The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2021.03.18 - Mug Holder Wooden Version - Day 1

Although the mug holder I made yesterday does the job, I'm not entirely happy with it. I don't think it's really "in keeping" with Naiad herself. She is primarily a wooden boat and although she has various metal bits by necessity, wood is the preferred medium.

With that in mind I determined to make a wooden mug holder. When I took my lunch break, I made a start.

I cut a piece of cedar to a square section and from that cut eight pieces with an angle of 22.5 degrees at either end. Here you can see the pieces with their first coat of glue. The glue joint is between two end grain sections and this is covered in a layer of glue and left for a few moments to allow the glue to wick along the grain. A second coat is applied and the pieces clamped together. This prevents the joint from being starved of glue as it seeps in to the grain.

The ends have been liberally applied with glue for a second time and are put Ito position ready for clamping,

A large cable-tie is used to apply the clamping pressure. The pieces are pressed down onto the flat gluing surface before the tie is tightened up hard.

Finally, the joints are wiped down with a damp cloth to remove the excess glue that has squeezed out under the clamping pressure and the workpiece is put on the drying rack over the Rayburn for the glue to dry. Hopefully, the glue will be dry enough to allow the ring to be worked later this afternoon once I finish work.

For now, however, lunchtime is over and it's time to get back to the computer.

After I've made a fresh cup of tea, that is.

Once the glue had dried sufficiently, I passed the ring over the belt sander to remove any dried glue and to make everything smooth.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, end grain joints are not particularly strong. This ring is probably strong enough as it stands, but we're talking about a cup of tea here and "probably" just isn't going to cut the mustard.

So, the next part of the task is to reinforce the joints by means of splines.

Firstly, the ring is passed over the table saw (carefully) eight times, each time with a different "point" down to make slots in the edge of the ring.

A thin strip of Sapele was planed even thinner so that it just fits into the slots.

Eight smaller pieces were cut from this and these will form the splines.

Each spline is glued into the slot...

The excess glue is scraped off and the assembly is place over the Rayburn again for the glue to dry.

Once the glue has dried it's time for the next part.

The excess parts of the splines are sawn off using the bandsaw.

As you can see, the finish is quite rough at this point.

The belt sander takes care of the roughness and the ring is now reinforced and ready for the next stage.

But that will have to be tomorrow since it is now late.