HB Tansu #3-Progress 8

hb_tansu-002I jolted awake in the wee hours of the morning with a sobering realization.  I hadn’t ordered any plywood panels for this tansu.  Which meant that I was pretty much dead in the water until I had ply in hand.  The only thing that I could do today was dress the pieces for the front frame and glue it up.  So that is what I did.

I sharpened the blade for my #4 as well as all of my chisels.  Then dressed the frame pieces  that would be difficult, if not impossible, to get to once assembled.  I also trimmed the waste from the ends of the top and bottom rails finishing those up by adding the decorative bevel.  I dug around in the hardwood scrap box and found some cherry from which to make the wedges.  I sized the block to fit the width of the mortises and cut the wedges.  One last dry fit and I was ready for glue.

I’ve talked about this before but this little silicone glue tray is fantastic.  Glue just simply doesn’t stick to it.  You can either wash out the glue before it dries or let the glue dry and peel it out clean.


Liquid hide glue is what I used for this assembly.  I need the extended open time for assembling all of these parts.  I’m not sure I would even try to tackle this with PVA glue.  Even with the hide glue I could feel a couple of the joints starting to grab towards the end of the glue up.


Another benefit of liquid hide glue is the water content.  Why?  Because it swells any of the compressed fibers of the wood and makes a decent joint close up tight.  I actually use this to my advantage when fitting joints.  I’ll compress the fibers  of tenons by hitting them with a hammer.  It makes assembly easier and the glue swells them back out tight.


The entire assembly is mostly reliant on the installation of the wedges.  Once these are installed the assembly is locked together.


Not a lot of progress, but progress non the less.  Oh…I ordered plywood and should have it by this Wednesday.

Part 7 Greg Merritt Part 9

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8 Responses to HB Tansu #3-Progress 8

  1. ant11sam says:

    Hi Greg!
    Still using Titebond hide glue? Or switched to Old Brown?

  2. joemcglynn says:

    Greg, the tansu looks great, but no surprise there! What kind of hide glue are you using? With “Old Brown” I’d have thought you would loose too much heat with the tray as it see,s to need to be warmed up to flow nicely. I’ve been using hot hide glue recently since I started marquetry – I usually have a pot on. It’s a weird mix of convienent and inconvienet.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Joe. It still surprises me every time!
      I’m using the Titebond. It wants to be about 75F to flow well. That’s what bit me on this glue up. The shop was in the 60’s. I only put enough in the tray to complete the stage of the glue up that I’m on. So there is very little glue in the tray at any given time. I’ve read the same about the Old Brown. It needs to be pretty warm. In hind sight, I should have warmed the Titebond too. I would like to give the hot hide glue a try for assembling drawers. I think the fast tack would be beneficial. Just a lot more prep to consider and I’m already pressed for space. I can see me knocking over the glue pot.


  3. Jonas Jensen says:

    Hi Greg.
    Looking really good. I think I am going to try using liquid hide glue next time I need to make a complex glue up, the longer open time would be a bonus on complex assemblies.
    I actually brought some with me this time, but I haven’t gotten into any project where I thought I could use it.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Jonas! I really don’t know if I would be able to glue this together with PVA glue. There are a lot of nooks and crannies to get glue into. Plus its easy to cleanup. Once the squeeze out dries I’ll knock of the bulk and finish up with rage and warm water. Try that with PVA glue!
      It’s just glue. There are pros and cons to all the types out there. For me the liquid hide glue offers more pro than con for wood working.


  4. Pingback: HB Tansu #3-Progress 7 | GREG MERRITT – BY MY OWN HANDS

  5. Pingback: HB Tansu #3-Progress 9 | GREG MERRITT – BY MY OWN HANDS

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