There’s one lesson I seem to keep relearning, and that’s how much trouble I have working with sheet wood, MDF in particular. Not only is it bloody heavy, for the life of me, I cannot get a square corner cut on it, or get it cut to the right length/width. Well, I canif I can fit it on my tablesaw. And that I think is the problem. I’ve tweaked out the saw, miter gage (mostly), and fence so that I can get reliable cuts from it. But if I can’t fit the piece on the table saw, fuhgetaboutit.
This is evidenced in the case for the drawers I’m putting under my workbench. They’re part of the add-ons to a bench plan from Wood Magazine, and having some storage space under the table made alot of sense (in fact lots of storage space is needed). The bottom, top, and back were all too big to be cut on the tablesaw, so I leaned on my circ saw and a cutting guide and square. Maybe I’m missing something, or there’s some technique I’m in need of, but those parts of the case just weren’t square or as accurately cut as I wanted.
On a related tangential note, the otherlesson I keep learning is that, for me, woodworking isn’t about speed. It’s about slowing WAY down, and thinking more and assuming less at every step of the project. Things go better when I do that. Now back to my previous rant…
The sides were small enough to cut on the tablesaw, so those came out ok. I don’t want to talk about the pooched dados in sides for the runners. That goes back to the slowing down thing.
Now the drawer pieces came out great! A nice flat pine board, rough cut with the circ saw, ripped to width on the table saw and cut to final length miter saw was sweet. The one time I went to the tablesaw to cut them to length didn’t work so good (need to work on my technique there and come up with a sled/stop arrangement that is more stable…). And cutting the rabbets with the dado stack in the tablesaw worked well too (tho I really need to invest in a better quality stack – or get a shoulder plane – one or the ‘tother). Test pieces and sneaking up on the final size – check! Keep that in the woodworking clue bag furshur!
Now there’s not going to be much chance of avoiding working with sheet goods, so rather than swim against the current, getting a power boat with a hurkin’ engine would be much better! There’s a rolling storage rack/panel cutter rig I saw in another Wood Magazine issue that’s next on my shop stuff list. Having a stable platform with a dedicated and right sized cutting guide should make a world of difference. Plus it’ll free up the space where I’m now storing the sheet wood and the old bench their strapped to. All goodness methinks.
Oh and mounting an MDF case UNDER a bench. Yeesh! That wasn’t nearly as easy as the plan indicated. Ya, I needed some boards to lift it into position, but since I tweaked the height of the bench, 4 chunks of 2×6 wasn’t going to cut it. In the end, a hydraulic car jack, and stacks of 2×4 got it into position so I could secure one side, then the other. McGuyver woulda been proud.
Hopping back to the previous post about the Yule gifts. They were a HUGE hit. Altho (to me anyways) the boxes were “first project EVAR” quality, and the hole for the mirrors was too big or deep, everybody like them. My favorite was the simplest – a take on a 6 board Shaker box for my nephew (from Fine Woodworking).
Now I have two more drawer to finish, and that should be fun as they’ll fit nicely. Then some sanding and finishing, pulls to add then load ‘em up!
Looking into my Woodworking Clue Bag, there’s plenty of clues to use now. The trick will be slowing down to remember to dip into it when needed!
-- What? Me worry?!