While I know that everyone says you should only really mill as much wood as you can work with in a day, the reality of it is that the wood I bought for the bench is taking up my entire garage, so, while I have cut the wood for the top down to size, before I can really get much further on it, I needed to cut the material for the legs down to size, then move the rest that I wont need for this project to the storage shed.
In my last post, I mentioned my rip sled and some of the comments (I believe Joe Lyddon) asked how it worked, so I’ll get into that here.
We all know that its pretty tough to rip a straigh line for a reference surface on a waney/live edged board. Therefore, my thought was to have something that holds down the board in the best position to take a straight trim, runs smothly down the fence, so you can cut a nice straight line.
As such, here is my rip sled:
Basically, its a 12 inch wide, 8 foot long piece of primed MDF (Next time, i would use a malamine board, as the MDF can be a bit floppy). Bolted to the top of the board, with counter sunk bolts and wing nuts on top (for easy moves), is a 3 inch by 8 foot long strip, (The faux fence). Screwed to that, are a pair of toggle clamps. It has 2 positions, in the centre is good for boards 4-6 inches wide, and all the way to the left (In that pic) for wider. I’ve used it on up to 14 inch boards with good result.
How its used:
Basically, you drop a board on there and clamp it down in a position that will give you a line of best fit (aka will cause the least amount of waste when you cut a line parallel to the faux-fence (As you can see in the above picture).
Now, you set the fence on you table saw, accounting for the width of the sled, so that it will cut a clean edge the whole lengh of the board. Position it with the left side of the sled (In the above pic) against the fence, and the board you are trimming will run through the blade.
As you can see in the pic below, taken after it has run through the saw (yes, my outfeed table is a roller stand and a workmate with wood piled on it to the right height) when you run a pass through, you end up with a perfectly straight edge (assuming you can push it through straight).
After you’ve run it through the sled, you have a nice reference face for cutting the boards down to size that you need.
Now, using my trusty rip sled, I was able to work through the large pile of red oak boards until I ended up with enough to laminate together for legs. Figured I would just do the legs, as it would be good practice for glue-up before I got into the top.
The legs came together nicely. I cut them down to size, then jointed/planed them as smaller pieces.
It was good practice. The legs came together nicely. Final size is 5 1/4” x 4 3/4” after planing them down to finished size after the glue up (I didnt take a picture of them yet, i’ll get that for next time).
I can honestly say that after doing the legs, I will need to acquire a few more clamps before I start gluing up the top. Can never have enough clamps, right?
-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "