Last time, I mentioned that I like to use bolts to attach fences to the base. This time I’m going to show how I customize bolts. Since I like to use 1/2″ material for the base, I thin the bolt heads so that I can make the counter-bores in the base as shallow as possible. This also allows me to used thicker (stiffer) grade 8 washers. Since MDF is soft, run of the mill zinc coated washers tend to deform and generally destroy the MDF around the hole. The other thing I do is shorten my bolts so that they don’t protrude from the top of the fence. If you design your fence around common bolt lengths, this step can be omitted. While I use my metal lathe to thin the heads and shorten the bolts, the same tasks can be accomplished with a bench grinder & cut-off blade equipped Dremel tool.
The first step in modifying the bolts is something familiar to all woodworkers, jig making. The photo bellow shows the jig used to thin the bold heads. Its just a chunk of scrap steel with a shoulder turned on it and then tapped 1/4-20. The shoulder is important for a later step. To thin the bolt heads I thread the bolts into the jig till it bottoms out, and then face the head to a thickness of 3/32″.
A thinned bolt head.
When I got my new saw, I gave my old crosscut sled to my dad since I gifted him my old saw. Thus I’ve been without a crosscut sled since late November. After a few months without it, I realized how heavily I’ve come to rely on it for pretty much every crosscutting task in my shop. I made a video on how to make a simple crosscut sled last time I made one, but I’ve learned some new techniques since then and my needs have also changed, so I thought I should document the construction of what I think is my forth sled.
This is a simple project I knocked out this weekend, it’s the base for a child’s birthday party punch-out game. Once it’s painted, solo cups with tissue paper over the top and prizes inside will be glued into the holes with a hot glue gun. This projects was fun to make, it required no planing and a very limited number of tools. The hardest thing about it was making the 25 3-1/2″ diameter holes, and then sanding them smooth. Considering the amount of praise I got for making it, the time I spent was well spent.
when I got my new table saw, one of the things I had to do away with was my permanent miter saw bench. I’ve never used my miter saw for much more than cutting stock down to rough size. However I could never do with out it, because cutting long boards to length on the table saw is not very save, because of how hard large boards are to control. Thus I decided I needed some form of miter saw bench/stand. I looked at several models, and I rejected all of them, because they were poorly built or had no out rigger legs.
Since buying a stand wasn’t an option I decided to design my own. Below is what I came up with, it’s made from roughly $30 of SYP construction lumber. Continue Reading…
Here in central IL we’ve had the coldest winter in over a decade. Thus, in the last month I’ve spent about 5 hours total in my shop. Since I’m the type of person that goes stir crazy if I’m not doing something that’s challenging me mentally or physically, I’ve been doing a loot of reading, and planing for future projects. One of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a while is make a wooden hand plane. Iv’e read David Finck’s Making & Mastering Wood Planes, and I’ve purchased a 2″ Hock Iron in perpetration for making a plane some time this year.
To give me my woodworking fix for the week, I decided to buy Scott Meek’s Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane. The video had a lot of good info about how Scott makes his planes. Parts of the video progressed a little slow for my taste, but I expected as much when I saw the video was 149 minutes long. To be fair, this is Scott’s first video that I’m aware of, so he definitely deserves a by when you compare him the likes of garret hack and Philip C. Lowe, who’ve been teaching and making videos for years. The one thing I wish Scott had focused more on, was the harness and movement of various wood. while I have never made a plane before, I know a decent amount about wood, and it seems to me people use the wrong woods when making planes. Overall I thought the video was very well done, and well worth the $25 I payed for it.