The February issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#230) just mailed to print subscribers and emailed to digital subscribers. It’s live in our online store too. This is a solid issue that’s sure to keep you busy for some time – Bill Rainford’s Tage Frid-inspired mid-century workbench is a challenge that will stand (strong – it’s sturdy) as testimony to your woodworking skills. And Willard Anderson’s tricked-out knock-down shaving horse, featuring an antique tractor seat and turned Windsor legs, will give you many hours of pleasure building, then using, the portable steed. You can also start making marquetry panels – images constructed from scrollsaw-cut wood – with award-winning maker Craig Thibodeau’s primer on this compelling artwork technique. And if you’re having problems with panel glue-ups, you’ll appreciate our spring-joint tutorial – efficient and cost-effective (you don’t need to spend your whole paycheck on clamps), the spring joint is a traditional technique that just plain works.
The article I keep coming back to, though, is Christopher Schwarz’s “The Best Glue for Furniture?” which, punctuation aside, isn’t actually a question – he’s confident that, in most cases, the answer is liquid hide glue. I, like many, have my favorite yellow glue, and I’m none too keen to swap that out for a pricier bottle (especially one that carries a whiff of antiquity…I’m fine with the actual smell, having raised hogs for the past few years). But what Chris touts as one of protein glue’s biggest assets has me ready to try some out: reversibility.
I’m a hopeless perfectionist, but I’m also hyper prone to messing things up. This unfortunate dichotomy plagues almost every project or endeavor I undertake, and it is frustrating. So I never say “no” to the possibility of a do-over, which is what you get when you put moisture and heat to a hide-glue joint: A chance to put right what you got wrong. Schwarz expounds on hide glue’s various other advantages and provides expert guidance for using the stuff, but if you’ve ever (in the author’s words) “put slot A into tab B,” you need to know about this reversible glue.