Saturday, January 20, 2018

Winding Sticks Epilogue - Fixing a Screw Up: Part I

One of the inserts in my newly constructed winding sticks turned out pretty ugly. You'll notice I didn't have too many close-ups of them in my last post. These winding sticks will work just fine (in fact, the inserts are overkill, in my opinion), but I realized that every time I use them I will be embarrassed of the giant gap in one.
Giant Gap.

The others, while not perfect, look pretty good to my eye.
I decided that since the inserts were attached only with liquid hide glue, it should be easy to fix. I decided to remove the insert, make a new one and replace it.

Incidentally, I am extremely happy with how my center markers turned out. I drilled all the way through each stick, and inserted a 4mm bamboo skewer.
I think these bamboo dots look great.
Back to scheduled programming: I used some hot water and a blow dryer to weaken the glue holding the insert. I then popped it out with a chisel being careful not to bruise the sycamore, as I didn't want to re-cut this joint. The mortise itself is pretty good.
Insert coming out.

Insert out.
I have plenty of this insert wood for lots more inserts, so it was just a matter of cutting a piece a little oversize.
Oversized insert stock.

I split it to rough width with a chisel.
I wound up with a piece a little oversize. Once the glue cures, I will plane it flush for a perfect match.
A bit oversize.
If you wonder how I plane with only my two sawbenches as work surfaces, here is a photo of my setup. I put one sawbench near a corner in my office, and use a piece of wood with a birdsmouth cut out of it as a planing stop that is braced against the corner of the wall. If I need a longer worksurface, I just add another sawbench behind the first. I also added a strip to my planing stop to act as a shooting board. It works perfectly.
Shooting the ends of the insert to sneak up on a perfect fit.
I also slightly beveled the underside of the insert, so any dreck will not interfere with a tight joint where it shows.
It has the potential to be nice and tight.
All that's left is to add some glue and clamp it up.

And, cross my fingers that it doesn't move again. I think the C-clamp is what caused the problem before: I probably used too much clamping pressure.
Hopefully this clamping strategy will get it to look nice and tight.
Come back tomorrow to see how it turned out! I will take the clamps off, plane it flush and add some more finish. If all works as I hope, it will be a perfect repair!


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed! If I'd used anything else, I would have had to cut it out. I probably would have left it as is.

  2. As always, your making things work with limited resources around you and putting out a quality product in the end is an inspiration. We all love tools, lots and lots of tools but you continually demonstrate how to get things done with less. Thanks, Scott.

    1. Thanks, Scott! I truly appreciate it. I think a lot of people find the lack of tools and space a major barrier to starting woodworking, and I would like to think that perhaps I could demonstrate that it is not.


  3. Your workholding ideas are awesome. That's like a reverse Chinese palm. I guess you could put a bird's mouth at both ends. Making it into a shooting board is very clever.

    1. Thanks, Jeff! Something I really like about it is it is braced against the wall, not to the sawbench which is much too light. The shooting attachment was added in a moment of necessity, and it seems to work well.