Overflow XX

This is a nice, lightweight fret saw with a 12″-deep throat for increased cutting capacity. It is a German-made saw and can be purchased new from Lee Valley Tools Ltd.

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A pair of thumbscrews secure the standard 5″ pin-less blades which are tensioned by the lightweight frame.

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Overall, I do like this saw, but not as much as my fantastic Knew Concepts saws.

If you would like this saw, please leave a comment below with a brief description of the first project you would like to make with it. You may enter until the end of Thursday, January 22. I will then draw a winner at random. Even if you don’t get this saw, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new! Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

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:

Overflow, Part XVIII

A number of months ago, a fellow brought me a boxful of old tools and said that he just wanted them to go to good homes where they would be appreciated. In the box were these three saw sets.

(A) Stanley Pistol Grip Saw Set

Despite the worn paint, this saw set works smoothly and has an anvil that can be adjusted from 4-10.

 (B) Swedish Saw Set

This made-in-Sweden saw set operates with a pliers-like movement. An adjustable stop slides up and down to regulate the amount of tooth that gets set.

(C) Taintor Saw Set

This saw set is a pistol-grip design. A rotating anvil allows the user to set it for different sizes of teeth. The handles do not open on their own; I suspect that the spring is simply missing.

If you would like one of these saw sets, please leave a comment below indicating which one you would like (or that you’d be happy with any) by July 11. I will then draw a winner at random. Even if you don’t get one of these items, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new! Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Cutting Joinery for V-Table

You might remember this table design I developed in January.  Last weekend, while at the Skills Canada National Competition, I showed it to some of the cabinetmakers overseeing the event and they were very impressed with the design.

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I counted twelve intersections in the centre and one really big headache.

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I figured that I could actually make the table base if I broke it down into four quarters as seen from above.  Then, I separated each section into six components, each with at least one intricate bit of angled joinery.  The joinery for the first four components took me about five hours to lay out and cut.

In this time-lapse video (duration – 1:55), I laid out and cut the joints for the remaining two parts of the first quarter.  Since I was not ready to apply glue but wanted to see it together, I used masking tape to assemble it.  I spent about 45 minutes laying out the joinery and about 5 minutes making the cuts.

Practice and Experimentation with Joinery

During Artwalk, I showed my work in Gallery Bistro (2411 Clarke Street) with three other artists:  Bronwen BelenkieClive Tucker and Mandara Lebovitz.  Our exhibition will continue through April 28th. The gallery is open 10am-3pm Tuesday through Sunday.

Last week, I spent three days at Lee Valley Tools Ltd. demonstrating joinery techniques.  I took the opportunity to hone my skills and try some new ideas.

The first joint I cut was a through dovetail.  I cut both the pins and tails over-length, then rounded their edges.  I was using a Japanese dovetail chisel that had sides ground so that they came to a point on the top of the chisel.  That point left marks as I used the tool bevel-down to sculpt the joint – something that I hadn’t foreseen.

Sculpted Dovetail

Next, I cut a half-lap joint.  These joints were really simple to make – I just placed one piece on the other, marked its position with a knife, then removed the waste between the lines to a depth equal to half the stock’s thickness.  Then I repeated the process for the other part.  I made the angled joint to demonstrate that when using hand tools, it was just as simple to work with angles – the process is the same.

Cross Lap Joints

After having warmed up with the easy joints, I tried some more advanced joinery.  For my next performance, I started by cutting a blind mortise, leaving 1/4″ of material at the bottom of the mortise.  Then I laid out and cut a design at the bottom of the mortise using a fret saw.

Wish Mortise

I cut and fit the tenon, then inserted it into the mortise as far as it could go.  I then used a pencil to trace the shape of the letters onto the end of the tenon, then used a saw and chisels to carve out the letters.

Wish TenonThen I drove the tenon home and the letters slid through the end of the mortise.

Wish Assembled

WISH! was fun, challenging and different, but it still seemed too ordinary and not mind-boggling enough to satisfy me.  So my next joint was a twisted mortise and tenon.  I’ve had lots of practice making twisted legs so I decided to start by making the tenon, rather than the mortise as is more conventional.

Twisted Tenon

I then laid out the twisted mortise and cut it out with a fret saw.

Twisted Mortise

I adjusted the mortise with a narrow chisel, then scraped the tenon until it began to fit.

Twisted M&T Start

Once I got it started, it wasn’t long before I got the joint fully seated.  It’s a neat joint to handle.

Twisted M&T Assembled Out of ideas for crazy joinery, I turned to the books for a challenge and chose the intimidating full-blind dovetail.  This was my first attempt cutting it and it did not seem very difficult.  Layout, however, is fairly complicated and I mis-marked and made one mis-cut on the right piece – I removed material from the face of the pins, rather than the end of the pins.

Fill Blind Mitre Apart

One of the blessings, I realized, is that because it’s completely blind, you don’t see my miscut.  There is still lots of surface area in the joint so the strength is not compromised.

Full Blind Mitre Start

The fit is good and the joint closes with moderate pressure.

Full Blind Mitre

Lastly, I cut a finger joint using a Veritas dovetail saw.  Since the spacing is done by eye and each finger is equal to the kerf of the saw, no chisel work is required so it is a quick joint to cut, despite the fineness.

Saw Kerf Finger Joint

It was a fun way to spend a few days and a good opportunity to practice my skills with hand tools and try some new joinery.  I haven’t yet figured out where I can use the twisted tenon, but I’ll keep thinking.

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.

How to Listen to the Wood – Carving, Day 2

Sunday afternoon, I started a project with a board of butternut (I thought it was walnut at first).  The idea was to let the wood dictate the end result.  I documented the process of building and mounting wall brackets live on Twitter and what you see below are the updates from Day 2: Monday (you can read the first day of this project in How to Listen to the Wood – Carving, Day 1).  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, the @ symbol indicates a username.  Every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you will see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you will see is #, which serves as a category.  I tried to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks So this is where I left off yesterday. Follow along with #flairww  -12:24 PM Feb 13th, 2012 pic.twitter.com/8mmHxwDo FlairWoodworks In this tight area I’m able to hold the chisel like this and move it diagonally in the direction of the arrow. #flairww -12:55 PM Feb 13th, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks LOL .. hey, I see him now -12:25 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Working in restricted spaces is one of the biggest challenges. #flairww -12:50 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks This section is now shaped. #flairww -1:07 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks If a curve feels fair, it’s fair. I use my sense of touch to judge my progress. #flairww -1:12 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As I work on this carving, I feel the need to add some colour. What do you think? Paint? Dye? Stain? Nothing? #flairww -2:24 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks maybe a little darker or something to make the grain “pop” -2:28 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You think that’s all it needs? #flairww RT @asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks maybe a little darker or something to make the grain “pop” -2:35 PM Feb 13th, 2012

asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks yeah. I’m a fan of natural. The design looks great. -2:37 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Tim. #flairww RT @asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks yeah. I’m a fan of natural. The design looks great. -2:37 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have to figure out what to do about this crack which is about 3/4″ deep at the near end and gets shallower. #flairww -2:45 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I love textures. #flairww -2:50 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks This crack just won’t work. I’m going to cut it out and reassemble the two pieces. #flairww -3:04 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Here is the result of one cut on the bandsaw.#flairww -3:08 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I’m taking advantage of the easy access with the bottom removed and carving the otherwise restricted areas. #flairww -3:13 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks The trick with the ribbon is to make it look delicate without being delicate. I bevelled the ends. #flairww -3:24 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I use my thumb and finger to gauge the thickness. If it feels right, it’s right. #flairww -3:26 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because the ribbon is fragile, I used a piece of plywood to support it while carving the back. #flairww -3:55 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Good idea – the grain direction looks like it would make it even more fragile. #flairww What’s the project? -3:57 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan The project has been evolving since the get-go. Right now, it looks like a runner crossing the finish line. #flairww -3:59 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan I’m just carving and letting the piece lead the way. #flairww -4:00 PM Feb 13th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Cool! I’ve never tried that before (abstract isn’t my gift). -4:07 PM Feb 13th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When using a gouge across the grain, one side of the cut is always with the grain and the other side against. #flairww -4:15 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks When shaping convex surfaces, often a wide, flat chisel (and not a carving gouge) is the best tool. #flairww -4:16 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I removed most of the material from the back of the ribbon then glued the two pieces back together. #flairww -4:55 PM Feb 13th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I have to wait for the glue to cure, so It’s a good place to stop for the day. #flairww -4:58 PM Feb 13th, 2012

To be continued…

How to Listen to the Wood – Carving, Day 1

Sunday afternoon, I started a project with a board of butternut (I thought it was walnut at first).  The idea was to let the wood dictate the end result.  I documented the process of building and mounting wall brackets live on Twitter and what you see below are the updates from Sunday (the project wasn’t completed in one day and so there will be more to come).  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, the @ symbol indicates a username.  Every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you will see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you will see is #, which serves as a category.  I tried to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

“The inspiration for me was this irregular butternut board and a table by Jennifer Anderson called Pattern Study 1 but I was willing to listen to what the board I had on hand wanted me to do.  By the end of day one, it was clear that I was not making a table.”

Pattern Study 1 by Jennifer Anderson

FlairWoodworks I’ve got this walnut board that tapers in thickness and has a live edge. Follow my inspired process with #flairww -12:29 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I’ve surfaced one face which revealed long checks (cracks) on it. Cutting them out would be wasteful. #flairww -12:31 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks This is going to be a carving exercise to incorporate the checks into the design. There are no defects. #flairww -12:35 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I started by defining the edges with a V-gouge. #flairww -12:38 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I used a series of gouges to excavate between the V cuts. From left to right: 5/12, 7/10 and 9/10 gouges. #flairww -12:45 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks My 9/10 gouge is used extensively for roughing – much like a scrub plane. #flairww -12:58 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks Very cool…can’t wait to see the finished product of your inspiration. -12:59 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Same here! RT @WatkinsWoodWork: @FlairWoodworks Very cool…can’t wait to see the finished product of your inspiration. -1:00 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I had intended to have more cuts terminating in wide curves at the near edge but it’s already quite busy. #flairww -1:20 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Here’s my new plan. #flairww -1:24 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks This deep relief visually reduces the thickness of the board. I think I still need to go deeper though. #flairww -1:36 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks Yup…I agree. A bit more depth should give a nice flow. -1:39 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My 9/25 gouge is for when I’m serious about stock removal. My 9/10 is in the background. #flairww -1:39 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I think this looks awesome! Notice the shine on the carved surface. #flairww -1:46 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks This end is done for now. I think I need to make the other end scoops deeper now. #flairww -1:56 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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TomsWorkbench @FlairWoodworks Is this a new Br’all design? -1:58 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks No sir! RT @TomsWorkbench: @FlairWoodworks Is this a new Br’all design? #flairww -1:59 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Parts of this walnut are surprisingly hard! Sections feel like hard maple. #flairww -2:00 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m not really happy with this scoop. I want the curve to be steeper but don’t have the required thickness. #flairww -2:07 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks Very nice -2:20 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay – I’m back after getting a bite to eat. The carving is certainly lacking but I’m not sure what it needs. #flairww -3:17 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s coming along but I’m still trying to figure out where it’s going. #flairww -3:46 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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“At this point, I was not at all happy with how it was turning out.  To me, it looked like a board with one live edge, a big crack, and a whole bunch of random scoops taken out of it.  Yuck.  If I hadn’t been documenting the progress live on Twitter all along, I might have tossed it in the firewood box.  But I kept working on it, hoping that something would emerge.  Eventually something did emerge.”

FlairWoodworks I rounded over the shoulders of the cracks that I was unable to carve out. #flairww -3:57 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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cobwobbler @FlairWoodworks I like this process, letting the project evolve organically. -3:59 PM Feb 12th, 2012

cobwobbler @FlairWoodworks That’s looking good. How easy was it to cut? -4:01 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think enough people allow it to happen. RT @cobwobbler: @FlairWoodworks I like this process, letting the project evolve organically -4:02 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @cobwobbler Some parts are easy, some areas are harder and challenging. -4:02 PM Feb 12th, 2012

cobwobbler @FlairWoodworks Now it’s flowing like a river bed. Nice. -4:04 PM Feb 12th, 2012

cobwobbler @FlairWoodworks yes that works, it’s got a real flow and almost a sense of movement. -4:06 PM Feb 12th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks I like it. The check was distracting. -4:09 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a wide chisel, bevel-down, to extend the rounded corners. #flairww -4:09 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I like the part I just did but the rest looks lacking. I might use a saw to cut more “checks” into the board. #flairww -4:19 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Pay attention to the wood. This little knot is a signal that the grain may change direction. #flairww -4:26 PM Feb 12th, 2012

MichaelAgate @FlairWoodworks Chris, perhaps it is fine just like it is. Sometimes knowing where to stop is the challenge :) We all like it here :) -4:26 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MichaelAgate Thanks for the input, Michael and company. However, I feel it is not done yet. Onwards! #flairww -4:28 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I feel that I am on the right track. That’s good because it’s very difficult to undo carving ;) #flairww -4:33 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks looking good! Like all these little tips. -4:39 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was still looking too blocky so I went to the bandsaw and made a series of cuts. Now I’ll refine it with carving tools. #flairww -4:58 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For unrestricted access to the edge, I clamped a short 2×4 in my vise and clamped the workpiece to it. #flairww -5:04 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I’m really not happy with how uniform it looks. Time for some adjustments on the bandsaw. #flairww -5:09 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks When I come across an inconsistency like this I have to decide whether to incorporate or eliminate it. #flairww -5:19 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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HighRockWW @FlairWoodworks I like the looks of the rest that I can see. -5:24 PM Feb 12th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks character -5:24 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m starting to see something! Can you see it? This is #exciting! #flairww -5:27 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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ravinheart @FlairWoodworks Yup I can see it it’s in there just keep letting it out -5:30 PM Feb 12th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks yes -5:34 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve learned to embrace sanding as sometimes it, just like any other technique, has its place. 1 side sanded. #flairww -5:46 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Having dust collection nearby doesn’t catch all the dust but it gets most, if not all, of the airborne dust. #flairww -5:54 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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ravinheart: @FlairWoodworks a tree within a tree, water, and motion #flairww -5:56 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks We must remember to be patient with the creative process. #flairww -6:00 PM Feb 12th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks A highway interchange, Dr Seuss’s horns from the Grinch, fine carving work, your mad skills, and my lack of artistry -6:14 PM Feb 12th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks I keep asking myself: “but what’s it DO?” #TheEngineerLooksAtArt -6:17 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha ha ha! I was doing that too. #flairww RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks I keep asking myself: “but what’s it DO?” #TheEngineerLooksAtArt -6:17 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Would anyone else care to share what they see here? #flairww  -6:19 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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ravinheart @FlairWoodworks a running man would be in motion :) -6:22 PM Feb 12th, 2012

Flairwoodworks If you were closer I might throw him at you! ;) RT @ravinheart: @FlairWoodworks a running man would be in motion :) -6:23 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @ravinheart sees a tree, water and motion. @MansFineFurn sees a highway interchange or Grinch horns. I see a runner. #flairww -6:25 PM Feb 12th, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks there will be no throwing :P

FlairWoodworks Ok. Dinner break. #flairww -6:29 PM Feb 12th, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks Looks like a tree on its side being struck by a meteorite…or a flowing river being hit by a meteorite =P -6:40 PM Feb 12th, 2012

Seanw78 @FlairWoodworks something between antlers and a blowing wind -7:15 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for sharing! #flairww RT @Seanw78: @FlairWoodworks something between antlers and a blowing wind -7:18 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So I’m back after dinner and thinking about some major material removal, as indicated by the scribble. #flairww -8:19 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I think Andrew @RavinHeart may have inspired me to make this cut by hand instead of the bandsaw. #flairww -8:35 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Two cutouts complete. I’m going to do some shaping next. #flairww -8:44 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks The correct sweep of gouge is determined by which part of the edge engages. The corners should not engage. #flairww -8:56 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks Out damned crack! I know it doesn’t go through but I can’t tell how deep it is. I’ll keep going… #flairww -9:03 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I’m defining what I think is a ribbon running horizontally across what I think is the waist of the runner. #flairww -9:33 PM Feb 12th, 2012

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FlairWoodworks I’m using a 15/6 (60-degree V) gouge to undercut the ribbon. #flairww -9:49 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to remove this narrow bit that I’ve shaded but I know it will mean a lot more work. It’s worth it. #flairww -10:12 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A good tool solves problems without causing any. This Knew Concepts fret saw is certainly a good tool. #flairww -10:16 PM Feb 12th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks fun to watch your creative improvisation. -10:34 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! #flairww -10:37 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I finished roughing the cutout. Now to refine that confined space. Not fun. #flairww -10:42 PM Feb 12th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for another break! #flairww -11:00 PM Feb 12th, 2012

The carving is continued in How to Listen to the Wood – Carving, Day 2.

Overflow, Part IV

SAW SET FOR WESTERN SAWS WITH 4-12 TPI

I have two identical saw sets and this one is a little grungier.  It still works fine.

To use the saw set, loosen the lock knob, rotate the round anvil until the number representing the TPI of the saw is at the top and tighten the knob.  Then position the set over the saw blade, lined up with the tooth you are setting, and squeeze the handles.  Set every other tooth, then turn the saw around and set the remaining teeth in the other direction.

If you need such a saw set, leave a comment below, indicating your interest before midnight of January 17.  I will then draw a winner at random.  Even if you don’t get this saw set, remember that this is only one of the MANY things I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog using the widget in the right-hand column so you can be notified as soon as I post something new!  And please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Why a Sliding Table Saw with Scoring Blade?

Most hobbyist woodworkers are impressed when they see my saw.  It’s a big piece of machinery, especially with the 5′ sliding table and outrigger.  And for many of them, it’s something they’ve never seen, or even imagined before.

When I tell someone who has seen this type of machine before, they nod in approval and assume that I work with a lot of sheet goods.  That’s a fair guess, as the saw does excel at cutting up plywood.

If you’ve ever tried to break down a sheet of plywood on a table saw, you’ll fully understand the benefits of a sliding table saw.  When ripping, instead of fighting the plywood across the saw, trying to maintain an even feed rate while keeping the edge against the fence and struggling to support it throughout the cut, it’s a simple matter of loading the plywood on the sliding table, setting it against the fence, and pushing the plywood and sliding table past the blade.  It’s almost effortless.  Need a 4′ wide sheet cross-cut?  No problem.  Set the plywood against the cross-cut fence and push it through.  Here’s a short demonstration of breaking down a sheet of plywood.

The sliding table is half of why this type of saw excels at working with sheet goods.  The scoring blade is the other half.  A scoring blade is a small blade located in front of the main blade.  It cuts a kerf slightly wider than the main blade and is installed so the teeth point backwards and it counter-rotates, or turns the opposite way.  It is set very low, just low enough to nick, or score, the bottom surface of the material being cut.  It counter-rotates to ensure a clean cut on the bottom edge of the plywood – the face of the plywood is supported by the core so there is no tearout.  Of course, having a blade rotating in the wrong direction, trying to pull the stock forward could be very dangerous in theory.  However, because the blade is taking such a light cut, the weight of the material it is cutting is enough to keep the scoring blade from pulling it forward.  Here is a very short clip of the scoring blade in use.

Yes, sliding table saws with scoring blades are great for plywood.

But that’s not why I bought mine.  Plywood is great for some things, but my designs don’t have much use for plywood.  Besides, my workshop is not large enough to easily manage a full sheet of plywood.  Most of my work uses solid wood, and I feel my saw is equally advantageous.  The sliding table is great for straight line ripping.  That’s when I have a rough piece of lumber with no straight edges.  Without this saw, I would joint one face and one edge, then rip the other edge.  But now, I just clamp the piece of lumber to the sliding table and push it past the blade for a straight cut.  Then I turn it around and use the fence to get the other edge straight and parallel.  I’ve rarely used my jointer to edge-joint since I got this saw.  It’s a big time saver – especially when the edge isn’t close to being straight.

Straight line ripping is half of the reason I bought this saw.  The other half is to do wide crosscuts.  With my old contractor’s saw, small cuts were easy with the miter gauge.  Crosscuts up to about a foot or so were manageable with a sled, but wider cuts required a circular saw.

A few advantages that I hadn’t thought about when choosing a saw include cutting tapers and small parts.  Tapers are a simple matter of clamping the stock to the sliding table at the intended angle and making the cut.  With a conventional table saw, small parts can be a challenge to cut safely, but with the hold-down clamp I just position the part, clamp it down, and can safely cut the part while standing at the end out of the outrigger, a full 3′ away from the blade.  I am very glad that I ordered the hold-down.  Another advantage is that all the clutter that sometimes ends up on the table doesn’t get in your way… as long as it’s on the sliding table.  Instead, it just moves with you.

A couple other niceties that this saw has, but aren’t exclusive to a sliding table saw include the european-style fence (similar to the Unifence) which can be used in the short configuration where the fence is slid forwards so that it at the leading edge of the blade.  This virtually eliminates any chance of stock getting trapped between the fence and blade.  I use the short fence a lot for ripping cuts and repetitive cross-cuts.  The 5 HP motor is certainly nice too.  Blade changes are made easy thanks to an arbor lock and a single wrench after moving the sliding table to the forward-most position.  This video was taken soon after I got the saw; I am now more efficient at changing blades but the procedure remains the same.