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

 




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.




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.




Strip Cutting Gauge

Thin strips should be cut on a table saw with the wide board against the fence and the fence moved in for each cut, however it is difficult to accurately adjust the fence for each strip to be the same thickness. This gauge allows you to simply slide the fence over until the stock hits the guide. Because there are so many different types of table saws I have not given any measurements for the lengths of the parts, this should be obvious when the strip is in the miter slot.

Cut a stip that fits snugly in the miter slot of the table, with a 5/8″ spade bit drill a pocket for the bolt head about 1/8″ deep, then drill 1/4″ hole for bolt. Cut a slot in a piece 1″ wide hardwood that is long enough to extend to line up with the saw blade, round the outer end. Fasten the two pieces together with a 1/4″ carriage bolt, washer and thumb screw.

Mark the width of the strip to be cut on the material, set fence, then place gauge in miter slot and adjust guide to touch material. Remove gauge, make the cut, insert gauge, with material against fence, slide fence over until material touches gauge, remove gauge, cut, continue in this manner.




Table Saw Insert with Splitter

Using a splitter is a good idea any time you need to rip a board on the table saw, see photo. The splitter helps prevent the kerf from closing on the back of the blade as you rip long workpieces. Many saws now come with manufactured splitters (or they’re available as an accessory).

I use a shop-made splitter that’s built into my throat opening insert. It also has the advantage of being a zero-clearance insert narrow pieces can’t fall down between the blade and the opening in the insert. Here’s how I made mine.

Safety note: I’m not showing a blade guard on the table saw so the operation can be shown more clearly. But please, use your guard whenever possible.

Start by using a blank that matches the thickness of the old insert. For my table saw, I use 1/2″ MDF. It’s a little thin, so I just shim it until it’s flush with the top of the saw table. (I like to use tape for a shim.)

Next, trace the outline of the original insert onto the blank and rough cut it, see the drawing at left. The easiest way I’ve found to trim the blank to the same shape as the original, is to carpet tape the blank to the insert. Then I mount a flush trim bit in my router table and trim the blank to shape, see the inset drawing left.

When I’m ready to rip the blade slot in the new insert, I carefully align the rip fence with the edge of the original insert, as shown in the drawing at right. Then I rip the slot, turning off the saw when I’m 3″ from the end.

Lastly, I make the splitter by ripping a piece to the exact thickness of the kerf. I like to sand the end closest to the blade to a point. This keeps the workpiece from getting “hung up” on the splitter. Then the splitter is simply glued into the kerf, as shown in the drawing at left.




Tablesaw Miter Jig

To build this jig, first place one miter-slot guide into each slot on your saw table. Align the 1/2″ plywood base on top of the guide, long edges perpendicular to the miter slots. With the plywood resting on the table saw surface, drill 5/32″ shank holes through the plywood and into the guides just far enough to mark their positions. Remove the plywood and guides and drill 7/64″ pilot holes through the guides. Reposition these pieces on the table saw, and attach the guides with countersunk #8×1″ brass wood screws. Drive the screws about halfway through the guides, and lift the assembly off the table. Drive the screws completely, and sand off their protruding tips. Again, place the jig onto the table saw surface, turn on the saw, and cut a kerf about halfway across the width of the plywood.

The key to this jig’s accuracy is installing the miter fences precisely at 90ý. The drawings below take you through the first two alignment steps. Use this process to temporarily attach each fence with two #8×1″ screws. Test the fences for accuracy by cutting four sample pieces, each about 1″ wide and 4″ long. Hold them together with a rubber band and check for any gaps at the miters. Adjust the position of the fences as necessary by tapping them with a hammer. Once you’re satisfied that the fences are in exactly the right positions, attach each of them with two #8×1″ screws. Finally, to help hold your workpieces steady against the fences during cuts, attach adhesive-backed 100-grit sandpaper to the fence aces where shown in the photo above.

Installing the Miter Fence