When I saw that the SoCS prompt was “stick” a bunch of my father’s favorite expressions came to mind. These would be the kind of expressions that Evelyne suggested we should avoid sharing during her A-to-Z month of French idioms and their English equivalents. I’m pretty sure you’re all aware of the expression hinted at in the title so we won’t go there. There. You know, where the sun doesn’t shine. Oh, I guess I went there.
Oh well, “stick” has some other meanings to me, including two different but important ones from when I operated my cabinet shop. One task that was very important in the winter was to “stick the tank” in order to tell if it was time to buy oil for the furnace. The (oil) tank was outside and it didn’t have a gauge. Measuring meant inserting a stick into the tank and comparing the height of the oil stain to the line that represented the order point. Very scientific.
The other, and hopefully more interesting woodworking “stick” is part of a very common woodworking joint used in making panel doors. The joint is referred to as a “cope and stick” joint.
The joint is formed in a woodworking operation that involves cutting one piece of wood with the inverse profile of another piece so they can be joined together. The resulting joint is very strong. The interlocking parts give the joint a certain mechanical strength. In addition the large amount of surface-area gives the glue a chance to work its magic much more effectively. Craftsmen, used to cut this by hand using specially formed molding planes. Woodworkers today use a router or a shaper.
Both of those machines spin a round bit or a cutter set (in the case of a shaper) at a very high speed. The shaper is stationary and a router would probably be set into a router table to make it stationary so that the wood would be pushed into the spinning bit. The diagram at the right not only shows the resulting joint, but the cutters as well. A cutter shaped like the red side will produce a piece of wood that looks like the blue side.
On a panel door, the top, bottom and sides are all “sticked” so that they can receive the panel. Technically, the top and bottom are called “rails” and the sides are called “stiles.” Where a rail meets a stile, the end of the rail is “coped” to match the profile of the stile. You can see this if you crank your head under or over a raised panel door and look close at the corner. The joint is elegant, strong and, once the machine is set up properly, easy to replicate on a large number of doors.
You don’t only use this joint on doors, you can also use it on windows. The panel, in the case of a window would be a pane of glass, and to be able to replace the glass when it breaks, you cut the joint differently as shown here. The glass would be set into a thin bed of glazing compound (putty) and then more putty would be applied to hold the glass in place.
Glazing is one of those simple tasks that takes a million years to learn how to do correctly. A skilled glazier makes it look simple, 1-2-6-done. I have puttied lots of glass panes into place. It’s never been simple and the results never looked as if a pro did it. When I made the windows for the Victorian Turret, I was dreading the task of glazing those 15 little panes of glass. When I took the window to a glass shop for the glass to be cut, the owner asked “do you want me to putty them in?” I didn’t even ask how much that would cost.
Anyway, I used this style of joinery when I made those windows. I had to buy special router bits to match the historic profile. Sticking (along the side of the curved pieces) was pretty easy. Coping the tiny ends of the individual sections was hard. Those little bits were hard to work with and everything had to be done freehand and – there – were – so – many – little – pieces. It was tedious. I got careless. I forgot which way the bit was spinning. Instead of pushing the wood section against the rotation of the bit (like you’re supposed to), I pushed a piece the wrong way. The bit grabbed the wood and propelled it and my index finger right on through.
You may not know this, but you can whip blood. You can. I looked at the side of my finger and it was covered in whipped blood. It’s the consistency of whipped cream, but pink.
I’ve injured that same finger many times. I’ll spare you any more gore since you’re probably struggling with the image of whipped blood. I’ve stuck with woodworking as a hobby. I enjoy using hand and power tools and turning sticks into furniture and useful objects.
This post is part of Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.
“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “stick.” Use it as a noun, a verb, or add stuff to it to make it an adverb or an adjective. Have fun!”
Please join us in the fun.