Christmas Vacation Shop Upgrades

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Blog entry by Matt (Upper Cut) posted 01-12-2009 05:16 AM 675 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I spent time over the Christmas Vacation doing some upgrades and maintenance to my shop, while also doing actual woodworking projects like the mantle
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Probably the biggest project was a complete tear-down, cleaning, and lubrication of my Powermatic 66. I posted about that here.

After doing that I added the Wixey Digital Gauge and Leecraft Zero Clearance Insert. It was interesting fitting the insert with the Biesemeyer splitter because I wanted to remove as little of the insert as possible. That worked out well. And I’m getting great cuts from my table saw with my new Freud blade.

Then I wanted a zero clearance insert for my miter saw, so I made one. That was a bit of a pain, but I used the old one for a template. I also added some baltic birch fence extensions, with a t-slot in the back so they can be adjusted easily. It really helped make great tight miters for the mantle. The laser I added is nice too.

I also wanted a drill press table like the ones I’ve seen here on Lumberjocks or the Craftsman one. I made my own out of baltic birch, hardboard for inserts, and some jig hardware. I made five inserts while I was at it.

Wifey got me the Rockler Forstner Bit Set for Christmas, so I hope to put those to use soon.

I also cleaned the planer rollers, installed new planer blades and waxed all my tools. Next I need to sharpen the jointer knives although I’ll probably buy a new set and install those. The set that is installed now will be sent out for sharpening.

The biggest upgrade is the addition of the Jet JFM-5, which I got for $380 delivered. Thanks adam77 for letting me know about this deal. I sold my benchtop model for $175 but I wish I had kept the chisels from it!


-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

2 comments so far

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3045 days

#1 posted 01-12-2009 05:32 PM

Looks like you had a productive holiday. All I have to show for it is my workbench and some empty cases of beer. I am going to have to put the miter saw zci on my todo list. I had a chunk of poplar get rocketed out the back this weekend. Scared the tar out of me and I still haven’t found that offcut.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View seaox's profile


3 posts in 2829 days

#2 posted 01-23-2009 04:50 AM

I have a Powermatic 66 also. I bought it new & never used the guard/splitter provided. I have since mislaid the bracket that attaches it to the back of the saw. With age I am growing more cautious & apprehensive and wish to install some type of guard. However I think my outfeed table will interfer with the original factory guard. I understand that Beisemyer sells guards which attach to back right corner of the saw. Have you heard any reviews regarding their guard/splitter performance or other manufacturer’s whcih can be used with the 66? Thank you for the input. seaox

-- seaox

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