Glue Block for Vanity/Jewelry projects - International Association of Penturners
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Default Glue Block for Vanity/Jewelry projects

Just recently, a friend from work noticed my handmade pens and keychains, and made inquiry concerning what else I could make. As Christmas is fast approaching, she was quite keen on obtaining gifts for other members of her family, as well as a few items for herself. I brought a copy of the PSI catalog to work for her perusal, and she immediately fixated upon the Mirrored Compacts as an excellent idea. She desired them in a small array of colors, as each family member had their own favorite color, so the 4-piece dyed boxwood burl for around 18 dollars in 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 1/4" seemed ideal.

In addition to the 3 mirrored compacts and the dyed boxwood set, I needed the mandrel to assist me in turning them round, squarely, and to the proper size. I purchased the 2" Vanity Chuck Mandrel. The total cost of this little project is around 50 dollars, currently.

Whilst awaiting the arrival of my order, I used my 1" Chuck Mandrel (for various utility projects) to assist me in developing my techniques. I picked some material up that happened to be free (Silestone samples, from The Home Depot). These samples are approximately 2" x 4" x 3/16" rectangular pieces with squared edges, manufactured of compressed quartz. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU TYPICALLY WANT TO TRY TO TURN ON A LATHE. It was free, however, and offered me multiple learning experiences in working this material. I will give updates on turning the quartz in another thread at some other time, let us suffice to say that the turning itself was successful and not terribly eventful, though rather a dusty experiece.

My issue developed while trying to take the piece of quartz off of the 1" chuck mandrel. I had secured it with superglue. I did not want to expose the turned quartz to acetone or other harsh chemicals, and I know for a fact that exposing the finished turned wood to extremes in temperature (blowtorch, freezer) would damage the wood, I resorted to subjecting the piece to shock (slapped it on the table a few times to dislodge the CA adhesive). While this did work, I chipped the stone on one edge.

Ok ... can't do that with the wood for sure. So ... 20 minutes ago I came up with a much better idea.

Craft Foam is really cheap stuff!

I took a piece of craft foam and cut 3 2"+ squares out of it, and CA glued them to the 2" mandrel. I also applied the wood to the craft foam using the same CA (I do have a spare piece in an unwanted color to test with), and it is currently curing (I'll give it about 20 minutes for the CA gel to set reasonably, I don't ever use any accelerator).

When the project piece is completed, I will use an extendable breakaway razor blade to slice through the craft foam to part it from the mandrel, and then true up the surface with sandpaper for the next piece, adding more craft foam or totally scraping the surface clean to re-apply new craft foam as necessary.

As it's currently the Christmas season, and everybody out there is doing their best to turn projects that may be similar to mine, I thought it would be a great tip to share!


Prep work for the wood: sanded on belt sander with 120 grit to achieve a reasonably smooth flat surface on one side and glued that side to the craft foam. This side sealed with the CA gel applied for the glue-up and will also be sealed with epoxy in the final glue-up for the finished mirrored compact.

Top will be given the full treatment for a sealed CA finish, complete with a glassy mirror polish, though additional dye may be needed for the undyed sections within the wood, to improve appearance. It seems that alcohol can pick up the dye, as cleaning it with isopropyl left dye stains on the paper towel.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I would try double sided tape to hold it on. The tape can be removed cleanly, and is plenty strong enough to hold this small piece on the chuck. Just be sure to apply pressure to the joint for a few minutes prior to turning.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I would have to agree with Tom, I have had real good luck with double-sided tape on that type of mandrel.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Mmm ... I have some Scotch brand double sided tape. It's pretty strong, if you can peel the backing material off to leave just the adhesive, but it's very weak if you dont ... and it's really difficult to peel that backing material stuff off. Besides, I lost that thing somewhere in my house!

As it is, the craft foam is quite a bit cheaper and easier to come by and use (for me). Also, in order to get a nicer seal against the surface of the compact mirror body, I'm putting a scallop into the back of each piece, so it's not flat back there ... The compact mirror body has a slight bulge in it in the center.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Use Double sided tape for this project. Look for the tape at Woodcraft. Some folks get the double sided tape from Lowes. It is thicker than regular office double sided tape. I use it for pendants and such regularly..a friend of mine uses the double stick tape for turning platters....no issues..it works great.
I don't even cover the whole surface with tape. Makes it easier to get it off.

I would be very hesitant to use the craft foam in the method you describe as it is spongy and would allow your piece to move while cutting.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I found that 1 layer and cleaning it off actually works best, it's very thin stuff at approx 1/16"... The CA glue on both sides between the chuck mandrel and the workpiece helps keep it quite rigid ... I have no issues whatsoever with the quality for cutting, it's working great! :)


My one issue with this method so far is that I do see a lot of concentric CA glue lines on the finished cabochon ... so I've been using a buffing wheel to take the shine and surface to a clean line-free look. I've been buffing straight across the radial lines, and the results have been very nice so far.

The resulting cabochon is then affixed to the mirrored compact using CA gel ... any squeeze-out is taken care of with some acetone and a very small paper towel pad. (Don't want to remove the CA finish from the wood.)


Now ... if I had some of that thicker double sided tape, I suppose that would be easier to use ... I'll go look around at Lowe's and The Home Depot to see if I can get some. This 3M stuff from Hobby Lobby works GREAT if you can peel the backing off, but it's a pain in the royal keister to get it to work with ya...
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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The thin stuff is a pain to work with but it's what you want to use on your mandrel. It will release clean once you finish turning the piece and you won't have the dried glue to have to deal with on the back of the piece. The more you work with it, the easier it is to get the liner material off the tape. Sometimes I'll use a pocket knife or and Xacto to coax a corner up so I can peel it off. Same thing when you finish turning, gently coax it off the mandrel with a knife blade.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Heavy-duty carpet tape works great. It's available most any place.

We even use it to hold smaller pieces on the mill. That eliminates
any work holding fixtures that can get in the way and also waste material.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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A slight recess in the back of the insert is not a problem, as most of the holding power is at the edges. Many glue blocks will have a slight recess in the middle to make it easier to part off the turning.
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