Creating the Pinwheel Pattern: Glue up

Having all the triangles I need, time to start gluing them up into one pattern block. First is making a pair of central pinwheel hexagonal cells. This needs 18 sticks, in groups of 3. Three sticks go together to make one equilateral triangle and six equilateral triangles go together to make the hexagonal cell.

Working on a piece of glass because of all the glue, I assemble each of the triplets into triangles. Then more glue on the inside faces of these triangles and I can carefully assemble the final hex cell. I have to work quick; the sticks are so thin they start to bend out as they absorb moisture from the glue.

Wrap the cell in plastic and then lots of rubber bands to clamp. Once the glue has set, I unwrap and scrap away the excess glue from the outside of the cells. The plastic keeps this excess from drying. Not too hard to clean the glue away so I can continue gluing.

I cut the 4" long cells in thirds and setup for the final glue up. I’ve also made end pieces of pine to include. This is so I can both squeeze from the end while clamping and also have some start and end waste wood when planing.

Now it’s just a matter of quickly doing the final assembly, including small triangles of the darker woods to fill the spaces between the hexagonal pinwheel cells. Quickly because I have to get everything glued and placed correctly before the glue on the first pieces set.

Then side cauls and clamps and another clamp squeezing the ends. The side cauls, and the flat base are covered with clear packing tape so they don’t get glued to the block.

Next up: trying to plane off veneers. More when that happens. For now, I want to give the glue plenty of time to fully cure.

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