Von's shop tour and setup log


Von

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On 3/25/2024 at 11:41 AM, Mark J said:

If I understand the operation correctly, the left edge of the L-fence has to be lined up exactly with the left edge of the saw teeth.  Curious how you set up for the cut?

Similar to @wtnhighlander I used a square against the edge of a tooth on the blade to set the L-fence.

On 3/25/2024 at 10:45 PM, Coop said:

I’ve never built a L fence as I’m not sure I understand the usefulness of it. As often as I’ve heard of them, I’m sure I’m missing something? 

Similar to a router with a flush trim bit, it lets you trim one piece of wood to a template that runs against the fence usually attached to the wood with double-stick tape or similar, but as @JohnG mentions you can also have a template with some high-friction material you just hold against the wood.

Unlike a router, it can only cut straight lines, but it's very fast and efficient since it's only making a 1/8" cut, so you can easily cut off pieces that one would normally rough cut first on a bandsaw before flush trimming with a router.

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On 4/19/2024 at 4:20 PM, gee-dub said:

You have made some wonderful progress on your space Von.  I have really enjoyed getting to tag along so far.  Thanks!

Thank you. I appreciate having the advice, feedback and ideas from this forum, as well as the extra motivation I get from sharing progress.

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On 1/19/2024 at 9:03 AM, Mark J said:

Have you given any thought to heating your space (when in use)?  A 240V electric heater might raise the temp significantly, and can be turned on and off as needed.

Late to this thread; stole some ideas and I have some input on the above idea.  

When I was stationed up in Grand Forks ND the house I bought had a two-car garage that was also quite deep, had room for both vehicles and a decent-sized shop.  I insulated and sheetrocked the whole garage, then bought a forced-air kerosene heater.  On the first really cold Saturday morning (-24º F) it was about 0º in the garage and I fired up the heater; within 40 minutes it hit 60º!  Was so happy.

Went over to my spanking-new tablesaw, and the side of my hand froze to it, like a double-dog-dare lick of a flagpole.  Within a minute or so I was able to pull loose, and then I noticed a whitish film on the table.  It all hit me; the air temp rose 80º quickly, the heater was billowing out CO2 and water vapor, but any block of cast-iron would take forever to warm up, collecting condensation all the while.  And that included my tablesaw, my vise, all my planes, the car and truck....  Was so unhappy.  

I could've left at least one vehicle in the driveway during the 8 months of winter, and scrape the windows at 0600 every morning, but I realized my dream of a heated shop, just wasn't going to happen.   When I bought this place in UT, I made sure it had room in the basement for a shop.  

TL;DR - If you're going to heat a shop during the winter, it needs to be heated 100% of the time.  :(  

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On 4/22/2024 at 4:21 PM, Botch said:

TL;DR - If you're going to heat a shop during the winter, it needs to be heated 100% of the time.  :(  

Another issue I've heard of (I think it was on WoodTalk) is if your shop is cold and you open a door or window on that first warm Spring day, you can end up with condensation on everything.

I find myself using my heater just to make it more comfortable on marginal days, say getting the shop from 40 degrees to 50.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More adventures in MDF land... My first set of cuts down the length for the dovetail slots went fine. But when I went to make the perpendicular slots (just using the Microjig hogout bit at this point), I got blowout city. One thing I didn't notice at the time is that where I finished the MDF, on the outside of the piece at top in the photo below, blowout was much, much less - in retrospect, finishing inside the slots might be a good idea before cross-routing.

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I tried blue tape inside the slots and that helped a little but not much. What worked well was to use a block of wood cut at 14 degrees as a guide and pre-cut the slots with a handsaw. This addressed most of the blowout problem.

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Below, a little CA glue to fix the blowout. The packing foam kept the blowout in place while the glue dried. A little surgery with a box cutter was needed afterwards to clear out some of the slots where the MDF swelled from the glue. One cross slot got a little wonky on me (2nd from the left near the top) - my precuts and router didn't quite line up. If it gives me issues, I'll try filling the slot with some blue tape.

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Got a coat of poly on the ends before calling it a day.

 

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I (plan to) put MatchFit tracks on everything.  I was thinking of using MatchFit clamps instead of hold-downs, but you can't turn them to hold something that's not on the track.  I'm vaguely considering making some adapters that lock into a MatchFit slot and have a short piece of T-Track on top.

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On 5/8/2024 at 9:00 PM, gee-dub said:

If this is for the MatchFit clamp system MDF has performed well for me.  

Matchfit is indeed my plan.

@gee-dub - Looks like you conquered or didn't have the tear out issues I ran into cross routing in MDF? The vertical jig on your sled in your first photo looks like it has an MDF face(?) and looks pristine.

I reviewed your post on your table saw sled, but I think you only cover routing slots in plywood, which hasn't given me any problems.

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@Von - Sorry for the slow response.  The blowout you show looks like a dull bit or a too-fast feed rate issue.  I cut the MDF at the router table whenever possible.  Table or freehand I cut the 1/4" relief grooves first using an upcut spiral that helps pull the spoil out of the cut as I go. 

Once all the relief slots are cut I cut the dovetails using the Matchfit bit.  I have cut them with a regular 14* x 1/2" dovetail bit but found softening the shoulders by hand after the fact became pretty tedious.  That is, the bit is well worth the money if you are gong to use this system IMHO.

At any rate, I use a steady, smooth feed rate and try to control the material as much as possible with push pads (at the table) or good router motor control (when freehand).  I think of myself as a human power feeder and try to be as consistent as possible. 

The sound of the router motor acts as my guide in keeping a consistent feed rate.  I don't know that I have ever had any of the "ultralight" MDF product in the shop and just used what I had on hand so I do not know if this is a contributing factor.

 

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On 5/10/2024 at 8:58 AM, gee-dub said:

@Von - Sorry for the slow response.  The blowout you show looks like a dull bit or a too-fast feed rate issue. 

Thank you and no need for an apology!

I'm using a fairly new set of Matchfit bits on my router table, including the Matchfit relief bit. I was seeing the blow out with the relief bit cross cuts (I did the relief cuts first all around).

I'm not sure what type of MDF I'm using. It's a piece that has been kicking around for years I figured I'd use up, so I'll keep in the back of my head it may be the issue.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, but when I get back next week, I'll play with some scrap MDF and see what I can discern. I'll look at feed rate as my primary suspect and then try a spiral upcut bit instead of the relief bit.

Thanks again.

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