Shop Tip: Use a Pipe Hanger to Hold Shop-vac Hose

When I built my drill press table, I made a split fence so I could eventually attach a dust collection port somewhat like the split fence on my router table. It turns out I never did; not that it wouldn't be nice to keep wood chips out of the way when drilling, it just seemed like a 2-1/2" shop-vac hose behind the fence would get in the way of too many operations. Read more »

Tools: drill press, shop-vac

Tags: tips

Materials: pipe hanger

Notes From the Workshop: 20110206

Pencil Box Finish

I haven't been able to spend any serious time in my shop since last weekend, so decided to finish the maple pencil box with some tung oil. After gluing it together, I hit it with some 100 grit sand paper to even out the joints. After the glue dried, I applied some tung oil with a clean cloth, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wiped the excess off. I have to say that there wasn't much of a color change after that first coat. Read more »

Tools: air compressor, router

Tags: Bosch, notes, Pencil Box, Sanborn

Materials: tung oil

Wooden Pencil Box

I saw an article on Dan's Shop a week ago about constructing pencil boxes using only hand tools. I thought this would be a cool little project to try next time I was in the shop. While I don't have a plow plane or a rabbeting plane I do have a router bit with a 1/8" straight bit and a router table. Read more »

Tools: router table

Tags: joinery

Materials: red oak

Notes from the Workshop: 20110123

It's -8ºF outside and 50ºF in the shop right now. I've opened the door and vents in the shop, so while I am waiting for the furnace to to do it's job, I figured I'd bang out a post.

Table Saw Inserts

As you may have seen on Toolmonger, I bought a Freud Dado blade set with the gift cards I received for Christmas. In order to the blade safely, I needed to make some more zero clearance throat plates. Read more »

Tools: Forstner, laminate trimming bit, router, table saw

Tags: notes, Toolmonger

Materials: carpet tape, Goo Gone

The Danger of Inattention at the Table Saw

Last week I set up the miter gauge on my table saw to perform the repetitive operation of cutting the corners off 10 blocks of wood. I had been turning off the saw, letting it stop between each operation, and pushing the miter gauge back to the front of the saw. Then I would unclamp the block and turn it end for end or clamp a new block to the miter gauge. The setup worked well and I was about half done when I noticed I had to pick up my son in about 20 minutes. Of course I wanted to finish the job before I left the shop. Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: kickback, miter gauge

Improved Miter Gauge in Action

See video

Here's a short video I made to demonstrate the improvements I made to my table saw miter gauge. In the first half I explain about adding the ball plungers, the auxiliary fence, and the stop block. Then I set up the miter gauge to cut a 45º chamfer on the wooden track supports I'm working on. Finally I perform the cut a few times.

Notice that I shut the saw off each time after I make the cut and let it run down completely. I'll be writing a post on why this is important soon.

Tools: table saw

Tags: miter gauge, video

Notes from the Workshop: 20110112

Fixing the Miter Slot on my Router Table

My router table originally came with a crappy little miter gauge that rode in a shallow miter slot.  I wanted to be able to use a decent miter gauge with the table, but that meant deepening the miter slot. Read more »

Tools: router, router table

Tags: miter gauge, miter slot, notes

Miter Gauge Upgrade

Even though I built a miter sled, there are some operation that are easier with a good miter gauge. Plus a miter gauge can be used on more than just your table saw, it can be used on your router table, bandsaw table, and probably others. Read more »

Tools: micro-mill, router table, table saw

Tags: miter gauge, T-slot

Materials: ball plunger

Notes from the Workshop: 20110107

Wow, it's been a week since I've posted anything.  Christmas really disrupts the old household -- I think I spent over two hours pulling toys out of packages and trying to sort out the garbage from the recycling, which delayed other household chores, which seriously cut into my shop time.  Aside from that carnage, I wasn't feeling well again this last week.

Fixing My Drill Press Table

I had previously mentioned in my post Drilling Straight is Hard to Do that the insert on my drill press table wasn't sitting flush and one reason might be a slight gap between the two pieces of MDF that make up the table surface.  To close the gap, I drilled eight drilled pilot holes and counter bores for the 1-1/4" pan-head cabinet screws around the perimeter of the insert opening. Read more »

Tools: drill press, micro-mill, vise

Tags: notes

Birdhouse Breaking and Entering

After a comment by Bill Fiegen about how perches are dangerous to nesting birds, I went outside to take a look at the birdhouse I built with my daughter.  If it was unoccupied I was going to take it in and cut off the perch.  To my surprise it looked like something had tried to eat it's way into the birdhouse. Read more »

Tags: bird house