MDF

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Leveling Insert Plates

I wasn't satisfied with the way the sacrificial insert plates sat in the recess on my drill table. My original plan was to use 3/4" MDF plates, the same width as the top layer of the table. As I later discovered, not all 3/4" MDF is the same thickness. I'm not sure if it's variation between sheets, or that the smaller pieces of the MDF are less stable with temperature and humidity variations. No matter the cause, I couldn't get new plates flush with the surface of the table without a lot of material removal -- even then it wasn't perfect.

I decided that the only way I'd get the plate level was to build some sort of leveling system into the table. After weighing the options I decided to use screws and jam nuts. Read more »

Tools: drill press

Tags: jam nut, leveling

Materials: MDF

Miter (Crosscut) Sled

I barely ever use my miter gauge on my table saw, probably because it's so loose it rattles in the slot. It's too loose to use a punch to dimple the sides, and I really didn't want to throw good time away tapping and threading holes for a bunch of set screws. So when I had to rip an 8" block of mahogany into 1-3/4" strips, I had nothing I could trust to support it.

The only other way to cut the block into strips was to use my miter saw, but 2x8" is approaching it's maximum capacity, plus I really couldn't figure out a safe way to do it once I got down to cutting the last few strips.

I've been planning to build a miter sled for some time. I've seen some of the fancy jigs they come up with in woodworking magazines and have thought they would be handy. Since I really wanted to get on with my other projects I decided on a really basic design.

Tools: clamps, table saw

Tags: crosscut, miter slot

Materials: glue, MDF