Archive | August, 2013

Table Saw Rebuild – Saw Blade Storage

1 Aug

When you look around YouTube at Woodworking videos, you see a whole lot of “shop projects” – that is, ways to organize your workshop, improve & extend your tools, etc.  Why are there so many of these?  I guess we woodworkers watch a lot of them.  But personally, I feel a certain guilt about watching them.  I mean, for any right thinking person, tools are a means to an end, and I should be watching stuff that improves my technique, not makes my router bits easier to find…

So obviously I’m going to write about what I did with my table saw.  Now, in any good and proper world, you’d be overwhelmed by ennui at this point and find something else to read.  Maybe that’s how it is.  Maybe not.

But if you’re still reading, you should feel guilty about it.

There.

Now, with that said…

 

Everybody else you see with an enclosed router table seems to feel compelled to put their router bit storage under there and will happily show off complex dovetailed drawers made out of exotic hardwoods.

But…  I’ve already got a good cabinet for storing my router bits.  It works really well, it’s conveniently located, and, you know, it’s already there and all.

But I got to staring halfway across the room at my dado set.  Now there’s a thing I don’t enjoy changing out at all.  I gotta walk all the way across the shop, grab the dado set, some wrenches, and a sorry-ass stock dado insert that’s about as far form zero-clearance as you can get.  Then I gotta pull the standard blade out, find someplace to put it down, stick on the dado blades, find someplace to put the dado set that’s out of the way, since I sure don’t want to march it halfway across the shop again…

You get the idea.  I need a sawblade organizer.

So how about this:

image

Do you like it?  My fearless assistant sure does.  It’s got a dozen or so platters for all my sawblades, including all the blades in my dado set.  It’s got handy tabs to find blade and pull out the platter easy.  I also made bays for zero-clearance inserts, and I made up a small batch of them with the leftover plywood.

“Leftover”?  What do you mean.  It’s all leftover.  That’s one of the charms of shop projects.  It lets you use up those big scraps that you can’t bear to throw out.

 

Credit where credit’s due:  I got inspiration from this Lumberjocks project:

Saw Blade Storage/Organizer

I think the shelves he’s using for his sawblades are overbuilt.  I just took some quarter inch MDF that I had laying around and routed out 8” and 10” circles (with a circle-cutting jig) that were about 1/16” inch deep and that seems to be fine.

 

I used my lock-miter bit for the corners, and in spite of me being really kindof lackadaisical in my setup, the joints turned out stupid tight.  I think that must have been some kind of karmic backlash for badmouthing lock miters bits to my friends at work.  I guess my takeaway is that if you want that kind of sharp joint and you don’t mind fussing over the setup, and you don’t mind throwing away a few failed attempts, you can get some excellent results out of a lock miter bit, even in plywood.

The second lesson learned here was with the French Cleat I used to stick it on to the saw.  I didn’t really pay any attention to the placement or the angle.  As a result it just doesn’t work like a cleat should.  It’s really just screwed to the saw now; the cleat’s not really holding the weight.

I felt so chagrined at this failure that I went back and did some remedial physics.  I could be wrong, but I came up with this:  First, the higher up on the back of the thing you’re hanging you put your cleat, the better, but the angle of the cleat matters too.  You need to make your cleat angle at least the inverse-tangent of the distance between the cleat and the bottom of the thing you’re hanging divided by the distance between the wall you’re hanging on and the center of gravity of the thing you’re hanging.  Got that?

Here’s a half-assed free-body diagram to help you not screw up like I did:

image

Of course, it’s possible my physics is wrong.  Use at your own risk.

 

My next installment will cover yet more shop improvement, as I improve the electrical arrangement of the saw.

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