Another Fall Saturday

Days like today are great. College football on the radio and TV, and a bit of time out in the shop while your kids take over the screens to play video games. Today added rain, so it was a nice day to be in the shop for a couple hours.

The top image shows the completion of a project I’ve long wanted to take on – getting my nice saws up off my workbench and stored properly. In the absence of a tool cabinet where they can be shown off, this is a temporary, but adequate, solution. I wasn’t exactly profuse in my picture-taking on this, but I did take more than usual, which is a good start. It was fairly simple, and I’ll share what I did.

I had two pieces of poplar in the scrap bin that weren’t exactly the same, but of similar length and width, but most importantly the same thickness and same species and close coloring. I cut them to length on the miter saw, ganged up. I then brought them down to the same width with a few passes on the table saw that also cleaned up the edges.

I then did a mitered cut on one side, unsure of the exact angle. Probably no more than around 20°. I just eyeballed it, and where I wanted the cut. It wasn’t quite deep enough so I raised the blade and ran it through again.

It was at this point I ran into a little issue. The kerf of the table saw blade was quite a good bit thicker than the kerf of the handsaws. It would work, but it wouldn’t be the most secure thing. The last thing I want these things to do is fall off the wall and hit my head or the floor. They might not be super expensive, but they are my nice, good saws. So, what I did was to make a secondary cut with the handsaws themselves at an angle closer to 0°. I secured the wood on the MFT and went to town making a smaller, deeper cut. The MFT isn’t the greatest tool for this, as it is extremely unstable laterally. I certainly wouldn’t plane on it, but for this it worked. I was able to get a nice secondary kerf about 2-3mm deep. Now they would sit in there much more securely.

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I marked a line that would clear the bottom of the cut to place some screws. I decided at the beginning of this that I would mount these on the side of the hand plane cabinet for now. If the cabinet goes, it will be because I’ve built a purposeful hand tool cabinet and there will be room for these saws anyway. I secured them to the cabinet and placed the saws for their foreseeable future.

This is one of those projects where even in my shop, where minutes turn into hours, only took about 45 minutes stem to stern. It was also one of those projects that I should have taken care of months ago. Such is life in my shop though. It felt really good to finally make something again, even it it took all the skills of an untrained ape. I made what I wanted and didn’t hurt myself, so I’m happy. I could have dressed it up a bit, but it’s not what I ultimately want. It’s just a way to keep them safe until I do.

With that done and some football on the TV, it was time to take a look at a few other things. I put the magnetic saw rack on the wall behind the MFT. Not the most fantastic spot, but currently available. The other four parallel clamps need to go on the wall. I had the opportunity to take a drive to Rockler the other day and grab a second metal rack, but I decided that I thought I had enough material on hand that I would finally make my own. Hell, I already have one designed, I just need to do it. It’s possible it could get done in conjunction with another project, when I pick up more plywood.

I took some measurements of the miter saw, in particular how far the current cart needed to be out from the wall to ensure full clearance. The answer was 3″. Not great, it was more than I expected. I’m thinking a sheet remnant of 3/4″ applied directly to the back, a couple of 2x4s to make up some bulk, and the cleat being 3/4″ should get me there. Lots of screws. The material should all come from the scrap left over from cutting part of the stand away, aside from the 2×4 I need. $3 isn’t a problem.

The electrical issue will continue to be modified with another 2×4 or two. I’m going to cut some up and install between the ceiling joists in a line. This will help stabilize further the structure, and give me mounting points to install the lights correctly. As I referred to earlier, the lights will be oriented to allow for more of them, and equal spacing and coverage. I may actually mount the power strip right over the door so that I can run two separate strips instead of making it a U formation. What I can do is string them a little bit tighter together this way and attach the cord up on the side of the 2×4. I am wishing now that I bought longer units, as they are about the same price these days. Oh well. I may or may not finally replace another section of wall to put up the battery chargers over there again. I guess it will depend on how frisky I’m feeling, and the ease of getting a sheet or two of OSB back home.

I close this post out (now Sunday) with updated pictures of the shop with Saturday’s progress. I don’t know if I’ll be in the shop today or not: two more tests plus some homework and family time are on the agenda.

And football, naturally.

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