Design Overkill - How to avoid scrapping the leftovers

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Blog entry by WudWrkr posted 08-03-2011 05:18 AM 2161 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am going to make a few craft items and I need to crosscut some cedar 1×12x10’ lumber – I need a place to do it.

Using my workbench and a roller stand seems like a good way to go, but I need a way to elevate the lumber so the bench top stays in tack. I could use the Rockler cookies, but I think I would rather build something myself and use some of those leftover parts I have laying around (you know, the ones that are just too good to throw out).


I don’t need much elevation – a couple of pieces of scrap ¾” pine and some ¾” dowels to hold them in place should work just fine.


Yeah, that is the ticket – pine risers.

Now I will adjust the roller stand and lay on the lumber.


Cool beans, but hmm…, now that the board is in place I can see that a better idea would have been to leave the two rear dowels a little proud to act as stops for the work piece. (I guess I can add two more dowels for that purpose later.)

Now I need a T-Square jig to guide my little PC SawBoss and I will be in business. Google delivers hundreds of hits, but they all boil down to the same three or four designs and I feel like doing something different, but what? (Maybe it’s time to check my leftovers and put on my ‘Far Side’ thinking cap.) Let’s see…I do have a short piece of ¾” aluminum channel that I have been hanging on to for far too long. And then there’s that short length of T-Track, and that piece of ¾” ply, and those hickory flooring scraps, hmmm….


After squaring up the plywood scrap and plowing a dado parallel to one side, I epoxied the channel into the dado (pulling it up against one wall of the dado).

So far, so good, but I still need a ‘T’.


One of those scrap pieces of hickory flooring ought to be just the ticket. If I make it wider than the jig I can clamp the whole thing to the work piece and not have to hold it in place.

To install the jig ‘T’ I just square it up with the side that is square to the channel, add some screws and glue and now it is a ‘T’ jig…almost!


A little trial run with a clamp and, yep, I think it will work.

A better idea might be to go ahead and add the two ‘stop’ dowels in the rear; the pressure of the work piece against the stops will hold the jig in place. I would not need a clamp at all then (I do need to remember to modify the left stop dowel to compensate for the gap that will be between the work piece and the left stop when the ‘T’ part of the jig presses against the right stop, i.e. the thickness of the ‘T’ part).


Now to trick up my little cutter a bit and I think I will be in business.

(I really like this little saw, but I must admit that since I primarily use it for breaking down sheet goods I would prefer the blade on the other side.)


I just scribe a line that is parallel to the blade, drill a couple of holes in the saw base plate, cut a couple of (leftover) 10-24 thumb screw to length, slide a couple of T-Nuts into the channel and it’s almost time to put this ‘Rube Goldburg’ to work.


Here is another view of the T-Track. If you look closely under the saw you will see that I used one of those Rockler Cookies after all :^).


Here we are all jigged up and ready to smell the cedar.

Oops, I failed to function, I did not get a picture of the most important step – running the saw across the jig board to cut it so the edge of the jig shows where the saw kerf is going to be, i.e. so the jig can be placed on the layout line and the cut will be made in the correct place!


Finally, here is the business end of my Design Overkilled Cross-Cut T-Square. It worked like a champ and I didn’t have to throw out any leftovers!

Thanks for looking. I had great fun building this beast and putting this blog together. I hope you have been at least somewhat entertained – however, if you have been inspired at all you may need to look into professional help. :^)

>>> LumberJocks rule – even us slightly warped ones!<<<

-- Steve - "Dang, no matter how many times I run it through the planer it's still too thin!"

3 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3148 days

#1 posted 08-04-2011 12:10 AM

What a great setup! I still plan to get my radial arm saw up and running though. (-:

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3148 days

#2 posted 08-04-2011 12:11 AM

And a great job blogging the process I might add.

View WudWrkr's profile


32 posts in 3140 days

#3 posted 08-04-2011 12:41 AM

Thanks HokieMojo, I appreciate the kind words. Hey, I’m with you on getting that radial arm saw running. I’ve been tempted a few times on Craigs List to buy one, but I just don’t have the room. Besides, there’s a lot you can do with a few jigs and a Circ Saw.

One of these days (probably the next time I have to break down some sheet goods) I’m going to implement a simple, neat tip I saw in one of Woodsmith’s Small Shop Tips magazines.

I think I’ll probably add a couple of swing up 1×4s for vertical support though.

Good luck with your radial arm saw though. There’s a whole shop-full-of-tools worth of things you can do with one of those!

-- Steve - "Dang, no matter how many times I run it through the planer it's still too thin!"

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