Monday, February 10, 2014

The Merits of Ground up Horse Flesh

As I've been slowly approaching a few dry fits, I started thinking about the order of assembly that will be required during the glue-up.  What needs to happen first? What has to happen last?, How much of it can be broken out into separate glue-ups?

I took a photo of the dry-fit so far and showed it to two of my brothers.  I figure I'm probably going to need extra hands on the big day, so I might as well introduce them to my Rubick's Cube ahead of time.

Nathan, the woodworking brother, laughed.  "You always design this stuff in 3D and eventually come to realize that you've designed something virtually that can't be assembled in reality."

// I already confirmed that it can be built... Wait, didn't I? //  So he got me all nervous so I had to go and check to make sure it is actually possible.

I broke the 3D model up into stages and it needs to be assembled from right to left.


On the far right we have the rear two legs, lower skirt rail, and backer board supports.  This can all get glued together ahead of time.  The skirt rail is drawbored to the legs.  One clamp at the top should hold it together fine.

Then all of the notches in the rear legs need glue, the side skirt rails, all the little tenons on those web parts.  Drawbore the skirt rails to the back legs first, then start sliding parts in.

Slip the plywood panels in to maintain the correct width.

Drawbore the front skirt to the front legs, glue those notches, slide it on.

Drop the top frame down into the sockets on top of the legs to lock the cube in place.

Drawbore the side skirt rails into the 4 legs.

Now just slide the dovetailed front rails into the sockets in the front legs.

Just do all of that before the glue dries and don't make any mistakes and you'll be fine.

So, it's possible... technically.

But if the glue sets before I'm done, it's over.

Titebond II has 5 minutes of open time, maybe 10 total.  That's... a lot of pressure.

Titebond III has 10 minutes of open time, maybe 15 minutes total.  Ugg.  I'm not sure that's enough.

I need something a little more forgiving with a longer work time.  There's a lot of parts and I don't want to run into any mistakes that I can't recover from.  So I started researching hide glue.

The reversibility of hide glue is really attractive, as is the 30 minute (and then some) work time.

Here's what my research has uncovered:

All of this is enough of a recommendation for me.  1600 lbs is more than enough strength for furniture like this.  I purchased two 8oz bottles of Titebond Liquid Hide Glue in preparation of assembly day.

This will be my first time using hide glue on a project.  Feels like the right move.

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