Thursday, March 24, 2016

Project Update: A New Jig for Those Pesky Leg Dovetails

Okay, I'll admit it, I ruined another set of legs. Holy cow. Normally, I use test wood to ensure proper alignment, but, for some reason, I chose not to do that for these legs. Overconfidence is a wonderful thing. The result: Things went sideways a little and one cut was good, the other not so much. I won't bore you with the details of complementary angles or a photo of my screwup. I will, though, proudly tell you about the solution I devised (yes, there is a happy ending to the story).

One of the reasons I purchased the Laguna SUV 14" band saw was to resaw wood. This is simply cutting pieces down to size, particularly when they're somewhat large and difficult to cut any other way. It comes with several features that make it good for resawing, namely, a pretty large deck that's lower than other saws (also good for my vertical challenge). In the deck are two miter slots, one on each side of the blade.

In reviewing my sled leg cradle idea over an ice-cold cocktail glass of Pusser's, I realized that all I ever needed to do was build a mini-sled small enough to fit on both the right and left sides of the blade. This would allow me to move the jig to the other side of the blade and flip the leg after the first cut to make the second. Yeah, sometimes, it takes me a while. You see the result in the two photos below.

And it just so happens it worked great on a test cut.

This is all I ever really needed - semi-shallow angled cuts at the front of the legs. Easy, right? So, tonight, I return to Parr Lumber to purchase another 12' 4x6 and get those darned tenons cut into them. It will be nice to get this behind me and get on with my life. 

And, no, the irony of doing back flips with power tool jigs to cut the legs for a workbench on which I will primarily use hand tools is not lost on me.

Until next time...

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