2 Easy Ways to Build it Perfectly Square


Building a garden shed, garage, deck or any other project requires things to be square and level.That framing square in your tool box can be handy, but when proportions start to get large it’s best to use other methods. Small errors magnify over larger dimensions. 1/8″ out of square in two feet is equal to 3/4″ out of square in 12′ or 1 1/2″ in 24′. Now you can see why a two foot framing square is not accurate enough to lay out a 24′ garage.
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2 Easy Ways to Build it Perfectly Square

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Lumber Grade Stamps Confusing You?


Next time you are shopping for boards or lumber you can be confident you are getting just what you needed for your next home improvement project.You have heard the mention of lumber grades but you may not know what it means.

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Radius Window Trim


This is a small lake side cabin that was remodeled. We made a radius window trim for the gable end lake side window. The construction is relativly quick and straight forward, and looks nice when completed. The basic idea can be applied to interior trim as well, with a few details modified to fit the situation.

Here are a couple of quick photos showing the construction of a raduised exterior window trim.

This particular one is roughsawn pine and is used for a rustic log sided cabin trim, but the basic principles are the same for a more refined version.

I did not plan on going into great detail as the photos are pretty much self explanitory. If you are tackling such a project you probably already have a good knowledge of the basics of wood working.

I am not a math wiz so for such projects I draw the window trim in a cad program and from the drawings I am able to determine the number of segment and the miter angle to use.
Here is my quick homemade trammel. I layout the trim on a piece of melemine or plywood. I then cut all of the pieces and join them together with pocket screws. If I were doing a interior trim I would use a splined miter or a mitered half lap joint. But the pocket screws are quicker with the roughsaw material and hold very well.

Here is a photo with the router trammel setup. I used a 3/4" straight bit and cut the 2" material in 3 passes. To extend the trammel I screwed a piece of lauan to it. This is fine for this application, but for a interior trim I would use something more ridged to be on the safe side. With the half log siding almost none if the edge is exposed. The ridge from routing is fine enough that is could have been sanded off, but a ridged trammel would have eliminated this completely.

This window was a little odd because it was installed a little higher than would have been ideal. As you will notice the window trim intersects with the soffit. I decided to make the window trim extend to the peak to fill the area with one uniform piece instead of placeing a small triangle of siding above the window.


Aluminum T-slot for Jigs,Fixtures, Materials Handeling, and Machine Construction


Here is a line of industrial products I have been looking at for shop build jigs, fixtures and machine components.
I have yet to use the aluminum t-slot extrusions, but there are some very interesting possibilities.
The possible configurations are almost endless.
The aluminum rails pictures are the base of the system and are available in many shapes and sizes. The accessories available are mind boggling.
Lineal motion bearings, connector plates, clamping systems and on and on.
Some uses I have thought of are machine fences and fence rails. Assembly tables with built in clamping, a high tech work bench if you will.
I have seen examples of the aluminum extrusion used for cnc router builds. Some just for the structure and some have used the system for linear motion as well.
Shop built vertical panel saws, or router rails could be made very sturdy and highly accurate as well.
If you have a use for a specialized application I think these products could be a very useful component. With flexible assembly options and minimal machining a truly high tech, accurate and custom build machine could be created.



Repairing Pot Metal or White Metal


Due to stupidity on my part I was standing in the shop one day looking at a broken power feeder bracket.

I think I could have ordered a replacement part, but I really needed to use it that afternoon.

I had some aluminum gas welding rod and some flux and decided to experiment a bit.

I used a wire wheel to remove all of the existing paint and dirt from the bracket. I was able to use a bench vise to hold the broken pieces together.

I used an acetylene torch and a small welding tip to heat the parts and weld them together with the aluminum welding rod.

After allowing it to cool slowly, I used a die grinder and a 4" grinder to smooth everything up a bit.

This piece has been in service for a few month now and is holding up very well.

I am not a metallurgist, but I think there are different alloys of what is called pot or white metal. So be careful if you decide to try this. Because your results may vary.

I'll admit, not breaking it would have been much easier, but this quick repair did get things up and running. Even though I spent over an hour making the repair, that was better than waiting two weeks for parts.


Add an Aluminum Face to your shaper fence.

This shaper fence may not be something everyone can use, but a few might find it useful.

It's a very nice fence, the problem for most is the materials used. The fence is from a extra piece of aluminum rail from a Delta uni saw fence I had in the shop. I upgraded my uni saw fence to the 60" rip capacity, so I had the shorter rail laying around.

The first thing you have to do is rip one face of the aluminum to remove the small ridge. Aluminum cut very well on the table saw with a good carbide blade.

The rail on the right is the original rail, the one on the left is after the small triangle if aluminum has been removed.
After ripping on the table saw I sanded the face to remove the light saw marks. If you look closely at the left hand rail you can see a few areas that still have the factory finish. I was not concerned with polishing the aluminum to a mirror finish. After I sanded I applied a coat of past wax to the fence face.
Notice the T-slot notch at the bottom of the rails. A 5/16" bolt slides perfectly onto this notch. This is how the rails attach to the original cast portions of the shaper fence.
When the nuts on these bolts are loosened, the fence sections can be slid closer or father away from the cutter head.


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