Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pegs and rub joints

For both strength and visual appearance, I chose to peg the joints on the footstool that I made to go with my FDR chair:

Pegging adds tremendous mechanical strength to a joint due to the shear strength of a riven peg and drawboring pulls the joint very tight without clamps.  If memory serves, Chris Schwarz wrote that he often does not bother gluing mortise and tenon joints that have pegs.  To me, the main downside is the time it takes to peg the joints.  I don't see appearance as an issue because  I like the way they look.

The main hassle with pegging is the time it takes to make the riven pegs.  I have the Veritas dowel former and made a small stand for it:

To use it, you have to prepare stock and Lee Valley suggests a very tedious procedure:  
Take the time to hand plane the blank down to just slightly over the final diameter and then knock off the corners to form an octagon. To facilitate starting the blank in the plate, taper one end of the blank...
 This is a lot of trouble.  So far, I just rive square blanks a little oversize with a chisel (a handscrew works nice to hold the stock while you are doing this), sharpen the end and pound away.  With smaller ones, such as the 1/4" pegs for this project, this works fine, but it's a problem with larger ones.  I have thought about a little jig that I might be able to make to facilitate this:  a stop across one end and a V-groove.  If this works well so I get a nice hexagon, I may try one of those sharpeners for oversize kids' pencils for sharpening the ends of the blanks.  If anybody's got a good, quick method for making pegs, I'd be really interested.

When I first made cabriole legs, I was amazed that they could be securely attached via a rub fit with hide glue.  You just rub the pieces back and forth and the hide glue has the amazing feature of pulling the pieces together as it dries and enough tackiness to hold it in place until it has.  I can't deal with a glue pot, so I used Titebond liquid hide glue for the arches on the footstool, though I have read that Old Brown Glue is a much better option because it has more initial tackiness.  I got around this issue by holding the arches in place with pieces of masking tape while the glue dried.  One of the disadvantages of using the Titebond product is that bottles of it that you find in stores are often past the expiration date.  This has happened to me time after time.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are stuck with the pegging trimming method you use. I initially trim mine with a chisel too and beat them through my Lie Nielsen dowel maker.
    HD and Lowes both stopped carrying it. The local woodcraft store folded so I have to get it mail order now. Now that it is nice weather I'll get the OBG from LV and use it until winter comes.