June 3, 2005

I went down to Rockler (woodworking store) today and got a half inch maple board to use for test blocks with the two different glues I have. When I got home I realized it wasn't warm enough to test the penacolite (resorcinal) glue. It has to be at least 70 degrees F. It might have been just around there but I wasn't sure. It was warm enough though to test the Aerolite batch I have (at least 59 degrees F). I went to work on the table saw to cut the board down to a bunch of 2" x 2" x 1/2" blocks. My camera had just run out of batteries so I didn't get a shot of this careful undertaking. At least I still have all my fingers to help me type.

My 36" long board yielded about 16 2" blocks, so with one mess up and the rest table saw attrition, I didn't do so badly. To make the test blocks you glue 3 blocks together with the middle one being about a quarter inch higher than the other two. I got out the Aerolite and set out to mix some glue. I only needed a small amount of glue and the resin powder to water ratio for Aerolite is 2 to 1 by weight. Only the slightest bit of water was needed to mix with the powder. I mixed 20 g of powder with 10 g of water and it was plenty for two full test blocks. After sanding (recommended for Aerolite) and cleaning both surfaces of each individual block, I spread the resin mixture on one side with a small paint brush and the catalyst acid on the opposite blocks. It was difficult to keep the blocks aligned while applying the clamping pressure on the test block. I did get glue squeezout on all sides (hopefully not too much) so I hope that means a good glue connection. Here's a shot of the end result after I got the batteries for my camera charged up again. I had cleaned up a little squeezout before this shot.

I found it difficult to trust the hand shield cream while touching the glue substances. I was trying to be careful not to touch the resin right after touching the catalyst mainly. Although, everything washed right off after I was done. Tomorrow, if it's warm enough, I'll try to make a penacolite test block. I promise more pictures of the process next time. I'm also still drawing some frames. I only have a couple left to draw, thank goodness.

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