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Completed Router Table (Mostly)

After competing the router table top, I noticed that I didn't have a reliable way of holding down the fence. Sure I could use some clamps, but since I had a two foot section of T-track lying around, I figured that T-bolts would be the easiest way to keep the fence in place. Read more »

Tools: corded drill, cordless drill, counter sink, drill press, file, Forstner, miter saw, router, table saw

Materials: angle iron, pan head screw, T-track, wood screw

Creating Wooden Crossover Track

Crossover tracks are the most complicated wooden tracks I have made to date. I started with making a straight-line crossover track where the connecting tracks are just straight lines between the two sets of parallel tracks.

After successfully creating a straight line crossover I set my sights on a curved crossover where the connecting tracks curve gradually away form one set of tracks and then switch directions to curve gradually back into the other set of tracks. Read more »

Tools: air compressor, Colt, pin nailer, router, router table

Tags: toys

Decorative Box: My First Attempt at Box Joints

It's funny, the day that I'm going to post about the decorative box I just made, Tom Iovino over at Tom's Workbench wrote a post about why you should make a decorative box. OK, so there are tons of woodworking blogs and other sites on the net and many of them make projects like decorative boxes, so it really isn't that surprising.

I decided to make the box about a week ago. Buoyed by my success at the pencil box, I wanted to experiment with some more joinery. This time I chose box joints. I didn't start out with any plans or even a rough sketch, my only requirement was that I the depth of the box couldn't be any wider that the 1/4" and 1/2" maple I had on hand. I just chose a length that looked proportional. Read more »

Tools: router

Tags: box joint

Materials: maple, tung oil

Making a Colt Router Base

My wife's father gave me an old sign making kit that used to be her grandfathers. Until recently, I'd forgotten I had it. I'd put it away unused because at the time I didn't own any router bushings and the ones that came with the kit were for some old Craftsman router.

When I bought my Colt, I remembered that I had it. I thought playing around with the sign making kit would be a good test for the router. Unfortunately the Porter Cable style router bushings I had acquired since coming into possession of the kit don't work with the standard base, so I made my own base. Read more »

Tools: Colt, drill press, Forstner, router, router bushings

Tags: Bosch, Menards

Materials: plexiglas

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

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

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

Notes From the Workshop: 20101109

End Grain Burn

Even though, the mahogany fuzzed quite a bit when machining, at least it didn't burn, that is until I tried routing the end grain.  Yeah you can burn just about any wood, but some woods are more prone than others.  Evidently end grain mahogany falls into the former category.  I ended up turning down the router speed to about 1/3 of full.   In the above picture, the block on the left was run though at full speed and the block on the right at the reduced speed.  There's still a bit of burn, but at least it's something that a light tough of sanding should take care of. Read more »

Tools: Handi-Clamp, router

Tags: burning, end grain, Irwin, notes

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany, tung oil

Creating Wooden Train Track

We bought my son an Imaginarium train table for his birthday this summer.   We've all had fun playing with it and making new and interesting track configurations, but the table was missing one critical piece to finish many of the layouts -- a female to female piece.  Usually are you progress along the track all the pieces got from male to female or vice versa, but if you use the roundhouse, or switches sometimes you end up trying to connect to male or female ends together to complete the loop.  The set came with a male to male piece, but no female to female piece.

Now I know that i can buy specialty pieces either online or at the store, but I though it would be fun to try and reproduce a piece of track.  Companies like MLCS, Rockler, and Hartville Tool sell special bit sets, but they cost quite a bit and would be overkill for producing one piece of track.

On the following pages you'll see the process I went through to build the special piece.

Update: Making the double female track is now just one section of this project; I've added a new section about creating a double male track connector.

Tools: router, table saw

Tags: Hartville Tool, Imaginarium, MLCS, Rockler, Thomas and Friends, toys, wooden train