So many great ideas for so many people ... thanks to everyone who sends me their ideas, tips and trick and woodworking hacks, I always learn something and pass along your ideas so we can all learn these new ideas together ...
One of the challenges of working in a small workshop is keeping enough room to move and build things without having machinery taking up the bulk of the room. Having machines on wheels is one way of accomplishing this, but there are other ways of economizing on space, which is what I am doing with these collapsible arms on my sliding miter stand.
Several months ago when I was looking for locking steel arms that were also collapsible when I was building my outfeed table for the table saw, I found some very strong arms that I liked, that also came in 2 sizes. At the time of buying them, I realized that not only would this design work for my table saw outfeed table, but also for my sliding miter stand.
As table saws have evolved, so have the ways of using them and the attachments and accessories are long and innovative, but so now are the simple things we can do to make table saws safer and more convenient to use.
... But before I get into the hacks, first of all, to all those new woodworkers out there, a mini-lesson on blade storage. As many of you know I store all my table saw blade in an angled rack that I made many years ago, and this works nicely for me because all the blades are separated from one another and are easy to get out ....
Anyone who uses a router bit extensively will appreciate this jig as a big time saver. If seldom ever have to change bearing on any of your router bits, there is no reason why you can use your router to do this job, it's just awkward and slow for many router versions ... this jig is simple to make and quick and easy to use.
To start off with you will need a piece of wood that is deeper than the length of your longest router bit shanks. This will ensure the bit sits as low in your jig as it can and will be less likely to shear off your wooden dowel and in the rare instance a router bit might get too tight sitting in the jig, you can always remove it my poking it through from underneath and those through holes, can also be used in the future for any other special holding situations you might come upon.
One of the downsides of working with wood is that it has the ability to absorb and release moisture, which means the wood can expand and contract. This can, and does, create major problems with some woodworking projects ... but there are ways to help reduce some of the challenges. The first thing we need to do is work with wood where we know what the moisture content of the wood is to begin with.
For many woodworking projects, a general rule of thumb is to only use wood with a moisture content around 9 %. This can vary depending on climatic conditions, but it's at least a good starting point. It is not unusual for freshly cut trees to have a moisture content in excess of 35%, so there is a LOT of water in the trees that need to be evaporated out, which in turn makes the wood we work with much more stable. It will still absorb and release moisture, but by the time it gets down to 9% these changes should be much more subtle.