WOW! Guillotines and Animal Glue

Dear David,
Have just watched your fantastic dvd about veneering, and boy, it’s opened my eyes. Having had a bad experience trying to veneer some small cabinet doors before using PVA, I have been a bit scared at repeating the experience – not now though. I have just ‘splashed the cash’ and ordered myself a brand new glue pot from tilgears and I am looking foward to filling the workshop with the “smell of death” – as delightfully described in you dvd! Using hide glue, to me, seems the one and only option for veneer work….. thank you.
On a different matter an idea for Woody Nooz is the subject of moisture control, I spend a lot of time and money keeping the humidity down in my small workshop and have suffered on a couple of occasions with the dreaded shrinkage after installing an item in a customer’s house. I wonder how you go about ensuring that something like a piston fit draw stays like that? I would be delighted to hear your suggestions. Obviously good design is one key part to start with, but it’s not always possible to avoid cross grain situations in say something like a bread board end to a small table top.

kind regards

Peter Bagg
P.S Can’t wait till the French Polishing dvd becomes available, one criticism though, thought the sound quality was a bit rough and quiet.

Hi Peter
Thank you for the feedback, go to it man, hide glue is great! I love the smell of death (and doing something better than Daren). We are improving our technique with the DVDs bit by bit – we never aspire to broadcast quality. But I hope that what we can show gets the message across. French polishing is soon… it’s been on my “to do” list for six months. We are wound up in preparation for our Creativity Week courses which will be March and April so, maybe after that.

Design is the best way to deal with movement issues. Piston fit is piston fit because of the way the drawer is fitted in WIDTH not height. We are in monsoon Devon, so we are wetter here than practically anywhere in the UK – so we at least know that stuff will shrink when it leaves Rowden. I can’t be doing with closed doors and windows and dehumidifiers everywhere – though I know local shops that do that. If we have a job that is going into an office environment however, I will put it in a dehumidified space – a small room or polythene enclosure – with a small domestic dehumidifier for a week or so before polishing.

Best of luck



Thanks for your speedy reply!

The piston fit draw is the classic situation of solving a problem with a very simple way! Provide the friction for the opening on the side that wont really move too much.
I just love the idea with the hide glue of instant grab and being able to undo it when things go pear shaped!
I have also ordered myself a mitre guillotine, I always thought they were only for picture framers! you opened my eyes on that one as well.
So much more accurate and pleasant to use than a chop/mitre saw, providing you keep your fingers clear that is,
then you might have the smell of death masked with the smell of blood!


Hi Peter

With the guillotine – hone it up like a chisel, then only trim one paring at a time. If you chop – it doesn’t work.

Have fun and tell us about how you get on – it will help others just getting going.



wow, why didn’t I buy one of these guillotines years ago?! fantastic.
Just mitred up a base for a large box, what a joy to use, your advice is spot on;
cut near as possible to the line with a saw then use it for the final fine trimming, and what a finish.
It makes for an exceptional fine joint. Just keep them fingers clear!
I brought one of the Axminster’s new models, I must say they blades seemed very sharp straight out the box
and it’s a lovely solid piece of kit that was spot on with the angles straight from the box. I am sure there is room
for fettling but if not it works very well without.
The other point is that it’s not just for mitres, use instead of a shooting board for 90 degree joints…. or any other angle come to that



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