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any suggestions on how to cutting small pieces for a tumbling block pattern

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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 12-14-2008 11:56 PM 2131 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


12-14-2008 11:56 PM

Hello fellow woodies

I’m relatively new to LJ but not woodworking and thought I would see if any one has a trick for cutting the diamond shapes in a tumbling block pattern also know as Louise cubes. I have made them before for a client but that was a long time ago and very time consuming. I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture


17 replies so far

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3660 days


#1 posted 12-15-2008 05:56 AM

How big do these peices need to be?

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#2 posted 12-15-2008 08:45 AM

Hi Al
I’m thimking in the order of 2” long by 1 1/4 tall out of 3/4 ” material this is a guess I haven’t drawn them out yet.

Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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8iowa

1569 posts in 3669 days


#3 posted 12-16-2008 12:57 AM

It would seem that this would be similar to making blocks for a checkerboard, all of which have to be exactly the same size.

My proceedure would be to cut them to slightly oversized dimensions on the band saw. (I don’t like to cut small pieces on the table saw.) Then, I would make a special angled “V” shaped jig that the pieces would fit in while being sanded to exact size on my disk sander. My 12” disk is mounted on a quill that allows the disk to be moved toward the stock. A stop can be set so that each size would be sanded to a set depth.

I’m sure that there are other ways to do this operation. However, precision is very important.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#4 posted 12-16-2008 01:42 AM

Hey Ralph

Thanks for the suggestion That’s close to what I did the last time I made them Accept I also had the v shaped sled on my band saw and then used the disc sander to clean them to final dimension. I,m probably wishing for to much to have a way to make them quicker then that. I saw your shop looks great.

Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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WoodKutter

29 posts in 3375 days


#5 posted 12-16-2008 04:15 AM

Jim, If I had to make a large number of these I think I would start with some 5/4 material. Make sure it is surfaced square on all sides. Then on the face of the board I would cut a series of kerfs just deeper than 3/4” to make the diamond shapes. I would then place tape across the top of the shapes to keep them from flying off and cut along the side of the board to free the shapes. The same way you would make a series of plugs. If you start with a wide board you could make the kerf cuts all the way across the face, then cut the shapes free one row at a time.

Hope this helps,
Gary

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#6 posted 12-16-2008 06:20 PM

Hey Gary
That’s a great Idea along with your suggestion I think I’ll try to make a three Jigs like you would for making box joints ,one for the left and one for the right angles and one for the straight side for the long side of the diamond. Thanks a lot for your help it was the missing key to help me speed up this project.

Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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WoodKutter

29 posts in 3375 days


#7 posted 12-16-2008 07:45 PM

Jim, Glad I could help. The box joint jig is what I was thinking also so you can register the next cut from the last one. The first series of cuts will not be bad but the second series of cuts have to be perfect or you will have lopsided diamonds. Once you have the jigs made, it should be a fairly fast process to cut a good many of them with very little clean up.

Gary

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#8 posted 12-16-2008 11:39 PM

Thanks Again Gary

once I get the jigs and some diamonds cut out I’ll try to get some photos posted

Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ampeater's profile

Ampeater

440 posts in 3655 days


#9 posted 12-20-2008 06:13 PM

Jim, See the blanket chest that I made. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/5683
I cut all of the 1/4” thick pieces on my cross cut sled using a piece of straight wood tacked to the sled at exactly the right angle and then attached a stop to determine the length of the final piece. The length of the cut had to be exactly the same at the width of the board that you are cutting. This worked great and did not take long to do.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#10 posted 12-20-2008 08:29 PM

Nice blanket chest
I’m not to sure about the details . Do you start with strips of wood the width of your diamond shape. Do you change directions of the strip of wood to get both angles for your diamond shape and then cut the thinner pieces from a thicker piece of wood as Gary suggest. I’m sorry I’m a visual person so its a little difficult for me to picture exactly what your suggesting.

Thanks Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View KnotWright's profile

KnotWright

258 posts in 3395 days


#11 posted 12-23-2008 12:09 AM

Jim, I looked at a few places online, and came up with a simple jig for your table saw. If your working stock is going to be 3/4” thick, and the width 2” from what I read, the Louise Block has a 60 degree angle of opposite ends. Why not install two runners on your miter slots then attach a piece of 1/2” plywood at 60 degrees to the runners. Once that is set up you could install a stop block to give you exact cutoffs every time.

Its sort of like a panel cutting jig but set up at a 60 degree angle, I think I’m going to make up one, and give those Louise Cubes a shot!

-- James

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#12 posted 12-24-2008 06:40 PM

Hi Again James
Good hearing from you . Hope your enjoying the holiday season, Wow what a project your building was. Thanks for the research on the Louise cubes. You don’t happen to have a link were you found it on the web.
Have a great holiday.

Thanks
Jim Brokenbourgh

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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KnotWright

258 posts in 3395 days


#13 posted 12-25-2008 02:02 AM

Oh the fun has just begun in the workshop, my new helper arrived this morning from Brooklyn NY after a 3 day bus trip. So over the holidays we are going to whip it into shape for a VERY productive New Year! His tools arrive around the 28th or so. Called me this afternoon to let me know he arrived safely and was sampling some great Texas BBQ.

Here’s one of the links I found, still doing some research, but I built a little sled for cutting the blocks, I’ll have to snap some photos and email em to you, once I get it fine tuned, but I think it should do nicely to speed up the project of cutting the individual pieces both left and right hand.

http://www.redbridgemarquetrygroup.org/Louis_Cubes.htm

-- James

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a1Jim

116906 posts in 3485 days


#14 posted 12-26-2008 01:17 AM

Hey James

You have a helper from Brooklyn. What a change that will be for him. I know when myself wife and kids moved from southern California to southern Oklahoma that was a bit of culture shock. But there were great people there in Ardmore. Thanks for the link as it turned out I’d looked at that site before asking for help on LJS but missed the pertinate information.

Merry Christmas
Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ampeater's profile

Ampeater

440 posts in 3655 days


#15 posted 12-29-2008 10:02 PM

Jim,

I couldn’t figure out how to embed pictures in a reply so look at the new “project” titled ‘Tumbling Block”

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

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