April 16, 2008
I was looking in a magazine at some jigs different guys had built and I marvel at how clean their shops are and how pristine the jigs are: all that new wood and finish. Can’t say mine are anything like that ~ almost always made from scrap and then stuff that isn’t usable because it is damaged, has water spots or stains, etc. But I thought I’d share how I sand small stuff and edges with my belt sander.
I made a holder for the sander then clamp it to the bench with a C clamp (screw down); a Hand Screw sticks up too high and gets in the way. I fiddled around figuring out the correct cut-out for the sander housing before I got it right. Here’s 2 views so if you want to do this, it might shorten the learning curve.
The hole in the lower right is for the adjusting screw on the sander. The duct tape holds on a samll plywood shim that made the sander sit square to the table. The whole thing is “Disney” but it works great, saves lots of time, doesn’t take up much space when not in use, CHEEP, but most of all SAVES FINGERS!
To ulilize the belt better I sometimes put a piece of scrap under the stock being sanded to raise it up. The round end of the sander comes in handy too. There are lots of things I could do to make it more complex: adjustable table, longer table, tilting table….. yada, yada yada keep it simple. When I have to sand a bevel edge, I rip a piece of stock and put it under the piece I’m sanding.
I tend to be a traditionalist doing stuff the “emperical” way. Don’t have a compound angle super delux tilt all direction miter saw with 100 detent stops and sliding rails. I still miter moulding upside down and backwards (but not by hand): If you don’t know that one, go look up an old carpenter that really knew how to build and do trim work.
I was lucky to work summers with an “old school” carpenter when I was going to college and he took a liking to me as I took an interest in the work. Some of the old timers didn’t want you to know their tricks as it was their bread and butter. Dick Joyal in Keene, N.H. forgot more about carpentry than I’ll ever know.
When I built my own house, I was talking to a young fella that “thought” he was a carpenter because he owned a nail gun and power hand saw and was framing houses. He wanted to know the pitch of my roof because I framed with rafters and not trusses. I scratched my head for a bit trying to remember and said “if I remember, it was was about 7- 9/16” per foot”
Giving me a look like I was stupid he asked “why the hell is it an odd measure?” He then said he could figure it out if given a day!
I told him that there was a height restriction in the neighborhood and I wanted to be 1 inch under the max height; and if he couldn’t figure it out in 15 minutes – he wasn’t any carpenter.
..... at which point he walked off grumblin somethin not fit to print.
PS I can do Trig. run a calculator, layout and read a framing square, read framing tables ~ but the secret doesn’t use any math at all and is so easy you’d kick yourself.