Welcome to Issue #14 of
brought to you by: wooden-box-maker.com.
Wood Shop News
In this issue:
new and for sale
on a personal note
Glues for woodworkers
Someone asked me recently about the type of wood glue I use in my shop. I actually use several different types, so I thought I'd make a quick list. Turns out I have 5 glues that I keep on hand. Click on the links for more info.
PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue (aka yellow glue)
hot melt glue
(Located S/SW of Boston)
Learn new skills or hone old ones in small group sessions tailored to the individual.
Classes are limited to 3 people and take place in my shop outside Boston. They generally meet once a week for 2-3 hours. The sessions go on as long as students are interested, a few months or a few years.
As students progress, class becomes "open shop" time when they work on the projects of their choice while I answer questions and give suggestions as things come up.
Individual instruction is also available.
Click on the links below or contact me
for more information.
New & For Sale
Remember this jewelry armoire? I wrote about it in the Wood Shop News last issue of Wood Shop News.
Now you have a chance to own it!
Click photo for more information.
Visit my sale page for new work and sale items.
Or visit wooden box maker recommends for ideas on books and tools (category list top right of page).
Speaking of glue... Gluing is not always as straight forward as it seems, but you really want to get it right.
The first thing to do is make sure your wood fits together the way it is supposed to.
For edge gluing that means your wood needs to be flat and square. You can square it up using a jointer and planer if you have them. If you already have one straight edge you can square up the other on the table saw. However you do it, you want the two pieces to join without gaps.
In this photo I have marked the layout of the boards so I can put them back in order easily. It helps me remember the pattern.
I strongly recommend doing a dry fit before gluing. That way you can see if your boards line up without any gaps. You shouldn't have to crank your clamps full force to get the pieces together. You don't want it to be the clamping pressure that is holding them together.
In some cases, you may need to use the clamp to pop a joint into place, but it should hold without too much force.
You want to use enough glue to cover the joint, but not so much it squeezes out the cracks. Too much glue is a real mess to clean up. When I have squeeze out I usually wait until it has almost hardened then scrape off any squeeze out with a "beater chisel" I keep for that purpose.
Once the gluing has begun you need to be finished before it starts to harden. Check the bottle, it will tell you how much "open time" you have. Work quickly so everything is clamped before the glue starts to set. If you have a complicated glue up you may need to do it in parts.
Once your clamps are on double check that everything is square and flush where it needs to be. Use a mallet to tap things into place if need be. I put wax paper under metal bar clamps to keep the clamps from staining the wood.
If you are gluing up a box (any sort of box, including cabinets, etc., make sure it is square by measuring the diagonals. If both diagonals are the same length the box is square. If they are off you can put a clamp on the long side and with a slight bit of pressure shift the box. Check again and repeat until the diagonal measurements are exact.
On a Personal Note
Edible. Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce. The Devil's Dictionary.
We use trees for all sorts of things. We use them for shade and for climbing, we build houses and fires, we make paper and baseball bats, all from trees. We also eat them.
I was curious about edible trees so I looked into it. The topic is overwhelming, so I stuck to trees in my local New England area.
Please do not go out and eat a tree (or any part of it) based on this article. This is an extremely cursory look at the topic. I am not an expert.
The most obvious parts of the tree that we eat are the fruits and nuts, from almonds to olives, to apples and oranges.
Fruit trees are divided into pome fruits and stone fruits. As far as I can tell, the distinction is based on the botanical name for the fruit. Both types of tree have a hard seed (pit) surrounded by the edible fruit. Examples of pome fruits are apples and pears. Stone fruits include cherries, peaches and plums.
With nut trees we eat the seed itself. These include walnuts, hazelnuts and perhaps someday the chestnut will return to New England.
Here in New England we also eat sap. Maple syrup is the sap of the sugar maple boiled down to it's sweet essence. One maple tree generally produces from 5-15 gallons of sap a year. That sounds like a lot, but it takes 10 gallons of sap to make one quart of syrup.
As a kid I lived in sugaring country and seeing the buckets hanging from trees was an early sign of spring. I also have fond memories of sugar shacks where the sap was collected and boiled off into syrup.
I mostly remember the smell of the boiling sap mixed with wood smoke and the taste of fresh "sugar on snow" (hot maple syrup poured onto fresh snow, where it hardened into a cold and sticky treat).
But, that's not all of the tree that's edible. Some trees, especially among the conifers have edible bark. The outer layer of bark is dead wood that builds up as the tree grows.
The edible part is usually the inner layer which is still alive and filled with sap. It can be stripped from the outer bark, then eaten as is, dried and ground to mix with other foods, or made into tea. The needles or cones of some pines are also soaked into a tea.
A few trees have edible twigs, however, I didn't come across any trees with tasty leaves. I know various leaves are used to wrap food when it is cooked, but I didn't find examples of eating the leaves themselves. I'm also not sure I would want to try and survive a New England winter on trees alone, although it sounds as if it might be possible.
for more information see the
Cornell University Cooperative Extension
opening quote found at Edible Landscaping & Gardening
Final Words and Errata
I hope you have enjoyed reading this ‘zine.
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Kate Taylor Creative Woodworking