Category Archives: Workshop Builds

Router Planer-Jointer Jig

Make 8, Week 6

The goal of this jig is to level edge grain surfaces for cutting boards. Running edge grain through a planer is tempting, but not recommended. I’m not going to risk my new planer, so I’m trying this setup. The idea here is to use a router with a large straight bit to chew through the surface of the wood. To get a level surface, you run the router over the workpiece in a parallel plane.

So, I built a simple sliding platform with a center slot that rides along two rails. I used 3/4 particle board for the bottom and 2x4s for the rails. I ran the 2×4 through the jointer to get them level. In theory, the jointed rails and flat particle board should be parallel to the work surface that’s supporting the workpiece.

Router Planer Jointer Jig
Router Planer Jointer Jig

I glued two sides on top of the jig on the long edge using more particle board. This keeps the router on the jig. I also glued two guides to the bottom of the jig to keep it on the rails. Here I used scrap plywood that I already had cut into strips. At first, I didn’t have these guides, but the vibration of the router makes the jig move laterally and slip off the rails.  For the slot, I measured the diameter of my router bit and cut out a slot in the surface of the jig. To cut, I just drilled some holes and used a jigsaw. It’s nothing fancy or pretty. The critical parts of this jig are the flatness of the bottom and the rails.

Router Planer Jointer Jig Rails Close Up
Router Planer Jointer Jig Rails Close Up
Router Planer Jointer Jig Railes
Router Planer Jointer Jig Rails

To set up the jig, I placed two scrap pieces of wood between the cutting board and rails. Then I clamped it all together to make it stable. For height, I slide the jig on either the long or short side of the glide boards and adjusted the router bit depth as needed. The jig and rails are not attached so that it can handle a variety of sizes. I just need to have a couple pieces of scrap wood to fit between the rails and workpiece. Also, note the burn marks from my table saw. I recently picked up a new saw blade and it’s an amazing difference on hardwood.

Router Planer Jointer Jig Before
Router Planer Jointer Jig Before

In my first attempt, it did the job, but I ended up taking off a lot of material. And it made quite a mess. Next time, I’ll fine tune the technique and setup to get a lighter pass. There was also some machine marks, which isn’t a big deal since it needs to be sanded, but this can probably be improved.

Router Planer Jointer Jig After
Router Planer Jointer Jig After
Router Planer Jointer Jig Finished
Router Planer Jointer Jig Finished

You can make this jig as wide as needed. This one is about two feet, I think. You just want to make it wide enough to accommodate the workpiece and a little buffer so not to run into your rails. (I thought about clamping stops for the router, but I kept it simple and was just mindful of my progress.)

BONUS: My bench jointer can face joint up to 6-inch boards and my planer can thickness plane up to 12-inches, so I’m thinking this jig could be useful if I need to mill larger boards for thickness or straightness.

Links

 

Planer Cart

Make 7, Week 4

Another power tool cart. When I picked up some milled hardwood a couple week ago, I realized the value of milling my own wood. Rough sawn lumber cost 1/2 as much as the milled boards. This includes waste lost to the milling. So, in my head, this thing will pay for itself! We’ll see, I guess. I really do like it though. Along with the small bench top jointer I have, it’s very satisfying when all the wood comes together as intended.

My first project with the planer was an end grain cutting board. After gluing it up, I sent the long grain board through the planer to clean up the glue and level out of the boards. This was prior to cross cutting for end-grain. More on this project soon. When a clean and level board came out, I gave a “whoa, that’s cool.”

Planer Cart Drawing
Planer Cart Drawing

The second project was the cart to hold the tool. I took extra time to joint and plane all the dimensional boards to be square and same thickness. Clearly, overkill, but everything came together like Legos, and like I said, it was very satisfying… even if the board lengths are off a mm or few.

Planer Cart Build Edges
Planer Cart Build #1
Planer Cart Build #2
Planer Cart Build #2

I did the wheel barrow design here and left two legs longer. I hand planed the longer legs to make them level with the wheels. Given the weight of the tool and dimensions of the cart, the wheel barrow design doesn’t seem that ideal. There isn’t the same leverage to make it easy to lift. I think I’d rather this have four wheels, however, I’ve been thinking of trying a design for retractable wheels. I may try that on my next cart.

I put a shelf at the bottom, which I think was left over from cutting the bench top. I plan to add shelves to some of these carts and could do that here too.

Front of Planer Cart
Planer Cart Ready to Use
Planer Cart Stored
Planer Cart Stored

Links

Bandsaw Rehab

Make 6, Week 4

This project was restoring a used bandsaw I found on Book of Faces. This is an older Delta 14-inch that I think was made in 2001. Doing the research, it was one of the last Delta models made in the USA and is generally considered quality iron. It was purchased by a GM guy when he retired to mess around in the garage. It sat for a few years and gathered rust, but otherwise seemed in great condition.

Delta 28-216 14-inch Bandsaw
Delta 28-216 14-inch Bandsaw
Rusty Delta Bandsaw Table
Before: Rusty table

I set out to clean it up and get it rolling again. I scrubbed the table and didn’t get too far with it, so I soaked it in vinegar. That worked well and I had a nice smooth table. The guide adjustment hardware was pretty gummed up too with rust. I tried scrubbing and couldn’t get the lower guides to function well. So, I soaked that in vinegar too… Well, the mounts apparently were aluminum and when I threaded the bolts back in, the threads on the mounts basically wilted away.

Oops.

So, that was a little too aggressive and lesson learned.

The good news is the table cleaned up pretty well and is nice and smooth. I coated it with Boeshield and it’s ready to go.

Restored Delta Bandsaw Table
After: Restored Table

To address the guides debacle, I did some searching for used parts. I opted to buy the well-regarded Carter Products guide kit. They’re pricey, but used parts that are complete and in good condition don’t seem to be much cheaper. This basically doubled the price of my saw, but they are really nice. Mistake or not, these seem a great upgrade.

Regardless, the saw is up and running!

Links

Cross Cut Sled

Make 5, Week 3

My miter saw is 10-inches without a slide arm, so I need to make my larger cross cuts on the table saw. I made a simple sled with particle board for this task.

Cross Cut Slide Rails

There are two strips to fit in the saw’s miter slots and I added front and rear panels for the blade to travel through. Both are glued and counter-sunk screwed. It works, although I need to fine tune it further to get the rear fence square. I also used furniture wax on the miter rails to make to slide better.

Cross Cut Slide Rails

I also use the table saw miter gauge to push cross cuts. I extended the miter gauge by screwing a board to it. I actually prefer the simple miter gauge. The sled is cumbersome and takes up a lot of space. Either way, I have if I need it.

Cross Cut Miter Fence

 

 

Router Table Cart

Make 4, Week 3

I found this Bosch router and table on Facebook for a pretty good deal. It also includes a bunch of bits and other accessories. I haven’t haven’t had a project for it yet, but it’s ready to go.

I did this wheel barrow style with four locking casters. My idea is to have my gear mobile so I can configure everything as needed to maximize my small space.

On the bottom, I had a shelf for the accessories. I just used a left over piece of particle board, so it doesn’t quite fit. Under the router table, there’s more space for storage.

Router Table Design

Router Table Cart

8/3/17 Update

I decided to remove two of the casters and extend the legs. The cart can be moved wheel barrow-style. The idea is the legs will give more stability while still being mobile. Plus, I’m saving some money on casters. I extended the legs by gluing some jointed 2×4 blocks and plywood. I also planed  feet to make it all level. We’ll try this for a while.

Router Table Cart New Legs View 1 Router Table Cart New Legs View 2

Links

 

Miter Saw Cart

Make 2, Week 2

I’ve had this Craftsman miter saw for many years. It doesn’t have a fancy rail/joint for larger cuts, but it works well enough for making straight cuts and miters. It came with a metal stand that was falling apart, so I wanted to create a new cart. Also, I wanted to put it on wheels for my plans to make a modular workshop. The idea is I can tuck this in the corner and wheel out it out when needed.

Miter Saw Bench

Eventually, I want to make some drawers for this cart for extra storage. I’ll add the sides when I figure out how I want to build the drawers. I also left a little overhang for clamping. I bolted saw bolted on to the table top.

Miter Saw Cart

Reflections

7/31/17

I’m thinking of removing two wheels and extending those two legs. I’m playing around with the wheel barrow idea to have a mobile cart, but still stable on swivel casters. Plus, it will free up a couple of casters for another project.

Links

Work Cart on Wheels

Make 1, Week 1

Over the 4th of July holiday, I learned my way around SketchUp and got interested in building something. Our garage has an attached addition that I recently reorganized after selling my brewer equipment. I had about 100 square feet open and thought about gathering my tools and making a little workshop. I thought a small workbench would be a nice place to start.

A couple years ago I bought a portable table saw to do laminate flooring. I’m sure I figured I’d use it for all sorts of things, but really I spent the following years just moving it around the garage.

The table has a short outfeed, which made it a hassle to set up and use. So, I thought it would be nice if my workbench could serve as an outfeed table for this saw. That gave me the idea of putting it on wheels. If it was on wheels, I could configure this small workshop how I wanted, or bring it out into the garage or driveway. Given I have a small space, being able to stage things seemed a good way to maximize this space.

I found these wheels on Amazon that lift. When they’re in the down position, the table sits on boards, when pressed down, they roll. These are nice big casters that glide the table around nicely. They’re expensive, and not as strong as regular bottom casters, but they work and the table is fully stable when down, which isn’t possible even with wheel locks.

The cart is made of 2x4s and plywood.

Work Cart

Reflections

7/31/17

I’m probably going to replace the top of this cart. I want to extend the top further to one side to add a vice and holes for bench dogs. I’ll probably just put on a new top and see if that holds. Or I might rebuild and do a frame for the vice.

Also, the cart should be shorter. I only gave myself a 1/2 inch between my saw table and the top of this cart. If everything isn’t perfectly level, there isn’t a smooth outfeed from my saw. I may remove the wheels and shorten the legs an inch. Also, I’ve since purchased the extension kits for the Bosch saw, so that makes a table less necessary.

I’m not in love with these casters. I keep bumping into them with my feet and shins. They also stick out and keep the table from going right up against the wall. They roll really well and it is nice to have a stable surface when they’re down. On my new carts I’m making, I’m switching to using two locking swivel casters and two wooden legs. Sort of like a wheel barrow. I’m hoping this will be more stable than four wheels, but still mobile to move around. Plus it will be much cheaper building.

Parts/Tools/Links