Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 12 - Glue up #2

I like the smell of epoxy in the morning.

After the glue had cured the pieces of wood that were protruding from the mortises were cut off.
Then using a combination of flush trim saw, various block panes and that DIY tool that never gets used in fine woodworking, the Black and Decker belt sander (!), the joints were all sanded flush. It really is the right tool for the job and I bought it many years ago to sand a table with it ending up on the shelf ever since. I have a new found fondness for a power tool.

Using a Japanese ryoba saw to saw off excess

A flush trim saw was hard work - maybe it's best on dowels

My Stanley 130 block plane is superb.
If you see one of these on eBay then buy it!

Joint finished off with a Black and Decker
belt sander - really! A great tool for this type of job,

Now the length of the vertical boards could be established by measuring the distance from the bottom of each stile to the inside of the slot machined into the underside of the mid rail. As it happened both measurements were exactly the same.

I transferred this measurement to my cross-cut sled length gauge, just a thin off-cut of mahogany with a tee piece glued at one end. The gauge is positioned on the sled fence and clamped with a couple of F clamps.
Then each vertical board was cut to the same length using the tee piece as a stop. I inserted each piece dry into place and then the last piece to go in had its width and rabbets modified to suit the space left. I always try to make allowance for discrepancies by leaving a little to trim off.

Cross cut sled with length gauge
clamped in position

Dry fitting the vertical boards

The vertical boards were then put into place. The end grain on the top of each board was coated with a little epoxy and the lower cross member has some glue to hold the boards in place. This will still give some allowance for movement across grain. The boards are not glued in the tongue and grooves and can move freely. The top of each board has a stainless steel 18G brad toe-nailed into the mid rail to aid free movement of the boards.
The stiles have clearance in the grooves to allow around 3/16" of lateral expansion and the shoulder of each of the end boards has corresponding clearance. In the photo above you can see some 3/16" spacers just inserted for positioning the boards during the glue-up.

The glue-up was left overnight to setup and the next day the diagonal braces were cut to final length. There was enough room to get the biscuit jointer in place and two biscuit slots per joint was made. The diagonals were then glued into place with more epoxy glue.

Using clamping cauls while the
epoxy cures 

Diagonal braces glued into place
Blue tape attached and end grain sealed with epoxy.
The 28 pound stage weights are great when you can't get a clamp in position.

WDWerker Steve Duncan http://www.steveduncan.com/index.html reminded me of sealing the end grain of any exposed joints. I had already thought about the bottom of the gate but the ends of each of the tenons were done too - thanks Steve.
The only other end grain exposed is the decorative curves on the tops of each stile. This will be done when final sanding and round overs are done.

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