Tis the Season to Repair

Kindergarten is about to start again, so typically, I have a few jobs I promised that have been left until the 11th hour.

Not much to do – a few of my road signs from last year that need running repairs (turns out 4/5 year old boys are more into javelin or whacking things than I imagined, and the signs were not designed for such abuse.)

Couple of seats needing the seat rescrewed, and a few play trees that have become separated from their bases.

I made some new bases, rounded the edges, then glued the trees to the base. In the process, it occurred to me that pretty much every fix I do for the kinder of their wooden toys has involved the Festool Domino as my go-to tool. (And this is true of every kinder repair person I know 😉 )

Festool Domino

Sorry, but that is just the reality. When I’m looking to strengthen a joint – glued (hopefully), often doweled, (these are the joints that fail) I want to put in something more substantial, so the Domino gives all the advantages of the tenon joint- strength of the tenon, increased glue area, part alignment and accuracy of mortise position.

Three stages of repair.

First I needed to make new blocks. That was easy with some pine on the tablesaw, then through the drum sander to thin the blocks down a bit.

The edges were rounded using the 1/8″ Fastcap Plane from Professional Woodworkers Supplies. The actual plane is not currently listed on their site, but it is worth inquiring about – it is suprisingly useful. First seen on this site here. A very underrated tool. I use it a LOT!

Next, the Domino (Ideal Tools) to cut the mortises for the Domino floating tenons.

Finally, another Fastcap product from Professional Woodworkers Supplies comes to play – the glue dispenser.

Job done – next!@!!!!!!!!!!!

Dino hospital

Mortise Pal

A first look at the Mortise Pal.  I think the one I have here is a prototype because there is a new one soon to be available (in time for the Melbourne Show) which has an increased capacity, and has an anodised black finish.

I’ll do a video of it in the near future, and hopefully will be able to show the commercial version in that.  For once, it will actually be part of a project, and not just a show ‘n’ tell, as I need to make a crafts table and chairs for my (near) 2 year old daughter, and want to use the loose tenons as part of the construction.

Anyway, to the first look bit, here ’tis!

Mortise Pal

Mortise Pal

It consists of a clamping arrangement to attach to the workpiece, and a independantly movable portion which holds the template for the router to follow.

Underneath the Mortise Pal

Underneath the Mortise Pal

The template fitted here is for metric tenons (a tenon fits into a mortise…the mortise is the ‘slot’, just to clear up the terminology a bit!)

Mortise and Tenon

Mortise and Tenon

(The mortise is in the top piece of timber, and the floating tenon is the bottom bit!)

There are a number of templates available (not all will necessarily be available), and it also includes a dowelling template.  Now the holes are much larger than the tenon, or dowel, and that is because it is actually for the template guide attached to the router to follow!

Various Templates

Various Templates

Not all routers have the ability to fit a template guide, so Professional Woodworkers Supplies has worked with Woodpeckers to produce this universal base as an optional addition.  Again, this is a prototype.

Router Universal Base

Router Universal Base

To align the base on the router, and to get clean mortise cuts, a couple of bits are used – particularly a spiral upcut bit for a plunging cut that is very clean.

Spiral Router Bit and Alignment Bit

Spiral Router Bit and Alignment Bit

I’ll have more info when I have a chance to put the device through its paces, but it is intruguing never-the-less.

Loose Tenon Joinery

Loose Tenon Joinery

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