Judging by the number of questions I received about making the box joint jig, it is evident that I didn't cover off with enough detail exactly now the "indexing" or "finger alignment" worked, so this video is to make up that shortfall. When you are making Lynn Sabin box joint jig, one of the key components is the Readi-Rod (also known as threaded rod, Redi Rod, Ready Rod and Thready Rod). The rod basically has three components, the length of the rod, the diameter of the rod and the number of threads per inch that are carved into the rod. Of Course the length is important as it needs to be the full length of your jig, the diameter is not so important but I found 3/8" to be a good weight to work with, and the final Very important component, the threads per inch ... should be 16 threads per inch. There are many other options of threads per inch and you can decide if another is best for you, but for most woodworkers 16 will be the best and here's how it works.
Trying to integrate technology into a woodworking shop can be a bit of a challenge, depending on the tool. It's pretty easy to purchase cordless drills, grinders, sanders etc. but what about bringing technical information into the workshop in the form of a Tablet or iPad? To start off with, the tablet needs to have a place to stand, because you can's always be picking it up and holding it, and often your hands may be dusty or dirty, which you also don't want to transfer to an electronic device, so the first step was to get a stand for my tablet. I had looked at the dozens and dozens of tablet and iPad stands, but found nothing that really inspired me, yeah, they all worked but ... hey, this is a workshop and here we try to make nice looking, functional things out of wood - not plastic.
I decided a simple "sandwich board" type design would work well, would be easy to make and would look good. The first step in the simple design was deciding on what angle would work best for both sitting and standing, and I determined that 30 degrees was near perfect for both.
Since I wanted the stand to be quite rigid, I decided that making box joints along the top edge would not only look great, but once glued, would hold the stand together extremely well and last for a long, long time. Next I had to determine what wood that would look nice, yet would hold up well which means it is probably best being a hardwood, and what thickness would it be. Then I needed to .....
There are many different brands of router bits available on the market, from good quality brand name router bits, to much lower quality unknown names. The better quality brand name router bits almost always will come with some sort of a guarantee, the no-name brands may or may not come with some sort of a guarantee, you need to ask. How much use a router bit gets is often one determining factor on whether or not to purchase a brand name bit or not. If a router bit is being used a lot, maybe even in a commercial setting, good quality bits are essential, not only because of their warranty and performance, but in some cases, also because of the longivity as a working tool bit.
There are also many small and hobby woodworkers who do not run production facilities and from time to time need to use a router and router bit. In some cases, they may only use a router bit once or twice in their lifetime, if it is some sort of specialty bit. Sometimes novice woodworkers simply are unable to afford the price of premium bits, and in these cases they look for alternative bits.
It's often hard to select a router bit with an unknown name, while you are standing in a store. Often you have to take the clerk's word on whether it is good or not, if they even know or have any experience with the bit, and often they have never used them first hand, only getting feedback from other who may have used them. So how do you find a decent quality bit when you are on more of a budget. The first thing to do is to look closely at the bits, do they look well made? does the coating on the bit (if there is one) appear to have been applied in professional manner (i.e. there are no drips or runs on the shaft of the bit), does the carbide appear to be well seated, and what kind of warranty does the bit come with. This alone will sometimes tell you the quality of the bit, if someone provides some sort of warranty on the bit, it means they will stand behind it.
The next issue is to see how well it performs, and the only way to do that is to take the bit and try it out in your shop. Single bits, i.e. those not it matched sets, are less likely to have problems, regardless of the manufacturer, but even single bits can have issues and that is why they need to be tried out.
Every woodworker spends a protion of their time designing things to build or modifying existing plans to suit their own purposes and needs. Many woodworkers are also designers who start with a blank piece of paper and design their works from a concept or idea in their head, and plan the whole project out on paper. One of the challenges of designing projects from scratch is ... how do you ensure they "look good", now I know that what looks good for one person may not look good for another, but we are talking about the "balance" of a project, not about whether you actually like the idea or not. For example you may not like the design of a certain chair, while other do, but the design of that chair may or may not be "in balance", which could be contributing to why some may not like it.
Back in early Greek times, when the concept of mathematics was being developed, a very keen mathematitian discovered a set of numbers that can be used to help desginers and architects design projects that are "in balance"". This set of numbers was morphed into an artchitectual device called a Fibonacci Gauge. The device is a simple concept that is basically like a three legged devider, but with a bit of a twist. When you set the 2 outside legs, the inner leg moves as well to a designated spot, and it is the middle leg that is used as well, in helping to design furniture, buildings and almost any type of visual artistic work.
In our case we need to use the Fibonaccin Gauge to help design a pleasing look to a small side table we had seen in a publication several years ago. We wanted to make a table of the similar design, but could not find the plans so had to go about making our own in a manner that ...
It's not very often that such a small woodworking project requires so many different tools and requires number of skills from the woodworker. In this video we made a working coffee grinder, well actually we purchased the grinding part from Lee Valley tools and made the wooden base that the grinder sits on.
It sounds like a pretty easy project but we decided to make all the corners of the box as box joints. Inside the outer box is a drawer that catches the ground coffee bits as the handles is turned and beans are ground. Then, there is one last element, so that many of the coffee grinding bits do not fall between the drawer and the outer box there is an inner lining that makes sure the ground beans all fall nicely into the drawer.
The first element is to make the outer box. We adhered to the instructions packaged with the grinding component and found them easy to follow and accurate, so why not make things easy and follow their instructions. Since we decided to make box joints for the outer box we needed a box joint jig (which we also needed for other upcoming projects too) so we made that first of all (see our other videos for details on this).