Fast-Action Clamp for Crosscut Fence

A reader recently inquired about the method I use to secure the crosscut fence to my sliding table saw. Grizzly provides a knob with a long male thread to pass through the slot in the outrigger and into the bottom of the crosscut fence. This is secure, but slow to remove when taking off the crosscut fence.

Crosscut Fence Clamp3

For a more convenient solution, I mounted a toggle clamp on a riser block. A large-head, 1/4″ bolt, threaded into the bottom of the block, rides in the bottom T-slot of the crosscut fence and a rubber bumper positions the pressure pad of the clamp solidly on the outrigger.

Crosscut Fence Clamp1 This is what the clamp looks like holding the crosscut fence in place.

Crosscut Fence Clamp2 While not quite as secure as the original bolt, this solution makes it considerably easier to adjust, remove or install the crosscut fence.

Here are some more photos of the clamp on its own.

Crosscut Fence Clamp4 Crosscut Fence Clamp5

Links:

Cam-Action Hold-Down for Grizzly G0623X Sliding Table Saw

When I bought my sliding table saw, I wanted to get a material hold-down for the sliding table. Such an accessory did not exist for the saw, but another Grizzly sliding table saw with the same T-slot size came with one. I ordered the individual replacement parts for the hold-down and put it together myself. These parts cost me $210.50 when I ordered them in 2010.

Quantity

Part Number Description

1

PN02 Hex Nut 5/16-18

1

PR03M Ext Retaining Ring 12mm

1

PRP32M Roll Pin 6×40

1

P04510215 T-Nut M12-1.75 V1.04.05

1

P04510616 Ball Knob M8-1.25

1

P04510617 Handle Shaft

1

P04510618 Cam

1

P04510619 Cam Bracket

1

P04510621 Locate Block

1

P04510623 Compression Spring

1

P04510624 Shaft

1

P04510626 Washer Large

1

P04510627 Shaft

1

P04510628 Handle Shaft V1.04.05

2

P04510629 Lock Handle

1

P04510630 Block

1

P04510631 Disc Gasket

Review of My Grizzly Sliding Table Saw (G0623X)

A few years ago, I was in the market for a new table saw. My decision was between a sliding table saw or a SawStop table saw (you can read more about my decision process in the three articles titled Why a Sliding Table Saw with a Scoring Blade?, Why Not a SawStop? and Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw – links at the bottom of this article). In June 2010, I drove down to Grizzly’s showroom in Bellingham, Washington and had a good look at the G0623X 10″ Sliding Table Saw before ordering one for delivery. By the way, the sticker price on this saw was right around the $3,000 mark. My New Sliding TablesawI have had the saw for four years and have been really happy with my purchase. The saw was larger than my contractor’s saw with a 30″ fence, but the sliding table saw used space so well that I barely noticed a difference.

What’s So Great?

The saw was nicely made and easy to assemble and adjust. Blade changes were a snap with the arbor lock pin. The sliding table has proven to be very useful for large crosscuts as well as making straight, accurate cuts in both normally- and oddly-shaped parts. On the occasion when I’ve had to work with sheet goods, the 60″ sliding table has been a clear advantage for material support (no infeed or outfeed support required for most cuts). The five horsepower motor had plenty of power to rip thick hardwoods or cut dadoes and the scoring blade produced perfect cuts on the bottom of fine plywood and melamine. When done with the scoring blade, I simply removed it from the arbor, which was much easier than lowering it and resetting it for the next time. IMG_20141105_161634651 When dealing with many small parts such as when I made a batch of Time Warp Tool Works Moulding Planes, I was again able to benefit from the sliding table. I piled the uncut parts on one end of the sliding table, made the required cuts using the middle section of the table, then stacked the cut parts on the other end of the table itself. As I worked, all parts remained on the table which traveled back and forth as a whole, so parts were never in the way or out of arm’s reach at any point. There were two T-slots in the top and one in the edge of the sliding table that allowed the attachment of the outrigger, mitre gauge, and other accessories such as a hold down or handle. They were also useful for storing pencils and rulers (and sawdust!). IMG_20141106_111559925 Because the sliding table extended to within a fraction of an inch of the blade, I could clamp even a small part in place for cutting, then push it through the blade without even being near the part or the blade. Furthermore, the long sliding table encouraged the user to stand to the left of the blade – out of the way of the path of kickback. And yes, the saw has a riving knife too. IMG_20141105_161852448 The outrigger was clamped to the table and could be slid forwards or backwards as desired. A pivoting arm attached to the back of the saw cabinet supported the far end of the outrigger and a threaded adjustment allowed it to be levelled. The crosscut fence offered ample support for almost all cuts, and a pair of flip stops made breaking down stock efficient. IMG_20141105_161326722 The fence could be mounted at either the front or back of the outrigger, and a set of adjustable flip stops ensured that the fence could be set square time and time again. IMG_20141105_161216246 The blade tilt and height were adjusted with two well-made hand wheels with folding handles and centre knobs for locking their setting. They felt nice and worked well.

Handwheels

What’s Lacking?

The mitre scale on the outrigger was a decal with fat lines, so I couldn’t rely on it for accurate angles. Instead, I would use a bevel gauge to set the crosscut fence to the blade. IMG_20141105_161446122 Some of the higher-end sliding table saws had some useful features that this saw did not have, such as the option to lock the sliding table all the way forward for loading, or a switch on the sliding table. Dust collection was fair. There was an additional provision for collecting dust in the blade guard, which I elected to not use. One thing I did find out was that if sawdust was allowed to accumulate between the blade access door and the blade shroud, it prevented the door from closing properly and contacting the microswitch which allowed the saw to run. IMG_20141105_162258788-001 The saw came with a mitre gauge which could be clamped to the sliding table. I always preferred to use the larger crosscut fence and the only time that I used the mitre gauge was if I had removed the outrigger for some reason. This wasn’t really a negative, just a “do I really need this?” accessory.

Modifications and Additions

When the saw arrived in my shop, I couldn’t figure out how to lower the riving knife below the crown of the blade, so I ground some metal off of the back top of the riving knife to allow me to perform non-through cuts. IMG_20141105_161345724 My shop was quite narrow, and the crosscut fence was long, with an extension to allow even wider crosscuts. I decided to cut the aluminum crosscut fence to end where the outrigger ends. When I needed to make cuts between 37 and 74 inches, I could use the extension. (When I cut off the end of the crosscut fence, I also removed the tapped hole for the knob that locks the extension in place, so I needed to drill and tap another hole.) IMG_20141106_111233965 The extension came with a ramped stock support, but since I never cut stock long or flimsy enough to warrant it, I removed it. IMG_20141106_111325957 The crosscut fence was secured to the outrigger with a long, threaded bolt and was tedious to wind in and out when I wanted to install or remove the fence. I solved that by making a simple locking device with a lever-action clamp that fit into a T-slot in the bottom of the crosscut fence. IMG_20141105_161251418 I was glad that I bought a cam-action hold down with the saw. The saw didn’t come with the hold down and they were not sold separately. However, the hold down was included with another saw which has the same size T-slots (1-1/4 x 1/2 inch) so I ordered all the parts and assembled it myself. It wan’t cheap, but it sure was worth the price! IMG_20141106_115049828 Additional resources about this saw are provided in the links below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to submit it in the comments box at the bottom of this article.

Related Articles From My Blog:

Wire-Brushed Picture Frame, Session 1

On a sunny day in May, I found myself strolling along the pier at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park.  Looking across the Eastern-most point of the Burrard Inlet, (part of the Pacific Ocean), I saw a guitarist standing on a rock as gentle waves lapped against it.  I took a picture.

Most pictures that I have taken remained in digital form, but I kept coming back to this one and thinking that I should print and frame it.  I had the image printed and bought a mat for it.  I could have bought a frame too, but I wasn’t happy with the quality of the frames I saw for under $50 and didn’t like the style of any of the frames available.

What to do…

FlairWoodworks I need to make a frame for a newly acquired piece of art. Matted, it measures 11″ x 14″. Follow along as I design and build it! #flairww -2:38 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is the picture I am framing. I don’t want the frame to distract from the picture. #flairww -2:44 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m thinking of a dark, rustic wooden frame. I like the effect that wirebrushing creates. #flairww -2:44 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

StillerDesigns @FlairWoodworks ooo you have lots of choices to make :0) -2:45 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks For a successful wire-brushing effect, I need a wood with different hardnesses of early and late wood. Fir and cedar are suitable examples. #flairww -2:46 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Indeed I do! #flairww RT @StillerDesigns: @FlairWoodworksooo you have lots of choices to make :0) -2:46 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks I like that idea; going to burn the soft grain? #flairww -2:47 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have not used a torch in the past, but may try. RT@HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks I like that idea; going to burn the soft grain? #flairww -2:47 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m on the hunt for some appropriate materials… some small, tight knots would be nice. #flairww -2:48 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

@StillerDesigns @FlairWoodworks once you’ve wirebrushed & burned you could lime it :0) -2:50 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Lime would make it white, right? #flairww RT @StillerDesigns @FlairWoodworks once you’ve wirebrushed & burned you could lime it :0) -2:50 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks That picture might look good using driftwood stock for the frame #flairww -2:51 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

StillerDesigns not necessarily, lime is not only white,can be other colours too :0) -2:52 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a good idea too. RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks That picture might look good using driftwood stock for the frame #flairww -2:51 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks All the limes I have are green ;) #flairww RT @StillerDesigns: not necessarily, lime is not only white,can be other colours too :0) -2:52 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks wahoo margarita tuesdays! #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Not many small pieces of fir around…#flairww -2:56 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

StillerDesigns @FlairWoodworks have fun with your frame :0) 2:57 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks These are too big as well. They’re also for an upcoming commission. #flairww -2:57 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks ooh, is that for the castle? #flairww -2:57 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This piece is about the right size, but no fine knots which I’d like. #flairww -2:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Loft bed, actually :) #flairww RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks ooh, is that for the castle? #flairww -2:59 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, I will! #flairww RT @StillerDesigns: @FlairWoodworks have fun with your frame :0) -2:59 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s harder that I thought it would be to find appropriate materials. I’ll go check the garage. #flairww -3:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just found a great piece of old (hard and dense) fir right next to my computer. #flairww -3:06 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Nice gradient of ring spacing. Much better suited to a frame than a mousepad #flairww -3:07 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Mousepad? RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks Nice gradient of ring spacing. Much better suited to a frame than a mousepad #flairww -3:07 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to mill a 1/4″ wide by 1/2″ deep rabbet into the inside edge of the frame for the picture. The stock is 3/4″ x 2-3/8″. #flairww-3:08 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The stock is too wide for the frame. I’ll mill the rabbet first, then cut it to width. It’s safer that way. #flairww -3:09 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Using the 3/4″-thick stock as a guide, I set the blade approximately 1/2″ high. #flairww -3:16 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The blade is 1/8″-wide so I estimated that width between the blade and the fence for 1/4″. #flairww -3:18 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first cut is done. #flairww -3:20 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I readjusted the saw and made the second cut to finish the rabbet. Notice that the offcut is not between the blade and fence. #flairww -3:23 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks For one rabbet, I find it quicker to tune up with a shoulder plane than get it perfect with the table saw. #flairww -3:30 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… how wide should I make the frame? #flairww -3:32 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think this width looks about right. It’s a little over 7/8″. #flairww -3:35 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks To the table saw! #flairww -3:35 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t know the last time I cut mitres and I hardly ever use my mitre saw. Today I’m doing both. #flairww -3:41 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I took my time with the mitres, ensuring that the opposite pieces matched in length. #flairww -3:56 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks nice. -4:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Dyami! #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworksnice. -4:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks To reinforce the mitres, I’m going to use a 4mm Domino as a spline. #flairww -4:06 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a corner clamp to hold the pieces together while I make the cut for the Domino spline. #flairww -4:08 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks With the 4mm bit installed, I checked to see if further jigging was required for a safe and accurate cut.  I felt comfortable making the cut without any extra preparation. #flairww -4:12 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks One cut done; three to go! The splines add strength and make alignment easier when I glue up the frame. #flairww-4:18 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

dacaddes @FlairWoodworks Isn’t the grain going the wrong way in the spline for strength? -4:18 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yes, but it’s strong enough for this. #flairww RT @dacaddes: @FlairWoodworks Isn’t the grain going the wrong way in the spline for strength? -4:20 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @dacaddes I suppose that if I wanted, I could cut the tenons to make them fit in sideways so the grain runs across the joint. #flairww -4:21 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks There are ribs on the sides of the Domino tenons that I removed with a block plane to ease assembly. #flairww-4:32 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

josh_ulloa @FlairWoodworks Cool idea, would’ve never thought to do that. -4:27 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Did you see @dacaddes comment on grain direction? #flairww RT @josh_ulloa: @FlairWoodworks Cool idea, would’ve never thought to do that. -4:33 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before assembling the frame, I’m going to wire-brush the parts so I don’t have to deal with cross-grain situations. #flairww -4:35 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Outside, I charred one face of a scrap with a propane torch. Now I’ll work it with a wire brush. #flairww -4:43 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The same texture is achievable with or without the torch, but more work is needed for the untorched face. #flairww-4:47 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The untorched face required 30 brush strokes while the torched face required only 3. I like the colour of the torched face too. #flairww-4:47 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The test piece was very long so it was easy to hold while I burned one end. The actual pieces are not so easy to safely burn. #flairww -4:50 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks the torched face looks sweet! I’ve never heard of that technique! -4:56 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

josh_ulloa @FlairWoodworks @dacaddes For a frame of that size is strength really a concern? -4:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I laid the frame pieces across steel angle and torched them there. #flairww -5:04 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve heard of it but never used it. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster the torched face looks sweet! I’ve never heard of that technique! -5:05 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @josh_ulloa @dacaddes For this frame, the strength doesn’t really matter, but for a larger application, it’s may be an issue. #flairww -5:07 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks While burning/charring the wood, it momentarily caught fire several times but went out on its own almost immediately. #flairww -5:08 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks only used for Doug fir? -5:11 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster You could use this technique for any wood that has a density difference between the early and late wood. #flairww -5:13 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The coarseness of the grain makes the wood prone to splintering. I don’t mind the look though. #flairww -5:18 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to prefinish the part before assembly because glue removal on unfinished textured areas will not be fun. #flairww -5:20 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied a Dark Walnut aniline dye to the test piece. I like it so I’ll do the same to the frame. #flairww -5:24 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The alcohol-based dye dries very quickly so I’ll be able to apply a clearcoat soon. #flairww -5:34 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

kring_l @FlairWoodworks always a source of inspiration, I need to make a frame for a picture my brother got me. Now what do I have to use? -5:31 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Why do I have so many gloss and semi-gloss products in my finishing cabinet? #flairww -5:36 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve sprayed on the first coat of finish (satin polyurethane). One more should be enough. #flairww -5:44 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just applied the second coat. I’ll let it dry, then assemble the frame later tonight. #flairww -5:55 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks is the top of your dewalt planer the spray Booth? -5:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks You betcha! Added value! #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks is the top of your dewalt planer the spray Booth? -5:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the frame dry-fitted with a band clamp. All looks good so I’ll take it apart and apply the glue. #flairww -9:05 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The frame is assembled with glue and the Domino splines inserted. Work here is done for now. #flairww -9:18 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks When the glue is dry I’ll cut the splines flush and install the picture. #flairww -9:19 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Would you use glass in front of the picture? I found this thread and the answers are surprising. #flairww -9:23 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Looks good. I like using domino splines – they’re super-strong! #flairww -9:39 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan Yes, even though I installed them with the grain not running across the joint, they’ll be plenty strong. #flairww -9:40 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

josh_ulloa @FlairWoodworks I’ve used lexan from the home center and been happy with it. Crystal clear after several years. -9:44 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks We have a very large print with glass in front. If I use a mat, I prefer glass for clarity. If not, plexi is fine. -9:46 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @josh_ulloa Glad to hear it! #flairww -10:22 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan Hmm. Interesting. For a piece of glass this small (11″ x 14″), weight is definitely a non-issue. #flairww -10:23 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan And yes, I am using a mat. #flairww -10:25 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks I find the further the plexiglass is from the actual picture, the foggier it looks. Much clearer with real glass. #flairww -10:56 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan I’m very new to picture framing but have done a little reading. I was planning to put everything in a tight stack. #flairww -10:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan The picture is a photograph and not a highly-valuable piece of art. #flairww -10:58 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan What would you recommend that I use? 1/16″ non-glare glass? #flairww -11:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Our print is 48″x36″ with 3 mats & is numbered print of this [below].  We had it framed professionally. #flairww-11:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks How many mats? More than 1, I stay away from non-glare glass. #flairww -11:02 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan There are two layers to the mat. That’s what you were asking, right? #flairww -11:04 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Yes. I think 1/16″ glass is good, but I don’t like non-glare that far from picture – looks slightly foggy #flairww -11:05 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan So go with standard glass and I prevent glare by hanging it in the right place with proper lighting, right? #flairww -11:06 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Yessir! #flairww -11:07 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan Maybe I’ll use lots of mats and non-glare gloss for a picture of a foggy day :) #flairww -11:07 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Hah! Great idea :) #flairww -11:09 PM Jul 3rd, 2012

Between now and Session 2, I need to decide which type of glass (or acrylic) I want to use and purchase that.  See you next time!

Have a comment?  Can you think of any other species of wood other than fir and cedar which would work well for the wire-brushing technique?  Share it in the comments section!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session; and
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks It’ll be a short session today – I just want to get the feet glued onto the legs. #flairww -12:55 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But first I want to cut the reliefs in the underside of the feet. #flairww -12:56 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I set up a straight bit in my router table and marked start and stop lines on the fence. #flairww -1:12 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This bit is not as long as the material is thick so I will finish the cut-out with a flush-trim bit. #flairww -1:17 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The profile cut of each foot is done so I’ll switch bits now. #flairww -1:20 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ready to rout! The Triton router makes bit changes very simple. #flairww  -1:24 PM May 16th, 2012

TheBoisShop @FlairWoodworks Love that router. I’ve got two of them myself. -1:29 PM May 16th, 2012

Bryigdocious @FlairWoodworks hah, thats a ghetto router table! -1:39 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unlike many woodworkers, I am more comfortable using hand-held routers than table-mounted routers. #flairww -1:40 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’m tuning the tenon shoulders for a tight fit between the foot and leg. #flairww -1:42 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This foot is ready to be glued. #flairww -1:45 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This foot gets really tight here. #flairww -1:49 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve tuned the tightness of the joint. Now I need to tune the shoulders. #flairww -1:52 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I start by flattening the top face of the foot. #flairww -1:56 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Sometimes reestablishing flat surfaces is all that is required! #flairww  -1:58 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One end of this foot still shows the saw marks from when it was milled. #flairww -2:00 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I am going to taper the sides of the feet slightly from the mortise towards the narrow end. #flairww -2:12 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could use the bandsaw but the tablesaw makes the cut easier to repeat for the other foot. #flairww -2:13 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tablesaw doesn’t quite have enough capacity to complete the cut. I’ll use a handplane to finish. #flairww -2:17 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a chisel to remove the bulk of the waste before using a block plane to bring it flush. #flairww -2:23 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One final dry fit with clamps before breaking out the glue. #flairww -2:25 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first glue-up was easy. #flairww -2:34 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I drove in the wedges with alternating taps from my small steel hammer until I heard they were fully seated. #flairww -2:46 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s all for now! #flairww -2:49 PM May 16th, 2012

 With the base fully assembled, sculpting comes next!  What do you think of the project so far?  Let me know!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL); and
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop at 11am sharp! Should I tackle this stretcher issue? #flairww -11:00 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I realized this morning that I’d made an error in laying out the angle of the legs. #flairww -11:23 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I had laid out the angle of the leg so that it would be centred at the bottom of the foot, not the top where it enters. #flairww -11:24 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks However, this means that the leg leans even more and does not make it any easier to join the stretcher. #flairww -11:25 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is turning into a mental challenge. Thankfully it does not involve numbers like @HalfInchShy’s project#flairww-11:27 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here, the centre of the leg where it enters the foot is centred over its position on the batten. #flairww -11:33 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I spent an hour on the phone with my partner @GarthTW2 discussing some new products we’re planning. Back to the table now. #flairww-12:31 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The shaded area represents the space that would be occupied by the wide end of the stretcher. #flairww -12:47 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The other end is much smaller and should not be a problem. #flairww -12:47 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Of course, I’ll cut tenons on the stretcher so that I don’t need to remove so much material from the leg. #flairww -12:48 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m confident that this angle for the legs will work so I’m going to go make the cut. Again, I’ll use my sliding table saw. #flairww -12:55 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m ready to make the cut. The slider guarantees the cuts will be in a straight line. #flairww -1:00 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the completed cut. I will cut the other end later. #flairww -1:01 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks While I’m thinking about what to do next for this leg, I’ll lay out and cut the angle of the other leg. #flairww -1:06 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks By the way, I’m making this table 43″ tall. #flairww -1:09 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks No I’m not. I’m making the table 29″ tall. I just wanted to see if anybody was paying attention. #flairww -1:10 PM May 2nd, 2012

LornaBourke @FlairWoodworks Chris, I’m following but I didn’t catch the start so I didn’t know how tall the table is #youarenotalone #flairww -1:15 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @LornaBourke Well, 43″ would be a very tall table. It would be unusual to say the least. Thanks for following! #flairww -1:17 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Both legs are now cut! #flairww -1:19 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I had left one part of the leg thicker to allow some sculpting, but it’s a problem now. #flairww -1:22 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks PS: Like my workbench? Working on the ground, Japanese-style. #flairww -1:22 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before planing the face, I wrapped the layout lines over to the edges to preserve them. #flairww -1:26 PM May 2nd, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks 29″ high is what my current dining table project is going to be also. -1:28 PM May 2nd, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks I spend half my time working on the ground! It saves picking stuff up.. ;-) -1:30 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t like it so far. #flairww RT @luggermatt:@FlairWoodworks I spend half my time working on the ground! It saves picking stuff up.. ;-) -1:32 PM May 2nd, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks When the timber you’re working with is 15ft lengths of 2″x8″ oak it’s easier. Move the machine to it too ;-) -1:32 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @luggermatt Well, yeah. -1:32 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks There – it’s leveled. Not my idea of fun… #flairww -1:42 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I need to re-establish my layout lines. #flairww -1:43 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m working on how to position the stretcher. Here, the midpoint of each end is at the same height. #flairww -1:59 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Note that about 10″ will be cut off of the left side. #flairww -1:59 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m standing back and having a drink of water while I analyze the stretcher’s positioning. Should I make one end higher? #flairww -2:00 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have longer and shorter levels but the 2′ level gets the most use. An 18″ level might be nice. #flairww -2:04 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve decided to go forwards with the balanced positioning of the stretcher. I used the level to mark plumb lines on each end. #flairww -2:05 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks If my shop were wide enough, I could crosscut the stretcher with my sliding table saw. #flairww -2:09 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since my shop is not that wide, my options include my compound mitre saw, jigsaw, or handsaw. #flairww -2:09 PM May 2nd, 2012

BourbonCremeBot RT @FlairWoodworks I sure could use a Bourbon Creme about now #flairww -2:14 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m opting to use the jigsaw. I clamped a piece of plywood to the top of the stretcher. #flairww -2:21 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The plywood provides a smooth, even surface on which the jigsaw can ride without getting caught. #flairww -2:22 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The trouble with non-flat stock is that it always wants to move. You have to secure it really well. #flairww -2:23 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well, that certainly wasn’t the best cut I’ve ever done. But it’s good enough since it will be trimmed later. #flairww -2:27 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks So… how do I cut parallel tenons on either end of a long, non-flat, curved, stretcher? #flairww -2:29 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I know I can figure out a way to cut the tenons, but if you have an idea, I’m listening! #flairww -2:30 PM May 2nd, 2012

msnodgrass2 @FlairWoodworks would snapping chalk lines help? I didn’t see the stretcher -2:33 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think so. #flairww RT@msnodgrass2: @FlairWoodworks would snapping chalk lines help? I didn’t see the stretcher -2:34 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @msnodgrass2 It’s more the general wonkiness, rather than the curve that makes it difficult. #flairww -2:35 PM May 2nd, 2012

kring_l @FlairWoodworks long semi flexible strait edge for the face but not sure 4 the ends -2:36 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Would that make it semi-straight? #flairww RT @kring_l:@FlairWoodworks long semi flexible strait edge for the face but not sure 4 the ends -2:38 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The positioning of my saw horses indicates that my shop may be a little crowded. #flairww -2:39 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks My winding sticks show the twist in the stretcher from one end to the other. #flairww -2:43 PM May 2nd, 2012

kring_l @flairwoodworks no the edge stays strait the face can bow I use a 4 foot aluminum ruler type strait edge -2:45 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Gotcha. #flairww RT @kring_l: no the edge stays strait the face can bow I use a 4 foot aluminum ruler type strait edge -2:45 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I realized that the twist could help me if it twisted in the right direction. But it doesn’t. #flairww -2:49 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using the short fence on my table saw to crosscut parts for my tenoning jig to a consistent length. #flairww -2:59 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve marked the direction of grain runout on the jig parts. In this direction, the wood planes cleanly. #flairww -3:04 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I like to assemble my jigs with screws so I can later take them apart and reuse the parts. #flairww -3:19 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks (Have you ever seen an uglier jig?) #flairww -3:19 PM May 2nd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks That doesn’t look bad at all! Put a flair mark on it :) #flairww -3:23 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yuk yuk yuk! RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks That doesn’t look bad at all! Put a flair mark on it :) #flairww -3:23 PM May 2nd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks The one from the Ceros demo #flairww -3:24 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I jointed the edge of the jig square to the face. The jig is now done. #flairww -3:24 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I don’t follow… #flairww -3:24 PM May 2nd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks In ur Ceros sanding demo, u made a flair mark to be sanded; add 2 here to make it moe betta (asymmetrical of course #flairww -3:25 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Good call. It looks much better now. #flairww -3:28 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks With the jig clamped to the stretcher, I now have parallel reference surfaces on each side. #flairww -3:29 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay – lunch time! #flairww -3:30 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Darn it… somebody tracked sawdust into the house again. Hey – don’t look at me! #flairww -3:33 PM May 2nd, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks my 24″ level sees the most time too. -4:33 PM May 2nd, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks mark 1 w/ a level. Go across w/ a straight edge, adjust height as desired & level the 2nd one. -4:40 PM May 2nd, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Bet you could go for some Bourbon Cream right about now… #flairww -4:46 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop and I’ll set up to rout the first tenon. #Woodchat starts in 20 minutes. #flairww -5:40 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks There is no way I’ll be able to rout the full length of the tenons without a wider router baseplate. #flairww -5:45 PM May 2nd, 2012

bourboncreambot RT @HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Bet you could go for some Bourbon Cream right about now… #flairww -5:46 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Rather than make an offset router baseplate, I’m going to use a router attached to a table insert. #flairww -5:48 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s right, @HalfInchShy – I don’t mess around! #flairww -5:48 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the jig set up and router bit installed. Next, I need to figure out how deep to set the bit. #flairww -5:56 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks How do these proportions look? When dealing with large tenons, I leave the tenon a bit thicker than 1/3. #flairww -6:01 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for #woodchat. Feel free to join in on Twitter! I’ll resume the project in one hour. #flairww -6:01 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ok, #woodchat crew. I need to go rout some tenons with my inverted router table. #flairww -6:59 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I did what I could with my routers (more router frustrations). I’ll do the rest by hand. #flairww -7:37 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks You want a challenge? Clamp this stretcher solidly! #flairww -8:00 PM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll finish fine-tuning the first tenon after dinner. #flairww -8:05 PM May 2nd, 2012

Hey – the next day is “after dinner” too.

While you’re waiting for me to return from my dinner break, please leave a comment.

Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw

In Session 6 of the ongoing Maple Trestle Table build, I needed to cut two stretchers from a slab of maple and my sliding table saw was the best tool for the job.  Note that I used a riving knife for every cut.

Crosscut Fence

I first crosscut the slab to length using the crosscut fence and outrigger for support.  The crosscut fence, which was much longer and more solid than a mitre gauge, was secured to the outrigger and sliding table.  The workpiece sat directly on the outrigger and sliding table so I didn’t lose any depth of cut.  Together, the slab, sliding table, outrigger and crosscut fence glided past the blade on ball bearings.

Straight-Line Ripping

Once the stock was cut to length, I turned it length-wise to rip one edge straight.  I butted one end against the back of the crosscut fence and positioned a cam-action hold-down at the other end.  I positioned the workpiece where I thought it needed to be to rip a clean, straight edge (I could have also measured to be more accurate).  Then I secured the slab with the hold-down and pushed the sliding table and slab through the blade.  Because the slab wasn’t perfectly flat, I also applied downward pressure to the forward end.

Short Fence

With one straight edge established, I then needed to rip two pieces of the same width.  I positioned the rip fence the appropriate distance from the blade and retracted the fence to the short fence position.  In this position, the fence terminated where (or slightly before) the stock was parted by the blade.  This way, the material was never trapped between the blade and fence which could cause burning, binding, and/or kickback.

I recorded the whole process, including set-up, in this video.  (Duration – 6:11)

Thanks for reading!  I would appreciate it if you left a comment.

Maple Slab Build, Session 2

Friday night, I went to down the shop because I wanted to build something.  I started with a small slab of Western maple and designed the piece on the fly.  I documented the build live on Twitter and what you see below are the updates from the second session (see what I did in the first session here).  This was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Back at it looking for materials for the table’s base. I like how this piece splits and rejoins. #flairww -1:04 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need my sawhorses, but unfortunately, they’re being used to hold some special maple. A little help? #flairww -1:07 PM Apr 7th, 2012

ChrisHasFlair I create. Follow along with #flairww. -1:09 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s another angle of the split. It is connected at both ends.#flairww -1:10 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unfortunately, this fantastic piece with the split is a few inches wider than the top. That won’t do. #flairww -1:14 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could skew the legs a bit so that their width fits completely under the top, but I’m not sure I like that idea. #flairww -1:15 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could also just have the legs stick out beyond the edges of the table top but I don’t like that idea. #flairww -1:15 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’m thinking about a very simple, clean stick-form base. Think Krenov cabinet stand. #flairww. -1:17 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here are some of my choices for base materials. The bottom piece is live-edge maple, the rest are birch. #flairww -1:33 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have to start thinking about how high I want this table to be. (I still think it’s going to be a table.) #flairww -1:34 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I like the contrast provided by the two boards on the right. However, the far right board has too much figure for legs. #flairww -1:40 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I mark the areas on both sides that are unacceptable. That helps me realize how much material I really have. #flairww -1:47 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks From the board, I milled these four pieces. They are about 1-1/4″ square (the size doesn’t really matter). #flairww -2:12 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks From these four pieces, I will cut 4 legs, 2 short stretchers and 1 long stretcher. Or maybe 4 legs and 4 short stretchers. #flairww -2:13 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Is anybody following along right now? #flairww -2:14 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Huh. Upon closer examination, I can get 4 legs, 4 short stretchers and 1 long stretcher! #flairww -2:16 PM Apr 7th, 2012

sharpendwood Yep! RT @FlairWoodworks Is anybody following along right now? #flairww -2:22 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My next step is to determine what I will use for joinery.#flairww -2:22 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Awesome! What are your thougths so far? RT@sharpendwood: Yep! RT @FlairWoodworks Is anybody following along right now? #flairww -2:23 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Have you ever had your planer leave a high spot? I haven’t until now! #flairww -2:26 PM Apr 7th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks let the split dictate the shape.. play off of that -2:25 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I decided that piece wasn’t suitable for this table. It deserves to be the centerpiece, not just a set of legs. #flairww -2:27 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks 18″ is the standard height for a coffee table. Should I follow that rule? #flairww -2:31 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Excuse me while I go sit on the couch and ponder that last question. #flairww #WorkIsTough -2:32 PM Apr 7th, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks Liking it. Are you adding any curves to the legs? -2:32 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @sharpendwood So far they are straight. I’ll do all the joinery while they’re straight, but once assembled I can go crazy. #flairww -2:33 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Couches are getting taller and taller. 18″ seems a little low so I’m going to make my table 20″ high. Or should I make it 21″ high? #flairww-2:35 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The top’s just over 2″ thick so I’m going to cut the legs 19″ long. I can always recut them later. #flairww -2:37 PM Apr 7th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks domino for joinery :) #flairww -2:42 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Rift-sawn material is ideal for legs because it exhibits vertical grain on all four sides. #flairww -2:42 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You read my mind! Yes, I’ll be using 10mm x 50mm Dominoes for joinery. RT @Morton@FlairWoodworks domino for joinery :)#flairww -2:43 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before I get to joinery, I need to cut the short stretchers. One end of the table is 9-1/2″ wide, the other 11″. #flairww -2:45 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a short fence as a stop to accurately cut the stretches to length. (I’ve never liked mitre gauges!) #flairww -2:53 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m trying to figure out how to register the Domino to cut joinery on 1-1/4″ square stock. Wish I had these: #flairww -3:02 PM Apr 7th, 2012

ChrisHasFlair I think I’ll just use pencil marks and line it up manually. Unless someone has a better idea… #flairww -3:03 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s my test piece with two 8mm mortises 25mm deep. I readjusted to have the mortises better centered. #flairww -3:13 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It is difficult to balance the Domino joiner on a single leg so I use the others for additional support. #flairww -3:33 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I checked that had cut all the lower mortises before adjusting the Domino Joiner to cut the upper mortises. #flairww -3:40 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Clear the bench for a glue-up! #flairww -3:50 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One side glued up… #flairww -4:03 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Both glue-ups are done. Now I need to get ready to go to dinner. I might be back in the shop tonight. #flairww -4:10 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m actually going for dinner with my friend, Dave, who milled the wood so I thought I should get a picture. #flairww -4:22 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The stretcher would at least be cut shorter. Or I may use something completely different for the stretcher. Or make it a shelf. #flairww-4:23 PM Apr 7th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Do something different. Use a bent or live-edge piece, vertical or horizontal. Keep it fun!-5:17 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop fitting the legs. I used a pencil to transfer the shape of the top to the legs. #flairww -10:52 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A bevel along the top edge of the leg assemblies disguises any minor variances. #flairww -11:34 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I should have drilled this hole with the drill press before assembly. It would have been easier. #flairww -11:40 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The manual countersink doesn’t work as quickly or as well as a drill-powered one, but I still like using it. #flairww -11:46 PM Apr 7th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m not quite happy with this stretcher. It feels lacking. It’s the last component (and therefore the next step) so now I must think. #flairww -12:44 AM Apr 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… this has potential. It’s a form I used to laminate curved arms for a Morris chair I built in grade 11. #flairww -12:56 AM Apr 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here is the stretcher I’ve started. Tomorrow, I’ll pillow the ends and install it. #flairww -1:19 AM Apr 8th, 2012

Sc0FF @FlairWoodworks did you fill the check in the top or is the picture playing tricks on me? #flairww -5:14 AM Apr 8th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks looking good. The pics make it look tall. You said 21″ right? Looks like 36″ in the pics -5:32 AM Apr 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks No, it’s just the picture. RT @Sc0FF@FlairWoodworks did you fill the check in the top or is the picture playing tricks on me? #flairww -10:24 AM Apr 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yes, 21″ tall. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks looking good. The pics make it look tall. You said 21″ right? Looks like 36″ in the pics-10:25 AM Apr 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A great comment on the tabletop: http://t.co/R8aIJx7k#flairww -12:00 PM Apr 8th, 2012

Session 3 starts with shaping of the stretcher.

Flat-Top Ripping Blade is King

Freud’s 24-tooth Heavy Duty Rip Blade (LM72M010) is what is installed in my table saw 90% of the time.  The blade has 24 teeth 0.126″ wide, ground flat on the top and pitched forwards at 20 degrees.  These characteristics make it the most versatile and most used saw blade in my shop.

Heavy Duty Rip Blade - Technical Specifications (from FreudTools.com) K= Kerf; P= Plate Thickness

As you would expect, this blade excels at ripping.  The 20-degree forward (positive) hook angle makes feeding stock past the blade easier and the blade leaves two clean surfaces requiring little, if any, further clean-up.  This blade also does a formidable job with cross-cuts too, especially when freshly sharpened.  (When I need a super-clean crosscut, I take the time to switch to a dedicated crosscut blade.)

For a 10″ circular saw, 24 teeth is not very many (they may have as few as four or as many as 90).  Having few teeth allows quicker, more aggressive cutting.  The trade-off is that the blade will tend to leave a rougher cut than a blade with more teeth.  In some cases, using a slower feed rate increases the quality of cut.  In other cases it only causes burning.

Freud Heavy Duty Rip Blade

The flat-top blade is useful for joinery.  Non-through cuts have square shoulders and flat bottoms, making cleanup unnecessary.  The blade has a regular kerf that is 0.126″ wide, just a little over 1/8″ (1/8″=0.125″).  This is 20% thicker than a thin-kerf blade which typically removes 3/32″ (0.09375″).  While a thicker kerf means it turns more wood into sawdust and requires more power to spin, it also means that only three passes are required to cut a 3/8″ wide groove versus four with a thin-kerf blade.

In addition to making joinery more convenient to cut, set-up is also quicker and easier.  Because each tooth is the same, the top or edge of any tooth can be referenced for accurate set-ups.  Another benefit to the tooth shape, which distributes the cutting duty over a wider surface, is that the teeth are also very durable and as a result, I need to have the blade sharpened less often.

There is a lot more information on saw blades on the Carbide Processors Inc. website.

My Tall Workbench with Flair

This bench was inspired after the Joinery Bench that Shannon Rogers brought to Woodworking in America.  It was intended to simply be a taller workbench and I honestly did not know how useful I would find it (ask me in half a year).

This small bench was built taller than normal (39.5″) to allow joinery to be cut at a more comfortable height – no more bending over to see your scribe lines.  I built the base using drawbored mortise and tenon joinery.  The bench was made of Western maple.

Tall Workbench Assembled

All the joints were drawbored mortise and tenons.  I used my drill press and chisels to cut the mortises and cut the tenons with my bandsaw and tuned them with my shoulder plane and chisels.

Mortise and Tenon

In this video, I demonstrated how I shaped and installed drawbore pegs while discussing why drawbored mortise and tenon joints are effective.  Listen how the sound changes as the peg encounters the offset hole in the stretcher’s tenon.  (Duration:  1:27.)

To keep the build simple, I only did what was necessary.  The faces of the legs were left rough-sawn and the back of the bench top still bears a live edge.  The bench top was attached to the base with four lag bolts in oversized holes to allow for expansion.  No glue was used.

In this second video, I showed how I used my sliding table saw to straighten one edge, then crosscut the two adjacent edges square.  (Duration:  3:09.)

The bench itself required 13 hours to construct and the Moxon Vise with Flair required another two hours.

Tall Workbench

What do you think of my 13-hour Tall Workbench with Flair?

Quite a few other bloggers are documenting (or have documented) the building of their workbenches.  You can read about their benches by following these links:

(If I have missed your bench build, please leave a link in the comments section.)