Full Chisel Blog

November 4, 2010

Give Garlic a Whorl

So much more than a culinary delight.  As some of you may know I am an advocate of using Garlic [Allium spp.] for etching metal prior to gluing with animal hide glue.  I have also discovered its use in traditional varnish and painting techniques that will be in my next book.  The garlic contains a couple of acids, the ones that make your eyes water, that will etch metal and other smooth materials to provide a key for the glue to bond.  Works great on oily exotic woods as well.

I am just finishing up the curly maple spinning wheel and have finished the pitman and finally finished the whorl.  I took a clove of garlic and pushed each of the bent wire hooks into the bulb, then dipped into fish hide glue and pushed them into position.  Took a while to remove each one, plunge it into the garlic, dip it into the glue and push it back into position and align it to dry in the proper position.

I discarded the perforated clove into the compost pile, wiped off the excess glue and have set it aside to dry.  I will assemble the wheel tomorrow and it will be finished at last.



  1. That’s awesome!

    Comment by Tico Vogt — November 4, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  2. Does the Garlic oxide the metal? They look uniform in color.

    Comment by Dave Buss — November 5, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  3. Tico,
    Thanks, I think.


    That is the bluing on the bailing wire [Mormon buckskin] is from the factory, the garlic etches the metal without removing the anti-rust bluing put on the metal, similar to bluing on firearms.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — November 6, 2010 @ 6:23 am

  4. Holy cow! That’s fascinating!

    Comment by Lynn in Tucson — January 5, 2011 @ 10:35 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress