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  • What happens when it breaks?

    I was able to attend an advanced class with Judy Gale Roberts a few years ago and the subject was Puffins. My classroom projects don't get sold and clutter up the walls in the living room and kitchen. They do get taken down and cleaned at least once a year and this is where the story begins.

    My daughter was helping my wife with some dusting and took the puffins down for cleaning. She was holding the piece by the base when she bumped it against the door frame. In the resulting, jerking shuffle both birds broke at the legs.

    I guess I'm really at fault for part of this, because, for a backboard, I used some 1/4" ply from the local Big Blue box store. And we have all heard plenty of horror interesting stories about the quality of their plywoods.
    Tony

    My Son-in-law said "Darnit, I cut this board twice, now. And it's still too short."

  • #2
    The first thing I had to do was get all the pieces and parts off the broken backboards. I have a couple of old kitchen knives that I use to pop pieces off sanding shims. I figured they would be the best thing to use for this.

    I, also, considered using a chisel because of the leverage that the bevel would provide. However; the chisel is much thicker than the knives and I couldn't get it under each piece far enough to do any good.

    The knives worked great. The one with a little hook at the end worked best as the hook gave a little extra leverage.
    Tony

    My Son-in-law said "Darnit, I cut this board twice, now. And it's still too short."

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    • #3
      Once I had all the pieces off the old backboard, I was facing the glue buildup and fiber chunks from the plywood. I found that the glue had seeped up between some pieces and I left those glued together.

      I thought of using my belt sander to scrape the old glue and wood off the back of the pieces, but that thing is pretty aggressive, even with 100 grit paper in it.

      So, I used the Xacto knives to pop any wood chunks that stuck to the pieces and any glue that seeped up the sides. Then I laid some 100 grit paper on the work bench and just rubbed the pieces over it until the glue was gone. I had to be careful, because I didn't want to sand off wood and change the shape of the piece.

      I was able to use the belt sander for the two large body shapes, but because of their shape, they were too hard to hold. I used some tape to make a handle to hold each piece. Again, I had to be real careful to just sand the glue off the back and not the wood.
      Tony

      My Son-in-law said "Darnit, I cut this board twice, now. And it's still too short."

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      • #4
        Now that I had the pieces cleaned, I was able to lay them out on the pattern again to check their fit. Looked good to me so I cut another backboard for it.

        This time I laminated some good Norwegian baltic birch and some masonite board together. I've found that they make a pretty strong pair for weak spots in a pattern. I use black magic marker around the edge to hide the white plywood.

        Now I can glue the pieces to the new backboard and hang them back on the wall. All the pieces are already finished, so I'll just use a little oil and polish to clean them up.

        Hope this helps anyone who winds up with a broken piece of intarsia. I think most times there is just a piece or two that pops off the backboard and are easy to fix. But if the backboard breaks, then here is one process to fix it.
        Tony

        My Son-in-law said "Darnit, I cut this board twice, now. And it's still too short."

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        • #5
          Good cautionary tale, and tutorial, with a happy ending. Sometimes you're just better off leaving things dusty!
          Carole

          Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Glad it worked out and nice Intarsia. Looking at your original piece it is not too surprising that it broke as you only ha four very small connections. Maybe BB would have worked better or a little more support or wider support.

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            • #7
              Great save! I like to use heat to soften the glue, then gently pry as you did,but I have some very thin painting spatulas.
              It is a beautiful piece.
              Your daughter must have been mortified!
              Rolf
              RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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              • #8
                Excellent repair work for a delicate task and definitely worth the effort for such a nice piece of work

                I remember several years back just after I began producing some segmentation pieces I was faced with a similar problem on the arm of a figure I'd made which had no backing board and which I was too idle to make one for. After mishandling it and breaking the arm I ended up carefully drilling out a pilot hole in the cross section of both parts of the arm with my Dremel and then carefully widened the holes out with a burr until they matched the diameter of some hardwood toothpicks we had in the house. I then used a Locktite glue to use a 1" length of the toothpick as an internal splint to glue the two pieces back together. The resulting repair was practically invisible and is still holding up.

                After this episode I used backing boards - LOL!
                Jim in Mexico

                Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                - Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  It is amazing the ingenuity to solving problems.
                  Denny
                  ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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