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Seond day of Finger Box buid - Ran into a problem

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 2482 days ago 1171 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

My eyes really are better looking than this—- but this is eye level
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This shows the line of sight. The jig is up next to the router bit – as you can see – I CAN’T see what is going on in front of the jig.
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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.
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Next I need to set the key 1/8” from the bit. I used my veritas set up block to do this. It’s important not to jam the bit set up block tight between the bit and key. Tight is not right!
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This just shows the bit and the key with the finger cuts.
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You can see the bit really leaves some feathery pieces. I made sure to sand these fuzzies off before I went to far.
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This is my first fitting. The joint fits together but it is much, much to tight. I really had to work to get it together.
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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.
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Next – I just BARELY loosened the knobs on the fence and gave the finger fence a very small tap to the right (standing in front of the jig). You can just barely see where the line has moved.
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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.
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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.
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My “help” just showed up and plopped at my feet. Lucy is not much help, but she’s company.
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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.)
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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.

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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.

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Now I’m using the cut end to set up the cut on my first long side.
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I now have the long side matching the plan’s picture.
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All four sides ready for tomorrow night’s work – the bottom and lid grooves.
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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.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!



11 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8773 posts in 2732 days


#1 posted 2482 days ago

I love Lucy! Betsy, my LJ sister, you need to use a tripod for shop photos.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2913 posts in 2529 days


#2 posted 2482 days ago

Todd. Santa is bringing a tripod and a new camera for Christmas. The problem with my camera is that I dropped it onto a sidewalk on vacation. The focus only works part time. I have to take alot of pictures to get a few that sorta work. Cameras are pretty cheap—but still out of my budget for now. But Santa, aka, a friend has told me that’s what I’m getting this year from her family. So that’s a good thing.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8773 posts in 2732 days


#3 posted 2482 days ago

Those pesky budgets!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3963 posts in 2697 days


#4 posted 2482 days ago

Love the blue tape reminder not to cut. I’ll be stealing that idea. But I’ll put one back in it’s place.
I tape the area to be routed with blue tape on the “back” side of the front board put both boards face to face. I tape the backside of the back board and route both set ups at once. I would also use a sacrificial backing board and then you don’t get the ragged fingers on the blowout side of the boards.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2595 days


#5 posted 2482 days ago

Sorry about the budget but we all have one. I agree with douglas about the backer board. As far as seeing what you are doing, I would make the set up and clamp it down and not try to see.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2913 posts in 2529 days


#6 posted 2482 days ago

Doug——that’s a good idea. I’ve cut enough mahogany to play with so I’m going to try your idea tomorrow night. I’ll give the backer board a go also. I must admit that I thought having made the initial cut in the fence would keep some of the feathering to a minimum since it follows the bit exactly. But in reality, thinking back, I did move the fence two taps over to make the joint fit better. So really it is not an exact bit’s width, but rather a little wider so it’s not a zero clearance fence any longer.

So Tom you don’t think pulling the jig through is a good idea either? I’m not as uneasy about it being a 1/8 bit but anything larger I think would be throwing the dice a little to much. I went to Man of La Mancha tonight at Bass Performance Hall and I was thinking about this at intermission. I could increase my eye level my buidling a little platform to stand on not to high maybe 4 inches. That would probably give me a better visual of what is going on in front of the fence.

I’ll let you know my progress tmorrow.

I appreciate you guys looking. I have enjoyed doing this blog – but I certainly have the feelings of not being good enough for the net, but then I think of some of the stuff on youtube and I feel better!

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34870 posts in 3033 days


#7 posted 2482 days ago

Great job Betsy. Like your trip through the cutting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3963 posts in 2697 days


#8 posted 2482 days ago

Betsy, I like Tom’s idea about staying behind the fence and am seriously concerned about the platform. If you lose your footing you’re ending up on the table…not good. I think if you step around front to check the first cut, clamp it down and go, you’ll be okay. And pulling the work into the bit just puts your face down in the danger zone. If you mess up, and we all do, your out a bit of wood, or your box is a half inch shorter.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1467 posts in 2720 days


#9 posted 2481 days ago

Once you make the first cut it’s all mechanical. You do not need to see it.

And you can cut all four pieces at the same time. Well, after you make your first cut you can do that.
You appear to be cutting your ends first so cut them at the same time then add the sides and cut all 4 at the same time.

My $.03.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2913 posts in 2529 days


#10 posted 2481 days ago

See this is why I like LJ’s. You get me on the right path. You’re right about being behind the fence,—- I was concerned about having to stop so much, go around front, fix the next cut, etc. But then I realized – hey I’m in no hurry for pete’s sake. I’m not making, nor will I be, making a living doing this——so slllllooooow down.

Saw – your $.03 is worth at least $.04—(four sides after all). So the steps I see you suggesting are. 1) put the two faces of the ends face to face (2) set up and clamp the two ends anda backer board (3) run my first cut (4) unclamp – move my first finger for the two ends over the key and then set the two long ends behind the ends so that it’s set for it’s first notch. (This eliminates the step of using my frist short end as a
guage to set the first long end).

Is this right? I’ll try it tonight after work and see how it comes up. And Douglas if I do the set up this way, I can pull the jig clear to the back of the table and can reset without need for a platform. So that’s safer to.

My question with this set up is with a 1/8” bit is that going to be to much wood at one time (even going slow)?

Thanks again. Will see how I do tonight.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2793 days


#11 posted 2481 days ago

... you know you are a LumberJock when you go to a “Man A La Mancha” show and think about woodworking during intermission.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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