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About ReLMAustin

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  1. Hi, I've started working on a flag box for my father's flag from his burial several years ago. I found some general plans online. The corners are splined miters, and I decided to add my own detail by dovetailing the corners instead. There is, of course, one 90 degree angle and two 45 degree angles. The 90 degree corner is straight forward. I tried doing a practice 45 degree dovetail. It came out, but not pretty. I'm sure there must be better ways to do it. Does anyone have good instructions for laying out and cutting a 45 degree dovetail joint? Some people will point out that joining 3 dovetail corners at the same time will be impossible. My plan was to alternate the pins and tails on the boards. Then, when I add the long piece, with the 45 degree corners, I'll slide in pins at one end and tails at the other. It seems doable, but I'm not sure. If anyone has experience with this type of project, I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you!
  2. Hi, I wanted to test out how mesquite would work in my mostly hand tool shop so I made this box. I got the wood from a local sawmill. Mesquite is local and reported to be very stable so I had been considering it for larger projects. I hand resawed the 4/4 into two boards about 3/8" thick. The mesquite cut pretty well and planed, especially the end grain, nicely. The issue I had was with paring action using a chisel. The ends of the mesquite pieces just kind of crumble. So I ended up having to fix the areas around the dovetails by glueing chips back in place. After all the rework, the dovetails look pretty good, but I wouldn't go this route again. I think making a box of rabbet joints would have probably worked better. Another thing I found is that planning with my smoother seemed to burnish the surface. After a couple of passes, I couldn't get a shaving to lift. That might be my technique and less about the wood, though.
  3. Hi Tom, Thank you very much for the offer, but it isn't necessary for this project. I'm planning my next plane, and I might add something in front of the mouth for it. Boxwood is good for that, I guess?
  4. Hi Everyone, I just finished my first hand plane. Well, almost first. I took a class and built a simple one there. This was the first one in my own shop. The body is cherry; and the sole, wedge, and cross pin are all wenge. I had a little problem with the wenge sole. I chipped the corner of the mouth the first time I inserted the iron. Am I missing something on how to work with wenge. It seemed really easy to pull up fibers on it and give yourself trouble. It is meant to be a block plane. So I think it is still usable. For finish, I put a couple of coats of Danish oil on it. Seems like a lot of people wax their planes, also. Should I put a coat of Johnson's paste was on it? Any other finishing recommendations? I have a hock iron and chipper in it. The instructions and pattern I used were here: .
  5. Thanks! I never got them to fit perfectly, but I got them close enough. After the Shopbot, the blanks still have to be sanded around the edges to fit properly. Once they do, though, the work great. I am happy to share the files if you want them. I have a V-carve and a Shopbot file.
  6. Hi, Does anyone have experience with these maple counter tops from Lumber Liquidators: ? I am building a workbench like this:, and I'm trying to figure out the top. There doesn't seem to be that much fun to be had in glueing up the complete top myself so I was planning on getting it prefab. I want the top to be ~3", but I am having trouble finding anything that thick for order. 1 1/2" prefab tops seem to be common so I was thinking about glueing 2 together. I'm not sure how well that will work out, though. How flat do these tops come from the factory? What is the best way to clamp 2 counter tops together for glueing? If anyone has experience doing this, I would highly appreciate advice. Or if someone knows where I can get a prefab 3" top that would also be good. Thanks!
  7. Hi Everyone, I have a 1/4" or so piece of wenge that I plan on using for a handplane sole. The body is cherry. I was surprised when I resawed and joined this piece of wenge. It isn't as dense as I expected and has a lot of - I don't know what to call them - voids. Is this the normal look for wenge? It is the first piece I've seen up close and personal. Online it always looks smooth. Should I use epoxy to glue the plate to the cherry body in order to fill in some of the structure? Or can I just use wood glue? Thanks for any suggestions.
  8. Hi Everyone, Thanks again for the advice and information. Thought I'd give a quick update. I finally made a dado insert for my table saw. Yesterday, I setup the dado stack and tried it out for the first time. The insert and dado stack seemed to work great. Can't wait to cut tenons with it.
  9. I needed a small wooden mallet for adjusting planes so I put one together. The head is red oak and the handle is maple. I connected the two with a wedged thru tenon. I've tried doing wedged tenons a couple of times, and I am getting better but I still had trouble. I grossly overestimated how much the tenon would widen. So there is a gap around the tenon where I had filed a wide angle in the mortis. All the curves around the head and handle were done with just a rasp and sandpaper. I applied a couple of coats of Danish oil for a finish.
  10. Hi, I recently got access to a Shopbot through a Tech Shop opening close to Austin. The first project I thought to use it for is cutting a zero clearance insert for my table saw. I have this table saw from Porter Cable. The insert that came with it is thin stamped metal. The lip that holds the insert isn't deep enough to use 1/4" plywood like I see a lot of people use for inserts. So I designed a cut model that makes most of the insert 1/2" but puts a ~0.15" lip around the outside where the supports are. It also provides areas for all the structure under the insert, a pocket where the blade comes through, and openings for the adjustment screws. You can see my progression of prototypes in one of the photos. I went through 5 tries before getting one that works. I still need to tweak the last one a bit more. I am having trouble getting the curves at the ends just right. Turns out that they are elliptical rather than circular, but the last one works with a little bit of sanding. I am also seeing a slight bulge in the middle when I put it in the opening which makes me think it might be rubbing somewhere on the underside. There is a zero clearance insert that is sold for this table saw. However, I have not been able to find any dado inserts. I bought a dado stack a few months ago and haven't gotten to use it yet. My real goal is to cut a series of dado inserts (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", etc...). Now that I have the digital file more-or-less working, I can cut a whatever size I want.
  11. mds2 those are beautiful planes! How are you mounting the brass cross pin? Do you square up one side or does the round pin hold fine? I think I would like to have the brass accent on my next one.
  12. Your hot rod jointer looks awesome! How long did you make it?
  13. Hi Everyone, I just finished a plane making class at my local Woodcraft. Now, I have a beautiful and functional jack plane. I'm looking forward to building the next one.
  14. European woodchuck or African woodchuck?
  15. OK, I took off the dust chute, and, sure enough, it was clogged with chips right at the cutting head. I left the dust chute off and let the chips fall to the floor. That works much better. I also double checked that it was spinning the correct direction. Towards the right, right? Thanks everyone for the guidance.