Tag Archives: 52 Week Challenge

Coaster Holders

Make 34

I made this holder for the coasters project. I made two actually, one for the coasters gift and second for my set.

I thought about a few different ways of doing this. I ended up doing contrasting maple and walnut pieces and jointed them a dovetail rabbet joint. To hold them together, I made pins made of walnut. The pins are mortised through the maple and go into the walnut. It should support the joint and looks nifty. I was going to do a dowel, but a little extra work for square pins.

End Grain Coasters #2

Make 33

I had a failed cutting board that I turned into coasters. I got a request to make a set for a Christmas present. So, here’s an intentional version of a same thing. Maple and walnut. The maple has a mineral stain running through it for some interesting character.

I got a little fancy with these and added a chamfer to the edges. The bottom has a piece of felt spray glued. I finished with three coats of wipe on poly.

Box #3 – Dovetails

Make 32

This is getting practice using the Porter Cable Dovetail jig. I got the bottom right this time around. I remembered and correctly did a partial dado on the router table. One side starts inside the tails and the other goes through the pins, which is concealed by the joint. I messed up the top though. I planned on doing a rabbet to set in a simple lid, but fogged out and went through to the ends. Also, the lid was a little messed up. I tried to join to pieces together and it didn’t work out quite as planned. Somewhere along the way I also managed to get mixed up on sides and I put a dado on the wrong end. It really pays to label and pay attention.

Anyway, I’m happy with the dovetails and got the hang of the jig, which was the goal. I may use this to store router parts, although I want to make a bit storage box. I just put wipe on poly as a finish.

Cyclone Dust Collector – Harbor Freight and Super Dusty Buddy

Make #31

For dust control, I’ve been using an old shop vac and Dust Deputy. It worked well enough, but then the vacuum died spectacularly. It stopped running with a column of thick smoke and then melted down. Rather than abusing another shop vacuum, I started looking for a dust collector.

I opted for the 2 HP model from Harbor Freight. It’s very popular and a good price that’s even better with a 20% off coupon. I also got the larger Super Dust Deputy since the little bucket version worked well for me. Using the conical cyclone, debris enters, swirls around, and drops to a collector rather than going through the blower motor into a collection bag. The primary purpose is to prevent solid chips/chunks, etc from hitting the motor’s impeller and causing damage. But it’s also extremely efficient at capturing anything that gets sucked up.

I’m not using the bagging system with Harbor Freight Kit. I’m simply venting outside. The advantage here is that only the finest dust will escape the Dust Deputy, but this fine dust is the most problematic. It’s the most dangerous to inhale, and it’s also the most difficult to filter. So, rather than building an expensive filtering system, I’m just going to just exhaust it outdoors. Once it snows, I’ll be able to see how much dust is being vented and whether I need to rethink it. So far, it’s working great.

The other advantages of this setup are it’s a small footprint. It’s vertical at less than 2-foot by 2-foot. The other advantage is there’s no filter to restrict airflow, so it should help increase power or at least help counter the restriction from the cyclone.

I opted to go for the newer 4-inch Super Dust Deputy. I was hesitant to buy a smaller unit than the larger cyclone with 5-inch connections. I was concerned if it would hurt power and not be as efficient. So far, it seems perfectly fine. It seems Oneida designed this version of the Super Cyclone for the popular Harbor Freight and similarly sized dust collectors. This is a turn-key system that includes a 15-gallon drum. The cyclone fits directly on the drum and doesn’t require a lid or cutout. It also includes a foam gasket to get a tight seal. The output is 4″, which is the typical for small to medium shop dust collection. It also includes a fitting/adapter out of the top for 4″.

For my setup, I made a wall mount with 2x4s. I then just set then fan blower so the input is facing the ground. I didn’t mount the blower anywhere. It’s heavy and the blower input sticks out so will keep it from sliding off. Once mounted, I used the Harbor Freight duct adapter and 5″ output hose. I cut a hole in the wall, installed a 5″ wall duct baffle, and connected it all with clamps. I also cut a short length of the 5″ hose and connected that to the lower input with a clamp. Then used a 4″ reducer. Then I attached a length of 4″ hose to the Super Dust Deputy.  Out of the Harbor Freight kit, I’m just using the blower, duct adapter, and hose.

This gives me a straight line for airflow with only a minimal curve on the output. I mounted the lower at a height that was convenient for me to reach the switch. I thought about sitting the drum on a cart  for convienent emptying and maybe steal a little extra shop storage space but didn’t I don’t have a clear path to wheel out the drum anyway. I also didn’t want to directly connect the blower to the Super Dust Buddy because I thought it might make it more difficult to empty the drum. I’m thinking about using some bungee cords to hold the Super Dust Buddy when emptying, but it seems light enough that the hose clamps can support it hanging.

Lastly, I need to work on connections. I intend to simply move the 4″ hose to machine to machine. My shop is small and only the table saw is stationary, so I don’t have fixed stations for duct work.

Dust Collector System
Dust Collector System
4" Super Dust Buddy
4″ Super Dust Buddy
Collected Dust
Collected Dust


Box #2

Make #29

Here’s my second box. I used the new jig. Something that works well is placing a small strip scrap hardwood behind the workpiece. I was getting tearout without, but this seems to give clean cuts.

I made a couple made a couple mistakes cutting the inset for the cover, but otherwise this turned out OK. I finished it with some stain.

Box Joint Jig #2

Make 28

Remaking a box/finger joint jig. This fits my new saw. Similar to the remade cross cut sled, I left this open on the top and also using 1/2″ plywood. This is lighter and gives more flexibility.

I have a rear fence and behind that I have a stop block for the blade. Then I clamp templates to the fense. I have templates for 1/2″ and 3/8″ joints. Each template has its own little piece glued in as a key,



Make 27

This started out as a cutting board, but had a bunch of problems. I ended up just makign coaster instead.

The plan was to cut thin strips of walnut and maple and then glue together one of each. Then glue those bundles together into strips. This is rather than solid strips of maple and walnut. I’ll try this again someday, but for now we have nice end grain coasters.

On the bottom I glued some no-skid material. I finished it with wipe on matte poly.



Cross Cut Sled #2

Make 26, Week 15

This is a new crosscut sled for my new saw. The old sled didn’t fit the new miter slots. This time around I made a few changes.

First, I use 1/2-inch birch plywood rather than particle board.  I also didn’t do a front fence. This is much lighter and also without a front fence, larger workpieces can extend off of the sled.

The fence is two pieces of 3/4-inch birch plywood laminated together. I also screwed a block behind the blade area. This will give a place to bury the blade and be a guide of where to not place fingers. This block is screwed into the sled so it’s also helping to hold to two pieces of the sled together.  Also, two blocks at the end screwed into the fence. This is basically somewhere to hold when moving the sled with the hope of not putting to much stress on the fence. Lastly, I used walnut for the miter rails.

We’ll see how this holds up.

It seems to be pretty square. I did a 5 cut on about a 10-inch board and it came out to I guess 0.0009 inches off. I think that’s probably close enough.

New cross cut sled
New crosscut sled
Fence and blocks
fence and blocks
Miter rails
Miter rails
0.00045 inches off across 5 cuts
0.0045 inches off across 5 cuts