Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 87: The Lamination Form

I was able to make some pretty good progress on the bentside lamination form over the weekend. I purchased the supplies needed to complete the form: one 4'x8' piece of 9/16" chipboard, two 4'x8' pieces of 1/4" plywood, two 1"x4"x8' pieces of "whitewood" (not exactly sure what this is - it's a lot like pine) and all of the bolts, washers and wingnuts necessary to complete the form.

Once I got everything back to the shop, I spent the day preparing the crossbraces and clamp parts by cutting them to size and ensuring the holes in the side clamp pieces (the little oak pieces in the bottom photo below) were drilled to 5/16" diameter to accommodate the 1/4" bolts I purchased.

The only thing left to do on the crossbeam clamp parts is to slot each end for the bolts. You'll see more on this when I begin assembling all of the parts and pieces in an upcoming post.

I was able to complete a couple of other tasks that have been nagging at me, as well. First, I worked up a new throat plate for Big Bertha (the 18" band saw) to replace the aluminum one that had been destroyed in a mishap a few weeks ago. A buddy was slicing up some applewood and accidentally drove the throat place into the blade, destroying both.

And therein lies the silver lining.

I had purchased a 1" Timberwolf blade for resawing because, well, a bigger blade is better, right? Not necessarily. The blade was so wide that it covered too much of the tire, creating an annoying wobble of the blade. It was quite demoralizing until the mishap. This time around, I switched to a 1/2" Highland Woodworking Wood Slicer blade and moved it forward on the tire and...voila! No more wobble. It also cuts quicker and cleaner than the Timberwolf, so two lessons learned.

The new blade worked so well, I went ahead and sliced up some of the scrap walnut I picked up from the FREE box in front of Goby Walnut and Western Hardwoods and used it for Big Bertha's new throat plate.

Hey, if I drive this one into the blade, what's the worst that can happen, right?

The other overdue project was prompted by the small lamination form cuts I needed to make: a new table saw crosscut sled. I've mentioned another one I made in a previous post, but, somehow, I constructed it with a .5mm offset so that every cut was off by just enough to notice it. Not good. With this one, rather than mount a metal miter guide to the bottom and hope I could get the holes drilled properly, I simply glued a 3/4" strip of wood to the bottom. This allowed me to control the placement of the strip with greater accuracy.

Once the glue set, I ran the sled through the table saw and checked it for accuracy using a square.

It cuts at a perfect 90-degree angle. What a relief. I also slapped on a couple of sticky-backed measuring tapes to keep me honest.

Once I had everything in place with the sled, I went ahead and cut the cross pieces in the second photo above. The nice thing about a crosscut sled is that you can rip smaller pieces, as well, and your fingies and other related body parts remain perfectly safe. The sled also prevents kickbacks because, as you know, it's safety first at Tortuga Early Instruments Worldwide Headquarters!

Until next time...

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