Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shop tips 1/20/11

This is the first entry of what will hopefully become an ongoing, but probably not regular segment on things I find that help with productivity.

Reliably repeatable crosscutting of long parts.
I was trying to find a way to cut long parts for some frame and panel sub-assemblies the other day. I have a long fence that hooks onto a miter gauge, but the parts were even longer than that. The solution that I came up with was to use the long bar to the right of the blade, and set the length of the part with the table saw fence. Since this is an inherently dangerous operation, I needed a way to use the fence to set the length, and then have the fence slide out of the way. But I had 8 of those parts to cut, and only felt comfortable cutting one at a time. And I wanted a precise way to position the fence.

I have a length of T-track set into the extension table, which I put in there to hold fence settings, in the event that I needed to cut something smaller, and then go back to the other setting. I switched that up a bit, using the setting holder as a stop for bringing the fence back the same position again and again.

Another use for the pattern vise
I've been seriously loving the Emmert vise. Oh, man, so worth having.

I was using my Festool domino to join the frame and panel assemblies together yesterday. I'm used to clamping every piece to the bench top, and un-clamping every time the part needed to be moved or flipped... sometimes having to use 2 or 3 clamps on the longer boards. Then I remembered that the Emmert pivots 90 degrees. I feel like a tool glutton. I'm in hog heaven. Using the vise is SO much easier than using clamps.

Accurately edge jointing really long boards
I'm not sure if this is really a helpful post, or if it's just me showing off some of my coolest toys tools.

In any event, this was the easiest method to straighten a 12' long board that I've ever used. I love Festool.

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