Monday, April 11, 2011

Freestyle Clamping

So another day passed with no work on the project. I got myself out there, got up on the ladder, and was just about blown off it by an icy gust of wind. I said to myself, "Well, Sunday is a day of rest." I got down off that ladder and did just that.

But have no fear, gentle reader. I do have a little something in reserve to talk about. When I was describing the repair of the misaligned trim on the belt course earlier, I left out one detail, mainly because I couldn't find the related photograph. I subsequently did manage to dig it up—it was lodged in the far recesses of my cell phone camera—so I can enlighten you now.

I discussed the use of liquid epoxy to salvage wood destroyed by sun damage. The lower left trim board, the one lying a half-inch below where it is supposed to be, was not particularly sun-damaged, but it was damaged by the movement of the house when the foundation sagged; the end was splintered thoroughly about six inches back. I epoxied this board simply to glue all the splinters back together, and because wood not sun-damaged does not absorb the epoxy as readily, I drilled small holes to get the glue everywhere I needed it. 

When I did that, however, the weight of the epoxy caused the splintered "fingers" to spread downward, making the jog between the trim pieces even larger and thwarting my need to consolidate the board. I needed to clamp the fingers back together, but there wasn't an opposing surface on the top side of the board where I could put a clamp jaw. So, I used a nifty trick I picked up along the way.

I butted a scrap piece of wood tight against the piece I was gluing and screwed it temporarily in place. Then, I tapped a shim wedge in between the two pieces to snug the fingers together. After the epoxy had cured fully, I removed the screws and the scrap piece. The shim was of course epoxied on, but it came off easily enough when I slid a putty knife between it and the trim.

So there you go: a neat little trick that just may come in handy some day, as it did for me. Use it in good health!

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