Spalted Hornbeam

Posted by webmaster on Apr 15, 2008

I found a source of a very interesting timber from a company called Stiles & Bates several months ago and thought I’d have a try at working with it. I have not seen it available before so was intrigued to see what it would look like. I have heard of and seen spalted Beech but never Hornbeam. It was available in various sizes but not in large pieces, cialis online so I purchased 3 of 30cm lengths of roughly 50mm x 40mm. It is a nice creamy colour with dark brown bandings.

My first task was to split it down into 6 equal mini planks as my idea was a six sided tall box. It cut really nicely on the bandsaw and then, with great care, ran it through the table saw to give me the angles on the edges. Glueing up was lengthy but now I’ve mastered the masking tape method of layout it went together nicely with good close joints.

After plenty of drying time I set about putting a finish on it. I spent a goodly long time working my way through the sandpaper grades finally ending up with wire wool for the application of the bees wax that is my favourite finish. Not having a piece large enough for the lid I settled for American Black walnut, as I had a small amount left over from another project. With a nice open wire antiqued brass knob from Homebase it looked quite nice.

[Spalted Hornbeam before banding]Now came a stupid mistake. I had left the box in the workshop for several weeks, busy doing other things, when I thought I would show it off to some friends who were due to visit in a couple of days. Disaster struck with the enormous difference in both temperature and humidity between the workshop and the house, it peeled open like a banana. Needless to say I kicked myself a few times but thankfully all was not lost as over the next couple of weeks it, quite astonishingly, put itself back together again. The only place where one can see anything amiss is one open joint. My plan now is to bind the circumference with copper banding to hold all the joints closed. I’ll put in some before and after pictures to illustrate this.

Two weeks later. Well, best plans of mice and men, I almost made it but working with metal is rather different to working with timber. Take too much off and you can glue in a patching piece. Break a piece of metal and you had best be handy with a welding torch. I have just learned that brass, although bendable once, twice bent is break. I was trying to get the shape for the wrap around the box and was only about 2mm out but as I explained above, only got one chance.

Solution? RHINO BOND. Unfortunately no longer available from Rutlands (rutlands.co.uk) but very similar to GORILLA GRIP, which is available and purports to be world’s strongest glue. I believe it.

Clean up and another polish and we have the finished article.

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