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Michael Baker
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All good tips, Tim! Thanks!

Regarding sanding, I always sand what will be the inside of each piece, but because the outsides of many of the boxes I make will be sanded after assembly, I usually wait until then. Exceptions would be if a box has an extended base, like some of the things I do. In such cases, I will give a light sanding to the sides and the base before the base is attached. This is especially necessary is using a belt sander, which can only accept flat surfaces.

To add to this, I will sometimes prime the inside panels of a box before assembly, but masking areas where glue must contact bare wood, so a good joint can be made later. This gives me the chance to deal with the "fuzz" that sometimes comes from the first coat of paint or primer raising the grain on bare wood. It's a lot easier than getting my hand and sandpaper inside the box to sand down the fuzz. This is important if building boxes that might hold silks, as a rough interior will tear up the silk. It's not always possible to do this, but can help when you can.
~michael baker
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AGMagic
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Michael, I have even final finished the inside of boxes, before assembly, where a mirror was involved.

We need more posts to keep this at the top of the forum...Where is our stickey?
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Michael Baker
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Tim, I have done the same. It often depends on what exactly is being made, as to the order of tasks. Mirror boxes very often require a final panel to be added last, after everything else is done. In such cases, I will first pre-assemble, temporarily tacking the final piece in place. Then I sand/adjust for the best fit later, remove that piece, complete all the other tasks, including painting, and then add the last piece later.

This process works as well when there may be a need to remove a panel for repair, maintenance, or adjustment. Nothing worse than a broken mirror that you can't easily replace.

Sometimes you don't realize this is a good way to do things until you've made one the wrong way! Ha!

~michael
~michael baker
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gimpy2
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One of the firfst props I ever made was a mirror box, this was over 30 years ago. On loading up for my first Local TV shoot I shattered it. This was a real big deal to me as it was the start of my dove routine. No back up and no way to replace the mirror. At age 13 this was in my mind the biggest disaster ever.

Shop tip. try to build props so they can be repaired easily.
AGMagic
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Ah yes...Experience is a great teacher but the lessons are quite often hard & expensive.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Michael Baker
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But, those lessons learned are usually indelible! Smile
~michael baker
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On that note we should talk about shop safety. We have discussed it in “The Workshop” before and I suggest everyone read those posts.

Because of what we do and the size of some of the parts it is often impossible to operate machinery with all of the safety guards in place. Please, make sure you are working safely with proper jigs, fixtures and push sticks and the like. I can’t tell you how many veteran wood and metal workers I have met with less than the allotted number of digits on their hands. I nearly lost a thumb just cleaning the paint of a piece of perforated sheet metal with a wire wheel some years ago. I was VERY lucky and now I am VERY careful!

Use good judgment. If it doesn’t look safe, it probably isn’t. Find another way. If you don’t know how to do a particular process, do the research to learn or hire it out. Wood and metal working machinery is very unforgiving when the cutting edges meet flesh.

Don’t work with distractions, or when you are tired. It is better to not have that prop for your show than to not have a finger or two.

Always use proper dust collection and/or dust masks. Many species of wood are toxic to different people. Even if you are not allergic to it now, you may become allergic to a particular species of wood in the future.

Also, different finishes can cause multiple problems to even the healthiest folks. Polyurethane is particularly nasty when sprayed. It doesn’t break down in your lungs like lacquer does and can eventually build up enough to create a severe breathing problems.

This post is intended for those who are new to building magic props but it is also a reminder for those of us who have been at it for a while.

Work Safe!
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Bapu
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Quote:
On 2011-12-04 23:13, Michael Baker wrote:
I posted this on another thread some time ago, but it should be here, too...

When you glue-up a joint, there is often a bit of glue that will squeeze out at the joint. Naturally, you want to wipe this away. If this is on an inside corner, it can be a bit difficult to get a rag or paper towel to get all the way in there, and you usually end up smearing the glue all over the place in the process. Here's the fix...

Keep a few plastic drinking straws on hand, and use those like little scrapers. If you push the straw into the corner and run it down the joint, not only will it scrape away the glue, the glue will go up into the straw, where it can be easily disposed of.

Image



Now that is a great tip Michael!

I'm gonna run out and get some straws today.

On the subject of glue squeeze-out, and as an added refinement, you can also carefully run some masking tape along the edges of the joint before gluing and clamping. After clamping run the straw which should get up most of the glue. Then carefully pull off the tape to remove any remainging smeared glue.

If some glue beads still remain on the edge of the joint, leave them alone for thirty or forty minutes, then carefully run a scraper along them. They should just pop off with no smearing. Smile
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-12-15 11:15, Bapu wrote:


On the subject of glue squeeze-out, and as an added refinement, you can also carefully run some masking tape along the edges of the joint before gluing and clamping. After clamping run the straw which should get up most of the glue. Then carefully pull off the tape to remove any remainging smeared glue.

If some glue beads still remain on the edge of the joint, leave them alone for thirty or forty minutes, then carefully run a scraper along them. They should just pop off with no smearing. Smile


Another great tape tip!! This is really good if you use a "Gorilla" type glue that continues to ooze out the longer it sits.

Regarding scraping away glue squeeze-out, you'll find that there is a "best" time to do this. It falls somewhere between fresh, liquid glue, and hard, dried-on glue. The timing will depend on the type of glue you are using, but suffice to say that liquid glue smears too much and hard, dry glue is more like chipping away rocks. Get it while it's still somewhat soft.
~michael baker
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AGMagic
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When your playing cards are too worn for magic, you can use them for shims in your shop. If they are cut into strips they also make pretty good glue spreaders.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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mvmagic
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This is certainly nothing novel, but I just couldn't live without it...

Get a steel sheet and a lot of different magnets (square) and you can create on infinite number of jigs.
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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2012-01-02 06:13, mvmagic wrote:
This is certainly nothing novel, but I just couldn't live without it...

Get a steel sheet and a lot of different magnets (square) and you can create on infinite number of jigs.


mvmagic, I like this idea. Please give an example of how it may be used.
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mvmagic
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Certainly!

Lets say you need to make a frame of certain size. Just place your wood on the sheet metal and put magnets around the pieces (I usually use two magnets on both sides of the wood) to keep them in place while gluing. If your magnets are square and large enough, you can use them at the corners as well.

You can customize your sheet by drawing straight lines at intervals of your liking (use a straight edge) to have guides on it.

Instead of just magnets, you can get varying lengths of steel or aluminum angle (I have 2" by 2" angle) to make yourself jig pieces. Get some round magnets, drill corresponding size holes on the angle, make sure the magnets are flush with the bottom surface of the angle and from the top, glue them into place with a generous amount of epoxy (or whatever you like).

You can also take two identical pieces of steel plate and put a few magnets between them to make an instant jig piece which will stick to the "main plate" as well.

Really your imagination is the limit here! You really can create jigs for almost any need with a system like this. You can add magnets to existing clamps to further expand the possibilities.

I got the inspiration years ago from this product:

http://www.micromark.com/magnetic-gluing......038.html (Cut and paste, the comma breaks the link)
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AGMagic
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OK, this is an easy one. The top of a plastic butter tub makes a great glue holder when you are brushing glue onto your parts. Just put a puddle of glue on the lid and use it for your glue up. The lid doesn't get soggy from the glue and when the unused glue dries it will peel right off the lid.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
AGMagic
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Love the steel plate and magnet idea!
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Ekuth
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When I'm hand painting details, I find that the bottom of an empty soda can makes a perfect paint pot; just break off the tab and flip it upside down. Nice little dished area for mixing small amounts!
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mvmagic
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Now this is not a tip per se, but a brand recommendation...If using an airbrush to paint props, Wicked Colors are amazing to paint with. They will stick even when reduced 800% and work on pretty much anything from a T-shirt to car bodies-and I have used them on many things from t-shirts to metal (no cars though). The one issue I have had with them is that they don't mix well. They do mix but will separate in a few minutes. But the spraying capabilities outweigh that.
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AGMagic
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Michael, I used your very first tip in this post last weekend to straighten up some 1/8 inch maple to get it ready for inlay. I taped the maple to a piece of hardboard and it worked like a charm! I knew of this trick, but had never really needed it before. Thanks for the reminder!
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
AGMagic
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Does anyone have any plastic or metal working tips to share?
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Leland Stone
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Simple metal tip I picked up at a knifemaking workshop: Store your files in sections of PVC pipe. Cheap, easy to cut (and even stack into 'file cabinets!') and NOW your files won't be knocking together in toolbox or on the shelf in your shop.

Also, don't assume that since the stock you found in the scrap pile used to be a coil spring, it will therefore make a dandy woodworking gouge, only to find out (after forging a bolster and lavishing hand filing on the hammered blank) that it can't be hardened to more than Rc25. But I digress. :0/
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