Frequent Questions and Answers

February 24, 2017

Here at JA Milton’s we have frequently questions asked on a weekly basis. In order to help you, we put the questions over to Joan, for her advice and to ask her for any possible hints.

Q. What glue can be used on fabrics? 

A. This is not a straight forward question as whatever is used will need to be tested on small areas first. It will also depend on the fabric content because spirit based glues can melt some synthetic contents in fabrics. Alternatively water based glues can seep through to the top side of the fabric and dry leaving marks.

On some fabrics it will be with our spray glue. This will be fine as long as it is used sparingly, with a light spray on both surfaces. When allowed to dry (go white), it will act like contact adhesive. Do not allow the glue to create puddles, spraying from the right distance and not too heavily will prevent this. This will be pretty permanent.

If the fabric is not too thin, like cotton or linen, a thick mix of wallpaper glue or PVA can be used as this allows a certain amount of movement before it becomes permanent.

In any case, it is really important to make sure that any method is sampled in small areas before going ahead.

Q. My nails keep bending in the wood, why is this happening?

Fancy headed nails have a domed head and in order to knock them in straight, without bending the shaft, they need to be hit squarely in the centre, which is where the spacing tool helps, by holding the nail square. It also helps to use either the nylon tipped hammer, which is made for the job, or by wrapping the tip of your hammer with leather. This helps prevent it from slipping when it hits the nail head; it also stops it damaging the head.

Another tip is to make a very shallow pilot hole with the very tip of a bradawl (don’t go too deep as most bradawls are wider than the shaft of the nail and will make the diameter of the hole to wide). It is very important to make sure the pilot hole is not at an angle, the spacer tool can help with the cantering of this hole.

The nail spacer tool also relies on you knocking the nails home straight to prolong its life, which is where the small pilot hole helps. The tool has to be made of a soft material in order that it clasps the shaft of the nail but this of course does mean it will wear. Used correctly though, it does have a reasonable life expectancy.

To view our full list of hints and tips click here