Time to Step Up My Skills #4: Moving along a little quicker now...Time to make the first cut.

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Blog entry by AngieO posted 06-28-2013 01:48 PM 1749 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Progress update... There hasn't been much :( Part 4 of Time to Step Up My Skills series Part 5: The end pieces are almost done. »

Hello! My bench has been a slow build. But… I’m taking my time with it. I don’t want to get in a hurry.

I have to admit that I got a little intimidated by this project. Until now I’ve been dealing with smaller boards and projects that were pretty simple. Most of my boards have been salvaged from pallets and have been pine. This time I had these big 8’ rough cut cherry boards. For a long time those three boards just sat in my shop while I wondered what I’d do next. Finally… I jumped in and threw the first one up on my bench and got my circular saw out. But… I quickly decided that I wanted to do a test cut on another scrap before I cut into the cherry.

I got a board I knew was straight and clamped it on the end of my scrap board. I also clamped the board to my work bench. (I say scrap… but later I found that it was ash. And that I had been given about 6-7 of these boards. All of which were about 8’ long. Plus some other thinner boards. But that’s another story.)

So… I got an inch into the cut… and my circular saw died! <<<sigh>>> I was so disappointed.
Right about then my mom pulled into my drive and walked into my garage. She asked why I was aggravated. I explained to her. She said “get in my truck”.

Off to Lowe’s we went. And this is what we came home with.

Man… I had this little baby circular saw all this time. I didn’t realize what I was missing till I powered this bad boy up. I love it. It works really great. So my mom bought this for me. In exchange… she wanted me to build her an end table/nightstand. So be looking for that project to be showing up soon.

Sidenote…. A couple days later I found a big pile of 2×3’s that someone was giving away. I snagged a couple and was going to go back to get the ones that were too long to fit in my van (yes, they were that long). I grabbed my old circular saw. Put the freshly charged battery on it and headed to the van. For some reason…. probably just to hear it run, lol… I turned it on. It ran for about 15 seconds and then died. Haven’t been able to get the thing to come back on again. :(

Anyways…. I love my Porter Cable circular saw. It’s not that often that I needed something that was cordless. And this thing works great! LOVE IT!

So… I threw my board up on the workbench again. I also picked up a Kreg jig. This worked much easier. This little jig made it super easy to keep my cuts straight. I’m really glad I picked it up. If you see a contraption on my saw… it’s not part of this jig. I had borrowed a different Kreg Jig from a friend and tried it. I actually like this little plastic one a lot better. And it was a lot cheaper. This time… I went straight for the cherry.

And in no time at all I had all my boards rough cut to length.

I don’t know if you guys usually plane down the boards before you cut them to length. I went ahead and cut them down to a more manageable length to put through the planer. I don’t have a lot of outfeed support so this worked much better for me.

Moving right along now. :)

20 comments so far

View Steve Tripp's profile

Steve Tripp

30 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 06-28-2013 02:19 PM

Looking forward to more blog posts about this project. My first real project has been going very slow as well, mostly because I am researching each stage before I actually do anything.

-- Steve Tripp, Minneapolis, MN

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28961 posts in 2306 days

#2 posted 06-28-2013 02:39 PM

Looks like some nice wood. Building your own feels great.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CFrye's profile


10141 posts in 1808 days

#3 posted 06-28-2013 03:42 PM

Mom to the rescue! Upgrading tools is wonderful and that cherry is beautiful! Go Angie Go!

-- God bless, Candy

View doubleDD's profile


7321 posts in 2011 days

#4 posted 06-28-2013 03:52 PM

Good luck with your bench Angie, and nice saw. You may also consider a couple of portable adjustable rollers for your larger work since you don’t have feeder tables. They will save time and a lot of aggravation, cheap too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2115 days

#5 posted 06-28-2013 04:01 PM

Mom has been to the rescue multiple times. She is really encouraging me in my woodworking. She’s made all kinds of contributions.

Definitely looking to get some adjustable rollers. This will help on the planer as well as the table saw. Especially since I’ve recently invested in 100bd ft of cherry :) Gotta have a safer and quicker way to cut down these boards.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2480 days

#6 posted 06-28-2013 04:08 PM

Nice that your mom came to your rescue, Angie, can’t wait to see what you make out of the Cherry.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2455 days

#7 posted 06-28-2013 04:26 PM

Angie, How come you didn’t rip the cherry with the table saw?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1975 days

#8 posted 06-28-2013 04:28 PM

Good on your Mom! That was a nice gift!

As to planning before or after cutting…. If your planer tends to snipe the ends (like most of them do) you might consider allowing 6” or 8” extra length before running them thru the planer. That allows for 3” – 4” of snipe at each end when you cut to final lengths. I learned this the hard way and it saves a lot of aggravation…

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2115 days

#9 posted 06-28-2013 04:31 PM

I used the circular saw to do my cross cuts. My miter saw can only handle about 7”. I think my boards were 10”. Plus… My miter saw is just sitting on a built in workbench and I don’t have the room to put an 8’ board up there. Will be using the table saw to rip them down and then the miter saw to finish to final dimensions.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2455 days

#10 posted 06-28-2013 04:38 PM

Oh, OK, I read that wrong. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

I’ll be looking for updates all the way along the line!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2115 days

#11 posted 06-28-2013 05:01 PM

Did anyone notice the table saw? Love Love Love it! I’ve been pretty blessed lately with some new tools. NICE tools! My mom helped with the table saw too.

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2658 days

#12 posted 06-28-2013 08:07 PM

Better get started on that end table/nightstand project for Mom. Then you can tell her how much better it would have been if you had this Tool or that other Tool. :) Thats what Guys have to do with thier Wife.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2158 days

#13 posted 06-28-2013 10:19 PM

great to hear your mom’s supporting you with your woodworking it helps to have someone believe in you.
nice score on the saw.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View NormG's profile


5955 posts in 2972 days

#14 posted 06-29-2013 12:34 AM

as ong as you are moving forward you are making progress, thanks for sharing, congrats on the saw

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2658 days

#15 posted 06-29-2013 12:46 AM

Think your mom would adopt me? :)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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