Tag Archives: Planing Jig

The Gang Says “Hi”

I have a little cut on my index finger.  I don’t know where it came from.  I have washed the cut, used anti bacterial stuff on it, and applied a band-aid.  The last sentence was included for Mom, who reads the blog.

It all started after work today, when I headed into the shop and announced to everyone that I was going to build a jig for hand planing.  There was a lot of excitement, as many of my tools had become restless at all the practice of late.  The twins, Teri and Tracy, asked if they were going to get to help.  They were delighted to find out that they were going to be crucial in beginning the project.  “Goodie” they said in unison.  (It should be noted, that their name sakes, who I had a terrible crush on in 5th grade, probably wouldn’t have said, ‘Goodie’, but they weren’t saw horses.  Teri and Tracy the saw horses have their own personalities.)

So Teri and Tracy took their place at the end of my workbench, where I laid the piece of ODF.  A line was carefully marked at 18 inches and my guide was clamped to the board.  Teri and Tracy would be responsible for catching the piece after the sawing was done, so that it didn’t find it’s way to my foot.  They were very serious about their task and stood ready to catch the piece.  I carefully checked my measurements.  Then I made sure that the circular saw wasn’t going to cut either my work bench or the twins.  Everything looked goood and I made the cut.  Step one complete.

I congratulated the twins on their excellent catch and they went back to their spot feeling very good about the start of the project.  Next I found a piece of oak which was perfect for the cleat.  I carefully chose the spot, drilled pilot holes, counter sunk the holes and then screwed it into the jig base.  Step two fineto.

Step three would be to attach the rail to the top of the jig.  I got out my mouse sander, which doesn’t have a name.  He was very excited to contribute, and I decided it was about time to give him a moniker.  I named him Robert Burns.  He said that he was honored by the name and promised to work extra hard today.  We considered several grits, and decided that 120 would be a good place to start, as there wasn’t a lot to do.  So we sanded the rail and took off the hard outer edges, leaving the inside edge crisp.  We rounded the corners and when it looked good, Robert suggested we give it another go with the 220.  He was so excited to do some more sanding, I could hardly say no.

The screws I had used for the cleat were too long for the rail, as they would have poked out the bottom.  Everyone agreed that I should zip into the Ace Hardware store in Mt. Vernon.  I had to go vote at the fire station in Martelle anyway, so it seemed like a good time for a break.  I voted.  I was the 63rd person in Greenfield township to vote today.  For those scoring at home, that means that a little over 20% of the voting public had shown up for the primaries at that stage.  I was told that was pretty good for a mid-term primary.

The Ace Hardware had just what I needed and when I got home the railing was installed without incident.   The next tool to get into the game was Marey the jigsaw.  She was way too cool to act excited, but I could tell she was pleased to be involved.  The boomerang piece was no match for her razor sharp teeth and when the piece was cut out, we both agreed that she had done a fine job.  I used a micro planer to give it a little touch up and it was ready for the next step.  I put Marey back in her case, not knowing that she would be needed again.

Using a Fostner bit, I created the hole where the bolt would slide through the boomerang.  It was easy and worked just like I imagined.  Next I drilled the first hole into the base.  It was at a depth which would allow 6 washers to rest flush with the top.  The washers would form the female connector for my boomerang.  It worked exactly as I imagined.  Now I was to the point where I wanted to do something fun and unnecessary.  I decided to create a metal plate to cover the bolt.

Marey was brought back into action, but with a different blade.  I have had a piece of 20 guage steel which I have been dying to use for some time.  I marked out a 1 1/4 inch square and Marey had no problem cutting it for me.  She had never cut steel before, and I could tell she liked it.  She is not one to brag, but if she were, she might have said, “I Rock!”  And I would have been forced to agree.

The next step was to bring in my star mallet, number 45, and a two time Heisman trophy winner, Archie.  Ok, my mallet didn’t win two Heisman trophies, but his namesake did for the Buckeyes!  Archie was eager to play, and said, “I am ready coach.  Let’s chisel out a square.”  Which we did.  All of the practice work I have done with my chisels, severed me well today, as we were able to get it done in very little time.

I am so close to finishing the project I can almost taste it, but alas, I don’t have enough washers.  I had planned on 5 holes, with 6 washers each, but after marking the 1st two, I realized that they were spaced too far apart, and I would need to have twice as many, so that every conceivable size of board would work with the jig.  When I say every conceivable, that is not true, but everything  between 1/2 inch and 13 inches.   I don’t have enough washers, so the finished project will have to wait until tomorrow.  It is ok though, as I hadn’t realized that it was 9:15 and I hadn’t started my blog.  So now it is 10:04, I still have to do the picture and get it posted.  Sorry it is so late.  All my tools feel bad about the late blog, but they also said to say ‘Hi’ to everyone who reads.  I tell them about all the good suggestions the readers pass along, and it makes them feel included, except Marey, worrying about my blog is well beneath her.  She is a Festool after all, and is only focused on her job.  The consummate professional.