonwood looks very similar to the lignum vitea so I am sure it will look good oiled too.
Nice pieces in the photographs.

Thanks again for your help
 
Top