Thursday, March 17, 2016

Project Update: The Better Part of Valor

I tackled the final bench leg tenon last night and I can say with complete confidence that it was an utter disaster. I'm not kidding. A true tsunami-that-sneaks-up-on-you-and-causes-a-meltdown catastrophe. I used one of my little miter saws to start the cut lines, used the bigger (still small) tenoning saw loaned to me by Random Roger Green to deepen the cuts and then sawed with abandon using the big, Random Rog tenoning back saw.

Somewhere along the way, like the time I decided to take a corner a little too fast in the rain with bald tires, things started to go sideways and I was never able to fully recover. You'd never know it looking at the nice shots I took of the finished product. In fact, here's one now:

Doesn't that look great? It's not. It actually looks more like this:

At that point, I was done. And by "done," I mean quitting for good. As in selling all my tools and putting my time and energy into other, ostensibly more productive, things like playing video games. I took a break with some Pusser's and the tv and, by the end of the evening, decided I can do this. Sometimes, the better part of valor is knowing when to start over.

The result is that I began designing a cradle jig for the Laguna sled that will hold a 6x6 at just the right angle and protrusion to cut a perfect dovetail. Also key to this new approach is clamping a wood stop to the Laguna's table to ensure every cut is exactly 4 1/8" deep (more about this later). It was late and, you know, Pusser's, so all I could do was draw on some MDF.

The angles are correct and I intend to cut this piece in half and make two cradles, each of which will clamp to one of the little sled walls. The ellipses are where I will cut the holes for the clamps. This go-round, though, I will use 4x6s, which Random tells me are plenty big for the job. The cradle will still accommodate these dimensions, so I'm headed to Home Depot tomorrow to have them cut a 12-footer into four 36" pieces for me (got to fit them in the KIA Rio).

On a completely unrelated note, the 4'/21' flexible hose I purchased for the new, little dust collector was a bust. The one horsepower motor was not enough to suck anything up from such distances, so I cut it down to just over two feet and will drag it around the shop to use it; this is no big deal because it's on wheels and sports a handle for just such maneuvers.

Hey, at least I'm flexible, right? Just like a dust collector hose.

Until next time...

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