For most woodworkers, the table saw is easily the workhorse of the wood shop. It is such a versatile and powerful machine, we ask it do do many thing and with a few more accessores and a tiny bit of innovation we can make the table saw do even more, and make it quicker and more accurate in the mean time.
The first hack is a simple one but it really helps make a good job when you are cutting thinner plywoods that tend to want to droop under the table saw fence. A simple matter of clamping short borad under the fence so part of it sticks out the inboard side, and now you have a quick, easyily made holder for those extra wide boards that won't hold them selves up against the fence when you want to cut them
Not one of my dedicated articles ... more like a BLOG on a few topics, starting off with this website's Woodworking FORUMS. There are thousands of visitors who read the Forumsand are entertained and informed by them, but only a couple of dozen who actually participate in them ... and that's sad, because we could all learn from you, just as you learn from us. Remember, you can't do anything wrong ... why, because every post that is made, an immediate email is sent to our "Forum Moderators". If it's offensive or blatent mis-use (such as advertising the much hated Ted's Plans) we simply delete it, otherwise it's good to go. Here's how to get started on the FORUMS ... log on to the website with your Username and Password (or join the website, it's FREE), go to the Forums and respond to any post that is there. It'd doesn't matter, tell someone you like what they posted, or maybe you have a question of idea for them. It's that easy. After you get comfortable with that ... create your own topic, maybe a question on woodworking, finishing or whatever. Maybe you want to post some pictures of a project or tool, or have question about, like finishing or tool use. Go ahead, jump in and give it a try, we are all watching a waiting for some new ideas and comments. Using SEARCH... see that little seach box up in the upper right hand quadrant ... that is an amazing tool that can help you find any topic, article or video that has been posted on the website ... ever! It's a super quick way of finding things, go ahead, give it a try.
Moving along now to the wood screw and pre-drilling topic that a few of you have asked about and a perfect topic for a short video clip. The video is self-explanitory how pre-drilling and countersinking can make a huge difference in helping to prevent wood from cracking when using screws. Unfortunately, because we are working with wood even pre-drilling and countersinking do not always work and usually the reason is because the wood structure failed, or that the screw was driven in beyond it's stop which then forced the wood to crack. One of the best and often quickest solutions for helping to prevent cracking is using a clamp to compress the wood, then driving the screw into the wood, then releasing the clamp. Again this method does not always work but based on the alternative, which is driving a screw into the wood without any cracking prevention, it really does work well. Well folks, that's it for now ... Thanks EVERYONE, for watching my videos, commenting and Liking, I am very appreciative and to everyone out there, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays all the best in New Year ... lots of cool stuff coming for next year. Thanks again everyone .... Colin
Collecting Dust or at least preventing the distribution of dust in the workshop has been an active topic among woodworkers for a long, long time and I expect it will continue to be as new information, changes in the industry and new methods continue to evolve. The one thing that hasn't changed is that we all pretty confident that wood dust is not good for us to inhale. We seem to be at odds about how much is safe and which dusts are worse than others, but the safe rule of thumb is NO dust is good and ALL dust should not be inhaled. I think every woodworking shop I have been in has some amount of dust in the air, what we all do is strive to reduce this dust as best we can. One way of reducing dust is with dust collectors.
For smaller shops like mine, a typical dust collector is often a 1.5 and up to a 3 horsepower electric fan that draws dust from our machinery and deposits the dust it into a plastic bag while using an upper cloth bag or composite canister to filter the small particles of dust and return fresh air to the room. These are often not the best, but for many of us they are best we can afford and install, and in recent years they are actually doing a pretty good job. These units with collect and expel dust in one unit are called Single Stage Dust Collectors ...
There is lots of good information on dust control all over the internet so this article is more about what I do in my workshop than it is about getting into the specific details and health hazards of wood dust which is already covered in detail on many other websites.
The most central part of my own dust control is my dust collector, which operates on a 110 volt system and consists of one filtration bag and one plastic reservoir collection bag. The dust collector is only turned on when I am using a woodworking machine and I have to manually plug it into each machine as I use that machine. It is the most manual system for dust control, but it works, and in my small shop it is not that big a bother to me. I have retrofitted the dust collector with a One Micron filtration bag and compared to the bag that was on the dust collector when I purchased it, the new bag does prevent the finer particles of dust from escaping the the collection system, I can see the difference.
The same dust collector is also used on my bandsaw, router table and reciprocating sander by using a 4 inch to 2 inch step down adapter to accommodate the 2 inch collection port on those tools. The only tool that is still waiting for a more effective dust control system is my sliding mitre ... and I now have a solution, all I need is a bit of time to implement it.