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Not everyone has the gift of "vision". It is one of those attributes that comes from true artistry and there have been many in the past who had ideas and visions of what they wanted to accomplish and some have become well know names like Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene, Gustav Stickely, Thomas Molesworth, George Nakashima, Harvey Ellis and many many more.
Today, we have even more exceptional woodworkers with a flare for new and innovative ideas and once in a while we get a chance to see some of their creations and modifications all in one place. Such was the that at the recent One Tree Exhibit hosted by the Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and in association with Live Edge Design. Robert Bateman of course is know world wide for is exceptional paintings, so who better to show of the works of fellow artist woodworkers.
The whole concept of the One Tree Exhibit was based on the concept that all the artists would use the one from the same tree. In this case, a big old Broadleaf Maple that had died some time ago which left portions of it spalted, some figured ...
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On a previous video, I re-made the Lynn Sabin adjustable Box Joint Jig and adapted it to the router table. I had put off doing this as I already had one that worked fine on the table saw, but after many, many requests I decided to make a router table version unit of all our European subscribers who cannot purchase dado blades in most European countries. After building the jig and trying it out, I found I really liked this version. It seems much less dusty to operate that the same jig on the table saw that is using dado blades or even the dedicated Freud - Box Joint Blade Set, and the joints are nice and crisp with cleaner edges that what I was getting on the table saw.
I decided the next step should be to actually make project of some sort so I can really try out this jig and see how it really performs. As it happens, I had been in an Antique Store a few weeks earlier and had seen, what I called a shoe shine tote. A lovely little box, with box joint corners and some sort of a sole deck on top of the lid that could double as a handle.
I didn't have any plans and just went by what I had remembered when I saw the tote in the store. The only thing that really stood out for me was that the box joints appeared to be 1/4", which was perfect for this new router based, box joint jig.
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I have received countless emails and messages about adapting the Lynn Sabin Box Joint Jig to the router table, and that is what this article and video are about.
Some time ago, I made a video using the Lynn Sabin plans that are available on sharkguard.com, very kindly provided by Lee Styron ... thanks Lee, for doing this. The Leeway Workshop LLC provides quality safety devices for table saws, like Shark Guard, splitters and riving knives. The link to specific plans is further down this article.
The plans, as I understand it, were originated by Lee Sabin for use on a table saw, using single blades, dedicated box-joint jig blades, such as Freud Tools, or using a stacked dado blade set-up. If you have never made this jig before, it is best to read these and the instructions provided with the plans, before you begin.
This jig works great on the table saw using dado blades, unfortunately, dado blades are not available in most European countries. I understand it is not illegal to own them but it is illegal to sell them. The plans I used are basically identical to those provided on the sharkguard.com website, with a couple of small alterations.
For everyone who is on the metric system, you will have to do all the conversions yourself. I do not know what router bits sizes, or threaded "ready-rod" types you have to work with. All the components I used were Imperial.
The way this jig works is based on the the "ready rod". I used a 16 threads per inch version. This means that if you have a nut on a rod like this, and turn the rod 16 times, it will advance that nut one full inch. Converting that to a 1/4" box joint, from the start position, you make one cut, turn the rod 8 times and that will advance the carriage 1/2" inch which means the second cut will leave a 1/4" pin, then make the cut at the 1/2" mark, and so on ... thus making the beginnings of the box joint cuts.
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In this video we look at the Panel Raiser on the table saw. With many thanks to George Vondriska from the Woodworkers Guild of America (see link at end of video) for his video on using the Panel Raiser with a wood router on a router table. Because woodworking has so many different way of accomplishing the same thing, we thought it would be good to show another way of using the Panel Raiser.
Be sure and and stay tuned for more great woodworking videos ....
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I do not know of any other working medium that uses more tips and jigs than woodworking. There are so many tricks and adaptions that can be made to make woodworking easier and safer ... the whole thing could be an industry of it's own.
I have few favorite jigs and tips that I use all the time, and these are some of them that I find ... for what I do ... are very useful, but there are many more and I will present more of them at a later date.
My most useful jig is the 2 step, stop block. For some reason I see to use this a lot for making shorter and one or two dado cuts into something that I am making. It saves me so much time from the alternative which is bringing out and setting up my stacked dado blade set. For short, quick dados, this little jig is perfect.
My second most used jig is a simple stop block jig on the table saw for making exact cross cut pieces ... I know many people are going to say, yes, but why would you not do that on the sliding mitre saw or chop saw, and the answer is ...
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Making picture frames seems like an easy job, you set your mitre saw or table saw blades at 45 degrees, measure 4 pieces of wood ... cut them then fasten them together. Except, often when it comes to fastening them together, the first 3 sides go together fine, but the last one the corners don't line up. You check your saw, yup it's set correctly, so you go about trying to fix that one last corner that is off. After a few attempts you probably have only made it worse.
Sound familiar ... well, that's describes my attempts at making picture frames. Then one day I had an epiphany ... maybe it's my sides being all slightly different lengths that's the problem. So I devised a simple, fool-proof little jig to see if that could be the problem. Sure enough on my very first attempt, guess what ... a perfect cornered picture frame. Like everything, it seems so easy when you know how, and when you try it and it works, it seems like magic.
Next I needed to figure out an easy way of making picture frames a specific size since my rudimentary form of estimating was eating up more material than I liked ...