Monthly Archives: December 2010

Video Post #6: USFA Trophy Bases: Cutting the Miters and Clamping Square

I’ve made a lot of progress on the Trophy Bases this week, as you’ve seen in my recent posts. After ensuring my miter gauge was perfectly square to my blade and my blade was 45° to my table it was time to batch out the sides for the trophy bases. These are just 8” x 8” boxes with mitered corners. After laying out the pieces on the board, I numbered them to keep them in sequence and rough cut them to length with the miter saw. Then I mitered one end on the table saw using a stop block to ensure the piece didn’t slide along the miter gauge fence. When that was done I moved the stop block to the correct length, flipped the pieces around, and cut the other miter.

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Here’s a tip: after you rough cut the pieces they may be different lengths. When you cut that first miter, you’ll want to use a stop block for extra precision, but you don’t want to move it for every piece. In your stack of four boards, find out which is shortest, and set the stop block for that piece. You can then cut the miter on all four pieces precisely without moving the stop block.

Clamping Square

To clamp the pieces I lay them out on my bench, inside face down, in sequence. I then use (lots) of blue painters tape to pull the edges together tightly. When the pieces are held together I stand them on edge and check the dry fit and make any adjustments. You can tell you’ve made the tape tight when they sort of snap or pop into place. After the dry fit I lay them back on bench, this time inside face up, and brush glue onto all the miters. The whole assembly then rolls up and the last joint gets taped. I check for square and twist, and while I go cut the miters on the next box, I clamp the box to a board held in my bench vise. This helped keep the assembly square while the glue set.

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When the next box was ready for glue up, I removed the previous box from the clamps and stacked it on the jointer table.

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Here two boxes are done and waiting for their glue to dry so they can get cleaned up.

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After going through lots of blue tape, all six boxes are done.

Tight Miters

So how did they turn out? Check out the video to see a nice, tight, grain-wrapped miter, and please – leave a comment it would be great to hear from you!

Video Post #5: Shop Tip: Squaring a Table Saw Miter Gauge with Magswitch

Quick video I put together today showing how I use my Magswitch featherboard to ensure my table saw miter gauge is square to the blade for perfect crosscuts.


Check out Magswitch at Eagle America.

Video Post #4: USFA Trophy Bases: Repairing Voids in Walnut with Epoxy

The stock for the USFA Trophies has been roughed and stickered in the shop for a while. I’m on vacation from work, and now that Christmas is over I had five hours in the shop today and made good progress. Before I did the final thicknessing and dimensioning, I had to repair a split in one board. I’m a member of the Wood Whisperer Guild so I’ve watched Marc Spagnuolo’s tutorial demonstrating a solid tinted fix.

The Supplies

For this fix I need the following supplies:

  1. Blue Tap to mask the area around the split
  2. Epoxy to fill the split
  3. Tint to make the epoxy look all Walnutty
  4. A tub to mix the epoxy and tint
  5. A stick, brush, or some other implement to deliver epoxy from the tub to the split

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You can see that I’ve already masked the end of the board and the bottom face of the board. I don’t want epoxy leaking out the end or through the bottom and making this board a permanent accessory to my bench.

The Application Technique

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I used my compressor to blow any loose pieces or dust out of the split before starting the repair.

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And here you can see the epoxy applied. The procedure is: glop on some epoxy, push it into the split, slam the board down on the bench to work out any bubbles, repeat. Beware, this Gorilla Epoxy stinks pretty bad.

The Cleanup

I waited a full 24 hours to let the epoxy fully cure, and then I used my Stanley Sweetheart Block Plane to cleanup the split. I am very satisfied with how this turned out, and although the epoxy is darker than the walnut it looks similar to the streaks in some of the other boards.