I save just about all of my scrap. It comes in handy for jigs, blocks, shims, whatever. It’s also my city firewood. Each year in Chicago, smelt fishing season runs during the month of April. It’s an annual tradition for our family to throw some nets into Lake Michigan and wait for the little fish to swim into them. As you can imagine, this is a tough way to fish, so we bring a year of scrap lumber, have a fire, grill some sausages, drik some cocktails, and have a marvolous time fishing. It’s a total blast, I really recommend smelt fishing if you like to party.
So, around May 1, the shop is really clean and I don’t have a single scrap left and I really have to scratch my head to find a little peice here or there. The treasure hunt is good for my brain.
So, I found a 1×2 peice of poplar shoved in the rafters between the radiator pipes. I forgot all about it. The louver is 1.5” wide so this was an ideal peice of scrap. When I found it, little boy was asleep. My wife would strangle me if I woke up the kid because I ripped down lumber for this hottie that lives on the North Side, so I just set things up and left the project alone for the night.
A while back, I made these featherboards from some scrap peices of oak 1x. I followed a general plan from a magazine or website or video or something; I really don’t recall. Anyway, my modification was to keep a big, beefy block on the end so I have something to clamp to. I also made a taller fence from some birch plwood, so I have something to clamp my vertical featherboard to. The tall fence just snugly fits & locks on my tablesaw fence.
If you havn’t used featherboards, I recommend them for pushing small pieces through. They really hold the wood secure and keep it from kicking back. It’s a marvolous device and brings a lot of safety to the table saw or router table.
To truly appreaciate kickback, I had to get hit in the knee with a block of wood. It’s about as much pain as I’ve ever felt – getting hit with a block of wood, close range, at something like 100mph. I laid on the floor, in the garage, in pain for a long time before I got up.
I had the saw on the floor and was crouching in back of it. I was cross cutting 1.5” x 1.5” blocks, 3” long and stupidly using the fence as a stop gauge. The block caught between the fence and the blade, and wham! I limped around work for 2 weeks, like a gimp, and took a lot of pokes from my buddies. That lesson has always stayed with me and will stay with me for the rest of my life. Take that kick back seriously!
So, I just have to rip down some 1.5” x 1/4” boards and do some sanding & painting . So far, 1/2 hour invested in this repair and I’ll charge a buck a foot for the boards.
-- It's all in a day's work...