table saw

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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

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

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: 20101227

Bent Hook Blues

I noticed one day my favorite tape measure seemed to be off.  After double checking the measurement with another tape and confirming my suspicions, I noticed that the hook was bent.  At some point I must have dropped it on the floor; I can't think of any other way I could have bent it.  I tried to bend the hook back straight, but it is difficult when hook is still riveted to the tape. Read more »

Tools: clamps, table saw, tape measure

Tags: dado, notes, rabbet

Materials: glue

Table Saw Alignment Part II

I went to rip some 2" strips to make a new drawer to replace the one that molded on my shop floor.  Since I didn't have to be ultra accurate I set the rip fence using the indicator on the fence scale.  I decided to double check the distance to the fence anyway.  It was off by almost a 1/16".  Then I remembered that I had just realigned the fence and hadn't reset the indicator. Read more »

Tools: benchtop tools, table saw

Tags: alignment, DeWalt

Notes from the Workshop: 20101207

I've found that blogging about my time in the workshop helps keep me focused on a project.  Documenting the process as you go slows you down, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Slowing down makes you think more about each step, working it through in your head and figuring out how you're going to explain it.  Also years down the road when you wonder how you did something, you can come back to the blog.

It's still hard to stay with a project to the very end.  Often once you've figured out how to do something, it loses it's challenge and becomes busy work -- especially the sanding and finishing stage. Trying new techniques and products during this stage helps, but it's still no substitute for discipline.  I still find myself starting new projects before I finish the ones I'm working on.

Talking about new projects:

Domino Setter

I've been playing dominoes with my daughter lately, because they are using them in school to teach adding.  Although how my daughter's Dora Dominoes which only have pictures help in this respect is beyond me.  It's still a good game to learn because you need to plan ahead.  Once we get bored with the game, we like to set up the dominoes and knock them down, which is where my son starts getting interested in what we're doing.  Both my son and my daughter have a hard time setting up more than a few dominoes in a row before they accidentally knock them down, so I'm always the one setting them up.  I thought there had to be a quicker way. Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: dado, domino, notes, Rockler, toys

Materials: bloodwood, cumaru, red oak

Table Saw Fence Alignment

I've had my DeWalt benchtop table saw for about 10 years now.  At the time I thought it was the right saw for the projects I was working on, we had just purchased our house and there were many projects where it was great to have a portable saw.  Now that I'm more interested in fine woodworking, I wish I had chosen differently; for what I paid for it I could have purchased a decent contractor saw.  While the benchtop table saw works fine for plywood and dimensional lumber construction, it's not my saw of choice for detail work.

Recently, I've noticed the fence has become more and more misaligned.  The back side of the blade bites into the wood, even when it's past the front edge of the blade.  Not only does this increase the chances of kick-back, but it tends to burn the wood.

Obviously the fence is closer to the far side of the blade than the near side.  Optimally you want the fence to be parallel with the blade or maybe have the fence slightly farther away from the far side of the blade than the near side.  My table appears to be square with the blade, otherwise the slot on my miter sled would have a slot wider than the blade.  Since it's a bentop saw, I don't even think I could adjust the table if I wanted to.

Read more »

Tools: benchtop tools, table saw

Tags: alignment, DeWalt

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