|Project by SteveMI||posted 10-01-2009 12:35 AM||3872 views||18 times favorited||22 comments|
I went to the lumber mill last week before fully thinking out the tumbling block project. I saw some 1 3/4” square stock in red oak, pine and cherry that somehow thought should work. After getting them home and figuring out the lost material of starting with that square size it was back to the drawing board. It made sense to rip the sticks in half. That then became a problem with the TS cutting that small of wood safely.
I don’t have an TS insert with zero clearance or a band saw.
So I decided to make a fixture to be used in a sled with the planer. I cut 5 forms from 1/4” plywood and used MDF separators to hold them vertical. My concern was that they were aligned down the sled. Total sled was 49” and width 12”. The MDF seperators were just 1/2” by 1/2” strips. Tightbond II and brad nailer were used.
Trimmed the board lengths to match the sled trusses and first passes through the planner brought the one side to 60 degrees. Then flipped the boards and planed until the thickness was the same across the parallel flat surfaces. Went really quick.
Glued up the sections and waited. After rough cleaning of the glue with a file, the log went back then through the planer on a MDF sled again to make the parallel side equal. For the sled I used another piece of MDF to minimize any snipe. I put a piece of hard rubber mat between the block log and MDF in order for the log to move the MDF with it through the planer.
Due to the smaller size of the blocks, I used the miter saw to cut the segments. I made a quick zero clearance fence for the saw and put a stop on one side to keep a consistent size. The stop was at 3/8” and worked well.
After hand sanding a dozen, a belt sander is getting higher on my list of things to get. Ended up with 37 blocks out of a 23” log. I have another log from the original material. Blocks are 1 11/16” across the opposing flat sides.
One key point is that the raw boards have to be no longer than the sled forms or they will tip under pressure from the planer rollers. (I didn’t lose any wood from this before I figured it out or any other excitement.)
Quite a few more pictures, but limited to six. Let me know if you need any more details.
Edit – I am baffled as to why the blocks look purple, they are still the unfinished natural colors.