Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A different kind of swag

One of the perks from attending the AWFS show is receiving samples and donations from some of the manufacturers. I spoke to some reps from a few of the companies whose products I frequently use - like Lee Valley and SawStop. If those reps are true to their word - there are some cool things coming my way in the mail.

The fine people at Franklin offered to donate any samples they had left at the end of the show on Saturday - but I was working that day, so I couldn't take them up on the offer. Luckily, a friend was heading back to the Convention Center to pick up a dust collector she'd purchased, and offered to stop by their booth.

I ended up with three gallons of Melamine glue - a product that isn't normally on my shelves. In fact, I still have a bottle of it in the shop from the AWFS show two years ago. 

Time to do a little research!

 A little investigation led me to this data sheet. 

But the best research for me is testing the product. Years ago, (when I lived in Ohio) I started testing my adhesives, after they would freeze. Some glue manufacturers will say that their glue is freeze/thaw stable after X number of cycles - but the best way to know is to glue up a sample and test it. I used to throw out a ton of glue in Ohio until I got smart and heated a small room in my studio, where I would store my glues and finishes. 

I'm SO happy I don't have to deal with that here in the desert!

Testing an adhesive is as simple as gluing two pieces of wood together, usually with some sort of offset. In this case, this sample was clamped for just a few hours - it was a warm day and - well - I was in a hurry to test it!

If the two pieces of wood are glued slightly offset, it's easy to hang the sample over the edge of your workbench top and test the joint. Testing is as simple as smacking it with a hammer, to see if the two pieces break apart.

Turns out - I really like this glue! 

The consistency is different from some of the other Titebonds I've used - it has a slightly longer open time, and in the type of heat we have here in Vegas, that is important! So open time is a plus for me.

 But - even better - when you put the two pieces of wood together - it bonds pretty quickly. And I like the fact that it dries perfectly clear, unlike the yellow and dark Titebond II's that I normally use. 

Here's the simple test to check the strength of the glue line. 

All in all - this donation is going to come in handy, especially with some shop fixtures I'm going to be building in the near future. Many thanks to Franklin for their donation! And to Lupe for schlepping those three gallons back to my shop!

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