Wife and kids gone ALL DAY. I look forward to a beautiful day tinkering in the shop. But what to do, you ask? TURN PENS!! But before I do that, I want to build a quick little Band Saw sled (mostly to cut pen blanks quickly and accurately). Shouldn’t take but maybe 20-30 minutes, right? RIIIIIIIGHT.
Looks like my son dove into my plywood pile and used every available piece as a shield, sword, bike ramp, whatever. Thus, all are dinged up. A little wood putty will fix it. Where the H* is my wood putty? GONE. Run down to the hardware store to pick some up. Forget my wallet, run home, grab wallet, back down to store, buy wood putty, return home. Where’s my putty knife? 5 minute search, FOUND IT. Then I’m off to the sander to clean up the plywood. Now to square it up. Why is my tabelsaw saw fence flexing? 10 more minutes of tweeking that and I’m now good to go. Plywood base is done.
Now for a runner. I hate using wood since it swells in the slot. So I’ve read of people using phenolic plastic (the plastic cutting board material). We have a beat up small one in the kitchen that would be perfect! Run into the kitchen, open the cupboard and…..GONE. Of course. Quick call to wife, “Hey honey, where did that little cutting board go?”...She replies, “Oh, I tossed it out a few days ago”...Of course.
Hey, I ask myself, maybe its still in the garbage can! I run outside and see my cans by the curb. Garbage trucks came this morning. Of course. I’ve also heard of people using aluminum, but it wasn’t really an option for me at this point. So, I start to make a hardwood runner and hope it doesn’t swell and and stick too bad.
Measure out thickness, width and length. Small pieces. Cut on the tablesaw. This means zero clearance insert. Don’t have one. I have a very old piece-a-u-know-what Craftsman tablesaw (benchtop model on a stand). Yeah, yeah, I know. It has all kinds of little welded on pieces in the throat plate insert area which makes it near impossible to get anything but a special ordered Crafstman plate in there. So I get crafty and clamp down a sacrificial base over the blade and then raise the blade through it. Ha ha! Take that, Crafstman!
Now where’s my feather board and push stick?? Nowhere to be found. Of course. I run down to Woodcrafters and pick up a little Shop Fox feather board that has a cam clamp. Pretty nifty. Hey, I need a new bowl gouge…and since I’m here….Yeah, wife’s gonna punch me in the face. And hey, is that purpleheart on sale? Sweet! Already in trouble, might as well make it worth my while.
Get back to the shop and wouldn’t you know it….The runner on the bottom of my brand new feather board doesn’t fit in my tablesaw’s slot. Of course. Toss the new tool into the “will use it when I upgrade my shop someday” pile and move on. So now I make a new featherboard and push stick.
So I now size the runner perfectly. Well, not so perfectly. Took a little took mush off the width and it wiggled in the slot. A little masking tape and it fits well enough. Put doubkle side carpet tape on top of the runner, line up the plywood base and press down. I now have a very good, squared up base with a perfectly aligned runner.
Go to drive my first screw. I had a flash thought. Shouldn’t you drill pilot holes first? My lazyy brained response: “Pilot holes? We don’t need no stinking pilot holes”. I was using course threaded, dry-wall type screws. They rarely have ever spilt out wood when I’ve used them. Drive the first screw, SPLIT! Back the screw out, glue it, clamp it, and now writing to you all about it.
I’m inside watching reruns of the Woodsmith Shop (I have almost every episode saved on my DVR), and documenting how I’ve spent the last 3 hours. And for those of you ready to line up and kick me in the bagettes about shop organization, I know. It’s a long story. One for another day :-) Until nest time….
-- "It's not a mistake. It's a design feature."