Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Project Update: Crosscut Sled and Cleaning Completed

As I was completing the table saw crosscut sled, taking photos, and sharing them on Facebook, I noticed the shop was a mess. By a mess, I mean it looked like this:

I only snapped this one perspective because it was, frankly, embarrassing how much chaos I had introduced into the place over time. Granted, I have an amazing ability to pile (you should see my writing desk) and an even more amazing ability to completely ignore a mess. As I concluded the Tortuga Early Instruments* Holiday Maintenance Program and was ready to wrap up the sled, I realized I was moving things from one pile to the next, from one side of the shop to the other.

So, I embarked on a two-day mini cleaning project that resulted in this:


Now, I can move around the place without tripping over anything (safety) and I can find whatever I'm looking for (sanity). I also found a bunch of stuff I've been moving from house to house for the last 10 years. I've always said, "If I haven't looked at it in a year, it goes." Well, this stuff needed to go, so I put it up on Craigslist and a couple of things have sold so far; if it's not all gone by Sunday, the remaining items will find a new home at Goodwill. I've managed to bring in $60 for the Tortuga Early Instruments Shop Reinvestment Program and am hoping for another $40 through the weekend.

Once I finished cleaning and organizing, I returned my attention to the table saw crosscut sled. The point of such a contraption is to cut down, eliminate, really, the possibility of kickbacks and to also cut more accurately. The design is simple: it's just an open-ended, open-top box with a piece of aluminum mounted on the bottom to line it up with the blade for a perfect cut every time. As you can see in the first photo below, I added two sticky back tape measures to the inside for greater accuracy.


Now that the sled is completed and the shop is clean and tidy, I can finally return to the point of this entire exercise: completing the harpsichord.  Thanks for hanging in there with me as I acquired the latest tools and machines and got things in shape for the coming year. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one.

Until next time...

*As you may have noticed, I've changed the shop name from Tortuga Ancient Instruments to Tortuga Early Instruments to more accurately reflect the instruments I build - harpsichords and Baroque guitars.

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