Preventing wood from cracking - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
Zoe
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Preventing wood from cracking

I picked up two ancient hand carders, about 200 years old. Hand carders are used to brush wool to prep it for spinning. The base is a wood paddle on top of which is affixed carding cloth (which is basically the same material as slicker dog brush, little metal hooks). Originally the cloth was attached with small nails. The original nails (and the cloth) are long gone. I want to use these for their intended purpose and purchase replacement cloth.

Here are the hand carders as they are (someone had glued some blue felt to them which I took off but haven't tidied up yet):



This is how they SHOULD look:



The carding cloth company suggested I use thin staples to reduce the chance of cracking the wood, which makes sense.

Is there anything else I can to reduce the risk to the wood? Like putting them in somewhere with high humidity or something? I have no idea... or is there a product that will help? Bear in mind that the carding cloth needs to be kept fairly taught.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Zoe
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 12:14 PM
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A very interesting project.

I can appreciate your concern with cracking.

This is not easy since you will not have any spare test material.

My own general observations on fasteners.

Thin fastener is better than thick - less wood being moved.

Faster installation is better than slow - crush the wood rather than force it apart.

I would want to apply whatever fastener you choose with a pneumatic brad/nail/staple gun. These are able to apply very thin brads/nails which would be impossible to hammer by hand - they would just bend.

The force of the pneumatic mechanism drives these into even hard woods.

Staples would have more holding capability for the card than small nail heads.

I would look for a gun which can use e.g., 1/2in staples. This is just a reference example. Many others. I have a Porter Cable brad gun which works well and a Grizzly brad/staple gun which also works well, but I like the PC more than the Grizzly.

http://www.cpoworkshop.com/factory-r...cable-staplers

Good luck and please post pictures of the final project.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 12:18 PM
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since they make tacks and brads in many sizes, i would attampt to use the original holes. if the tack doesn't hold i would increase one (diameter) size until it does. supplementing with an adhesive, or double face tape, would help keeping the cloth in place while working.

the only (ole' timer) trick i know to help avoid splitting is to place the point of the nail opposite the grain direction. in other words, when viewing a nail from the sharp end, the bevels are usually in a diamond shape. place the longest points perpindicular to grain direction so the nail "cuts" the grain on the way in. i have seen this work. but many nails do not have the diamond shape, in which case i just make sure some points a re perpindicular to the grain.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 01:34 PM
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The first thing to know is that wood expands and contracts across its long grain in response to changes in relative humidity. The movement is always on-going as the relative humidity changes in the environment in which it finds itself. So artificially adding or reducing moisture is not productive. Just because the wood is old, does not mean it is any dryer or wetter than newer wood. Its this moisture change that causes wood to warp.

I like the notion above of trying to use the existing nail or tack holes. Another approach the came to mind is to glue the carding cloth to the surface of the wood. Use something like 3M 77 Super Spray Adhesive. Of course, if you want to keep them traditional to the time, spray adhesive wouldn't work.

Howie..........
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice! I am not against using an adhesive however the carding cloth will likely need to be removed and replace some day (maybe in another 200 years!) so the cloth needs to be removable.
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