NEW SPIN FOR SAW CABINETS
A mentor guides a budding woodworker.
SHOP OWNER: Max Young
LOCATION: Albion, IN
Daniel began woodworking a couple of years ago when Carol, my wife, helped him make five large oak picture frames for the local Dairy Queen, where he worked at the time. The DQ posters are easily swapped via a slot at the top front.
Although Daniel is just getting started, I can see a future for him in woodworking. He is earning money this summer as a "handyman" doing miscellaneous home repairs. Woodworking could provide Daniel a flexible second income in conjunction with his plans to become an elementary teacher. He attends Taylor University in Fort Wayne, IN and will be a senior this year.
He is talented and motivated to diligently pursue new interests. He plays drums proficiently and has been a drum-line instructor in several high school situations. He regularly plays piano and sings in the morning worship service at our church.
Daniel is a quick learner. He is also newly married and already showing promise for convincing his wife, Megan, of his need for more toys (tools)! Before you think us exceptional teachers, let me assure you he is an exceptional student. It has been a pleasure to tutor him in woodworking.
When he saw the cabinet I had built with a revolving base for my Craftsman 10" table saw, even though he has quite a large shop, he wanted the same feature on his saw cabinet. My shop is small, so I built the upper part on a Lazy Susan bearing to provide an easy method of turning the saw when cutting or ripping wide or long material.
Daniel has a Delta direct drive saw with a rather small table. We extended the table forward to approximately the size of the larger saws. The saw base design will work with a left-tilt saw (Craftsman) as well as a right-tilt saw (Delta).
To keep the two sections from moving, the saw cabinet has an oak locking bar attached to the upper section. When the saw is aligned with the base, the oak lock rotates down and makes contact with the top of the base. When I made my saw I did not use sheet metal for the bearings to rotate on. Mine does not move as easily and an additional lock was not necessary. Since Daniel's saw rotates more freely, it was necessary for him to add latches to lock the lock!
The cabinet is made of a product called strawboard. It comes out of Canada and is similar to particleboard but much easier to work with and it has a much nicer surface. It also holds fasteners very well. Daniel added the router box, which is connected to the dust collector, to the right extension wing.
The power switches are on the front. The saw switch is on the front and the router switch is on the rear. The dust collector comes on when the saw is switched on. When using the router in the table he plugs the dust collector in the same receptacle and when the router is turned on with the switch on the rear of the table, the dust collector comes on also.
The drawers run full length and open either to the front or rear. To avoid the expense of conventional drawer hardware, Daniel chose to use 1-inch wide scraps of vinyl house siding. He glued a piece to each side and bottom drawer edge and another piece to the cabinet. We used auto wax to lubricate the surfaces.
The fence is shop-built. A good friend who has a welding shop built Daniel's. It is very similar to the ones on the market. With a T-slot in both sides of the auxiliary fence, the spacer blocks can be used on the left with the table saw or on either side with the router. When using the router, two blocks provide a starting and stopping point when routing a blind slot.
We made spacer blocks that are exactly 1-inch thick, which we use when making repetitive cuts. With the spacer attached to the auxiliary fence and the fence set to 1-inch more than the desired length of a piece, we use the miter gauge to feed the material through the saw.
The main part of the fence is a 2" x 3" steel tube with a short piece of angle welded to it. There are thin steel bars welded to the angle and with setscrews installed in the top and rear of the steel angle, the fence can be adjusted to align with the blade and 90 degrees to the table. The locking lever is positioned to allow an in-feed table to be mounted to the front without interfering with the operation of the fence. There is a wheel mounted on the underside of the steel tube, which runs on the rear-mounting angle. The out-feed table mounts such that it also provides clearance for the fence to be moved.
The fence clamps to another 2" x 3" steel tube, which is mounted to the angle on the front of the saw. The tabletops are mounted to the angles front and rear as well as to the side of the saw top.
This is a dining room table (in the process of finish application) that Daniel completed in July 2003 for his parents. The oak octagonal table has two twelve inch leaves.
He has also made a coffee table and some sewing furniture for his wife, who quilts. In addition, he has made window shelf valances for his sister and replaced the kitchen sink and countertop for his parents.
My interest in woodworking seemed to come naturally. At a young age, I was given a $20 jigsaw, which I still have. It is a relatively safe, sawdust-making tool! I have been making saw dust for 45 years. Actually the saw was an incentive to get me to improve my grades in school. My father was a skilled builder. I must have taken after him. I have a 9-year-old nephew who has started using my old jigsaw. Maybe he will be my next student.
I am a Purdue graduate and retired International Truck mechanical engineer. As a professional, I have three US patents with my name on them. My interest, inclination, and skills have evolved into making my tools and shop more efficient rather than building many actual projects.
I enjoy designing jigs, fixtures and other items on my computer, which has a high end CAD program installed. All the design is done in 3-D, which makes a project very easy to follow and accurate, resulting in the reduction of scrap and mistakes. If the design goes together on the 3-D program, it will fit in the shop!
My current project is an improved dust hood for my Delta 12-inch portable planer. I designed and built the wood pattern and I'm currently working with a company I did business with before retiring for the prototypes and tooling.
I am excited with the result. My design allows for rotation of the hose left, up, right and anywhere in between. The air/chip flow is very good. I am in the process of getting final tooling to fabricate the hood toward production. The hood in the photo is a prototype and looks a bit rough. The final product will be more aesthetic.
Adding an auxiliary table to the planer also seems to reduce end snipe. My auxiliary table is 12 inches by 72 inches and is 1-inch thick. This reduces the capacity of the planer, but has not been a problem for me yet.
My wife and I have planted around 10,000 trees on our property, which should provide a great deal of lumber in the future. I have about a thousand board feet of cherry, walnut, and sycamore drying and I am looking forward to making sawdust in the next year or so. A project that has been bouncing around in my head is to make a grandfather clock of cherry. My wife's uncle has a bandsaw mill for cutting logs into lumber and it does a great job. There are several more cherry and walnut trees on our property that could be turned into lumber.
When planing a large amount of material, it is easier to feed the material through the planer and then rotate the planer and run them back through instead of carrying the boards back and feeding them through the same way again. This was the main reason for the new dust hood mentioned above. My planer is mounted on a portable base with casters for easy rotation, but a Lazy Susan bearing under the planer would work very well also.
Daniel seems to have a natural aptitude for woodworking. The only problem with Daniel is I can't keep up with him. He is ambitious and works diligently on a project until it is completed. Lately he is asking fewer questions and making good woodworking decisions on his own. I have had more fun teaching Daniel how to work with wood than I ever have had making anything. I highly recommend others do the same, it is very rewarding and besides, it is easier to watch others do the work!. . . Max Young
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