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James Miller

Recipe Book Holder

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Hey guys, I'm relatively new to this world. I've been building odds and ends out of pallets simply because being a single income family with 5 kids under 7 doesn't afford me the funds necessary. Anyway, I was asked by a coworker if I could build her a recipe book holder. I made it out of 1x12 poplar, but I ran into some issues. I couldn't make a straight angled cut to save my life. One cut was 40 degrees and the other two were 25. The table saw just kept wanting to turn it and in some cases it started burning the wood. Any ideas? I'm asking here because I believe you all will be able to see the flaws like I can. Constructive criticism is welcomed. Do I just need a better blade? More patience? Like I said I'm still pretty new and teaching myself as I go. b7274bbe58e0980d64fa5a8acb7211f7.jpg9e0d625432e7866c3fd47a53b2b1a65a.jpg31688c6344ff75dc49bf8fa2d2d2dc03.jpg8525a64efa2a47812c5910b997921f77.jpg0e83667a99f168602afd9a30f0ad0737.jpg3e5058d21f6e0f32b7059083aaa22857.jpg643e4b6859561c379eb0ccf83d56b30d.jpg56851aa2986bc76c627bffaed824eeb0.jpg

 

 

 

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Cutting bevels will really show any misalignment in your tablesaw. If you are making these cuts referenced against the saw fence, I bet the fence is a bit out of alignment to the blade. As Eric said, some info about your saw and cutting process will get you better answers on exactly how to correct the problem.

 

Aside from possible alignment issues, did you use a featherboard to hold the workpiece tightly to the fence?

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Check for blade alignment, not only at 90 but also at 45. Getting it aligned at 45 can be more difficult. As for technique, the board must be tight to the fence and, just as importantly, absolutely tight to the table. The board must also be perfectly flat.

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Also check your blade for a build-up of resin on the teeth. You can clean your blade with a number of special blade cleaning solutions and an old toothbrush. There are also several homemade solutions, some take longer than others. Use protection,  rubber gloves and safety glasses.  Oven cleaner is one of these but be careful and read warnings. Some coated blades recommend not using oven cleaner. A strong solution of products like Simple Green will work but take more time.

A clean blade cuts better. The resins contribute to heat buildup and the blade dulls much faster.

Having said all this your most likely problem is the fence isn't aligned parallel to the blade.

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Welcome to the forum.  I agree with all the above.  Cutting bevels can be frustrating until you have the correct setup.  Just an FYI in this situation you could have finessed the cut with a block plane and maybe some sandpaper for a better fit and finish.  I think the piece turned out nicely especially since it was made from poplar.

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Can you show us your table saw and explain your process when cutting the bevels?

b5546380834ed8640289578eb7d5a112.jpg5044460a131100a408e03f21ca153f30.jpga1aee7ab03b058c9119271bebc3d4f83.jpgacd55f249a3d80872fca6a338aed528c.jpgce9d8bea0ec8320d3ec87b1088f32fab.jpg

So to measure the bevels, I just propped the board up against the table and titled until I found the angle I liked and then drew a line. From there I put the board up to the table saw and then tilted the blade until I found the same angle and then I cut the main piece. Put it on the bench and decided if I liked it, cut the prop piece of the back at the same angle. For the part of the prop board that butts up to the main board I propped both pieces up and then drew that line. Angled the saw to match the degree of the line.

 

 

 

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Cutting bevels will really show any misalignment in your tablesaw. If you are making these cuts referenced against the saw fence, I bet the fence is a bit out of alignment to the blade. As Eric said, some info about your saw and cutting process will get you better answers on exactly how to correct the problem.

 

Aside from possible alignment issues, did you use a featherboard to hold the workpiece tightly to the fence?

 

I don't know what a featherboard is. I used my hands to apply pressure against the fence and the top of the table saw. Applied pressure down and to the left.

 

 

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Welcome to the forum.  I agree with all the above.  Cutting bevels can be frustrating until you have the correct setup.  Just an FYI in this situation you could have finessed the cut with a block plane and maybe some sandpaper for a better fit and finish.  I think the piece turned out nicely especially since it was made from poplar.

 

I have not figured out how to use a block plane very well yet. I've tried everything I can to figure it out, but right now I feel like a monkey screwing a football. I've adjusted the blade a million times to try and get it right. I have 3 block planes that just collect saw dust. Thank you for the compliment though.

 

 

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Also check your blade for a build-up of resin on the teeth. You can clean your blade with a number of special blade cleaning solutions and an old toothbrush. There are also several homemade solutions, some take longer than others. Use protection,  rubber gloves and safety glasses.  Oven cleaner is one of these but be careful and read warnings. Some coated blades recommend not using oven cleaner. A strong solution of products like Simple Green will work but take more time.

A clean blade cuts better. The resins contribute to heat buildup and the blade dulls much faster.

Having said all this your most likely problem is the fence isn't aligned parallel to the blade.

 

I'll look into cleaning the blade. Should I just google how to align my fence to my blade? Also, my fence only clamps on one side. The other side just kind of sits there. It's a hand me down saw from my grandfather. I don't know if I'm missing pieces or not. I assume I'm not as he gave me the box with all these other pieces and the original instructions. It doesn't look like other pieces are missing. 4275aa405a6b381e53c2a3d4c89c4b30.jpg690e119229d4d6682a85f763a07e8e93.jpgf8d912de89164a205f7e80cb1e2e97f4.jpg582ebec53a0ca020b302de4ba70bfd5b.jpg

 

 

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Welcome.  Great little project that is sure to be enjoyed by the cook.  Like any hand skill (using machines or not) woodworking takes a bit of practice.  You do have some challenges with that saw.  A quick alignment check at 90 degrees and at 45 degrees can answer a lot of questions and save you frustration.

Many folk's first brush with hand tools yields a "pogo stick in a bathtub" sense of comfort.  Again, practice makes perfect.  A hand-crafted piece of furniture and immediate gratification are at odds with each other.  Carry on and enjoy the ride.

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26 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

You do have some challenges with that saw

Key.

It's gonna be extremely difficult to get consistent, quality cuts on that saw.  Not impossible...but not easy.  I'd either upgrade the saw or get a decent hand plane and learn how to sharpen and use it well, so you can clean up all of the error that little saw is going to create.

Also (and I know you didn't ask about this specifically but it's worth mentioning), if you want a considerably better looking stain job on poplar, you'll need to use some kind of sealer like shellac as a first coat, then use a gel stain...otherwise you'll get a ton of blotching, as you've experienced.  Or just use walnut.  It's already brown. :)

Dig the Star Wars slippers.  Takes a real man to display those publicly.  I think. LOL

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I used to have a tablesaw like that when I was a teen. There is a good chance the fence is either out of alignment or flexed during the cut. I have seen people add a longer wooden face to the fence and clamp the back end to keep the fence in perfect alignment during a crucial cut. 

My saw was direct drive. There was no pulleys or belts and the blade mounted on the motor shaft. This caused the bearings to wear quickly. With the saw unplugged remove the throat plate and wiggle the blade. If there is play it's possible the bearings are shot. This would also affect the cut quality.

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The blade on the table saw has done all it can do. It could be sharpened, but for the price of carbide tipped blades these days, it's not worth the trouble.  Will the blade of the miter saw fit it?  Any carbide tipped blade in Lowes or Home Depot will be better than the one on the table saw. Get a 40 tooth blade.

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Eric is right.   A better table saw would be great but with your 5 kids if thinking it may not be something you can do right now. I never had much luck using anything but a light color stain on alder. Leaving the stain on very long at all does not help also. Have fun.

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My first saw looked exactly like that one. The fence would flex easily, and didn't square up well to begin with.

 

Oh, a featherboard looks like this: https://m.harborfreight.com/feather-board-with-angle-finder-36697.html?utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided

and is an excellent safety device for the table saw. I doubt most you can find will fit that saw, though. As I recall, the miter slots are only 5/8" wide, rather than the more common 3/4".

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Marc has a good video on calibrating your saw, along with the things other people mentioned, it's worth checking out.

And you can easily make your own feather board out of a piece of scrap.  Plenty of videos on that too.   I can't give ya any details though, I 3d print mine, so the dimensions are all different. 

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I agree that a better blade would improve your results.

James, PM me your address . I recently got some new 10" carbide tipped blades at an auction.

i would be happy to send them to you (free) to help you along.

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