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  • Gluing basswood for carving

    At the local Rockler store, the guy suggested that I glue pieces of basswood together with Titebond to get the size that I need to carve. I did.

    Now, I am wondering if it will work. Does it stand up to carving? Will the seam show if I use a natural finish?

    Brad

  • #2
    Re: Gluing basswood for carving

    Hi Brad, welcome.

    I haven't used Titebond, but I have glued pieces together on several occasions using Lepages Carpenters glue. I'm assuming Titebond is very similar. If that's the case, it will definately stand up to carving. In fact, you'll probably break the wood before you'll break the joint apart.

    I usually paint all of my carvings, so I don't really care about a joint showing. I have seen carvings with a natural finish that have been glued and although you can see the joint if you look hard, it doesn't really show that much. I think as long as you have the grain running in the same direction, you should be o.k.

    Chris.

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    • #3
      Re: Gluing basswood for carving

      I have used elmers carpenters glue and have had no problems, I glued up a fairly large Orca with 4 layers and it is just fine!

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      • #4
        Re: Gluing basswood for carving

        The only downside to titebond (white glue) is that it will break down if exposed to water. If you finish the carving with some water proof medium you will be o.k. In the future if your worried about water/moisture exposure use titebond II (the yellow stuff). Although it is not water proof in is very water resistant and will withstand normal exposures to water/moisture. As stated above you will probably break the wood before you break the glue joint.

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        • #5
          Re: Gluing basswood for carving

          Hi Brad

          I use Titebond for all my furniture and carvings and it is what I feel the best out there. The nice thing about Titebond II is it is also a little thicker so running is not as much of a problem.

          Regular Titebond carpenters glue is also yellow. For a slower tack time you can use Titebond extend.

          The joint being visible has more to do with your joinery than the glue. Both edges should be jointed square and flat. When glueing for a panel that gets a natural finish try your best to match the grain for a less visible joint.

          Clamping pressure is also important. A firm twist on the clamps is all that is needed. To much pressure could actually cup the panel.

          Good Luck
          Dale

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          • #6
            Re: Gluing basswood for carving

            Brad, I was very nervous when I learned about glue ups, I thought everything should be made from a solid piece of wood. Like, of course, that is possible!!
            I use Titebond II, I've been told my pieces would break anywhere but where they are glued and I believe it.
            There was an article in WoodCarving Illustrated a while back, they tried all types of glue and Titebond II was very highly recommended.
            Glad to hear the part about a firm twist on the clamps is all that's necessary, Dale. I tend to really 'over do' it, figured the tighter the better. Thanks, Callynne
            http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4055528

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            • #7
              Re: Gluing basswood for carving

              By overtightening the clamps you can not only warp the glue up, but you can also cause a starved glue joint (squeeze out most of the glue). So, as Dale said, a little twist will do ya.

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              • #8
                Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                Brad,
                I don't glue basswood very often but have done some. I've had good luck when using clamps and titebond. When finishing in a natural wood look, the biggest problem is the changing wood grain--that's far more obvious than the glue up. So, picking the woodgrain that's most similar on both pieces is really important for natural wood finishes. I have carvings that are 12 years old that were glued-up and there is absolutely no change in that time period...some are natural and others are painted.
                Donna T

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                • #9
                  Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                  I've been power carving for about six years. I have been teaching for three years. I learned very early that almost any of the regular glues used for wood working didn't work to well for carving they gum up your bits and and they are almost imposable to stain, or paint over.

                  The one glue I have found to create an almost invisable
                  joint is super glue. It dosen't harm tool edges or bits or burs. It can be sanded and a wash used without worrying about water damaging the gule.

                  As with all glue both surfaces should be free of dust. Spread it on one surface, mate the other pice in place and clamp for one minute. Then you can do anything you want to. I sugest you start with small pices first. I can get three small tubs for .99 cents here at a Big Lots store. I don't recomend buying a large bottle of it unless you have a big job to do. Because once you oppen the bottle it has a very short shelf life.
                  Jack D.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                    the only thing I have had any luck with gluing with super glue was my fingers or rubber...it does a great job on o rings. I have tried with wood....it didn't do anything, just soaked in!?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                      Dave

                      Cyanoacryate or ( super glue ) is available in different thickneses. Woodcraft has a good selection of these. The thick or super thick works well for wood and for gap filling.
                      For large or even medium sized relief panels I would still use Titebond.

                      Dale

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                        I only use super glue when I'm carving birds to strenghten their beaks. It soaks in and makes it strong and resists dents and nicks.

                        I've never found carpenters glue to gum up my bits (yet, anyway). I usually use it to glue heads or feather inserts and it only leaves a very thin line. I guess if your laminating pieces together, you would have a lot of glue in there to grind away.

                        How do you clean your bits Jack? If mine are gummed up with wood only, I use a lighter and a wire brush.

                        Chris

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                          Cleaning gumed up bits. For diamond and ruby bits, if the bit is just loaded with dust the rubber block does a grate job. If they are loaded with glue, pine sap or paint I soake them in heavy duty oven cleaner in a 35mm film can. Never ever use heat on any of the bits, not evan a kutzal or typhoon bit. I know thye say you can but it don't work, it takes the sharp point off of the teeth.
                          Soak them in the oven cleaner as well, they would need to soak over night. Use a steel brush to clean the bit under running water, the same go's for the other bits you use oven clener on.
                          Jack D.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                            Brad, I wanted to give you the instructions that a good friend gave us. He taught woodworking in High School for years. He said that he had a good planner and that it was very important for the wood to be even and flat. He said his simple but effective answer is to use a lot of clamps! ( a combination of bar clamps and Jorgenson clamps)to pull the pieces tightly together, and I never have any glue joints appear. He said to use titebond glue. I made a mistake and didn't wipe the glue before it dried and learned the hard way. Wipe the glue with a damp cloth when you finish clamping it. I have tried this method that he gave me and have had success every time. Curtis

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                            • #15
                              Re: Gluing basswood for carving

                              Brad,
                              I work for a industrial laminating machinery company, every thing we make is too big for 99.99999 % of woodcarvers, but the technology is the same. I agree Titebond, on good clean surfaces, clamped reasonably well is good for Basswood. Those of you who carve in more exotic woods may consider visiting www.woodweb.com and open thier gluing and laminating forum. Lots of threads thier about laminating challenges, especailly outdoor architectural projects.
                              Ah Chip

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