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About CharleyL

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  • Location
    Central NC
  • Woodworking Interests
    Compound Scroll Saw, Cabinet making, Exhibits Design & Construction

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  1. Can you take some pictures of the head end? It would also be good to show your city and state, as someone near you might want it, but it would be too far to go for others. I'm hoping the lathe is somewhere near me. I'm definitely interested. Charley
  2. Have you considered a box trailer, easy to store tools, a portable generator, and a folding bench, maybe a pop-up shelter for the bright Sun? You could then go out in the desert and make all the noise and sawdust that you want any day that it's not raining. (not often in S Cal. and the desert). Just another possibility. Pull it behind your van/home and go anywhere that suits. Charley
  3. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'm only expressing mine, and you, yours. I will not debate this. Charley
  4. With the glues that are available today, if you can create a joint that fits together well and without large fill gaps for the glue, the M & T joint will be about as strong as it can be if the flat sides of the mortise and the tenon fit together well. The rest of the fit is relatively unimportant for good joint strength. I have made M & T joints about every way possible and the only ones that ever failed were the ones that fit together poorly (my first attempts) requiring extra glue to fill the gaps, or the ones that were glue starved. My first M & T joint was made over 60 years ago using the square mortising bit in a drill press, and cutting tenons on the mating piece using a table saw with a tenon cutting jig. I also tried chopping the mortises using mortising chisels. Making the tenons that fit perfectly always required making them a bit too thick and then carefully hand fitting them into the intended mortise using chisels, a rabbet plane, and sand paper.. This was always a time consuming process and I hated it, but I bought a new mortising machine to use instead of the drill press, and replaced the tenon cutting jig on my table saw with a better one to try to improve the process. I even tried cutting the tenons on my band saw. I was never satisfied with the quality or time that it took to get acceptable (not perfect) results. Then I tried making mortises using a plunge router and spiral bit with a shop built jig to hold the part and stops to limit the router travel.. The result was fantastic, but I still needed to square the ends of the mortise with a mortising chisel. I then went a step further. Since the router was cutting mortises with their width so accurate and smooth, I decided to make floating tenons to fit them. The first were just cut to thickness on the table saw, but I soon switched to planning the stock to the thickness matching the router bit diameters with my planer. What an improvement this made!!! No more significant hand fitting was needed. Just cut the mortise ends square, then cut the prepared correct thickness of tenon stock to size and assemble with glue. Almost never did I need to hand fit each joint. Then I decided to leave the ends of the mortise round and round the ends of the tenons to fit them using a bull nose bit and router table. It wasn't long afterwards that I decided to just cut the tenons a bit shorter and leave the ends of the tenons square and just long enough to fit the flat sides of the mating mortise. This made it easier to make the floating tenons and left the 1/2 round ends of the mortise empty. The joints were again, just as strong, and the empty half round spaces at the ends of the mortise left a place for excess glue to go (I have always been sloppy with the glue, but I'm improving). At this point I had cut my M & T joint construction and fitting time to about 1/3 of what it used to take me with the drill press, mortise chisels and rabbet plane, and the result is as strong and frequently stronger than the old method, because the joints fit together so much more precisely. Thick glue in a joint does not make a strong joint. A few years ago I was about to start a project that was going to require me to make slightly over 1600 M & T joints and I decided that I needed yet a better and faster way to do it. I ended up buying a Leigh FMT jig. This jig has to be the ultimate way to make mortises and tenons. The same setup allows you to make both the mortise and it's matching tenon, but it's so precise that you can make all of the mortises of that size on all of the parts, then go back and cut all of the mating tenons to fit them, and they will all fit together without any hand fitting. The FMT has a dial setting that allows you to adjust the gap between the mortise and its tenon by a few thousandths at a time, so the end result is as tight or as loose as you want it to be, and both the mortise and it's tenon have perfect fitting round ends, so unfortunately, no more gaps at the end of the mortise for the glue. This has forced me to be a bit more careful about how much glue that I apply, but otherwise, it hasn't been a problem. If truly square ended mortises are needed for Greene and Greene type construction, the rounded end mortises can be squared with a chisel, and there is a pattern set option for the FMT to make square ended tenons to fit them. I now do all of my M & T work using the FMT if I can, but I still like to use floating tenons occasionally for certain projects. I will never go back to square mortising chisel/drills and hand fitting the tenons to them. It may be OK for you neanderthals, but I want more precision and faster joinery than can be made that way. I find it much more fun to make things now too. Sorry, I don't like the Domino floating tenon system. To me the Domino just makes thicker biscuit slots for their expensive thicker biscuits.. If you like it, great! I don't care for it, or the standard thin biscuits. To me, they have their place, but not in fine furniture. Charley .
  5. When doing this I prefer using a tapered plug cutter so I can make plugs from the scrap material. If I can get the grain oriented to match the grain of the book case side when I glue them into the counter bored holes, the resulting plug becomes almost totally invisible after it's cut to length, sanded and the whole case finished. Using dowels leaves off-colored end grain dots all over the project and I hate this appearance. You could also drill these screw holes deeper and into both pieces of wood, use dowels and glue to hold the pieces together, but drive the the dowels in to about 1/4" below the surface, then cut tapered plugs from scrap and glue them in with the grain oriented to match the surrounding grain. Then trim off the excess plug and sand it flush. = an almost invisible fix. Another great way "to do it next time" is to buy a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and the special screws, but drill all of the pocket holes in the shelf bottoms and places where the screw and pocket hole won't bee seen. They make plugs for pocket holes, but to me, they are more ugly than using dowels to cover the screws in the outside faces of the work. Or yet another way is to use a biscuit cutter tool to insert biscuits and glue the shelves in with the biscuits to give the shelf joints strength. Nothing would show after assembly if you did it this way. Charley
  6. Is this furnace also heating your home? If it is, the furnace is also blowing this sawdust all over your house and affecting your whole family's health, not to mention the mess it;s leaving on everything. You need separate heating/cooling for your shop, and the very best quality pleated air filters that you can buy for the furnace. Seal the shop off from your home as best as you can and install a separate spark free heating/cooling system for your shop if you find that you need it.. Your furnace service man should have vacuumed out the unit as much as possible and suggested what to do to keep it from filling with sawdust again. He's a hack if he just replaces the broken parts and doesn't do anything to solve your problem. You need to buy top qualitypleated filters to keep even the smallest particles of sawdust from getting inside your furnace and into your house. It's going to be a big job to clean the furnace and ducts of all of the sawdust that is already in it, but you will need to or it will still be getting into the house.. There are companies that do duct work and furnace cleaning. They connect a huge vacuum system to your duct work with large hoses and then use extendable brushes and compressed air to get the dust loose from the inside of the furnace and it's ducts so it gets removed by the large vacuum system. Have this done when the outside air temperatures are moderate, because your whole house will need to be open to allow air back in to replace what is being removed by this huge vacuum system. When my shop was in the basement of my former home, keeping sawdust out of the heating/cooling system and out of the house was a constant battle. So much so that when I moved, I vowed to build a shop completely separate from the house. To heat and cool this new shop I have a window style heat pump mounted high and thru the North facing wall. I replaced the original foam filter that came in it with a top quality pleated 12 X 20 furnace filter that just fits under the plastic face cover of the unit. It now does double duty of not only keeping my shop at a comfortable temperature year round, but it cleans the shop air too. The filter needs to be changed often, like about once per month when I'm using the shop a lot, but the coils inside the unit and the motor area have stayed clean. I still give the whole unit a complete inside cleaning and lubricate the fan motor every Spring though. Whenever I work in the shop, I also take the time to brush and blow the sawdust off of me, my clothes, and my shoes before heading to the house. This has now completely solved my "sawdust in the house" problems. Charley
  7. There was an SR-71 in Huntsville, Ala at the Air and Space Museum the last time that I was there. Just in case someone can't get to DC to look at that one, maybe they are closer to Huntsville. There's a lot to see in Colonial Williamsburg too. I could only spend a couple of days there, so didn't see a lot of the good stuff. My wife won't put up with the woodworking shop tours, so we split up while I was doing that. Charley
  8. Some do, but generally there are very few that will fit multiple routers and brands, but I needed a 1/4" collet for a Delta Router/Shaper and tried one from a Porter Cable router, and it fit. I then ordered a replacement Porter Cable collet for my Delta Router/Shaper, since the guy that I borrowed the collet from, wanted his back. It would be great if the manufacturers had standardized them, but I think it's too late for that. Porter Cable and Delta were kind under the same roof about the time that my Delta Router/Shaper was sold, so this is likely the reason why I got kind of lucky. Charley
  9. That's a great looking jig, and very similar to one that I had made before going with a Leigh FMT Pro. I went with the FMT because I was facing a job that required over 1600 mortise and tenon joints. The job easily paid for the jig, but when it was all over I think it could have been done with the shop made jig and floating tenons, but it likely would have taken a bit longer. I was mostly concerned with the repeatability of the shop made jig. The FMT made it easy, and was very accurate and repeatable. No tenon stock to make either. When I was using my shop made jig I was making my tenon stock using my planer, and making the stock in thicknesses to match the diameter of the router bits that I was using. Then I was cutting the floating tenons from this stock on the table saw as I needed them. This worked very well, with almost no waste. Charley .
  10. I clean up when it becomes obvious that I need to, and sometimes it isn't very obvious to me until I can no longer move in it. I used to be more tidy, but I have gotten much worse as I get older. When I reach 100 you can just lock the door and put a stone in front of it. I can;t think of a better place to leave me for the rest of eternity, my tools, junk, and all. It's my "happy place". Charley
  11. Just a few of suggestions, and you may already be doing this. Whenever I'm making router mortises, I make a series of holes at the mortise location by straight plunging the up spiral router bit to the depth desired, with the holes spaced closely together and covering the full length of the desired mortise, I then plunge the router to the full desired depth and move it back and forth to clean out the mortise slot. This seems to require less effort by the router and result in less bit deflection. The resulting mortise will be closer to the router bit diameter when completed. Straight bits tend to clog with chips, resulting in binding, which enlarges the mortise width slightly.. If you are cutting these mortises for use with floating tenons, I found that planning the tenon stock to the thickness of the router bit diameter ahead of time, and then cutting it to size on the table saw after the size you need has been determined, results in very close fitting floating tenons made very easily with very little waste. Also, make the floating tenons about 1/8" shorter than the total depth of the two mortises. A little gap here is Ok, but if you make the floating tenon even slightly longer than the total depth, the joint won't go completely together during glue-up and you will have a disaster. Floating tenons don't need to be rounded. Make them fit the straight part of the mortise and leave the 1/2 round ends of the mortise empty. The strength of the joint is in the fit of the flat sides of the tenons, the glue used, and the mating flat sides of the mortise. The 1/2 round spaces left will leave a place for any excess glue to go. When using a router guide fence, always reference the fence to the face side of the board being mortised. If you do this, the face side of the two mortised parts will be perfectly aligned and the joint will be smooth, even if the part thickness is slightly different. It helps to pick a face side of each piece and mark it before you begin the mortising process so it's easier to keep the pieces oriented correctly during the mortising. I've been making routed mortise and floating tenon joints for well over 20 years this way and I have never had one fail. I must be doing something right, so I'm passing these tips on. Charley
  12. Whenever I make ZCIs I try to make about 6 or more at a time, out of whatever suitable scrap that I have. I make the whole blank, including the installation of the leveling set screws and anti-lift pins, but without the blade slot. As I need one, I'll cut the blade slot in the new ZCI blank and then put it into use. I always write on the bottom side of of each ZCI the blade used and any other special information that I want to remember regarding it's use. I never use a different blade with any ZCI that I've made. I will only use a ZCI that was made previously for the blade I'm using or I will use a new blank to make one for the blade that I'm about to use. Yes, I always seem to have about 15 ZCI's hanging near my saw to choose from, but they last quite a while if you always use the insert that was made for the blade being used. Making a bunch of blanks at a time saves me time in the long run, because it saves doing the setups separately to make each as I need it. Some of my ZCIs are Corian, Some are HDPE, and some are Baltic Birch. It all depends on what scrap I have at the time, but I try to save the Corian and HDPE ones for use with my better blades and use the BB for Dado work, etc. When a ZCI wears out or gets damage, I just cut a blade slot in a new blank making a new one for that blade. I use the factory insert as a template, attached to the new blank with double sided tape. I then rough cut each blank to within 1/4" of the factory insert on the band saw. Then I trim the blank to it's final size with a flush cutting bearing bit in my router table. I then drill and tap the holes for the leveling set screws immediately after marking their positions with a transfer punch through the holes in the factory insert, then remove the factory insert and drill and tap the holes and install the set screws. I keep a box of 1/4-28 X 1/2" set screws in stock for this use. I also drill a small hole in the back end of the blank and drive a small roll pin part way into it to act as an anti-lift pin and then drill a large finger hole through the top near the front end of the blank to act as a finger lift. When all have been built to this stage, they get placed into the table saw toolbox to wait until I need one of them. I got into the habit of doing this with my ZCIs about 50 years and 6 table saws ago. It has always worked well for me. Charley
  13. I have one that I bought about 4 years ago, used it once, and it's been sitting on the shelf since. What it does for you is to allow drilling straight and centered holes in your hinge stock for the hinge pins. It does not help you create the hinge stock shape itself. But it does what it was designed for, quite well. Unfortunately, it is only designed to be used with one diameter of brass rod (1/8"). even though it has provision for making several different sized hinges. A similar jig is also available for Metric users with a metric drill bit. You will need to prepare the stock (end grain edge of the stock) via some method of creating box joint type cuts in the end grain of the stock, then two passes with a bull nose router bit mounted in a router table (one with the stock flat, and one on edge to make the barrel curve) is required to shape the stock before using the Hinge Crafter, a power drill, and an included long drill bit to make the hinge pin holes. The hinge stock bbcreated are then cut to length and glued or screwed into mortises much like would be done to attach conventional metal hinges. Hinges longer than the jig can be made by incrementing the hinge stock through the jig and drilling the hinge pin hole from opposite ends, but a longer drill bit would be required for hinges longer than about 2X of the jig length. Keep in mind also that the hinges made must have the wood grain oriented at a right angle to the hinge pin or the hinge will not be very strong. Still, wooden hinges are quite unique, and can be very attractive if made well. I will be using my Hinge Crafter again soon. Charley
  14. They are different lengths to allow you to use templates of different thicknesses. Although it's possible to use a short bushing with thick templates, a longer bushing is preferred when using the thicker templates. They will slide over imperfections in the template better and will be less likely to jump off the template and let the router bit cut into it. I always use the longest bushing that I have that is shorter than the template thickness. I too have shortened a few of my bushings. Charley
  15. I 2nd getting it up off the concrete. Use some 2 X 4 shorts or similar to get an air gap between the MDF and the concrete. Keep the garage door shut as much as reasonably possible, and it should be OK. Charley