Woodworking Tools Videos

Make Your Own Router Table - 4 Part Series (2)

There was a time when every woodworker made all their own tools, or maybe you had a blacksmith help you with some of the metal parts ... roll forward about 5,000 years and woodworkers are still making their own tools, and this video is part of that.

I have talked about routers in the past, and that most woodworkers find that move than 805 of the wood router work they do involves a router table ... yet there are still tons of people with routers and no table. So, in this article and videos we will be building a very good quality wood router table that will serve most woodworkers well for decades of use ... and it's inexpensive to build.

*** UPDATE *** .... Popular Woodworking has asked Colin to be their Coach for their latest On-Line Course "Router Fundamentals" .... for more info ... this course is has now ended.

Part one - The Stand
Yes, we need something to put our router top on so why no build our own sturdy stand. Our stand will have 4 legs (obviously) and all four legs will have a five degree - 2 angle. The reason I like this stand is it is very sturdy and stable. Unlike some square type stands, the ones with angled legs are very hard to push over making them ideal for router bases. If you want, you could make the deluxe stand like the one Norm Abrams designed, or which plans are available on the Internet, but we want to make a stand that could be  weekend project in having your router table build and working in a weekend.

Part 1 Making the Stand

Part 2 Making the Top

Part 3 Adding some Accessories

 

Part 4 - Using our Shop Made Router Table

 

To start off .... Our stand is constructed of construction grade lumber (hand picked) from the local lumber store. We picked up a quantity of 2 - 2" x 3" x 8ft boards, and 3 - 4" x 3/4" x 8ft boards.
The 2x3s would be for the legs, the 1x4s for the bracing and skirting ...

Gifts for Woodworkers

This video could also have been named "Colin's List of Favorite Tools" because all the tools I show here are tools that I love to use, not that there are not lots of others, but for tools that fall in the "gift" category, this was the most likely bunch of candidates.

So let me start of with the least expensive and easily the most used tool in my work shop, the lowly tape measure. As you can see in the video I have a box full of tape measures but the only one I ever use is the LEFT hand tapes that I got from Lee Valley. They are small, easy to read and inexpensive at around $6.00 As you can see on the video, for all of us right-handers, having a tape that we can read the number the right way up when we hold a pencil in our left hand, to me ... is very important. I still make mistakes in measuring but I can honestly say they are MUCH fewer now that I don't have to try and read numbers up-side-down. This is a no-brainer for me.

 

The next 2 items are also available at Lee Valley, the first is a steel engineers square. I use this nearly as much as the tape measures. I also have one of the fancy (expensive) wood and steel squares, but I discovered that depending on the moisture level - it's not always accurate, because of the small amount of wood movement. I want a square the is accurate ALL THE TIME and these engineers ...

Buying Cheap Power Tools

inexpensive poewer toolsWe would all love to have an unlimited budget to purchase any and all power tools we need for woodworking, and of the very best quality available ... sadly, not everyone can afford this, but there is hope.

All over the planet there are shops, stores and on-line dealers selling inexpensive power tools in every possible shape, color and configuration. The question is ... which ones can you buy that you will get some amount of service out of?

The good news with inexpensive power tools is that they all have many things in common with one another and there are ways of utilizing these tools and getting value from them. In our YouTube video we outline many of these details, but there is more ...

 

Power tools come in 2 versions ... corded, where you plug them into the wall and battery operated, where the tool comes with at least one battery. As consumers, we need to make all sorts of choices and the first choice we need to make when purchasing any power tool, is to determine how much and how often it will be use, this is the first key in selecting power tools ...

All About Wobble Wheel Dado Blades

wobble wheel dadoMany years back, some number of companies produced a special blade that could cut dados with just a single blade. The invention was really pretty cool, but simple. The single blade would have to rotate a bit on it's axis which would mean that it could plough out a trough of wood, depending on how far the blade was turned. When it was not turned I would carve out a slot approximately 1/8 inch wide, but when it was turned fully it could make a dado cut that was well in excess of 3/4 inch. These blades were called wobble wheels and were quite common at one time. I am not sure if they are still made and I have not been able to find a source for them in recent years.

Like all things that change, the wobble wheel has all but gone away, replace instead by the stack dado set which consists of a couple of outer cutting blades and sandwiched between them are something called chippers, and together they are used to dado cuts of varying widths, depending on how many chippers are installed.

I used a wobble wheel for many years and always found to make decent cuts, my only real complaint was it often took a lot of time getting the width the perfect size. Over the years I have heard (but never actually tested) from many  people, that wobble wheels, because of their design create somewhat coved bottoms on the dado cuts. Based on how the blade works, it's pretty easy to assume this would of course be the case, but how much of a cove does it make and does it really make any difference?  That's what I set out to see ...

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