My Sawdust Chronicles Build Challenge Entry #2: Making Panels

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Blog entry by Jon Edmonds posted 09-11-2010 05:55 AM 1219 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Part 1 - The Beginning Part 2 of My Sawdust Chronicles Build Challenge Entry series Part 3: My Sawdust Chronicles Build Challenge Entry #3: »

Hey All
Okay I’m back and things are slowly progressing. I’ve made some progress on the project and learned a few lessons on the way, some good learning type stuff and some irritating stuff.
So here’s the good stuff;

Lesson 1:
I learned how to make a panel out of nothing more than two pieces of wood and glue. I know everyone is amazed, how is it possible that someone could make a panel. Don’t worry, I’ll let you in on the super secret recipe, but make sure you keep it to yourself. After all we don’t want everyone making them. :) Here’s what you’ll need; 2 boards with a jointed edge, glue (wood glue not super glue) and some clamps. Here’s the process – joint the edges, put some glue on them and clamp them together. Amazing isn’t it!

What I learned from this – Well, I didn’t learn how I’ll use this biscuit jointer I bought. Maybe I’ll use it to make coin stands or something. But I do know that you can make some awesomely strong panels with nothing more then long grain to long grain and glue. I seriously thought you needed a biscuit jointer to make panels, so I bought one. Then I saw this video and the guy said you don’t need them, in fact you probably create a weaker joint if you use them. He said you could glue two board together and the wood around the joint would break before the joint. So I tried it and I couldn’t break it. Now I weigh 200 plus and I stood on these boards, right at the joint and nothing happened. In hind sight this was a little dumb, me standing on 3 feet of board between two five gallon buckets. If it had broken, I probably would have taken a dive on the concrete floor and I would have broken this expensive cherry panel. But it didn’t and now I know.

Lesson 2: Also learned during the panel glue up. Clamps can be glued to wood surfaces. Yes, you heard it here, another amazing achievement by Jon is his odyssey to learn woodworking without removing any appendages.

What I learned from this – Put clear tape on the part of the clamp that will get glue on it. Also, wood is stronger than plastic but not stronger then a chisel. Oh ya, one other thing, stores don’t sell the little plastic end caps to the clamps, you have to buy entirely new clamps if you glue yours to the wood.

Lesson 3 – Dust gets everywhere if you use the table saw allot. “What the heck did you do to the garage!”. That is what I heard after cutting up the lumber for this and another project. Total mess, dust everywhere, all over the clean clothes, the birthday gifts, the pantry, etc, etc. Dust = unhappy wife = unhappy me. So what to do, well the cheapo dust collection table saw mod. That’s right it couldn’t have been any more cheap if I’d used duct table (oh wait I did). So my table saw has like this massive hole in the side of it 16’’x15’’ and I wasn’t going to pay 90 bucks for a delta motor cover. My solution, 5 dollar Tupperware bin from Wal-Mart. Two screws, some duct tape (the real stuff) and slap a dust port on the back and you’re done. So far it seams to work ok. Total cost 15 bucks, assuming you have something to pull the dust already. No dust = happy wife. I’ll let you know how well it works next time, I am cutting some wood for a cutting board and that should test it real thoroughly.

The irritating stuff:
Last lesson: Grrrr! Yes you heard me Grrr! So I have this thickness planner and I have yet to use it. Why you ask, well because it scares the @$%^ out of me. I saw this video where this dude launcheed a board across the room at about a million-zillion miles an hour because he used it wrong. So this guy appeared to have some skills and I don’t and my manual doesn’t teach you how to use it, so I don’t use it yet. I am searching for some kind of how to guide but have yet to find it.
So why am I driveling on about this? Well this is why. I thought a simple solution was to buy milled lumber. So I bought something can S3S, I think, anyway it is supposed to be milled on three sides (one edge and the two larger surfaces). To me this means things are perfectly flat and at either a right angle or parallel to each other. Apparently not! Hence the Grrr, and the story about the planner. So I bought about 35 board feet of this stuff and 3 of the seven boards are not flat or they are warped. Just take it back to the dealer you say, nope. Apparently wood can change when moved from one place to another (yes I knew this). What I didn’t know was that the 10 miles from the *&%^ store to my garage is apparently in another climate. I admit I didn’t check it well at the store but come on.
What I Learned – check the lumber before you bring it home. Oh ya, and don’t buy from that dealer.

See you next time, I hope you enjoyed reading my drivel.

-- Jon In Sunny California

4 comments so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


684 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 09-11-2010 07:53 AM

Hey Jon!

Liked your post and the rantings!

But what really struck me was your $5.00 table saw motor cover! HOLY SMOKES! Absolutely brilliant! Elegantly simple and probably equally efficiently. I only added “probably” because your blog states that you are yet to confirm it. I, too, have an old Walker Turner TS with such a hole. I keep telling myself (as I vacuum up the mess – AGAIN!) that I’ve got to build a motor cover. Remember, I said it was old, buying a motor cover is not an option!

Well, gotta go to WalMart!

Well done!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Jon Edmonds's profile

Jon Edmonds

43 posts in 2358 days

#2 posted 09-11-2010 08:28 AM

Hey Kansas
I promise to let you know if it works well. Tomarrow will be the day.
thanks for the comment

-- Jon In Sunny California

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2305 days

#3 posted 09-11-2010 02:32 PM

Hi Jon.

I too am in the challenge, and I too like your idea about the dust collection idea. I’ll have to see if it will work on my TS.
Thanks for the tip. Good luck in the challenge.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Jon Edmonds's profile

Jon Edmonds

43 posts in 2358 days

#4 posted 09-13-2010 07:37 PM

So the dust collection mod works reasonable well. The dust is largely contained in the tablesaw cabinet, there is still some that get out but I think that will happen no matter how good your setup is. Much of the dust is removed via the dust port but alot remained in the bottom of the cabinet. Nothing a shop vac and 30 seconds of work couldn’t cleanup. All in all I think it works great for 15 bucks. I suppose in the future I could put a slanted bottom in the cabinet to move things towards the port. Nah, who am I kidding, the laundry isn’t getting dusty, my wife is happy, so it is good enough.

-- Jon In Sunny California

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