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Forum topic by SPalm posted 01-04-2011 08:45 PM 1338 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

01-04-2011 08:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tips

I fixed a problem last night that ended up being caused by my own maintenance error. Afterward I thought I should share in my delight. This prompts me to ask if others have similar quick tips. Old or new, we may have forgotten and need to be reminded.

My tablesaw fence lock-down had turned into a nightmare. It was hard to operate and even caused the fence to jump when I lowered the cam lever. The fix: Wax. I cleaned off the chrome cam and waxed it. I also lightly sanded the cam plate and waxed it too. Woohoo. What a difference. It now locks with finger pressure. I guess I should re-read the manual every now and then.

Another one: I posted this in the tool review section but I will do it here again. The digital angle readout devices (Wixey) can be used in all sorts of ways. Clamp your miter gauge bar vertically in a vise, attach the Wixey to the side of the bar and zero it. Now you can set your miter gauge to any desired angle with precision. The little devices can also be used for accurate table tilting on the scrollsaw or bandsaw after you zeroed it while it was attached to the blade.

Got Tips?

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

11 replies so far

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3330 days

#1 posted 01-04-2011 08:53 PM

Merci Steve,
I’m sure this is one of the most common problems, that we forget to maintain. We are not used to this in this modern ‘buy and throw away world’.
I will take a tour with the wax and oilcan after this.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View KnotCurser's profile


2031 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 01-04-2011 08:57 PM

Don’t feel too embarrassed Steve – I had to do the exact same thing to my ShopFox fence about a month ago. Damned thing just kept getting more difficult to open/close until it was just about non-functioning! I was getting really afraid of a defective part until I read the stupid manual – Doh! A quick spray of silicone and now it works like it just came out of the box!

I also use my Wixey gauge ALL of the time – it’s one of the most important tools in my shop! Let’s see what a good use would be that you wouldn’t normally use it for…......... Oh yeah! A week or so ago I had to drill a hole at a five degree angle and since my drill press table doesn’t tilt, I usually just use a wedge under a board on one end to get the desired angle. All it takes is to lay the board flat on the press, zero out the gauge on top of the board, and then start tapping a wedge under one side or the other until it reads the proper angle and the locking it all down. Simple and super accurate! :-)

Good topic! I’m looking forward to more responses to this!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

#3 posted 01-04-2011 09:07 PM

Here’s one: Don’t use silicone in the shop. It can cause nasty orange peel on finishes. Once it gets in there, it can travel around easily. Don’t let your better half use Pledge around the house either if you ever want to refinish something.

-Bob: not sure if your spray really contains silicone or not. WD40, for one, does not contain it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View KnotCurser's profile


2031 posts in 3310 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 11:42 PM

Wow! Did not know that Steve – Thanks!

And, luckily it wasn’t WD40 I was using, but a different spray lube that doesn’t contain silicon. Whew!

I’ll be sure to check my cans from now on!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

#5 posted 01-05-2011 01:34 AM

Sorry if I misled you, WD40 does not contain silicone. It seems like it would, but it does not.

Looks like you done good then :)

I did not know this either until I joined LJs. You can search on this site and find all kinds of bad words about silicone.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4642 days

#6 posted 01-05-2011 01:56 AM

Some car products (make that a lot of car products) contain silicone. SO if you plan on using car products for polishing and waxing check to make sure it DOESN’T contain silicone.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11167 posts in 3670 days

#7 posted 01-05-2011 02:53 AM

I dislike using rulers and tapes. I really don’t care what the MM or inch dimensions are. Consequently I use a lot of shop made story sticks. My favorite one is simply a few pieces of 3/4X1/8 aluminum stock and a small block I fashioned to hold two of the aluminum bars. The block holds a tee nut and a screw for holding the bars in place.
When I need to cut a (i.e. drawer bottom) I place the bars in the side grooves, tighten the screw and take the story stick to the saw, place one end against the blade and run the fence up to the other end.

Some saw blades and some router bits do not produce grooves or kerfs of a standard dimension. So, when gauging groove width for stringing or some other type of insert/inlay, I use a set of loose metal shims, graduated in thickness, that I found in an auto parts store. Same as above, I just set them against blade and bring the fence to them. In those cases, I leave a little to bring down with a card scraper. One could do the same with a good set of drill bits. I just find the shims easier to use. When the shims are not enough, I bring out the Laminate display chips and add them to the mix.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3840 days

#8 posted 01-05-2011 06:40 PM

Wow, you guys are full of good ideas. As a retired tool maker I use my digital calipers and Adjustable Parallel Sets, they are an easy way to set all kinds tools extremely accurately.

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

#9 posted 01-05-2011 06:55 PM

On the measuring front, I find a set of those brass set-up bars is really handy. I can stack them in multiple configurations. Oh, and an old deck of playing cards comes in handy for a temporary shim. It can shim from a half inch to thousandths.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3292 days

#10 posted 01-06-2011 04:36 AM

The one tip I can offer has nothing to do with woodworking, but will add harmony to your lives; NEVER GO SHOPPING WITH YOUR WIFE. Thank you.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3106 days

#11 posted 01-06-2011 05:40 AM

In my job it seems that my company sees a need for me to have up to date business cards. Since I never give them out, I always have a box of cards left that are obsolete. I keep a box of them handy for shims, like the playing cards mentioned above.

I learned this from Rob Cosman a couple weeks ago for spreading glue: go to an art supply store and find a painter's knife, or palette knife. They will be with the artist’s paint brushes and should cost < $6. It’s a little flexible steel blade, about 2-3” long with a small wooden handle. He squirts little glue straight from the bottle onto the blade and applies it to his dovetails. Fast, precise, and CLEAN! I bought one the next day at Michael’s. I wish I had it 2 weeks earlier when I was using a Q-tip to apply glue to box joints on a box!

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