My Start #3: Working in the Garage

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Blog entry by macatlin1 posted 05-15-2011 03:31 PM 1022 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Into the Garage Part 3 of My Start series Part 4: The Move »

With the move to the garage I planned on making a lot of stuff but got bogged down in making fixtures. The first thing I made was a saw sled for crosscutting boards square and without a lot of tear out. I used a ¾ thick piece of shop ply from a big box store and for the runners I used my thickness planer to reduce the thickness to fit the miter slot in the table saw. Is Craftsman the only saw with 5/8 wide miter slots? The front piece of the sled was made from a piece of 2×4 planed down to be square and the back piece was made similarly. Put spacers in the slots add the runners, glue and place the plywood carefully on top making sure the front edge is flush with the table saw top. After the glue dries run the saw blade up and make a slice almost to the front. Secure the front piece using a framing square to make sure it’s perpendicular to the saw kerf. I know I should have waited for the Wood Whisperer.

Another thing I made was a wood fence for the table saw. Just a “U” shaped that fits snugly over the Craftsman fence with cutouts for the bits that stick up and on the blade side (left) the side is 2 inches taller than stock and the other side is 1 inch. Just what I was thinking, I don’t know. I should have made the blade side at least 6 inches taller to allow making tenons safely. And, I added a disk at the bottom of the saw to hold a PVD angle to allow me to connect the dust collector. Hooking up a shop vacuum there is pretty worthless as there is not enough volume to overcome the openings at the bottom of the saw’s chassis and create enough airflow to suck sawdust from around the blade opening. Maybe I should have used a 1600 CFM attic fan to get good flow started into the hose. I also added the pegboard around the saw’s stand to hang accessories.
I also made a lumber rack (more for drywall than for lumber) similar to the one the Wood Whisperer made. I made the bottom and hinge wall from a 2×8 and added plywood triangles as gussets. I only used 1 wheel and it is non-castering. If you make the axis of the wheel perpendicular to the hinge axis there is no need to swivel the wheel. Easy to use even loaded with 6 sheets of drywall.

I found I was always moving scrap and cutoffs around to make room for something else. From some of the scrap plywood pieces I made a scrap box about 20×24 with a divider down the middle and one side divided in half. To make it portable I used casters off of a Harbor Freight mover’s dolly. The dividers keep stuff from shifting and laying in the scrap box at an angle. Hindsight says I should have added 2 dividers and broken the width in thirds as long cutoffs have a tendency to lean over and get ya’.

My lovely wife bought me a shaper table for my birthday so that needed a mobile base. I made it the same as for the other equipment with the Harbor Freight castors and screw down locks. After spending a couple of frustrating hours trying to set the fence system that came with the shaper I made a fence with dust collection port. While I was in the fence building mode I also made fences for the drill press and for the band saw all put together with Kreg pocket screws. The Kreg system is fast but if you are using particle board turn the drill to the lowest torque as over tightening will tend to pull the pieces out of alignment.

Well enough for now. Next time, making pieces for the house.

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