The Woodshop Shed

adventures in woodworking and home maintenance, from my shop in an oversized backyard shed

January 2023
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I think track saws are magic

Furnished content.
(from WoodNet.net)


I'm in the process of building a basement bar. Like most things, it's overly ambitious. 10'10" of cabinets/appliances against the wall, 72" coming out of the wall, and then 94" coming back (L shaped). All new flooring (I've got builder grade carpet down there), new lighting, new circuits, new plumbing, the works.

The bar top and countertops will be sapele, because I love it and it's what I use 90% of the time. Somebody else walking in here might think it's overused, but it's my house so who cares. Anyway, the longest section of countertop will be 10'10" x 25" out of 6/4 sapele. (Yes, it will be very heavy.) My local supplier (CP Johnson, who I recommend highly every chance I get) carries a great stock of sapele, so I was able to get a few wide 6/4 boards that were 12' long. It's nearly impossible to joint boards anywhere near that size, so I thought the best option would be a track saw. I planed them first, which was a challenge in and of itself since I don't have that much room in my shop and planing 9" x 12' boards is a pretty big task. That would give me parallel surfaces to register the track to, thus (ideally) making it easier to get a 90 degree edge.

But I didn't own a track saw. After some research, I went with budget options - a Wen track saw and Powertec track. I have more than a few pieces of both and have been happy despite them essentially being "high-end Harbor Freight" grade. I am not sure that end-to-end assembly of three pieces of track is the ideal use case, but I used two clamps, three sections of track, and that saw to square the edges. The only upgrade I made was a Makita blade.
I have to say I am extremely impressed. I plan to use 10x50 Domino tenons for alignment and strength and clamp as needed, but this was the dry fit I got. That's two clamps, one at zero and one at 12'. The boards are relatively flat, and I have very little vertical misalignment even with two sawhorses and a 12' span. With the tenons I imagine it will be even better. But the mating surfaces are pretty amazing, and I have to imagine everything will disappear with a few more clamps (the widest gap even now is probably 1/64"). I used it to break down all of the plywood I used (prefinished maple, 1/2" and 3/4") and it did an excellent job with that, but I also figured that was the intended use so that wasn't unexpected. But to be able to "joint" boards this size this well is really unusual. I mean, what would a Festool or Makita do if the budget options can do this?

Highly recommend getting one if you don't have one already.

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posted at: 12:00am on 03-Jan-2023
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Universal Planer Sled

Furnished content.
(from Popularwoodworking.com)


Universal Planer Sled Let's face it: running a twisted board through the planer doesn't make it flat. The board will still be twisted when it comes out. The trick is to use a sled that prevents the board from rocking …Source

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posted at: 12:00am on 03-Jan-2023
path: /Woodworking | permalink | edit (requires password)

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