Friday, February 11, 2011

Shop tips

A better glue bottle

This was originally the product of my frustration with store-bought glue bottles. I had one that was getting clogged, and I squeezed a little too hard during a glue up. The top came off, glue went everywhere, all over the project, and my temper went through the roof.

Soda bottles are rated for pressure, so I knew it wouldn't blow out on me. (If you don't believe me, put a cap on an empty one and stand on it.) And it brings its own benefits. Drilling the cap on one side gives more control over the glue stream, because a little rotation of the bottle one way or the other will re-align the stream. It doesn't have a long, pointy nozzle to get clogged up. And depending on how big a hole you drill, the bottle can dispense small, controllable beads, or deliver massive quantities in a hurry... whatever's called for. And if you decide later that you want a smaller hole... well, shucks. Where will you ever find a new cap? Oh, right. EVERYWHERE.

I don't know how the chemistry works, but titebond I doesn't seem to bond with the plastic at all. It'll build up on the cap around the hole, but it pops right off when I pick at it. And it doesn't stick to the inside of the bottle at all. I've been using this bottle for a few years now.

And the price is right. A five cent bottle deposit is much cheaper than the $2-3 you'd pay for a dedicated glue bottle at the hardware store.

Production crosscutting stop

I tried to work this into the first entry on the crosscut sled, but it just didn't fit. This is a crosscut stop design that I discovered when I had a shop in Medford. It made sense immediately when I saw it. There's about an inch of wood hooked onto the hinge. Flip it out of the way to crosscut something to rough length, and then flip the block back around when you crosscut the other end to finish length. It's a great production tool.


A Sketch of an Artist said...

Best idea! Thanks for the tip!
Plus it occurs to me that you can have caps with different size holes, as well as a cap without a hole (for storage.) Do you think it'd work for Gorilla Glue?

Also sounds like a great excuse to drink a lot of Coca Cola.

JW said...

I've thought about keeping different caps around... but hadn't bothered with one for storage. I go through glue at a pretty decent rate, and it really takes yellow glue a while to set up in a glue bottle.

Gorilla glue you'd definitely want a solid cap for. I think this would work fine, but the main issue with gorilla glue is keeping it from being exposed to air when it's not in use... my shopmate Chris squeezes all the air out of his when he's done with is.

Another tip with gorilla glue... if you're doing delicate work, or you want it to get into tight spaces, you can microwave gorilla glue to thin it down. It still foams up, but a thinner coat will foam up less, and it also gets into the cracks a lot more easily that way.