Full Chisel Blog

October 29, 2008

Feather Slips

Filed under: Furniture,Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 3:32 pm

Not an exotic piece of clothing but a reinforcement for miter joints.

After my disastrous attempt at cutting kerfs for the slips yesterday, I securely held the piece flat on my bench using the planing stops and an additional stop block clamp to secure the frame without adding any pressure on any of the joints.

Sawing Feather Slip

I placed a small scrap of pine, you can see it at the tip of the saw, and laid the saw on this as a horizontal guide for starting the kerf.  I sawed at a slight angle and was able to replicate the angle on each corner.

Feather Slip

This is a piece of very thick 1/16″+ maple veneer a friend of mine has.  I did have to plane it down then work it over with a toothing plane to true and tooth the slip in preparation to gluing it in place.

Gluing feather slip

I used a thin blade pallet knife to get the glue in the narrow kerf.  With hide glue it important to get glue on all surfaces that are being glued together to insure the joint is ‘wet’.

Secondary slips

I then turned the frame face down and sawed secondary kerfs using the same scrap of pine to get the kerf straight, it is also angled.  The secondary slips are narrower, I didn’t want to come through the face of the clock door.

Double Feather Slip, close-up

This close up of the feather slips, the lower one rough trimmed, the upper freshly glued in place.  Tomorrow I shall rough trim the top slip, then smooth out the edges of the door.  The project is coming along nicely.

Whorl with hooks


I also got the holes drilled and hooks made for the Spinning Wheel Whorl.  I disassembled it and gave it a good coat of shellac.  The shellac was dried out in the bottom of the bottle, the lid not on tightly and the alcohol soon evaporated.  I added some more alcohol and in 20 minutes had liquid shellac again.  That is what I like about shellac.

Looks like a coat of pigmented varnish is in the spinning wheels near future.  It is my intention to varnish it on the morrow.



  1. Love your blog and your work. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    I’m curious about your use of such a large saw to make the feather slip cuts. It would seem easier with something like a dovetail saw. Is the problem with that idea one of getting a wide enough kerf or is it something else that causes you to reach for the panel saw?

    Cheers — Larry

    Comment by Larry Marshall — October 29, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Larry,

    Thanks for your comment and welcome. The saw I am using is my new rip panel saw, well new to me. It is the one I reworked and made a new handle with split nuts. It is sharpened rip and the reason I used it was to get a wider kerf so I could use a thicker veneer for the slip. I also selected it because with the finer teeth, there is less chance of of shocking the miter and perhaps causing it to break.

    It is about the same kerf as my regular dovetail rip saw, a bit thicker, but with much finer teeth, so the kerf was very clean on the inside, but rough enough to provide a key for the glue.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — October 29, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

  3. Ah…new saw. When I get a new tool it becomes the preferred tool for everything 🙂 I hadn’t thought of how smooth the kerf would be with a dovetail saw and, to show my naivete, when I saw all the teeth on your panel saw I just assumed it was filed cross-cut and wondered about that as well.

    BTW, you are my ‘background’ image on my laptop. The photos of you planing wood, with the light coming in the window, are simply magnificent.

    Cheers — Larry

    Comment by Larry Marshall — October 30, 2008 @ 5:36 am

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