Traveling from Idaho to the Southwest in early to mid-March is always a treat. For the last five years we have successfully tied two art fairs together to make it worthwhile to drive 17 hours each way to La Quinta, CA and Scottsdale, AZ. We usually drive to Twin Falls, ID and then straight down Hwy 93 through Nevada to Las Vegas the first day. Here are two shots of Hwy 93.
Some of the most beautiful wood we use is often porous at best and punky, verging on rotten, at worst, especially on our lid insets. Palm woods are variable – porous next to extremely hard as you can see in the side-grain Black Palm in these photos. Over the past few years we’ve come to rely on Cyanoacrylate glue, commonly know as “Super Glue”. We use a CA distributed by Starbond that is very good and much more affordable than those tiny bottles you find at the home building or woodworking stores. Click on the thumbnails as we describe our process. This method is commonly used on our domed lid insets but can be appplied to any porous or punky wood.
Here’s a quick and easy way to make your steel or cast iron mechanic’s vise wood-friendly. The usual way to cover those jaws is with some slip-over affair or double-stick tape or other awkward scheme. Instead simply cut two pieces of wood to match the size of the jaw faces. I use my supply of ever-present and ever-handy Baltic Birch ply – in this case about 3/8″. Drill two holes with a 3/8″ Forstner bit and carefully press in 3/8″ (about 1/4″ thick?) rare earth magnet discs with the vise. Presto, easily removable protectors. You could of course use larger magnets for stronger grip, these 3/8″ ones were just handy. Next time I will use thinner but larger diameter magnets so I can use thinner ply – I can use all the capacity I can get.