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  • help with joinery

    I will have an opportunity to show and sell some peices at a craft fair in AZ in November, so I'm going to make some peices from the ironwood I've been gathering for a year or so. This peice will be a candle holder. As you can see from the pictures, the large peice will sit on the two smaller peices. I want to join them together. I imagine I'll need to remove wood from one peice or both at the position of the arrow. Although its a rustic peice, I want the joint to be as precission as I can get it. Any suggestions how to do this?? I have a TS, BS, jointer, a cheap & nasty router and table, and a number of hand and power tools. The wood is incredibly hard BTW, but it does work well. The only problem is that it burns very easily and its brittle. The wood vessels seem to be filled with resins and you only have to look at it with a sander and it burns! Even wirebrushing on the angle grinder burned the wood.

    BTW, this "log" has about 200 growth rings. I counted them under a microscope at work on a "cookie" I cut with the miter saw. Ironwood is an opportunistic grower, and may put on several or sometimes no growth rings in a year. That said, an ironwood tree that is a foot in diameter at its base in the desert is around 400-800 yrs old!

    Thanks!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: help with joinery

    This is going to be tricky!! I'm guessing you already came to that understanding, however.

    To do the joinery, you'll have to VERY carefully scribe the outline of the candle-base onto the the lower logs. Use a pencil to start with, so you can (gently) erase it if it's not right on. Once you have the pencil line in, go over it gently but repeatedly with a very sharp, new blade in a craft knife. Take your time, patience is the only way to proceed. Only take off what you absolutely have to in the lower piece. Well, at least I'd let in the upper piece into the lower...you could probably do it the other way....it's just WAY trickier to do that scribing since the dimension varies along it's length. Don't bury the upper piece too far down into the lower logs. 1/2" should be sufficient, or less even.

    I take it you're planning on using only glue to hold them together once you've mortised the top piece in? I think it *should* be ok that way, but you could use a left-over piece to make some plugs. Then use a standard drill bit to pre-drill the length of the screw (make sure the screw is long enough...) plus 1/2". Then using the plug-cutter diameter, drill out 1/2" of that dimension. Once you have the screws set, use the plugs to cover the holes. It works great. Plug cutters aren't very expensive and come in various sizes.

    As far as the little candles, make sure you don't drill too deep a hole to put them in. The wood's far too flammable to bury those little metal cups in. A way to mitigate that is to drill it a little deeper and a little wider, then line the holes with something that'll protect the wood from direct contact with the metal of the candle.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: help with joinery

      Same principle, check it out..........

      http://www.veritastools.com/Products/Page.aspx?p=86
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: help with joinery

        Do you mean I will use the craft knife to actually cut and remove the wood?? I'm not sure even nice new blade will remove this wood very quickly. It will cut along the grain, but its really tough to cut accross the grain. I wondre if a gouge chisel might work to remove the wood? This will also take a long time!! I wonder if I can cut it out roughly with the BS, thin blade, and trim with a gouge shape chisel??

        In terms of joining them, I was going to glue and use a dowl. I've not tried to screw into the wood much, but when I did, the screw head just broke off. Although I did not drill a pilot hole. I'm just not keen in using screws if I have an alternative.

        I didn't think about the wood flamability with the candles. I'll try a test peice to see how this goes.

        Thanks!
        Last edited by DWfromUK; 09-12-2007, 07:35 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: help with joinery

          Oh man...I'm sorry!!! I forgot to elucidate on the method of removing the actual wood! The score lines are simply so that your first cuts with a chisel don't blow out the sides. I'd recommend a nice sharp chisel, followed with a plane if you have one that'll fit the space. If not, just careful chiseling should do the trick.
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: help with joinery

            I think it looks good as pictured. If you drill the bottom supports and put matching holes in the top, could you join them with hardwood dowels?

            Go
            Practicing at practical wood working

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