Mike M

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Everything posted by Mike M

  1. The first thing to check is the setup of the machine. The back table needs to be even with the blades at the top of their arc. The front table then needs to be parallel to the back table. Assuming the setup is OK, when you pass the board over the cutters, you need to keep pressure on the back table end of the board. This should give you a straight edge end to end. It may take a few passes if the board is longer than the front table and is concave in the center. As far as the fence is concerned, I make it a practice to joint the pair of edges in the same direction and with opposite faces against the fence. This will compensate in case the fence is off a degree or so. It does take a bit of practice. Mike
  2. You might consider contact cement so you don't have to keep it under pressure. Otherwise, I'd stick to yellow glue, clamps and cauls. One other tip is to get a notched spreader to distribute the glue. It's a lot faster than a brush or roller and it is easy to get a uniform coating. Mike
  3. Mine is 36" which is a bit high for plane work but perfect for power tool use and assembly. I have a Moxon type vise (homemade) that I use for dovetailing and other chisel work. I also have a easel that holds relief carving projects a few inches off the bench.
  4. I don't want anything but a clear, flat unobstructed floor around my power tools -- no steps, mats, platforms or anything else that would compromise my freedom to move without stumbling or tripping. I personally don't like the concept of the gripper for just the reason you cite. I don't like my hands going past the blade. I prefer to use push sticks that are about a foot long. Even when pushing stock past the blade, my hands stay clear.
  5. I have the DeWalt with the 55" and 48" tracks. I join them together to cut in the 8' dimension and use individually for shorter cuts. The two tracks came with the saw and I haven't seen the need to spend the money to get the single piece long track. I'm not a pro so I don't use the rig on a daily basis. If I did, I'd probably get the long track to save the time of assembling the tracks. Depending on the project, I have used the saw for both rough and finished cuts. The biggest issue for me was to build a low cutting bench large enough to support the plywood so I don't have to get on my hands and knees to make a cut. I usually work with a stack of sheets and use spacers to support the top sheet that I'm cutting.
  6. Cut a relief angle of a couple of degrees (3-4) toward the inside face of the adjoining edges. This will permit the doors to clear when closing
  7. Mike M


    I've made a couple of pieces for my screened in porch. I made 2 end tables using standard M&T stretchers/legs with a glued up top, a bench for my wife's plants and a base for a left over piece of marble to make a coffee table. I finished the wood with a coat of preservative and everything is holding up well for over 2 years. Cypress mills easily and seems to be reasonably stable. It is a soft wood so don't expect it to wear like maple.
  8. Mike M


    I have shortened the wires on most of my portable power tools. I just open up the top and cut back the original cord so the plug is a couple of inches past the boot. My initial intention was to make it easier to store the tools without having to wind up a long cord. I have since added a small shop vac under my bench with a long hose. I attached an extension cord to the hose and it works perfectly. The next step is to add an automated switch to turn on the vac. When I use tools that don't have a dust pickup (routers) I have a couple of extension cords available.
  9. If you are right handed, the vise is usually placed on the left end of the bench. As far as mounting the vise is concerned, you have a problem with MDF holding screw threads. The material is just glued together sawdust and there are no fibers to distribute the pressure of the threads. Its too late now, but you could have replace the corner of the middle layer of MDF with a piece of hardwood. This would have given the lag screws something to hold on to. At this point, I'd suggest that you use bolts and washers that go through the top of the bench. Don't worry about the countersunk holes, aside from collecting sawdust, they won't be a problem. If you plug them up, you won't be able to tighten up the bolts when necessary. I wouldn't suggest carriage bolts because the heads will sink into the MDF and the square section will spin out. The screws in the face are another problem. The best you can do there is to drill a hole and glue in a piece of dowel. I'd suggest something around 3/4" diameter. Predrill pilot holes for the screws into the dowel.
  10. I originally bought the WS3000 for sharpening carving tools. Then I tried it for chisels. I'm sold. I bought a roll of 1500 grit PSA silicon carbide paper from Klingspoor and keep one wheel with that grit on both sides. I am now in the habit of giving my chisels a quick touch up any time they are the slightest bit dull. Its a whole lot better and faster than spending time with stones and strops. I only use the coarser grits when my chisels need a new primary bevel.
  11. I take a 12 or 16' tape and a pair of gloves. I also carry a pair of tie down straps in my truck. My dealer has a well lit warehouse and is more than willing to cut any lumber to length if I don't want it hanging out the back of the truck. The wood is kiln dried and I usually plan to keep it in my shop for a few weeks before using it so I don't bother with a moisture meter.
  12. I agree with the track saw. Buying mine a couple of years ago turned out to be a blessing. I also built a low frame out of 2x4's ( about 3' x 7' x 24" high). I load it up with my sheet goods and place a few spacers between the top two sheets. This gives me a comfortable working height for cutting. An overhead hookup to the vac and a power drop completes the setup. I have this setup in a storage area behind my shop, but I'm considering moving it up to the garage so I don't have to carry full sheets around the house and into the basement shop. BTW - I chose the dewalt track saw when it included the extension track in the sale price. With the vacuum running, it collects almost all of the dust so it won't make a mess in the garage.
  13. I also made an elcheapo Moxon like vise. I used a pine 2x4 for the body, 5/16" threaded rods and 'T' nuts. The cam levers are fixed to the ends of the rods (CA glue) and the jaw is cambered to distribute the pressure across its length. I also added springs between the jaw and the body to keep the jaws open when inserting stock. The ends of the bottom board are notched to engage the bench dogs preventing it from sliding back onto the bench. The clamps hold it to the bench. I added a second jaw on the back half of the top (reason for the extra holes). This enables me to clamp the work horizontally with about 1 1/2" exposed for chisel work. It is also convenient (if you cut tails first) to clamp the pin board in front and tail board on top for transferring the layout. I originally intended to make this vise as a prototype and remake it in maple if I found it useful. So far I can't see any reason to use anything more than the pine and will probably keep it as is for awhile. Costwise, the 4 cam levers ($10) cost more than the rest of the vise. The wagon vise also started as a prototype. I used a 3/4" threaded rod and a few nuts from HD. The fixed end of the screw runs through the end block and has a washer on the inside and outside faces of the block. The handle hub runs against the outside washer and a pair of nuts are locked together and run against the inside washer. The slider has a pair of nuts embedded in the leading and trailing edges that both support the screw and moves the block. I glued the assembly to the front edge of my current bench top (3 - 3/4" mdf layers + masonite top) and find it very servicable. I hope to build a 'real' bench soon and will incorporate the design. The main change will be to replace the right handed thread rod with a left handed acme thread rod. Mike
  14. As I recall, I dismantled the crate and propped one edge of a piece of plywood on a 2x4 or two to make a ramp. I was then able to roll the planer down to the floor. As far as the packing goo is concerned, I used citric cleaner from HD and a toothbrush and paper towels to clean it up. The only adjustments required was to lower the rollers so they were flush with the table and mounting and leveling the extension tables. I also mounted a Wixey digital thickness gauge so I don't rely on the pointer Grizzly supplies. Mike
  15. I have the Griz G0490X with the spiral cutterhead. It does a great job and was easy to set up. I couldn't see spending more for a different color and have not been disappointed.
  16. I'd vote for the bandsaw method suggested by the Bear from the North. Even if you do a final cleanup with a router or dado stack, the reduction in sawdust is worth the extra step.
  17. There is no way a stretcher across the grain direction will work. Even at the bottom of the leg, the top is going to move enough to make the table look bow-legged or knock-kneed depending on the season. I'd cut a 1/2" shoulder around the legs to provide a reference face to balance some of the torque. Most of the strength from the glue will come from the two faces of the tenon that are glued to the long grain of the top. I would expect the leg to shrink in the dry season. The shrinkage should match the shrinkage of the top so the two faces that are long grain to long grain will be nice and stable. The shrinkage of the leg in the other direction will not be matched by the top and you could expect a small crack to open up. Since this is on the faces that are end grain of the top, the crack will probably be at the joint. If you make the top of the tenon flush with the top, this might be noticable. I would therefore suggest having the tenon sit proud of the top and pillow the edges (like G & G style) to put the crack in the shadow.
  18. Sounds like the edge of the door is hitting the frame. Test it by closing the door with a piece of paper between the door edge and frame. With the door fully closed, the paper should be loose. If not, that is where the door is binding. This is typically caused by the hinges being set below the surface (mortise too deep) or by the door or frame being bowed.
  19. I have been using a set of Narex chisels for about a year. I also bought a couple of extra 10mm chisels and made them into skew chisels. Overall, I have been happy with them. They take a bit more frequent sharpening than a premium chisel might require, but not to the point where it becomes a nuisance. I find that a 30 degree secondary bevel holds up and still cuts nicely.
  20. I'd assemble and glue each pair of legs with one apron and leave the glueup of the two subassemblies to your brother. You can then pack the tables into a flat package that UPS or Fedex would accept. A small bottle of TiteBond and a band clamp would be all he needs to complete the job.
  21. If I was doing woodworking as a business, I'd pony up without question. As a hobbiest, I am not paid an hourly rate. If the task takes an extra hour or two, it means I have a couple of extra hours of fun for the same cost of materials. I'd rather have the satisfaction of mastering my M&T technique than just getting the job done faster.
  22. You might have a problem is there is ANY moisture coming up through the concrete. The rubber mat will trap it and cause damage and/or mold in the bamboo flooring. Unless the concrete is absolutely dry, I'd find another way.
  23. if the board is less than 8" wide, I'll flatten one face and one edge then rip it on the TS. The only time I use the BS for ripping is when I can't flatten a board that is too wide for my jointer and need to rip it in its rough state.
  24. I buy BB plywood as well as most of my other lumber at the Hardwood Store of NC http://hardwoodstore.com/. Their prices are decent and the quality is good. Best of all, most of their hardwoods are either rough sawn or skim surfaced to 15/16" so there is plenty of stock for flattening.
  25. Hey Keggers, That is exactly the bit I was talking about. The technique works great and can be used for patterns that are more complex than the arch. Mike