My recent flurry of woodworking has required a lot of head-scratching
and problem solving; the work isn't intricate, but there's a lot of it
to do and my experience is limited. I'm trying to be careful and
efficient. Along the way I have made certain discoveries that I'd like
to share. The reactions to my "discoveries" usually fall into two
1. Yeah, people have been doing that since 1942 (or 1492)
2. No, that's really *not*
how it's done.
So here goes:
The Disposable Work Surface
These bookcases are my largest project to date, and my bench is too
small for it. I made a table from sawhorses, 2x4s and a couple of
pieces of MDF. It's a lot bigger than I'm used to, and I've been
keeping it uncluttered as well.
I'm finding the "sacrificial" nature of the table a great boon.
Besides allowing me to screw down the dado jig to make it stationary,
it has spawned a couple of my other discoveries.
Poor Man's Bench Hold-Downs
I had to rout out some long rabbets to receive the backs of the
bookcases. In the past I'd probably have struggled to clamp the piece
to the edge of the work surface without the clamps getting in the way
of the router travel. But hey, it's just a piece of MDF, so...
... some quick work with a hole saw and a couple of QuickGrips and
voila! Quick, secure and out of the way.
Extra Surface for Router to Ride On
Since I could clamp the work so that all of it was on the table, I was
able to clamp another strip of 3/4" ply parallel to and a couple of
inches away from the work piece:
I don't know if steadier hands would need the extra slat, but it made
me feel much more secure to have a surface for the other side of the
router base to ride on.
Mounting Guide Blocks and Strips on the Work Surface
I clamped down a couple of plywood slats to help with the dry fitting,
and it got me thinking. I could dry fit and square up a unit, then
screw "guide" pieces into the work surface that would help me get back
to that same successful alignment quickly during glue up. This sounds
promising, especially as glue-up (especially of a number of joints at
once) tends to make me anxious.
That's it for now. But never fear; the project isn't nearly done yet.