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Heat Box for Chair Joints
©After making several chairs, I'm still not happy with the fit between seat and spindles. The spindles require a blow with a mallet to drive them into the seat, but these joints still manage to become loose over time. Any tricks?
Drew Banner Sterling, KS
of hours prior to final assembly in chair seats and crest rails. (See drawing.) After assembly, spindle tenons swell from the moisture in the glue, locking the joints tight.
To use a heat box like ours, heat both ends of the spindles by flipping them over occasionally; this ensures even shrinkage. Then scrape each spindle tenon to fit in its hole, keeping the tenon straight so it will bear fully on the sides of the hole. The spindle ends that fit in the chair scat can be a tight "drive fit" because of the thicker scat stock. Aim for a slip fit where the tenons go into thinner stock, such as the crest rail.
Oncc you remove the spindles from the box, glue up the chair straight away to avoid having the spindles swell as they adjust to your shop's ambient humidity.
Mira Nakashima-Yarncll Nakashima Workshops New Hope, PA
Glue for Wooden Soles
©I plan to make some planes using a tropical hardwood for the soles. Should I use a special glue, and are there any books on plane making?
Grover Smith San Antonio, TX
©Standard PVA glues (the yellow or white stuff) work fine on exotic woods. Wipe the glue surface with acetone or lacquer thinner just prior to gluing to remove any natural oils on the surface of the wood.
Be careful in vour selection of woods for plane soles: Some exotics, like ebony or cocobolo, are so heavily pigmented that they can leave streaks on your work. Lignum vitae makes a good sole because of its natural lubricants. Tight-grained domestic hardwoods like hard maple or fruitwoods will work just as well as exotics, and their use poses no threat to tropical rain forests.
As for a good book on plancmaking, James Krcnov describes how to make a variety of cabinetmaker's planes in The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking (1987, Sterling Publishing Co., New York, NY 10016, 800-367-9692).
Ron Hock Plane-iron maker Fort Bragg, CA
I recently constructed a folding screen with r/i»-in.-thick stiles. All the double-acting hinges I've seen are made for 1/fi-thick stiles. Any suggestions?
Darrcll La Vcnia New Washington, OH
©I've hinged screens of all thicknesses using an ancient Chinese hinging method that permits a full 360° rotation. The hinge consists of alternat ing strips of leather, attached to opposite faces of the screen. (See drawing.) You can attach the strips with nails, or cut a
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