Catch-up time

I meant to post sooner, but work and home life has gotten in the way.

The month of April really has been about cleaning up and feeling out how I want things and exactly what I need to do next. It has been at times greatly frustrating and rewarding. I was thinking one Saturday how crappy my shop was and how unhappy I was with it. I took a break and came back about 30 minutes later with an idea. An hour after that the shop was more clean than it ever had been. Sometimes you just need to take a break and come back at it with a fresh approach.

After some general cleanup, I embarked on something I wanted to do for awhile – a fence for my miter saw. With my portable miter saw stand, I had this. Unfortunately, my measurements for the fence were slightly off and it wasn’t exactly square. The fence was removable, and keyed to the saw by bolts and nuts on the extensions. Since I moved my saw to a wing of a cabinet, and I didn’t want to put any holes in the cabinet because I wanted to retain the work surface, I couldn’t go that route.

I took most of my design from a ShopNotes plan, seen here: I don’t have a current need for the extension portion of the fence, so I left it out for now. It’s a basic upside-down U design, with aluminum T-track on top. It is in this that a stop mechanism rides. It adjusts to any length from 11-42″. I’ll be making another extension that will handle lengths under that. There is a left-reading tape measure that sits right in front of the track for very precise measurement.

Now in the plans, it calls for an L-attachment at the back of the fence that you use to bolt down the fence to the table. Instead of that, I made the fence register to the sides of the cabinet so that the surface would be undisturbed. I estimate my variance from the saw is a millimeter or two. Close enough.

Something I started on today was finally putting in an upper cabinet. I get so little time in the shop that a lot of my shop projects aren’t quite up to the standard I would like. I often have to take shortcuts and use simple methods to achieve results. For the cabinet instead of lock miter or a rabbet lock joint, I had to go with simple butt joints and screws. I may go back at some point and make those joints stronger, but for now it will have to do. All of this was made out of the cutoff pile, another attempt at paring down what I have and trying to make room.

Here’s a teaser shot. It’s up on the wall (which still needs to be replaced), it needs a face frame (which if I want to fix the joints I’ll have to do that first), a pair of shelves and doors. I also have something of a surprise underneath. Just have to see what my clearance is. My new fence does fit nicely up top though.

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