June 19, 2005

Today went much better than yesterday. My goal was to use the messed up frame I made yesterday as a test case to check my method of cleaning up a freshly glued frame.

Taking the frame out of the jig was easy and my previous planning ahead here helped immensely. The plastic wrap and electric tape protected the jig very nicely. Once I got the glued piece out, it was easy to clean up the jig ready for the next use.

I took the glued spruce strips and set to work with a bastard cut metal file to level all the glassy dried globs of glue that spat out between layers. Once these were all mostly leveled I did some passes with an electric planer on both sides. It's truly amazing how well these things clean up. The planer leaves a nice surface and a final hand sanding finishes it off.

After the frame was all cleaned up it was really easy to see where the mistakes were. The glueline is visible allowing you to see exactly where the problem areas are. Here are a couple shots of the finished frame and one of the good sections up close. You can see good glue lines but some crushing of the wood on the inside of the curve. I'll use some protective pads next time so I don't crush the wood (and use a little less pressure).

Here are the problem areas. You can see the gaps where there isn't a good glue line. Also, the section of the frame that just wouldn't stay down you can see how the pressure I applied trying to hold it down mangled the edge where it was off center.

The frame wasn't nearly as twisted as I thought it would be. It was just slightly off kilter. My main problem was not getting the strips centered on the mold due to the lack of clearance for the clamps. Well that, and running out of glue halfway through. A blessing in disguise at this point. The off center problem led to all of the glueline gaps though. Now I can plan accordingly, and next time test the wood and the clamps together on the jig before I do the actual gluing. Seeing it clean up so nicely was reassuring.

Also, here's a shot of me cutting out another frame mold and the result after final sanding.

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