Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesdays' Jig Filled Meeting

     I think most of us will agree that the meeting was a real interesting one due to the fact that so many of the members brought in their favorite shop made or purchased jigs.  As I was taking notes for the blog I noticed that several jigs for making circles or arcs were brought in and neither of them were the way I do that process.  Just goes to show how true the phrase "more than one way to skin a cat" is.  I used to have a pretty good time when I'd use that saying teaching the boys in the prison!
     As is a big part of our meetings, the time before was spent catching up on what we've been doing and discussing woodwork in general plus anything else of importance.

Just Waiting for the Show I
Just Waiting for the Show II

     The traditional yet not everyones favorite part of the meeting is the self-introductions go around the room and tell us who you are.  This time Jamie started it off by telling us we could say as much or as little as we wanted to and oddly enough, most folks gave more info! There were a few new faces plus some who have been absent for a while.  During the introductions Ed brought up and showed us the turned pieces he's made on his recently acquired lathe. They were really well done and seems he's well on the way to making wood turning part of his repertoire.

Ed's Turned Objects

     For any of you interested, the local woodturning group meets the second Tuesday of every month at Woodworkers Emporium located on Arville, just north of Russell Road.  They start their meetings at 6:30 and they're similar to ours except of course, the focus is on lathe work.  Then this Saturday they will have an open house from 9-12 but I can't guarantee getting this blog out in time for that so if you were interested I hope you took notes!
     Well, off we go to the jig sharing part of the meeting. Rich started out with a couple of interesting jigs.  This one:

Dado Guide
garnered a lot of attention.  If you ever use dado's to insert a shelf you'll know how rare it is for your router bit to match the thickness of the shelf exactly.  With this jig you put the shelf between the two sides then slide and lock the right side one over, capturing the thickness of the shelf.  Now, with a 5/8"pattern bit that has a top mounted bearing you'll be able to rout a dado that matches the thickness exactly -- pretty neat.  One other jig that he brought in was this one:

Threaded Insert Jig
    This would be used to install those threaded inserts we all use without breaking off their ears or putting them in crooked.  It was interesting that Jonathan, our resident jet mechanic, recognized the design as something similar to what he uses on the F-15.  This came from Lumberjocks and I found the link for it HERE.
     Next up was Leroy who showed the miter joint sled he uses on the tablesaw for his box making:

Tablesaw Miter Sled
If you're after a tight fitting mitered joint the pieces have to be cut accurately.  By using an Angle Cube to set the blade at exactly 45 degrees and then making sure the sled cuts an exact 90 degree edge this system is the way to go.  By using stop blocks you can insure the pieces will be the correct size and you probably won't even have to touch them up with a shooting board.  At the same time, Leroy showed a small stand that he made using inlayed and over-lapping circles.  Those of you that saw it will remember how nice it looked but we didn't get a photo of it.
     Next up was Lupe who first showed us a really nice looking circle cutting jig made by Delta and used on a bandsaw:

Delta Circle Cutting Jig
It looks to be very well made so I was curious to find out a bit about it.  Here is a LINK to what I found out but it may no longer be made.  Amazon lists it as well and I found a couple of listings where it was offered on Craig's List in other cities.  This one was a "slam dunk" but Lupe's next jig was a doozey!

The Mother of All Hinge Mortising Jigs
This seemingly simple arrangement of knobs, wood, and metal was taken from one of the PBS woodworking shows.  You know the kind, they build a solid wood dining table with four chairs in about 28 minutes!  My students could never understand why I wouldn't let them do the same.  Lupe gave her very colorful and detailed explanation of how this thing worked --- I'm sure we'll be seeing version 2.0 in the near future.  It's designed to quickly and accurately cut the mortise for inset butt hinges and although it did what it was designed to do the journey to get there sounded like a long and winding road.
     When we think of woodworking there are many directions you can go.  You can turn on lathes, you can carve, you can use power tools and hi-tech joinery methods, you can put your focus on hand tools, or; as most will end up doing, use a combination of those ways that appeals to you to do your work.  If you're wired for enjoying the quiet atmosphere of hand tools there are a couple of tools you can make to enhance that enjoyment.  Eric brought in a pair of winding sticks:

Winding Sticks

      These are extremely useful if you're using planes to remove the twist or wind from a board.  I believe that you can also buy them pre-made out of metal but it's such a simple tool why not increase your own skills to make your own.  On his, he uses a piece of duct tape on the far sticks but you can also use a contrasting color wood.  When you put them on the board, you sight over the tops of the two sticks.  If the board is perfectly flat you would see the same amount of tape all the way across.  It not you'll notice which edge is high, use a plane to remove some of that, move the sticks closer together, sight again, plane, etc. until the tops of the sticks are both parallel as you sight over them.  To go along with the winding sticks he also brought in his shop made, wooden straight edge.  I never knew why every example I'd seen has bottom edge perfectly flat while the top edge is tapered towards each end from the center.  He explained that this is to expose the end grain gradually and thus limit the effects humidity has on a piece of lumber.  Another good project to make to hone your hand skills.
     Something we're more concerned about here in the desert is the effect the sun has on us and our houses.  Jim brought in the fourth of fifteen shutters and showed us the system he got through Rockler, here's a LINK to that from the website.  If you click on that link you'll see there are a number of different jigs and bits needed to complete the project.  Here's some of the items:

Shutter System from Rockler

    Here is one of the shutters Jim has completed:

One of Fifteen
Just as with anything we do, the first one takes more time than the next.  By the time he gets done with the last one he may decide to go into business or else offer the system up on Craigslist!
     In keeping with the circle making jigs, Rick brought in this one which really looks substantial and well engineered.

Radius Jig
It's laying among some of the parts of the shutter system but the large, white circular piece he's holding is where the router is attached.  If you follow that to the left there is a black bracket which would be clamped onto the piece of wood that you're going to cut the radius on.  You can slide the router holding section on the arm coming from the bracket to adjust the size of your arc.  He very generously offered it to Jamie and the school to use.

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