Over the last few months, I’ve whittled up a healthy number of Baltic birch sheets to build a wide array of projects. A router table and fence, several drawer boxes, a craft table. In the same months, I’ve seen my colleagues use Baltic birch to make a table saw cross cut sled, a glue rack, a bookcase. The uses for Baltic birch are seemingly endless and the reasons why become apparent when you see what makes Baltic birch unique.
Posts Tagged ‘jigs’
Gluing up boards to make solid cabinet doors and table tops remains a necessary and time-consuming part of woodworking. And many woodworkers out there avoid glue-ups because of the machinery (or exhausting hand work) required to get a newly glued-up solid wood panel nice and flat. It takes a wide planer, wide sander, or unyielding enthusiasm for the joys of hand planing.
But here’s a little trick that’ll help out: clamp blocks that help keep the aligned and flat while the glue dries.
Make blocks out of solid 3/4″ material that resemble a 4″ long U shape. See below. Clamp up your panel with bar clamps or pipe clamps as you normally would. Then clamp U blocks so that they bridge over the joints, achieving two things:
- Forcing the boards to align perfectly giving you a smooth panel
- Keeping the blocks from becoming glued to the workpiece
In the end, you won’t need to do nearly as much planing and sanding to get the solid panel flat.
WOOD Magazine has free plans for the clamp blocks at this page if you need a visual:
Doesn’t it always just seem like when you go to cross cut a wide panel that your tablesaw is just an inch or two too short to make the job safe? It’s not a smart move to start a cut using the miter gauge with it not fully supported by the miter slot. Surely, though, we’ve all risked it when the work piece is so large that it forces the gauge to hang off the table by just a bit.
But now there’s an effective solution you can whip together with some plywood cutoffs.
We just saw this solution to the problem in the September/October issue of Fine Woodworking, by a fella named Dan Sweeny. We liked it so much that we had to give it a try. The extension is built out of Baltic birch plywood. Take a close look. It straddles the tablesaw fence rail with two fixed cleats sized to hug the rail, and uses Rockler’s universal fence clamps to keep it in place. The plywood platform has a perfect dado sized to match the miter slot in the tablesaw, 3/4″x3/8″.
We can’t give you plans for this because the exact sizes depend on your tablesaw. But you can figure it out. Build yours to suit:
- Extension top should be perfectly level with your tablesaw top
- Cleats should hug your fence rail snugly
- Standard miter gauge slot is 3/4″ wide and 3/8″ deep. Verify on your own saw first.
With this miter gauge extension in place, you can now safely use the miter gauge or a sled when your work piece is larger than the space of the table in front of the blade.
Extension table built by Danny Lopez, Woodworkers Source Tucson store