This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol2", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
The Bench Screw, which is fixed near the end for holding the work, is sometimes of the old-fashioned pattern with wood screw and chock, but the type now generally used is the "Instantaneous grip" with metal jaws and screw. The Bench Stop is fixed for holding wood while being planed. It may consist of a wood block passing through the top, being raised or lowered as required and held in position by a wedge at the back, and having nails (usually three) fixed at the top and filed to chisel points, against which the wood is pressed; or special made metal stops may be fitted. These lie flush with the bench, and have a small plate with teeth which is raised or lowered by means of a screw.
A Panel Planing Board is a wide, perfectly true board, used for facing up panels and very thin boards. It is provided with screws driven nearly home, or small square hard-wood pegs as stops. It sometimes consists of a solid piece, and is sometimes framed and filled in with narrow widths to prevent casting.
Mitres are cut either on a mitre block or in a mitre box, illustrations of which are given in Fig. 84. There is also a Mitre-Shoot. The piece to be mitred is held in the angle of the block and sawn through, the saw running in the kerf in the block. It is then placed on the shoot and cleaned off with the block plane. The box mitre-shoot is used for large mouldings. Other forms of mitre-shoots are the "Donkey's Ear" and the "Screw Mitre-Shoot."
The Bench Hook shown in Fig. 85 is an appliance for holding the wood firmly while cutting shoulders, etc.
When framed work is glued up a proper Gluing-up Bench is used. This is merely a skeleton bench, having a middle rail with a sliding shoe, and a screw at one end. It is used for cramping the muntings when gluing up doors, the styles and all cross cramping being done with the ordinary joiner's cramp. Several sizes of these are generally provided for light or heavy work as required.
In addition to these, the joiner usually has several other devices of his own manufacture for gluing up and jointing, sketches of which are given in Fig. 86.
The Box Cleat is used for jointing wide stuff, or several narrow pieces may be put in together. Folding wedges are used to tighten up the joints. Double cleats are used for jointing boards, the sketch showing the method of using them. Iron Cleats are sometimes used instead of double cleats. They are very handy for small work, but when used for boards care must be exercised in wedging or the work may buckle, being only guarded on one side instead of on both as with double cleats. Small iron cramps used on the bench for holding several pieces of wood while setting out, or holding moulds, are found very useful. A common type is known as a G Cramp, a smaller one being a Thumb Cramp.
Glue is one of the joiner's ever present needs. The best glues are "Scotch" and "Russian," which are fish glues. The proper method of preparing is to dissolve it in water and heat in proper glue pot, which is double, having an inner receptacle for the glue and an outer one for water only. It is better if dissolved slowly, in cold water for preference, and heated gradually, the hotter the more effective. No dirt or grease must be allowed to get in, and freshly made glue is better than that which is reheated, as with each heating a certain proportion of its adhesive properties are volatilised, and it is subsequently weakened. The best form of glue pot is one in which the inner pot is perforated by small holes round near the top. These allow the steam from the outer pot to pass over the glue, maintaining a moist heat and preventing the glue hardening and caking round the edges. Glue is sometimes "Doctored" in various ways, although generally to its detriment from a "sticking" standpoint. About \ an ounce of potash bichromate to half a gallon of glue will render it waterproof, but it should not be used on walnut or mahogany. Two ounces of quicklime in 2 pints of glue answers very well except for mahogany and oak. The drying of glue may be hastened by the addition of a little finely powdered chalk, and if it is desired to hide the joint as far as possible by colouring the glue to match the wood, a very small quantity of pigment may be added. Dark glue stains may be removed by a little oxalic acid, but dark glue should not be used, for the clearer and more nearly transparent the glue in cake the better.
Glue should always be used as hot as possible, and in all gluing operations everything should be ready to hand, so that the work may be carried out speedily and without any delay. When gluing up a door, the wedges are all prepared and laid in readiness, the door is laid on the gluing-up bench and knocked apart, loose pieces resting across the bench to carry the styles and muntings. The tenons of muntings, and their mortises, are first glued, the latter with a Mortise Stick (Fig. 87), which is a wide thin piece of wood with several saw kerfs to hold the glue, and cramped to the rails as shown in the fixed cramp in bench being used. The mortises in styles and rail tenons are next glued, and the styles simultaneously knocked on and cramped, first across the middle, the wedges dipped in the glue and the middle rail wedged, the wedges being driven evenly and regularly. If one cramp is used it should be placed between the tenons; and if two, one on each side of the rail. The bottom rail is next cramped and wedged, and the top rail last. The outside wedges in the top and bottom rails should be driven slightly harder than the inside ones, so as to pinch the rail tightly against the shoulder of munting.