Bird Houses

Glue-up for Dovecote Roof

One of the issues with using scrap and pallet timber is you often don’t have much choice when it comes to the size of the pieces you need. For the small dovecote prototype that I am working on at the moment the roof is quite large (about 350 x 200mm) yet the pieces I want to use are very narrow.

The reason I’m using narrow stock is because I have a stack of timber that is really damaged, so I’m milling the timber to remove all the really bad bits – this leaves me with lengths of timber that are about 25mm wide. The idea then is to plane them all to a relatively even thickness and glue them all together.

I use the table saw to mill the stock but the edges are rough sawn and don’t fit all that well together – so I hand plane each edge using my Stanley No 7. This gives a near perfect edge for gluing although it is really time consuming.

Stanley No 7 Plane
The trusty Stanley No 7.

With the sash clamps set up I start adding the glue to the edges and laying them out – this is the nerve racking part as the PVA glue starts setting quite quickly and it is a real bugger if you have to adjust a single 25mm wide board in a 2m long glue-up. Tightening the clamps can also be a bit traumatic; I use some of my gym weights to hold them flat but even so I have had some pop up in the past so I do this very carefully.

After 24 hours I can start the arduous task of hand planing the laminated boards flat; great exercise but slow work – one day I hope to be able to buy a thicknesser large enough to take a 400mm wide board.

Steve Brookes


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