Frantic Speed Shopping

The sun was out today and it was the first time this year that I noticed the days seem to be hanging out a bit longer.  They are sneaky that way, sort of creeping up on spring.  After all the snow this winter, I will welcome spring with a giddiness that I haven’t experienced in years.  Of course, it was still cold out, when I got into my car, but the sunlight on my face warmed my spirits considerably.

I had errands to run.  I needed to get some petrol and oil for my car.  I was craving a Jimmy John’s sub, so that was also on my list.  The top task on my list however, was to try to make it over to ACME tool before they closed, so I could see the Festool rep.  I had marked on my calendar that he would be in town on the 24th and 25th and today is the 24th!  Since I purchased Mary the Jigsaw, I have been interested in seeing either the 5” RQ 125 FEQ or the 6” RQ 150 FEQ sander in action.

The Festool representative, Matt, had a piece of tiger wood, which had recently admitted to cheating on his wife with several types of exotics, from all over the world.  Not only did I get to see it in action, I got to do the sanding!  It was fantastic.  He explained how to hold it correctly and also told my why it was important.  Because of the design, it sort of looks like one might hold the sander too far back.  He explained that this would lead to horrible chatter.  So I did as he had instructed and there wasn’t any chatter, it was smoother than a famous golfer picking up a porn star.

We started with some 120 grit and worked our way up until we were using some weird space age polishing pads.  I have read that new woodworkers often over sand.  The 6” RQ 150 FEQ sander, which has a random orbital setting and a gear setting, also has an attachment which collects dust.  The dust collection was incredible.  There simply wasn’t any, the tiny little vacuum seemed to get it all.  When I had made it through all the grits and polishing pads, the wood was polished like  a new driver.

Before I knew it, the store was closing.  I wasn’t prepared to make my purchase today, as I like to mull tool buying decisions over, but I also was not at all prepared to leave ACME tool empty handed.  That would be crazy talk.  So in a near panic I scooted over to the section with measuring and marking devices.  I swooped down the aisle, deftly grabbing a Crown Tools 10 ½ inch bevel in rosewood, a wheel marking gauge by Shop Basics, and then frantically hailed one of the remaining workers, to unlock the Freud router bit cabinet.  The ACME guys are always friendly, and they never rush me, but I have developed a terrible habit of making them wait on me to close up, so I am trying to do better.  I looked at my iphone and I had my new ¼” double flute straight bit, with one minute to spare.  I plopped the stuff on the counter and bought them.  Whew that was close.

Worry not, if you thought that the closing of ACME, cut my woodworking shopping short, for I still intended to wonder over to Home Depot.  Between ACME tools and Home Depot is a Jimmy John’s sub shop, so that played right into my plans.  I had the #5.  Yummy!

As many of you know, I am working on building a router table.  I have some ¾” ODF, which I thought I might take two sheets of and glue them together for the top.  I have decided against that option, in favor of a more expensive one.  I want each project to teach me a bit more about woodworking.  So I have decided to glue up a bunch of 1 x 2 pieces of hard maple and oak, to create the table.  Of course, I will be standing the pieces on their edge, so that the final thickness will be similar to the 2 pieces of ODF, but it will let me do some gluing.  Also, I have been dying to try out my cauls, so this should be fun.

There is one additional benefit.  I plan to assemble the tops, such that there is an opening, which is about a half inch smaller than my router table plate.  This eliminates the need to cut a hole.  I will give a more detailed explanation about how I approached my table top, after I have completed it.  I bought 70 linear feet of wood, a piano hinge, and some Titebond II Premium wood glue.  All in all, a good day, and now I get to go downstairs and cut some wood.

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