My Blog List

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This is a creative idea for a wood push stick.  Take a wooden coat hanger and cut it in half and presto! you have two of them for price of one.  I've seen this type of stick being used to pull out oven trays, only only with a hook on the end instead of a notch.

This is a simple trick.  Anything to save your fingers.  Always use a solid push stick when working close to the blade.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project, Torsion Box.....

The torsion box is a handy way to create a thick panel with the strength to span a large area.  Because the panel is mostly hollow, it also is very light.  It can also maintain its flatness and not flex under stress. 

The secret is in the core.  Everyone has seen the concept in the making of hollow core doors. The core is mostly made with cardboard and the doors don't really have to lay horizontally and support a lot of weight.  However, if you want to make a table or roof where strength is an issue, then try this idea and make a torsion box of your own.

The system requires three components, a core grid with a layer on top and a layer on the bottom.  Sounds simple and is.  In this project I used 1/2 in plywood for the grid with 1/4 ply for the top and bottom layers.  In the choice of materials, the factors of strength, length and lightness dictate. 

Make the grid by cutting long strips and then filling in the cross pieces with short cut-offs, or make continuous crossing strips and notch them to fit together, finger joint style.  Smaller grids make the panel heavier and larger grids are more open and make  a lighter panel.  Make the outside pieces of the whole frame, out of thicker material. 

The flat spots are where table legs will be added.

This torsion box, covered with stainless, makes a generous work station.

The central horizontal has to span a five foot wide TV and support the top cabinets.
Work on a solid, flat surface to attach the top with glue and screws. This will be the underside that won't be seen.  Using weight, (cement blocks, etc....) make sure of the flatness and let the glue dry.  Turn the whole thing over and add the bottom layer with glue and add weight to the top instead of screws.  Let the glue dry, sand the edges or add trim and you have a great table or whatever other use you have devised.

The two projects I've shown here are first a bakery table covered with stainless steel and secondly a cabinet for a huge TV.  Both utilize a torsion box for horizontal strength.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Push-stick tip #3

You can use this handy  push stick to quickly cut yards of moldings for any project.  First determine the lengths you need then cut wide pieces that you will need to cut strips from.  Take the wide pieces and rout or shape the molding contour on one or both edges.   Then with your handy dandy push stick you can safely cut off strips of molding as fast as you can rout them without having to change the table saw fence setting.

Some styles of moldings are round or irregular and the pusher might not make good contact.   The tip here is to take off the side of the push stick and make one thaat is thicker or thinner or just makes better contact.   Safety here comes at the end of the cut when the tendency is for the cut piece to twist or turn.  Good contact all through the cut is imperative.  It's worth the time it takes to do this for safety.  The idea that "I'm only going to make one or two pieces" can be the dangerous concept.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Super-safe table saw push stick #2

Super-safe table saw push stick #2

This push stick for the table saw is great because it prevents you from getting involved with the blade.  It is shown here being used with a newer saw with a wider fence.  As you can see all you need do is adjust the width to the dimensions of your particular fence.

The three different size side walls allow you to cut very thin strips.  You can use the pusher with the new guards and splitters in place for wider pieces.  The blade cover does prohibit cutting very thin slices.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Super-safe push stick for older table saws.

Super-safe table saw push stick.  #1

I am posting this idea for the sake of safety.  Many old table saws are still in use in cabinet shops today.  Being vintage, they don't come equipped with the newest safety features like riving knives and spreaders that prevent kick-back.  Also they lack the over the blade covers that keep your hands away from the blade.  Not everyone can or wants to upgrade their table saw's safety equipment, or buy a new saw.

I have come across a very simple idea to protect your fingers and maintain control in nearly all ripping operations on your table saw.  This push stick stradles the fence with a handle on top for control.  When you push a piece through the blade you have complete control and can't get close with your fingers.  Every saw owner can make one, even if you do have the latest model.

I have seen some woodworkers, trusting their experience, using their thumb to guide stock between the blade and the fence.  Some will hook their little finger over the fence
for better control.  This does improve your chances but  I don't want to take any chances!  I want to lower my odds of losing a finger to zero!  Have a look....

This simple "duck" push stick is like a seat belt, in that you will get used to using it.  It becomes second nature, a habit.  If anytime, this stick hits the blade you can replace it with a bright shiny new one and still order four beers with one hand.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wine store shelving

Sometimes a job that looks simple can turn out to be a complex headache, but
this small job, done for a local winery's outlet store, turned out to make a big
improvement for the store owners, both in efficiency and appearance. Here is the chronology in pictures.

Sand Castle Winery's "Taste Store" decided to make an adjustment in their shelf area, both to hold more stock and also to improve the overall appearance.

They also needed more space to get boxes of wine organized and off the showroom floor.

This "before" picture shows bottles stored upright in the two lower shelf areas

A decision was made to try to increase the storage capacity of these two lower shelves.

Working with the management, a plan for using diagonal dividers was devised and the shelves were cleared.
A triangular pattern allows the bottles to be stored on their sides which will then use the full depth of the space.  Wines can now be sorted by type with easier access to each bottle.  Here the top row is complete.

Special pieces were added to stabilize these angled dividers when they are fully stocked.

Everything looks good... stable and solid.

The shelves are done and the bottles are added.  When color coded like this the look is very impressive.  Now the wine is stored correctly and organized to the max in this the "after" picture.