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Extremely Average #40: To Build or Not To Build

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 02-11-2010 05:10 AM 1366 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 39: Creating the Cauls Part 40 of Extremely Average series Part 41: True Dat »

A while back I talked about my desire to buy or build a router table. Today I have decided. I will build. It will be glorious. The factors that influenced my decision were many; quality, precision, flatness of the table, and to some extent cost. When I weighed all the factors the scales were greatly tilted in favor of buying either the Incra super system or the Veritas system. I choose to build, because I wanted to.

In a day or two, the router plate I ordered will arrive. This will cause much stress and fear, as I will likely need to drill some holes into it. It is possible that I will devote twenty to thirty hours measuring and remeasuring the placement of the holes, before I break down and call in someone from NASA. Since I don’t have a drill press or know what type of bit to use, I calculate my chances for a cataclysmic failure to be at about 84%.
I began work on the stretchers. They are made from 2×4s. I have designed the table to have the same table top dimensions as the Kreg table, 24×32. When I say designed, I am using that term loosely, as I am actually just modifying the plans I used to build my work bench. Those plans were designed by the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine, Asa Christiana. My plans simply call for different dimensions, a set of freaking laser beams, and a Gatlin gun. It is actually going to be a router/urban assault table.

I am setting each leg in from the edge by 3 inches. The legs will be made from 4×4s. This means that the side stretchers will be 11 inches and the front and back will be at 19 inches. So I bought (2) 8 foot 2×4s and (2) 4×4. I also purchased 10 feet of 1×6 oak. It was pretty and I wanted it. I may use it as part of a fence or as a mount for the gun.

I was all set to cut my 8 stretchers when it occurred to me, that I should sand first. The voice in my head, with a thick German accent, said I was being ‘Stupid’. I didn’t listen to my inner German voice and I went ahead and started to sand. While I was sanding, I noticed several things. The first was that sanding one long piece was easier than sanding 4 little pieces. The second was that I didn’t need to clamp and unclamp everything so often. Now admittedly, I would have used bench cookies were I sanding 11 inch pieces, to do the four inch faces, but still, it seemed more efficient. The third aspect that I really liked was that I didn’t have to change the sand paper as often. I started with 50 grit on the belt sander. I then changed to 80, 150, and 220 on the mouse sander. I went through this cycle with each of the 4 sides. Obviously there would have been 4 times more grit changes, had I sanded each piece individually.

So that was all I did today, with regards to my woodworking. I sanded a 2×4. Not very dramatic or sexy, I will admit, but that is today’s report. I feel I have let my reading public down. I have brought great shame to myself, my family, my ancestors, my sister’s cat, and several neighbors here in Martelle. I can live with that.

On an entirely different note, today has been a banner day for the readership of the old blog. It is interesting that the eastern sea board, completely shut down by snowmageden, has had a fair number of people turning to my article on creating the cauls. The normal readership, which does not count the several hundred wonderful people which read the blog on Lumberjocks, is around 100, with the largest contingent being the 12 people from St. Louis who started reading a week or two ago. As of the writing of tonight’s rambling, the number of people who stopped by to check out the blog was 261, with 77.78% being new visits. I don’t know how many of those will return to see this post, but to those that do, I say, Thanks a bunch. I hope the snow melts for you quickly. And to the 12 from St. Louis I ask, do you know Eric Liu?

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com



21 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

13538 posts in 2809 days


#1 posted 02-11-2010 05:33 AM

we will get used to your shame ,
just keep up the good work .
most of us have never done what you are doing ,
or even heard of martelle .
but you are putting it on the map ,
which will help many people looking for gas in iowa .

your approach to woodworking is refreshing ,
you will surely go far ,
at least to the wheatfields i’m sure (LOL) !

thanks brian ,
this is fun .
enjoy the build !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#2 posted 02-11-2010 05:36 AM

Progress a good thing.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#3 posted 02-11-2010 05:39 AM

Patron,

I appreciate the support. (Note: Iowa is all beans and corn, we don’t have much wheat.)

Brian

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Bill729's profile

Bill729

241 posts in 2549 days


#4 posted 02-11-2010 05:44 AM

I look forward to learning of the escapades that are sure to ensue from building a router table! Don’t forget about the electricity (for the laser beams, et. al.)!

Bravo
Bill from Indiana

View OutPutter's profile

OutPutter

1199 posts in 3458 days


#5 posted 02-11-2010 05:45 AM

Hey, anybody with cauls enough to attack a 2×4 with a 50 grit belt sander has my respect.

-- Jim

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#6 posted 02-11-2010 05:46 AM

LOL…Two Points for OutPutter!!!

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Kacy's profile

Kacy

101 posts in 2553 days


#7 posted 02-11-2010 06:13 AM

I nearly choked when I read that first paragraph, as it described by thought process perfectly a few years ago when I built my portable table!

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/27959

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#8 posted 02-11-2010 06:26 AM

Kacy,

That is a great looking router table. What kind of hinges did you use? I am considering hinges, the top will be pretty heavy.

Of course, I am interested in anybody’s opinion about hinges.

Brian

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Kacy's profile

Kacy

101 posts in 2553 days


#9 posted 02-11-2010 06:27 AM

Brian: Full length piano hinge across the back. Solid as a rock.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#10 posted 02-11-2010 06:29 AM

Piano hinge eh? I have never heard of such a beast. I am going to ask The Google.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Kacy's profile

Kacy

101 posts in 2553 days


#11 posted 02-11-2010 06:30 AM

You can usually get them at any hardware or big box store in various widths … its just a continuous hinge that you either buy to length or bigger and cut off the excess. Screws every inch or two make for a very solid and stable connection.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#12 posted 02-11-2010 06:32 AM

Piano Hinge it is then. I like it.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3353 days


#13 posted 02-11-2010 07:07 AM

Invest in a transfer punch set it contains various sized punches to mark the center points of the holes you need o drill in your plate after you have it centered on the plate hole. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=54892&cat=1,43456
And you will need to make sure the router is centered in the hole a centering device, “dowel”, usually comes with a router, at least the several routers I own did. You can put the “dowel” in the router chuck too center it and the plates I have came with inserts that will let you find center.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2534 days


#14 posted 02-11-2010 07:10 AM

John,

I may have some punches. That is a good idea. I like the dowel idea too.

Brian

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3353 days


#15 posted 02-11-2010 07:22 AM

Brian,

Make sure you look at the picture that is brought up when you look at the set, pix comes up when you click on the little view icon down by the price on the page.

And to better understand what the “dowel”, Center-Finding Pin, I’m talking about above it’s shown in this link.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32316&cat=1,180,42311,42321

John

PS – What’s our detective up to?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

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