Monday, May 23, 2011

Case Assembly

I spent 10 hours in the shop yesterday, but luckily had the foresight not to attempt a full assembly as I was far too tired and far too low on the blood sugar count to have successfully glued up the case.

I try to use Titebond I wood glue in all my projects, but this case had over 45 joints coming together at the same time and Titebond I's four minutes of working time was not going to cut it. I mixed a batch of slow-set epoxy, added some microfiber to prevent it from dripping everywhere and began assembly.

There were a few scary moments during assembly where I questioned my measurements (and right to live if I had been stupid enough to make a math error with over 50 hours invested in the project) but my guardian angel walked in at the critical moment and gave a much needed hand in synchronizing the clamps (and flipping the case over for a sledge hammer beating when the clamps proved inadequate).

I had been tempted to assemble the case without clamps because that is how I assemble my dovetailed drawers. Clamps can rack a drawer, so I just hammer the drawers joints together and let them sit overnight on a flat surface. I have seen larger dovetail projects spring back and open up the joints if left unclamped, and I wanted the case to be very tight because of the racking it will experience when I use it as a work station. Where this is all going is to say that if future joints are as tight as these, there is simply too much friction to allow for any spring back, and the sledge hammer will be the only clamp I'll use on future dovetail assemblies.

Thanks again Donald for the bailout.

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