1st project - Workbench #1: Day 1

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Blog entry by MikeOB posted 12-28-2009 05:50 AM 1400 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of 1st project - Workbench series Part 2: Day 2 »

I’m using the design from Wood Magazine Nov. 2009 as a guide. I found a solid core door for $5.00 on craigslist months ago that will be my bench top. Went to Menards to get the majority of my wood and some of the screws, casters, etc. The rest I will get from Ace when I need them.

Got to use my new/used table saw. Put my new blade and zero clearance insert in it and cleaned up the table. Used my basic miter saw which isn’t big enough to cut some pieces in half. That is what I get for buying the cheapest one when I just started. Then again, the project I used it for was fine for it.

I have 3 pieces done, not much I know, but I’m taking my time. Got a little scare when a piece kicked back. I know what caused it, so that won’t happen again.

-- Mike, Portage, WI

5 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3698 days

#1 posted 12-28-2009 05:35 PM

i don’t remember seeing the plan. I’m going to need to go back to refresh my memory. sounds like you got a steal on the door though!

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3618 days

#2 posted 12-28-2009 05:40 PM

take your time, enjoy the process. sounds like you’ve got a great ‘first project’ to work on. looking forward to seeing some progress, and pictures.

stay safe – splitters, guards, goggles, ear protection, push sticks, etc.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MikeOB's profile


89 posts in 3091 days

#3 posted 12-28-2009 11:48 PM

main culprit on the kick back I believe was my zero clearance insert…I think it was a tad off…would that have caused it?

-- Mike, Portage, WI

View SPalm's profile


5318 posts in 3852 days

#4 posted 12-29-2009 03:47 PM

Hey Mike, your progress sounds great.

I doubt that your ZCI was the cause of the kickback. Several things can cause it. What does happen is that the back of the blade comes in contact with the wood. This is potentially very dangerous, be sure to not have your body in the way if it were to happen again. So you need to try to prevent this. It can happen if the fence is not parallel with the blade. It can happen if the bottom of the board that you are cutting is not flat, such that it will rock into the blade half way through. It can happen if the board you are cutting does not have a very flat side to run against the fence such that it will curve into the blade. It can happen if the board is under internal stress such that it will twist or close on itself as it is being cut.

Adding a splitter will help a lot. There may have been one that came with the saw, but the ZCI has now covered up the slot that you mount it in. So if you have one, cut a slot through the ZCI and mount it. Otherwise cut a slot into the ZCI and mount a piece of wood the same thickness (1/8”) as your blade, kind of like the fin on a surfboard.

There are some other things that you can do such as using a short axillary fence that stops just after the front of the blade, or temporarily tacking the board onto a piece of plywood until you have your first cuts done. Or rough cut odd boards with a saber saw or bandsaw.

All table saws sold now are required to have a riving knife, which is kind of like a splitter on steroids.

Safe = Fun,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View MikeOB's profile


89 posts in 3091 days

#5 posted 12-29-2009 10:44 PM

yeah it wasn’t the zero insert…it was the fence that caused it. Problem has been taken care of.

-- Mike, Portage, WI

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