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Forum topic by knexster posted 12-25-2014 04:11 PM 989 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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knexster

33 posts in 748 days


12-25-2014 04:11 PM

So I started building up my own workshop in recent months since I now have the space to do so in my basement. I have a lot of pretty basic questions that have come up watching how to videos on different things I’d like to build. I just built my first work bench and would like to really start on more projects. Here are a couple pictures of the bench I made (Thank you a ton to Miketw for the inspiration) and will be referring to in the billion questions below.

I frequently see people not using a blade guard and it seems they use other things. I saw a guy use a feather board or something, what is this and why use it?
What about jigs? I see a ton of different jigs and it seems like anything I want to build requires a different one. What are some that a beginner like me should make?
Also, I’ve been using a 2×3 board left over from building my workbench as a table saw fence. I’m pretty lost on what to do for one or how to even build one. Any recommendations for a diy fence I could build or one I should buy?
Lastly, I was thinking of starting with some basic cutting boards for projects before I make a desk for my office/craft room. Where should I buy the wood for these projects, particularly the cutting boards. Lowes and Home Depot don’t seem to be much help anymore.

Any tips or pointers will be greatly appreciated! Thanks a ton for reading this.

-- Don't think outside the box. The box was never there.


13 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#1 posted 12-25-2014 04:33 PM

It looks like you’ve got a good start on the basics there.

The thing about a fence is that it needs to be very straight, and parallel to the blade. Using a board is dicey, because you will always be fussing over getting it adjusted just right. And if it’s not adjusted just right you will face binding and/or inaccurate cuts. I would recommend ordering a replacement fence for your saw from Dewalt. You will probably have to modify your outfeed table a bit to allow the fence to ride on the back rail of the saw.

The first jig I would recommend is a crosscut sled. There are some great tutorials on this site, and elsewhere on the internet as well.

As for lumber, I don’t know where you are located, but you generally want to look for lumberyards, as opposed to home center type stores. You can also buy wood online, although shipping can get expensive. I have ordered from a company called “Wall Lumber Co.” with good results. Their 20-board foot bundles are great for small-to-medium projects.

Good luck!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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knexster

33 posts in 748 days


#2 posted 12-25-2014 06:13 PM

The saw came with a fence that allows for a 24” rip capacity. I ran into a few issues with trying to manufacture the table in a way that allowed me to leave it attached to the saw, so I removed it. The table saw fence is about 20” and the table itself is 30” so I am trying to think of a way to modify the pieces I took off to fasten to the length of my table. Either that or outright buy a table saw fence system or something.

Thank you for the help Charlie! I will get to making a crosscut sled and look around for a good lumber yard here and check out wall lumber co. I know there is an RP lumber somewhere around here.

-- Don't think outside the box. The box was never there.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1761 days


#3 posted 12-25-2014 06:30 PM

That rock solid fence is one of the DeWalt DW745 (or whatever model you have) strong points. I don’t know of any table and fence short of an expensive Rousseau table that will let you do what you’re trying to do. I personally would take the saw out of your bench and reattach the fence unless all you ever plan on doing is crosscutting with it.

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#4 posted 12-25-2014 06:47 PM

I can’t tell for sure from the photos, but it looks like all you would need to do is enlarge the opening at the back of the saw so you could put the rail back on and use the fence. Keep in mind, it doesn’t really matter if there is a gap between your saw’s table and the plywood work table, as long as they are level with each other. Also, at some point you will need to cut channels in the plywood to match your saw’s miter slots. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to use a sled, miter gauge, or any other jig that uses the slots.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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dhazelton

2325 posts in 1761 days


#5 posted 12-25-2014 07:18 PM

The lock for the fence is on the right side under the table level, so you need access to that as well.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#6 posted 12-25-2014 11:14 PM

Before you go any farther, do you have a good blade on your saw?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View knexster's profile

knexster

33 posts in 748 days


#7 posted 12-25-2014 11:27 PM

Charlie, I plan to get a router very soon to make those cuts.
Bill, the blade on the table saw is the one it came with and I’ve used it for making this table and a sleigh foot my yard and that’s all so I imagine it should be good for a while unless you recommend upgrading the blade it came with?

-- Don't think outside the box. The box was never there.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3256 posts in 2140 days


#8 posted 12-25-2014 11:44 PM

A feather board is a device that normally fits into the miter groove on your saw table. You need to be able to use the miter gauge or the rip fence for every saw operation. Never free hand on a table saw. Accidents occur when you lose control of the stock you are cutting. A feather board holds the stock close to the fence and aids in the control process. Anytime you lose control you are about to have an accident. Safety is the number one shop subject. Sharp tools aid in controlling your stock. You push less and things cut instead of binding. This is one of the reasons a board for a fence is not the best thing to try. If it is out of alignment, binding may occur. Welcome to Lumber Jocks and woodworking. Read read read

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knexster

33 posts in 748 days


#9 posted 12-27-2014 04:34 AM

Thanks Grandpa! I will keep researching the fence and especially for other safety measures/safety devices that I need to learn about.

-- Don't think outside the box. The box was never there.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19179 posts in 2140 days


#10 posted 12-27-2014 02:31 PM

First off…. Welcome to LumberJocks!

Google & YouTube will be great resources….
However, not all of the information may be accurate &/or safe.
As you see & learn, you’ll eventually sort out the misinformation.
Look for multiple answers to your questions…. then pick what works for you & your situation.
As far as safety goes, if it feels unsafe…. it probably is!!!

As far as the fence, miter gauge is concerned…. Do a quick search, to learn about “kickback”!!!
Featherboards, splitters & riving knives help to reduce the risk of kickback.
That and a properly aligned saw blade along with a properly aligned rip fence, are essential!!!

The best place/resource for answers to your questions is right here on LumberJocks.
There are a boat load of skilled, talented people….. Just waiting to share their knowledge!!!
Please remember….. The only dumb question….. Is the one you don’t ask!
Soooo, ask away!!!

Good luck, have fun & stay safe!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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knotscott

7215 posts in 2840 days


#11 posted 12-27-2014 02:45 PM

One of the best things you can do for any saw is to put a good quality sharp blade on it that’s suitable for the task. Keep it clean, and it’ll perform well for a long time. Good blades tend to start around $30. New doesn’t always mean sharp, and it doesn’t necessarily correlate to good quality. Stock blades are notoriously poor.

Tips for Picking Saw Blades

The ABCs of Table Saws

Can you add side panels to the fence to extend it?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View knexster's profile

knexster

33 posts in 748 days


#12 posted 12-29-2014 02:02 AM

Regarding the table saw fence I thought I’d ask here before I do anything permanent. I was thinking I could cut shared area out to all me to reattach the fence to the saw. I shaded in the area where I was planning to cut.

But then I had another thought. What if I mounted the sliding bracket to the back of the table? I would use washers to even the track and some scrap 3/4” mdf to extend the fence out and attach the fence clamp to the mdf.

Option 1 seems easier and leaves less room for error. Option 2 seems more time consuming yet potentially better.

Or there is a third option that someone might suggest?

Thanks again everyone.

-- Don't think outside the box. The box was never there.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2314 days


#13 posted 12-29-2014 03:30 PM

Go with OPTION 1, a properly aligned fence is critical for SAFETY and accurate cuts. Staying with the manufacturers design is your best bet. Besides NOT getting a kickback into the gut or risking your fingers, if you’re always off by 1/32’s or a few degrees, you’ll never make square cuts which become very important as you build your knowledge.

Welcome to LJ!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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