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Blog entry by AaronK posted 12-07-2008 06:44 PM 845 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally got started on my first non-shop project. The plans are here . Except I’m not using screws, but making these modifications:

Dados for the shelves
a locked tongue & groove for the top of the wide side
through mortise & tenon for top and bottom of the narrow side – the lower tenon will protrude and extra 1/2” to become on of the feet

Yesterday i got the dimensioning done:

dimensioned poplar

and while most of the time i didn’t have much difference in the lumber to choose from, I was able to get a nearly quartersawn section for the narrow side, which is the unique part of the design and will be the most visible and eye-catching:
quartersawn narrow side board

note – it’s right on top of another wider board.

Although I sized everything a 1/16th over in order to have room for finishing up with the router-jointer and hardplanes later, I did encounter a problem ripcutting those “long” 8’ boards in my shop. I clamped both sides of the board into the crosscut sled, but because of their width (12”) and weight, they would still shift slightly through the cut, making the cut just slightly uneven – not enough to matter in the long run, since i gave myself the extra room, but annoying nonetheless. First I thought the sled was out of square, but after checking that it wasnt i realized the problem. I was clamping to the front fence on the sled (what I call the front fence – the one closest to the front of the table saw). I realized only after I was done that switching a quick clamp around to act as an expander between the board and rear fence might be better:
clamping long + wide boards for crosscuts

the board in the photo is short, but I was doing things like having 5’ hanging off the right side! anyway, the clamp on the right is what i was doing. I believe that this allows the board to spin clockwise through the cut – and this is what the board naturally wants to do, so the clamping isnt terribly effective. Getting in really close to the kerf is key – this prevents that clockwise motion – and that’s really only possible by using a quick clamp in reverse in that distance between the rear fence and the boad… as shown on the left. I’m pretty sure this will work and I’ll try it next time i have to crosscut long pieces.

One weird observation – when i was making the long ripcuts, I saw burning on the waste sections, but not on the non-waste sections. i think this is weird… i mean, i was using featherboards, but there was plenty of room and it didnt seem like anything was binding against the blade. oh well, not a problem really, but i’d like to figure out why.

4 comments so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3586 days

#1 posted 12-07-2008 07:06 PM

Looks and sounds like it’s going to be a nice project. Keep us updated.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3675 days

#2 posted 12-08-2008 09:09 PM

Beautiful Poplar wood. Looking forward to seeing the completed project.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3460 days

#3 posted 12-08-2008 09:17 PM

thanks – the only thing i dont like about poplar so far is the streaks of green in it – the other qualities are nice.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 12-09-2008 02:26 AM

ooooh, yeah those green streaks. I have a lovely piece (small as it is at 24 inches or so) of Tulip Poplar, with lots of pretty yellow and purple streaks. I’ll probably just finish it clear.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

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