ain’t been doin’ nothin’

I’ve decided to get a few “shop projects” taken care of before I begin my next build – because it’s gonna be a big one (or, should I say, several big ones).

working out the details of my next several builds (yes, plural)

working out the details of my next several builds (yes, plural)

crosscut sled

My previous blog was about the details of my crosscut sled I had to build for my table saw.  Before I would have said that this was one of my most valuable shop jigs – but that may have now changed. panel sled This was probably one of the simplest shop jigs I’ve ever made – and after using it a little, I believe it might be the most useful.  Partly because it is just so light and simple.  Most of my jigs are stored under my new outfeed/assembly table.  And even thought they are well within reach – weight, size, and ease of use can be a factor.

panel sled

panel sled

sacrificial fence

Believe it or not I’ve never built on of these.  I guess I never thought I had the need for it.  But, having the time and seeing the potential for it, I slapped one together.  This too was a simple project – but once done, I found myself using it quite often (again, light, quick, and easy).

sacrificial fence

sacrificial fence

sandpaper/sander station

A few years ago I installed French cleat system to a couple of my garage/shop walls.  I don’t really have much wall space to deal with – even though it is a 3-car garage it seems much of the wall space is taken up with windows, doors, garage doors or something else.  The beauty of the French cleat system is that  I can easily re-arrange it to suit my needs – and it seems I do that a lot – and I can custom build whatever I want to hang from it (clamp rack, cordless drill caddy, shelves, hooks, etc.). The sandpaper/sander station was, like most other shop builds, constructed with scrap wood.  Some might look at my shop projects and wonder why I use such “nice” wood (oak or maple) – the answer is simple – that is what I have lying around collecting dust and getting in the way.  I also had a piece of peg board lying around that I had pulled off the wall some time ago.  I’m not a big peg board person – I gave it a try for a while but replaced it with the French cleat system previously mentioned.  I finished it up by putting the French cleat components on the back – and hung it on the wall. frustration I ran into some issue when cutting dados across the face grain of the oak plywood I was using (see photo below).  I have found red oak to be very susceptible to splintering and tear out.  Crosscutting seemed to amplify the problem – which lead me to some frustration AND some experimentation (it’s a shop project after all – I can afford some imperfection and experimentation).

red oak dado tearout (top: full dado cut) (bottom: incremental cut)

red oak dado tearout (top: full dado cut) (bottom: incremental cut)

In the end I ended up using a lot of blue painters tape and making an initial scoring cut and a final depth cut for each dado – and that was a lot of dados.  If this had been a “nice” project – I’d had been VERY frustrated.

red oak dado w/blue painters tape AND incremental depth cuts

red oak dado w/blue painters tape AND incremental depth cuts

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5 thoughts on “ain’t been doin’ nothin’

  1. Your SketchUp skills seem to be coming along very nicely. Plywood tearout – what are you gonna do? I have used a blade made just for plywood and plastic that works well, but it is not a dado blade. You are right; shop projects are perfect for experimentation.

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