March 29, 2016
The Rockler in Pasadena, CA is about 45 minutes north of me and they had a mini woodworking show last weekend. I drove up to check it out and was pleasantly surprised to see that a SawStop representative was there and was doing a couple of demonstrations. I missed the first demo by about 10 minutes so I hung around for the second one and chatted with the rep. I had always heard that these were good saws but this was my first time being able to ask some direct questions and actually poke around a little.
They had the jobsite saw there and it beats my current saw hands down! The fence is a thousand times better, it's setup for dust collection, it has a built in storage box for an extra brake and tools, the blade lifts and lowers with a single turn, setting the angle is attached to the lifting mechanism, and you can lower it and wheel it away very easily.
I have a 6 year and 9 year old son that I have been teaching basic woodworking skills but there is no way that I would ever let them use my current tablesaw. They still won't be ready to use one for a few years but when they do I definitely hope to have a SawStop in my shop.
March 26, 2016
March 24, 2016
March 19, 2016
March 16, 2016
Today I'm going to show you how I made my wife a Purple Heart Shaped Box for Valentine's day.
My first step was to go to my local lumber yard and pick up a big chunk of 28" x 9 1/2" x 7/4 purple heart for a little under $22.00.
I then cut 7 1/2" off the end by making 2 shallow passes. 1 on each side of the board.
My table saw isn't very strong so I set my fence to 1 1/8" and ran a shallow cut on one side and then on the opposite side. I raised the blade up a little bit at a time, cut each side, repeated the process, and eventually cut through the whole piece.
This left me with one board at 1 1/8" thick for the base and one at 1/2" thick for the lid.
I have an X-Carve CNC machine so my next step was to design a box using the free Easel software on the Inventables website. They had a heart shape already in the software so I made the lid by nesting 3 hearts on top of each and the base by nesting 4. The lid is on the right and the base is on the left. The center heart of the lid is set to 0.025" to level out the wood. The white part around it is set to 0.125" (1/8") to create the lip. The black outline is set to 1/2" to cut the outline of the heart.
The base on the left is cut similar except that center is cut down to 0.850" for the tray. The other hearts are there to level the lip and cut the outside of the heart.
Next I secured the 1/2" piece of Purple Heart for the lid to the base of the CNC machine and cut it out. The heart on the left was my first try. My wife came out to the shop to ask me a question and I bumped the CNC machine on my way to talk to her and knocked it out of alignment. The second try cut with no problems.
I attached the 1 1/8" piece and cut out the base. When I set up the software to cut the first tray I forgot to change the cut settings from Pine to Hardwood and it cut too fast and too deep and snapped the 1/8" bit that I was using. I was able to cut a larger heart shaped tray the next day and salvage that part of the wood.
Once I had both pieces CNC'ed I finished cutting them out on the band saw and cleaned up the edges on my disc/strip sander.
I spray glued and stapled a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper to some plywood to be able to sand the bottom of the lid and the top of the base flat to each other.
I then sanded the rest of it to 120 grit, 180 grit, and then 220 grit.
Everything that I read on the internet said to not use a water based finish on Purple Heart so I picked up some Tung Oil and applied 2 coats according to the directions on the can.
Once the finish was cured the final step was to trace out and cut some adhesive backed felt paper and apply it to the inside of the base.
If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I will get to them as soon as I can.
March 12, 2016
March 7, 2016
March 5, 2016
In this series of posts I will be sharing with you my favorite videos that I watched this week. Do you have a video that you would like featured here? Leave a comment below and let me know about it!
March 3, 2016
I made the Planter Box from cedar fence pickets 2 1/2 years ago and it is still my most popular video on my YouTube channel. It's been sitting on my front walkway this whole time and is starting to show a little bit of age. The finish is starting to peel off the top frame that is exposed to direct sunlight and is also starting to gray. Everything else seems to be holding up nicely. I am very proud of how well the bottom is doing. Nobody thought that it would drain very well and they didn't like the fact that I screwed the planks in from the bottom. My wife seems to kill off all the plants every 6 to 8 months so the next time that it is empty I plan on sanding the top down and applying a few coats of Spar Urethane to it.