CA Glue Saved My Eucalyptus Bowl Project

By: Mikael Masters

woodturning supplies I was given two large pieces of Eucalyptus wood by a friend and I decided to make one into a live edge style bowl. So there I was, speed at right around 1000 RPM I had no problem roughing the shape in this excellent wood and had defined the tenon. I flipped it over in the chuck and began to hollow it out. The logs I was given were quite wide and so the edges of the bowl formed a gentle sweep as the edges of the tree once had. Fast forward now and I'm scraping the insides of the wooden bowl to the final smooth finish. I neared the edge of the bowl and with the utmost delicacy, went about equalizing the higher points of the live edge. Suddenly I hear a small snapping sound, the sound that most would simply ignore as background noise. In the corner of my eye, I catch the last faint glimpse of something falling towards the ground after having bounced off my shoulder. I immediately turned off the lathe to see an ever-so-small piece of the bark live edge rim was missing from my almost perfect bowl. "This simply won't do" I thought to myself "I could gently sand off the edges and call it a defect for character? No, I must find it." So I set about the almost impossible task of searching for a chip of wood smaller than my pinky nail and having a color consistent with all the chips on my workshop floor. Most would call this a fool’s errand, but you would be surprised how your eyes pick out things when you train them. After some tedious searching, I found it and now the choice I had to make was how to reattach it and finish this bowl before sundown.

wood bowl Now, to many woodworkers this might seem like an obvious job for cyanoacrylate glue and truth be told it is just that, but please realize that not all us woodworkers have equal experience or exposure to the same excellent quality and great selection provided for you by such companies as Starbond. For me, having only used the little tubes of superglue beforehand for menial jobs and having really only just discovered the true power of professional level CA glue, this was a project saver. So I write this not only to extol the powers of high quality CA glue but also to thank those who provide this now invaluable resource to our community. If you've never used superglue before, I highly recommend getting some in various levels of viscosity and using them on your projects, I guarantee you will not be disappointed and better yet, you will find uses for them that you never thought about before because you were just used to doing it a different way. A medium or thick viscosity CA glue is appropriate for bonding applications such as this.

eucaliptus bowlThis may have been a long story about a seemingly small thing, but as a woodworker I think I can speak for most of us when we say it really is these small things that can doom a project in our eyes. We love what we do and we want it to be perfect and while most people might not care about the things we care about or even see the things we see, the level of detail we demand from ourselves is what sets our standard. Having the correct tools to do the correct jobs, however menial they might be, is a resource that one cannot put a price on, period. Needless to say I finished the bowl and it looks great, no one has or ever would have had any idea about what dramatic events that unfolded between me and this bowl in the shop, but I personally know that when it comes time to sell this bowl and I give it into the hands of it's new owners, my eyes will glance one last time to that spot on the edge where is hidden a perfect imperfection.