Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 63: New Naturals

I've made a management decision: I'm going to carefully slice off all of the natural key top heads and start over using my three-part strategy. I already have a jig in mind for making this a manageable task. As you saw in a previous post, I picked up a large piece of African blackwood for this purpose and was planning on ripping 1/8" strips from it. The trouble was that I had only used a featherboard and ruler to accomplish this before with sketchy results. Most of the strips I ripped for the original heads came out at 1/8" thickness; the ones that didn't are now on the inlay scrap pile.

I took a little trip during the day job lunch today to the local Rockler Woodworking and Hardware and picked up two key tools (both on sale!) that will help me rip and resaw just about anything I need. First, I grabbed a table saw thin rip jig. This jig is awesome. The tick marks on the yellow background in the photo below are at 1/16" and 1/8". You just plug it into the saw's miter slot, zero the really cool little bearing against the saw blade and move it back however many ticks make sense for the thickness of your rip.

It worked like a charm.

And the Freud glue line rip blade cuts so smoothly, the resulting cut face needs just a little finish sanding. I'm very, very pleased with these results, which makes the natural key top head rework less disastrous - at least in my mind (which is all that really matters).

While browsing the aisles at Rockler, I went ahead and picked up a pack of universal fence clamps. As their name implies, these are intended to be used primarily with a fence of some kind and I needed a way to temporarily mount the Kreg resaw guide to Big Bertha's fence without interfering with the wood as it slides merrily along. As you can see in the photo below, these clamps were just the ticket.

The Kreg resaw guide in the photo above is a 7-incher. I worked on a side project over the weekend and resawed some (expensive) quarter sawn white oak that was only about 4 inches wide. It became apparent as I cut that I would benefit from having Kreg's 4 1/2" version of the resaw guide in the shop, as well, so expect to see it appear in resaw photos one day soon.

Speaking of resawing, I'm having a bit of a challenge with the new tires on Big Bertha causing the blade to wobble. This is not good. The whole point of the Timber Wolf thin kerf resaw blade was to cut down on the amount of wood consumed by the blade during resawing. The wobble creates a wider path through the wood and also damages the accuracy with which I can make a cut. I'll be deblading the saw and stretching the tires one day soon. Easy, right? If you hear someone screaming profanities within a 10-block radius of the Tortuga Early Instruments Worldwide Headquarters, you'll know I'm stretching away on those tires.

Until next time...

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