Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kids' Table and Chairs - Progressing at a snail's pace

So far this project feels like it is moving at a tectonic pace. I purchased the wood a little more than weeks ago and all I have done is cross cut some of the lengths. I've got a number of 2 to 4 foot boards in my garage waiting to planed. I'm not intentionally taking my time to allow the wood to acclimate to my garage, I bought it from a dealer less than hour away. Our climates are the same. The reality is that with limited time the pace of the project will be slower than I want. I'm just going to have to adjust.

Planer Table
Also contributing to the pace is my need for additional shop accessories. I spent last night practicing using my planer on some scraps with the intent of honing my technique to prevent, or at least greatly reduce, snipe. My Ryobi planer does not have infeed or outfeed tables and I found that lifting the board as they go in to the planer helps at the front end, but doing the same as they come out does not. I need to remedy this since I did not add extra length to my wood purchase to just chop off the snipe. So I am going to build a planer table. I spent some time searching online for a simple table and found what I hope is a good example on the lumberjocks site. Instead of the portable tool base I'll use my work bench and I'll be making some minor modifications to the table itself. I think I can get this built for under $20.

On a similar subject I'm going to use the planer to face joint all my boards. I don't have a jointer so I am going to try some alternative methods. Marc Spanguolo has a great video on this subject. Specifically I'm going to glue my semi twisted boards to a sled and either use my table saw, with a jig, to edge joint or use my router with a clamping straight edge. I found a great deal for a 50" clamping straight edge on amazon, so I ordered one today. It may be the only reliably straight, straight I edge have.

Here's Marc's video. The alternatives to using a jointer start at about the 8:30 mark.

Finally I'm going to build a table saw sled. There's a lot of small, repetitive pieces that need be cross cut so I think a sled will be worthwhile accessory. Again, I have spent a ton time looking at various versions online and I found that video instructions range from way too complicated to almost not helpful. My two favorites are John Nixon's, of Eagle Lake Woodworking, Super Sled and Matt Vanderlist's basic sled. John's version is very accessorized, but his method for making the sled square is dead simple - right up my ally. Matt's sled is minimalistic and is also simple to make square. I think mine will end up as a mixture of the two. Check out John's video...
... and Matt's.
So while the need to make these jigs is part of the reason for the delay in getting the table and chairs built, I'll be able to put them to use in future projects. My goals now is to have the project completed for when we have family over for Thanksgiving. I think I can do it. Thanks for reading! Jim Oh and PS: I am going to an estate sale this coming Saturday that has a ton of woodworking tools. I have my eye on a Delta table top drill press I've seen a picture of. I'm also hoping to get some clamps and have my fingers crossed to find a Starret combo square or straight edge. Wish me luck!

Link to the entire "Kid's Table and Chairs series"