Nailed It!

Where it comes to project assembly, one aspect can prove rather frustrating – just how slippery two parts become when they have a layer of glue between them.  Once you start tightening up the clamps, it is not uncommon to have the parts slip out of position, so you have to take the whole thing apart, reapply glue, and try again.

Sometimes it just is what it is, and you have to do the best you can.

If you have ever done any carpentry, and used a nail gun for framing, you know how satisfying it can be to get the two parts in their required position and pump a nail straight in.  Good fun 🙂

But it is not like you can take a nail gun to help you with project assembly is it?  After all, even if just using a brad, the head of the brad is quite obvious.

Or perhaps there is.

For my latest project, I did in fact do just that.  While attaching the wooden hinges, I applied some glue, held the hinge in just the right position, and fired a 23 gauge headless pin in to hold it in position. Worked a treat.  And if I hadn’t mentioned it here, if you ever saw the dartboard cupboard, you’d never realise that I had used a micro – pinner to assist with assembly.

Darts-28

Can you find them?  There are 11 in that photo (and no, they are not covered up by the screws). (Use the full resolution image, which is 3264×4912). I know where they are, and I struggle to see them.

Darts-27

The gun is the 23 Gauge Freeman Micro Pinner from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.  Costs under $100, and can fire 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″ and 1″ headless pins.

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In comparison to the hole created by a standard 16g or 18g brad, the 23g pin is tiny.  You can even tack a match in position, which demonstrates another aspect – the pin is so thin, the risk of splitting is negligible.

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It made the glue-up really easy, and could conceivably be used to attach trim, components (such as here) etc, all virtually invisible.  I won’t claim that you’d use it for every joint in every project – sometimes it is not the best solution, but it works perfectly as a tool when you can utilise it.

The Freeman 23G headless micro-pinner from PWS.  “Nailed it”

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Rediscovering tools

Back in the dim depths of the past, when there was still a company called GMC, selling cheap Chinese-made tools, I bought an air compressor.

It was a direct drive, GMC 40L air compressor, and I thought it might be useful in the workshop, but I wasn’t sure – the compressed air for cleaning up sounded promising.  Well that was then.

These days, I am convinced that compressed air is a great resource for any workshop, and even so I am not maximising how much I could use it. I have used it to clean up (compressed air), inflate basketballs, pool toys.  The impact driver to free rusted bolts from reclaimed timber, and nail guns obviously, large and small.

The one tool that came in the various kits of cheap air tools that I have never used is the paint/finish sprayer.  With 30 metres of lattice to paint (15 m double sided), spraying was definitely the method of choice.  My (budget) HVLP paint sprayer was missing the pickup nozzle (haven’t used it for a few years), so decided to try the paint spray attachment. (Similar to the one pictured)

Sprayer

Worked really well – perhaps not surprisingly, but I shouldn’t have been ignoring it for so long – would make an interesting finish applicator.  (I have 2, so one dedicated to paint and one to wood finishes is easy enough to prevent cross-contamination).

It was a hot day, and although I had thinned the paint right down, it became increasingly difficult as the day progressed.  A few blockages as the paint inside the container dried on the walls, then some flaking off blocked the jet.  The paint that I had watered down (thinned for spraying) was trying to form a skin, so I used a kitchen sieve to capture any lumps of paint as I refilled the container.    The 40L air compressor really struggled to keep up – I could have finished the job in half the time (or better) if the compressor had a larger reservoir, and/or refilled faster.

The heat of the day really did play a part, not only on the paint and the tools, but on me as well.  Hydration only goes so far, I needed to keep the sun under control.  A hat is fine, sunscreen as well, but I needed to really get the sun off me, and my solution would have made Ford Prefect proud.

Still, I am impressed with the air compressor – I have shown it no love for the years it has been languishing in the back shed, pumping away without care or maintenance.  The last time I emptied the tank of water condensation, about 20L of water came out!  I am constantly amazed the whole thing hasn’t failed years ago, but it keeps pumping away.  It wasn’t until near the end of the day that I remembered the compressor was still buried in all that sawdust from the failed dust bag.  When it does finally give up the ghost, I will replace it with a serious compressor with a decent reservoir, but until then, it can keep pumping away!

Back to the spraying, and it really got difficult – it was spluttering, bursting (as in a puff of paint, then just air, then paint), and often spraying so little paint that I was painting with air.  It wasn’t until late in the piece that I realised what was happening.  After the first few fills of the container, paint was building around the upper edge and lid, and it became (semi) airtight.  The air was blowing, but without atmospheric air pressure inside the container, no paint was being drawn up!  I solved it temporarily by opening and closing the container regularly, and finished the job, but in the long term it will need a hole drilled.

But despite the setbacks, and the lessons learned, it worked, and the lattice got painted.  And my sprayer finally got commissioned – only been about 10 years!

Kitchen Commencement

It has begun!  Unlike projects for myself, I am well-motivated to finish those I am making for others, especially where it comes to Xmas presents!

90×30 Hardwood Timber

This is what I am starting with, and with a few taps with a hammer they come apart easily.  These were assembled well before nail guns were commonplace, so 40mm thin nails were used, and the cross braces are easily encouraged loose.  After running some boards through, they are pretty straight , especially over the lengths I am using.  They are all around 1800 long.

Dressed and sized

After dressing and sizing, the boards come up beautifully.  These have been resawn to 18mm thick.  Then ripped to the width required for the rail & stile joinery.

Glueup

Another set were resawn to 10mm for the infill panels.  I am making these thin, as I don’t want a heavy look to the raised panels, and to minimise the amount of weight in the final unit.  They are going to be heavy enough as it is.

Frontline Clamp

Once again, the Frontline clamps are proving their weight in gold.  As they clamp up, they squeeze the boards flat, then clamp them together.  I could do with another set for larger glueups!

Clamped up

After all the planing, thicknessing, ripping and crosscutting, the first items have been produced, ready to make their way over to the router table.

Components

There will be a lot more produced before this project is completed!

Episode 88 Pneumatics in the Workshop

Episode 88 Pneumatics in the Workshop

A brief discussion of compressed air in the workshop, and a look at a very flexible option!

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