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About CharleyL

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    Apprentice Poster

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

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  1. 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 .
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Here is a manufactured jig for this, but you can build one quite easily, once you understand the concept. . If you don't want to make your own, this one is pretty good, and for a reasonable price. I don't own one yet, but have watched one of these in use at a woodworking show and I was impressed. You will also need a special blade for good results. Re-sawing is different than most band sawing that you do because it is a ripping function of very thick wood and not the usual cross cutting of thinner wood. A cross cutting type blade will not work well for this. I wider than usual blade is best, as wide as your saw can handle, adjusted tight, with the blade teeth gullets centered on the band saw's tires. The saw will be working hard to do this. Don't kill your saw's motor. This is a slower process than normal band sawing. Have a good push block ready when you get near the end of the cut. Charley
  9. I've now owned three router bushing sets, plus a few special single bushings that I've had made and some that came with my Leigh D4R jig. I wasn't at all happy with the Porter Cable brand steel bushing set that I had because the bushing nut kept loosening. I didn't like the idea of the steel bushing being so close to my carbide bits either, especially with the bushing nut loosening problem, so I gave this set away. Brass is safer to use with carbide to avoid possible bit damage, should they ever contact each other. The brass bushings don't seem to have this nut loosening trouble as often, but not all bushing sets are made to good dimensional tolerances. I returned one of my sets two times before getting a set that had acceptable tolerances. When you buy a set, measure the bushing diameters of all of the bushings to see how close they are to their nominal intended dimension, and take them back if any bushing is significantly off the nominal dimensions, For me, any variation of more than .005" is not acceptable. Also measure the larger diameter, the part that seats in the recess of the router base plate. It needs to fit the recess in your router base without side to side play. I've found some that fit very loose, like .060" under size, and one that was .026" over size and wouldn't come close to fitting in my router base plate recess at all. I can't say which brands are best, but the better set that I have that came from Woodcraft, but it is a store brand and I have no idea who actually made them. The bushings that came with my Leigh D4R are nearly perfect, and they need to be for the precision needed when making dovetails. I keep these bushings with my D4R jig and only use them when using it. Some older router base plates are attached with flat head screws and the cone shaped hole for the screw pull the base plate into alignment with the screw center as you tighten the screws. This usually does not pull the base plate to also be centered with your router bit, so the centering cone will do you no good, unless you use pan head screws and modify the router base screw holes to be counter bored (recessed for the pan head screw head but with a flat bottomed hole only part way through the base plate) so you can center the base with the cone and then tighten the base mounting screws to hold it centered with the router bit. I think older routers were maybe not expected to be used to the precision that we are expecting to get from our routers today, so the manufacturers didn't pay much attention to how concentric the base was to the router bit, and made no provision for adjusting this. Although I go through the centering process on my router bases and use the Leigh bushings when using my D4R jig, I also marked the top side of the base of both routers that I use when cutting dovetails by drawing an arrow with a marking pen. I now always orient my routers with the arrow pointing toward the D4R. Doing this further reduces the chances of having errors in my dovetails from a slight offset between the router bit and the bushing. If slightly off, and the router orientation is always held the same, the dovetail cuts will be correct, but the entire cut will be offset by the amount of the bit to bushing error The dovetail cuts will still be very accurate, but just shifted slightly, possibly requiring a light trim of one of the boards to bring the ends of the boards even after the dovetail is assembled. If your router base is centered with the cone type centering tool posted above, and the bushing fits snugly in the base recess, then you should get good results. A few woodworking supply sources now sell special wave washers for use under the router bushing nut to help keep the nuts tight. I now have these, and haven't had a bushing nut loosening problem since I started using them. My wave washers came from Peachtree Woodworking and they were quite inexpensive.. I have no experience with the Harbor Freight router bushings, but I have a set of their brass hole reducers (brass router bushing type insert but with no collar) that I sometimes use when I want to reduce the hole size around the router bit, but I don't need the bushing function. These collars can be used to reduce surface chipping (think zero clearance insert, although not truly zero clearance) when routing, especially with up spiral bits. Harbor Freight is the only place that I've found these, and they are brass. Machining tolerance is less important for these as long as they will fit into the recess of your router base. Charley
  10. Some years ago when plywood wall paneling was the rage, I was about 8 cars behind some guy who had 12 sheets of the paneling tied to his car roof (no roof carrier). A few miles from where he likely picked it up his plywood panels started lifting and flying in all directions like sheets from a pile of paper if you ran without holding them down, then falling like leaves. Everyone following him (including me) began trying to dodge these as they fell. Somehow, none of us managed to get hit, but when the excitement stopped, cars and paneling were everywhere. Most of his paneling got damaged too much to use, except as partial sheets. I think he learned a very expensive lesson that day and I'm glad that no one got hurt. Keeping the leading edge behind some kind of wind break helps a lot when hauling sheet stock of any kind, even thin sheets of steel. Unfortunately, no car carriers seem to be designed this way. I'll stick to using one of my trucks and keep the sheets below and behind the cab. People in general seem to have no idea how to handle constructions materials safely. For that matter, they will also haul trailers at 70 mph that are in such poor condition that I wouldn't dare pull them around behind my lawn tractor. At highway speeds any of this stupidity can become lethal to them or innocent people who are unlucky enough to be nearby. Charley
  11. I think he's got one too many zeros in his price. From my memory, that jig (without the router) sold for less than half what he's asking for it now, and even with the obsolete router included, the jig isn't worth anywhere near what he's asking for it. I've seen them sell for $50-75 in the last few years. Charley
  12. I have the Leigh D4R and wouldn't try making this long joint any other way. The Porter Cable 24" jig may also work fine, but I have no experience with that one. I also recommend the vacuum attachment as it works well and supports the front edge of the router, but it will still allow you to get sawdust on the floor and you..The manual that comes with the D4R will have you making a near perfect dovetail joint on your first try,if you follow it, but you may need a few slight adjustments to get it perfect. Practice with your jig and wood of exactly the same thickness before trying to make good joints in your project. In the beginning, I was raising the top of the jig to change the board and then forgetting to drop it back down flat on the board. If you do this, the joint will be a complete failure. I always use two routers, one with the straight bit, and one with the dovetail bit. Once they are adjusted to the correct depth, you don't want to have to change the bit and set it up all over again. If both routers are the same make and model (mine are), put some tape on the top of the routers and mark them plainly for what router bit is in them DAMHIKT. I prefer fixed base D style router bases for this work, but most any fixed base router will do the job, if it can be used with the correct sized bushing for the jig. Also, put an arrow on the top side of your router bases, and always point this arrow straight toward the jig when doing the cuts. If you do this, any slight error of the router base and bushing centering will not affect the accuracy of the joint. You should try to center the bushing and bit before using the router, but this arrow minimizes problems. Through dovetail joints are easier to get right for me. The half blind take more test cuts to get the routers and bits set just right before making the joint. Make test cuts and get everything set exactly right, and get used to how the jig works before attempting the good joints. These jigs are nowhere near as easy to set up as your table saw. It will take time to learn them and get them set up correctly. Charley .
  13. If you go with an edge guide (which should work fine for you) make certain that your edge guide of choice doesn't have a notch or space in the middle of it. If it does, attach a piece of wood to the edge guide so you have a long smooth edge to slide along your work. You are showing a few slots that are going to require very long edge guide rods to reach, so a different plan may be needed. Clamping a straight edge strip of wood (fence) to your work for your router to ride against that is spaced correctly away for the distance from the router bit to the edge of the router base will likely work better for you. Cut the slot in the direction that the leading side of the router bit is moving away from the fence (for instance, fence on left, move router away from you, fence on right, move router toward you). This will help hold the router against the fence as you cut the slot. Otherwise it will be difficult to cut the slot straight. Charley
  14. Since getting my CRB7 jig I haven't used much else, but I do have a Jasper 400 jig like the previous poster showed. The CRB7 is so versatile that most of my smaller routing chores that need a guide are now done using it. I ordered all of the options with it, including the two extra rod sizes 2 years ago, and I'm still finding new uses for it, but keeping track of all of the pieces made me build a box to keep everything in. At the time that I made the box I hadn't received the additional two sets of rods, but left room in the box for them. The CRB7 is similar to the circle and edge guide that shaneymack posted above, but offers many more capabilities. Charley
  15. I usually use 1/4" MDF, but will make them from 1/4" Lexan if I think that I'll be using them a lot. Putting a coat of Poly on the MDF will extend the life of MDF, so most get a coat after they are made. I always use a marking pen and write details on my patterns as to what the pattern is for, what bit and what bushing I used with it. A 1/2" hole drilled near one end lets me hang them from nails driven into the sides of the rafters in my shop attic (only 6' at the peak, so most are easily reached), or from hooks in the ceiling of my shop, for the more frequently used ones. Here, a 40" reach gripper gets them down when needed, or back up there when I'm finished. My shop ceiling is covered with jigs and patterns, except where they would block the lighting or hang above aisles. Charley