Saturday, September 27, 2014

Project Update: Following Directions

In dealing with the extra sanding of the sharps, I decided to revisit Mr. Miller's eBook Most Excellent to see again what he had to say about cutting them on the table saw. Well, it turns out he basically uses a crosscut sled and a spacing stop against the rip fence. A crosscut sled is a framed structure that you lay wood in to more easily, and less dangerously, cut it on the table saw. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Photo courtesy of

Now, I'm not 100% certain he is using a sled from the pictures in the eBook Most Excellent, but he is certainly supporting the wood with another piece of wood. He also uses a "sacrificial" piece of wood against the back of the cut to prevent tear-out, something that frequently happens when sawing or drilling wood without the additional support.

Well, heck, here's the photo of the cut from the eBook Most Excellent (he has removed the spacer):

Photo courtesy of The Harpsichord Project e-Book 3.1 by Ernest Miller of Ernest Miller Harpsichords

As you may recall, I decided to cut the sharps on the band saw with its table tilted at 10 degrees. Big mistake. Okay, maybe not a big mistake, but I really should have cut them on the table saw because it would have prevented the wee, little cut marks on the sides that I had to take the time and effort to sand away. And you know by now how much I love sanding.

So, the moral of the story is to follow the directions, especially when they've been created by a guy who's been at it for 30 years and has been generous enough to share his knowledge with the world as Mr. Miller has.

Lesson learned (again).

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