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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Let the chips fall

Okay, got a bit of time in the garage this evening. After dinner and a walk with the family I sneaked off to the man cave for some of the business I mentioned in my last post.

I started off with a pine 2x4 and a Harbor Freight mobile base kit (item#95288). The kit calls for hardwood, but I think the pine will do just fine.

I chopped 2 lengths of 2x4 on the miter saw.

Then to the tablesaw for a rip down the middle. This was a bit sketchier than I would have liked. First off the TS is a bit heeled out of adjustment (about .020" out front to back on the blade). And second I don't like having my fingers that close to a 10in blade call me kooky. I would have felt a lot better with a featherboard, a push stick, and the saw in alignment. Instead I ran the fence on the left side of the blade to avoid kickback and just took it carefully.

Next to the fun part. Lots of chips. Jointed all boards to finish dimensions of 1.25 x 1.5. Jointer is working great. Cutter head is giving very good cut quality. Color me a happy camper.
earning it's keep...

The directions provided really do leave room for improvement. I gave them a quick read, but other than looking back at a picture once in a while just went from the hip. I ended up having to trim the long runners for wheel clearance, leveler clearance, and then once again for the big leveler pads when retracted. It was a bit of trail and error, but in the end not too much in the way of errors.

Close to an error. Darn bolt heads stick into the region I planned on using. Fortunately I was able to get a little bit of wiggle room by removing the stock plastic feet from the base.

And a glamour shot on it's new home. One less heavy tool to wrestle around the shop. Now it just glides.

I can't say that I am overly impressed with the kit, but for the price it gets the job done. Mine was on sale for about $30. Only negative is that it requires 1.25in square stock, so you pretty much have to be able to mill lumber to size. So I guess you have to factor in time when you consider the savings over a kit that uses off the shelf 2x2 lumber. I had the 2x4 and wanted to work out the jointer so it was a good exercise for me.

I gotta say it is nice having the right tools for the job. Granted you could have done this with hand saw, file, a drill, and a lot of time. I will stick to the tools that do it a bit faster. Total project time was just over 2 hours start to clean up. I got to use:
Miter saw
Drill press
cordless drill
Impact driver
irwin quick grip clamps
and a hammer of course

it was a good night...

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