Weekend Projects – Aug 24, 2015

Box Joint Jig
Box Joint Jig

This was my project for this last weekend. I have a bunch of pictures. As you will find I am not much on writing and am still trying to get comfortable with the whole blogging thing. So hopefully you will stay with me and we’ll see if I get any better.

The plans for this project can be found at http://www.plansnow.com/. They were also in one of the back issues of WoodSmith mag. I don’t remember the issue number.

I did modify the plans a bit. I added a track for adjusting for miter slots. I may want to use this with my router table as well.

Now that I have finished this and have make some cuts. I am thinking I may make a different type that will only cut one size. This one will be great for making different size box joints. But I want one that I can just throw it on the saw and cut without adjusting it and just think about the project at hand.

So I will update you on next Weekends Projects. The plan is to make a wall mounted portable tape dispenser organizer. Along with a wood floor desk carpet mat for my office. What project are you going to be working? See you next week.

Here's where I started, with some scraps and a couple dollars of hardware.
Here’s where I started, with some scraps and a couple dollars of hardware.

More scrap and hardware.
More scrap and hardware.

More of some of the scrap wood I will be using.
More of some of the scrap wood I will be using.
I started with some Oak scrap I had from a desk I got for free and about $8 of hardware. I had the track that was a gift from my kids. Oh I did spend an additional $3.59 for some Oak trim for the backer boards.

 

I was going to use hardboard as the plans had. But the smallest I could find was 4’x8′ at around $15. I got a trim Oak strip 1-1/2″ x 48″ and cut them to size at 1/5th the cost.

Backer boards. $3.59 1-1/2" x 48" cut to 5" chunk and mount hole drilled
Backer boards. $3.59 1-1/2″ x 48″ cut to 5″ chunk and mount hole drilled

 

Dry fit Fence setting on base.
Dry fit Fence setting on base.

Dry fit movable fence setting on base.
Dry fit movable fence setting on base.

Dry fit both movable and non-movable fence setting on base.
Dry fit both movable and non-movable fence setting on base.

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit test run
Dry fit test run

Dry fit test run
Dry fit test run

Test cuts
Test cuts

Playing around
Playing around

Playing around
Playing around

Playing around
Playing around

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together. With backer boards
Finished and put together. With backer boards

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

 




Shop-Built 3-Jaw-Chuck

A cheap, effective turning tool.

3-Jaw-Chuck

Three-jaw lathe chucks are virtually indispensable for a turner, yet the cost of buying one can be prohibitive. Three-jaw chucks are useful when turning small pieces at low speed, and permit multi-axis turning. This shop-made chuck can be made from scraps of maple and a few machine screws. By changing the arrangement of the screw holes, this can also be made into a 4-jaw chuck.

The jaws are positioned in a set of pivot holes depending on the size of the workpiece. For better gripping, add strips of 150-grit sandpaper to the jaw faces, and taper the face of the jaws, as shown. To assist in centering the turning, thin concentric rings are turned into the face of the chuck. With the workpiece in position, tighten the clamping screws equally. It is recommended operating the chuck with the lathe running at less than 700 rpm and only for small workpieces.

3-Jaw-Chuck_Jaws




Box Joint Jig

Box_Joint_Jig




Miter Gauge Fence

Using a miter gauge without an auxiliary fence is like
wearing a pair of trousers without suspenders (or a belt) – you just don’t get the support you need.

And while it’s pretty easy to just screw a piece of wood to the front of your miter gauge, I think it’s worth taking just a couple minutes to make an adjustable auxiliary fence. This way, you can move the fence as close to the blade as you want, even when mitering, see Fig. 2.

JIG CONSTRUCTION. The “adjustable” part of the fence is made up of two sliding pieces, see Fig. 1. A rabbet cut on each piece allows the two pieces to interlock.

The top piece has a couple of threaded inserts so it can be attached to the miter gauge with machine screws, see Fig. 1a.

The bottom piece “floats” under the top one (until the two machine screws are tightened). By sanding the top piece 1/32″ thinner than the bottom, it will “pinch” the bottom piece in place, see Fig. 1a.

A replaceable face is screwed to the front of the bottom sliding piece. This way, when the fence gets chewed up, you can make a new one.

STOP BLOCK. To make the fence even more useful, you can clamp a stop block to the face.




Band Saw Pivot Block


A band saw is a great tool for resawing thick lumber into thinner stock. But because most band saw blades have a tendency to “wander,” controlling a cut can be difficult.

One solution is to use a simple support block, see photo. The nice thing about this block is that it allows you to pivot the workpiece as you push it through the saw to “follow” the direction the blade is wandering.

The guide is nothing more than a block of wood that has been beveled on one end to create a “V” point, see Fig. 1. On the other end, the top of the block is cut away to make it easier to clamp it to the table of the band saw.

To use the block, simply clamp it to the table so it’s just slightly in front of the blade, see Fig. 2.

The distance between the block and the blade should equal the desired thickness of the stock you are cutting. Now just guide the workpiece through the saw, pivoting it against the block as needed.




Crosscut Sled


The miter gauge that comes with most table saws is fine for crosscutting narrow pieces. But if you try to use it to crosscut a wide panel, you’ll quickly discover how inadequate it is.

It rocks back and forth in the slot or bumps into the edge of the table saw top, making crosscutting not only difficult, but potentially dangerous as well.

That’s why I like to use a crosscut sled when cutting large panels. This jig works like a giant miter gauge, allowing you to crosscut wider pieces.

The large, flat base of the sled provides plenty of support for wide panels. A pair of runners guides the sled and the workpiece smoothly through the saw. And a fence on the trailing edge of the sled ensures that every cut will be square.

CONSTRUCTION. To build the jig, start by cutting a piece of 3/4″-thick plywood for the base. (I made mine about 16″ x 30″.)

Next cut a hardwood runner to fit in the miter gauge slot of your table saw. Size the runner so it slides smoothly in the slot. Then glue and screw it to the bottom of the base.

To keep the jig aligned, a second runner is added to the bottom of the base. This one rides against the edge of the table saw extension wing, see photo.

Once both runners are attached, place the jig on your saw and trim off the right edge of the base.

FENCE. For the fence, I used a piece of “2-by” stock with a chamfer routed on the bottom edge for a sawdust relief, see Fig. 1a.

To position the fence so that it’s square to the blade, use a framing square, see Fig. 1. Then just screw the fence to the base.




Push Block


I’ve seen a lot of push blocks or push sticks that are thin and narrow. This allows you to maneuver the push stick between the blade and the rip fence when ripping thin pieces.

But I find that trying to guide a workpiece through a saw with one of these push sticks is a little like trying to push a brick with a straw. This is one case where wider is better.

That’s why I like this push block design. It’s nothing more than an 8″-long block with a shallow notch cut on the bottom, see Fig. 1. The notch fits over the back edge of the workpiece that’s being cut.

The wide profile of the block gives you plenty of control. And instead of fitting between the fence and the blade, this push block is designed to ride right over the blade, see Fig. 2.

After a while, the bottom of the push block will get “chewed up.” When this happens, just throw it out and make a new one.




Frame and Panel Gluing

Gluing up a frame and panel door so it ends up perfectly square can be difficult. The pieces always seem to slip out of square during glue-up.

To prevent this, I built the simple jig shown in the photo below. It provides an accurate reference that makes it easy to square up the door. A glance at the drawing shows that the jig consists of a plywood base that supports the door and two wood cleats that form a square corner. It’s important that the cleats are 90° to each other. So start by attaching one cleat with glue and screws. Then use a framing square to position the second cleat as you glue and screw it in place.

 

 

 


To use the jig, start by placing each clamp directly over (and parallel to) the rails of the frame. Then, adjust the pressure and position of the clamps until the frame sits square in the jig. Note: To prevent glue from sticking to the jig, I brushed on several coats of a polyurethane finish.




Bench Hold-fast


It seems to me that bench hold-fasts are a lot less common these days than they used to be. That’s too bad – they’re really a great way to secure boards to a workbench. But don’t take my word for it. If your bench has holes for bench dogs, you can build one for yourself. All you need is a common bar clamp, a scrap piece of bar stock, and a few minutes.

 

To make a hold-fast, first remove the fixed jaw from the clamp by drilling out the rivet that holds the jaw to the clamp bar, as you can see in Figure 1.

Next, take a small metal strip and fasten it to the bar with a machine screw and nut, as shown in Figure 2. Then to complete the hold-fast, you can “lock” the nut in place by crimping the threads of the screw at the end (Figure 2a).

To use the hold-fast, just swivel the metal strip so it’s parallel to the bar and slip it through a dog hole in the workbench. Then swivel the strip back to hold the clamp, as shown in Figure 3a.

I store my hold-fast under the workbench so I don’t confuse it with a regular bar clamp and so it’s handy when I need it.

 

 

 




Bench Vise Helper


Whenever I clamp a wide panel or long board to my workbench on edge for sanding or planing, I need a way to support the other end. So I built this simple bench vise helper, as shown in the photos to the right. It’s easy to make and allows me to support panels up to three feet wide. To make the vise helper, start by ripping two 36?-long uprights to width from ¾?-thick hardwood. Then I glued two narrow spacers between them to create a consistent 5/16?-wide slot, as you can see in detail ‘b.’.

The next thing to do is cut a pair of feet to shape. Then cut a dado in each foot sized to hold the upright and glue the feet in place. The last thing to make is the adjustable rest for the workpiece. I cut the rest and a mounting plate to size first and glued them together. Next, two shoulder pieces are cut and glued to the rest and the mounting plate to keep it parallel to the floor. I used a carriage bolt and star knob to secure the rest to the upright, as you can see in detail ‘a.’.