ok – I’ve built my router table jig and have the materials milled and ready to go. Now I see the problem with my jig. I can’t see what I’m doing from behind. These pictures will tell the story. (And no I’m not stick thin but you can’t take a picture of yourself.
So now what? I can’t push the jig from the back if I want to see the bit and what’s happening. The table is to long or I’m to short. Can’t really change either dimension. I tried pushing from the side—but that is to awkward. I’ve settled on pulling the jig towards me. I had some issue of safety with this. But by curling my fingers around the jig’s top and holding tight I can do it very safely. More safely than trying to push from the back.
Not sure what other solution there is. I really don’t want to go back to the table saw.
Ok – so now back to the setup. I’ve pushed the bit through the fence and tried to make a hardwood key. Remember we are dealing with an 1/8” bit so making a 1/8” key was hard. I used a couple of techniques of cutting thin strips that I’ve seen on the net. But did not have good sucess. So I went back to Mr. Stowe’s book and decided to use an 1/8” drill bit to use as a key. As you can see the shaft fits the bit’s kerf very well.
Mr. Stowe directs to move the key closer to the bit if the joint is to tight. To do that I got a sharp pencil and my Veritas saddle square to draw a line across the top of the finger fence and the jig fence.
I ran another test cut to test the set up. It took two rounds to get the perfect joint. The joint in tight enough that when together I can’t shake it apart, but loose enough that when I put glue in the joint the shear force of putting the joint together will not push all the glue out thereby starving the joint.
So now I’m ready to cut my project pieces. If you look at the original plans you will see that the fingers do not go all the way to the top of the sides. This is so there is space for the sliding lid. The tape on the parts in this next picture is there to remind me to stop cutting and not go all the way to the top. These finger joints are so easy to cut that it’s easy to get carried away and go all the way to the top.
As I was cutting the fingers I had trouble with the shavings staying in the finger. I kept a screwdriver close by to clean those out before moving on to the next finger. (I did not move the jig back through the cut once it was made – I did not want to take a chance tilting the piece moving it backwards. If I had moved it back through the cut – i would not have had the problem with the shavings. But I’m not in a hurry.)
Here is the first end cut. You can see from the picture that it looks like the original plan except that the top has not been cut off for the sliding lid. That’s on tomorrow’s list. This is a good time to make sure you sand all the fuzzies off each piece. You have to sand the inside anyway so might as well do it now.
Here shows both ends cut the same. It’s important to take the time to make sure both identical pieces are, in fact, identical now as opposed to getting ready for gluing and wonder why it does not fit.
I’d be interested on any ideas on the jig. I would prefer to push the jig from behind as opposed to pull it from the front. With an 1/8” bit I was not terribly concerned, but I am not sure that I would want to do that with a 1/2” or bigger bit.
Again – sorry for the photo quality. Thanks for looking. Hopefully more tomorrow.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine