Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fresh Faced Fence

The Biesemeyer fence on the tablesaw in the shop was in need of replacement. Five years ago I refaced it with a piece of baltic birch plywood, and for kicks I covered it in a thin layer of Lee Valleys UHMW Slippery Tape. The tape worked well for a week, and then wore off. The baltic birch got banged up, and was no longer true. It was time for a new one.

A year ago I had a job making two bathroom vanities. The interiors were made of Dragon Lam, a product I was so impressed with I made my outfeed table from it. It's wearing so well I decided to face my fence with the leftovers.

I began by removing the old face. If I remember correctly, the stock face is removed by peeling off the trim around the edge of the face, then pulling the face apart to gain access to the screw heads. I used a transfer punch to mark the new face for mounting holes.

These were then drilled and counterbored on the drill press.

I chopped off the top corners, and broke the edges. This laminate can hold an extremely sharp edge, and need to be handled with care. I won't disgrace my plane irons on plywood, so sandpaper and a dust mask did the work.

I then mounted the face, and used a straight edge to check for flatness.

I was very happy to see it was straight from the start. Next, I checked for square.

It was a little out, so I used masking tape as a shim.

To test, I used a squared cutoff and cut a tenon.

The shoulder was clean and straight all the way around.

Finally, I installed my favourite blade, made a partial cut, and measured the distance between the kerf and inside edge.

Then adjusted the (broken) cursor to match.

(hey Tyler, I vote for Redwings :)­ ↑)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Gets

I recently picked up a Lie Nielsen split nut screwdriver .

Seriously, their tools are just amazing. It goes "click" as it seats in the nut. It is a perfect slip fit. If all screwdrivers (and screws) were made like this there would be no more of the old slip and scratch.

It promptly found a home in my small saw drawer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Shop Tunes

I like to listen to my iPod in the shop. I subscribe to several podcasts, from news and current events to woodworking and comedy. I've tried a pair of Peltor WorkTunes, they are an excellent product, clear sound, and good radio reception (I worked in a concrete building). The problem I had with them is that they are too isolating, I couldn't tell if the machine was on, let alone working too hard.

For a couple of years I would let my earbuds float loose in the earmuff cup, and crank the volume all the way up. This allowed me to both hear the podcast and attenuated machinery noises. The problem with that is sometimes the bud would roll facedown in the cup and would become inaudible. It was also a bit of a hassle sticking the bud in my ear (I've got freaky ears, I can never get buds to stay in) then trying to get the muffs on.

I eventally wore out my buds and had to go shopping for a new pair. I picked up a pair of Panasonic Ear Drops for $10. Most of what I listen to is spoken word, so high-fidelity isn't much of a concern. Also, shop life is a tough life for electronics, so I don't want to invest too much in them.

These headphones have a handy clip built into the top:

The clip is intended for attaching the bud to your collar or to each other for storage, but I have another purpose.

I dissasembled my ear muffs. The outside cuff pops off, and the foam is pulled from the inside. I pushed a small plastic zip tie through the foam, zipped it into a small circle, and cut off the excess. I then re-assembled the muff, and clipped the bud to the zip tie.

Now the bud stays in the cup, pointed at my ear. I can still hear enough shop noise and I don't need to juggle the buds when I pop my muffs off. The sound quality is decent, too.

Search This Blog


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.