Sunday, July 22, 2012

Plan Measure Cut OOPS!

Yesterday was a busy Saturday with several errands on the docket and a concert in the park, complete with an Eagles tribute band.  They did a fine job, however Danger Boy was not impressed.  I’m going to have to get that boy the greatest hits CDs pronto!  Even with all the running, rocking and rolling I was able to work in some time on the candle holders. 

Now that all of the pieces were cut to final dimensions it was time to get cracking on the joinery.  I laid out the positioning points for the halved joints on one of the longer base pieces with the intent to set up stop blocks on the cross-cut sled.
Since all five candle holders are of the same dimensions the plan is to set up my cuts in a production run format.  This first set up will allow the two outer joints to be cut with this same configuration since they’re the same distance from the ends.  I’ll just need to cut one, then flip the piece and cut the other.

With the first stop block in place, I used one of the shorter base pieces to set the width that will be created by the second stop block.  From the title of this post, you’re anticipating something going wrong…and some of you wiser folks might even see it already!

By removing the shorter base piece I now have a small gap between the stops that will allow me to cut my halved joints…queue tense, dramatic, “something’s about to go wrong” music here.

Here’s the sad part…not only am I going to miscalculate this cut, but I think I’ll stop and take a picture of it.  J

Then after cutting this half of the joint I still won’t snap to…but I will snap more photos!

In a fevered moment of personal triumph I grabbed one of the smaller base pieces to test what is sure to be a nice, snug, precise fit…

As soon as I saw that extra little gap, around…oh let’s say…1/8 of an inch…the exact width of the table saw blade…the palm of the hand meets the forehead!  At this point I’m really sorry that I didn’t cut an extra 10 inch piece to use for set-up…now my forehead is really getting sore!

Let’s just call this a teachable moment and move along, eh?   You can see here that when I place the shorter base piece along the far edge of the joint, the blade fits right into the remaining gap.

Fortunately it was easy to mark this location and use this new line to move the stop block in to close the gap.

With a cold compress on my forehead and the stop blocks set correctly, the next cut produced exactly what I was looking for…a clean looking joint with a snug fit.

I was also pleased to find enough left-over stock to cut another 10 inch base piece to replace what we’ll now call the “test piece.”

I went ahead and cut the joints on the replacement piece and then used the good cut on the test piece to fine tune the fit.  I did need to raise the blade just a hair more, but I’ve now got the sled dialed in to produce some really nice halved joints.

And with that, rather than flirt with disaster, I went to bed.  I’ll finish cutting these joints on Sunday!

Rock on fellow Eagles fans!

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