The General Digital Sliding T-Bevel.

Hi All,

One of the projects that I’ve been putting a lot of time into recently is a book on pushing  the boundaries on router trammel work so you can create pieces such as the Septafoil frame shown below.

(Please keep in mind the frame in the photo is a draft piece cut out  of a 25mm thick MDF sheet and was created to test the process i’ve developed. The next one will be in hardwood)

Septafoil Blog

The frame is trammel routed using the Festool MFS routing template long with my trusty Festool OF1010 router.

Frames like this are an exercise in geometry and begin as a design on my sketchpad which is where I create the form, and work out the angles and measurements so I can transfer them to my full size panel.

A couple of months ago I discovered the General Digital sliding T bevel and since then my design work has moved forward in leaps and bounds.

I use the general to set angles in sketches, to assess how a variation in angle changes the structure I’m developing and when I’m happy with a design, to quickly and accurately transfer the design onto a panel.

Please take the time to watch the video here which shows more applications for this awesome tool.

The General has four buttons next to the digital display which you use to operate the tool.

They are;

Power, the red one.

Zero, to zero the tool for use

Hold Flip, which either lock the current measurement on the display or flips the display so you don’t have to look at it upside down.

Reverse, Which changes the display from an reflex angle , (between 180 and 360 degrees) to a an acute angle.

 

General 2_edited-1

All in all this is one of the most  useful tools I’ve come across recently and I am certain you’ll find it a worth addition to your toolbox.

Want one – Click here

As always, your questions and comments are appreciated.

Be safe and have fun.

Cheers

Bryan

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The New Festool Conturo, (no, it’s not an armchair)

conturo
In keeping with their  philosophy of thinking outside the box Festool has again demonstrated that they’re the most innovative tool company on the planet with the release of their new edge banding system,  the Conturo
The Conturo allows for the easy and clean application of a variety of thicknesses and widths of edge banding (lippings)  to all types of manufactured timber boards including ply, mdf & chipboard.
As well as handling straight edges the contour easily applies branding to bevels, internal and external curves.

The attached videos from Festool UK will help you explain the machine in greater detail so if you’re interested please take the time to watch them

Introduction


Applying edging.

Applying edging to curved surfaces,

Edge Banding internal Corners/

The Conturo has been released in the UK and from what Ive heard it’s doing fairly well there. Festool Australia have advised me that they don’t have a release date or pricing yet, but looking at the UK pricing I’d guess that it will retail for around the $3900 to $4450 mark.

Like all Festool Tools it’s got a fairly hefty price but looking at what the tool can do it’s sure to be a time saver, particularly on site.

As more information comes to hand I’ll post it on this site so watch this space…..

As always your comments and questions are appreciated . Thanks for reading.

Be safe and have fun.

Cheers

Bryan

Sharpening Hints


One of the more common questions I get on a weekly basis in the shop has to do with the best was to sharpen hand tools. We have the Tormek T7 and T3  sharpening systems the shelf and whilst they’re excellent units, the price does end to put a lot of people off.

I’m a hand sharpener and use a combination of diamond plates, Japanese water stones and a leather strop to sharpen all my chisels and hand plane blades.

If I’m reworking a very dull chisel I’ll usually start with a coarse diamond plate of around 320 grit which is particularly good for removing any nicks or small chips from the blade.
I’ll then move up to a 600g, then an 800 plate, 1200 plate and a 2000g plate. From there I move up to a 4000g Japanese water stone and then finish with a leather strop dressed with honing compound. At every stage of sharpening I always sharpen the bevel, then flip the tool over and flatten the back.

I find that this process gives me a uniform mirror finish on the tool which stays sharp for a long time,( depending on the timber).

The biggest issue nearly all of us have had when learning to sharpen is to figure out the best way to set the angle of the chisel or plane blade so that we can get accurate and repeatable results. There are a mountain of jig systems available to help you set the angle but I’ve found that a simple jig which you can make up yourself offers one of the best and most cost effective solutions available.

The plan for the Deneb Puchalski Angle Setting Jig features on the Lie Nielsen Australia website, but for convenience you can click here for a direct link to the plan and here for a direct link to the really useful Lie Nielsen sharpening guide.

As always your questions and comments are appreciated.

Be safe and have fun

Cheers
Bryan

Hand Tool Event

Hi Guys,

This is just a quick post to let all of my Victorian readers know that Lie Nielsen Tool works, (Australia) is holding a major hand tool event this weekend, the 21st and 22nd of April.

its being held in the Furniture workshop at Holmesglen Tafe, Gate 3, Building 5 Batesford road Holmesglen.

For more info please click here to go to the Lie Nielsen Australian website.

As well as Lie Nielsen there will be stalls from Chris Vesper, Philip Ashby and the Hand Tool Preservation Society.

Hope to see you there,

As usual, be safe and have fun

Cheers

Bryan

Dovetail Keys as a Timber joint, (Part 2)

 

Dovetail keys as a timber joint. (Part 2)

In part 1 of this article, we covered the joining of the boards and the creation of the trenches for the dovetail keys. In this part well expand on cover how to cut the dovetail keys and glue them into the trenches.

One of the key points to remember is to cut the keys along the grain of the board to give maximum strength to the shelf.

As we’ll be using a trimmer to cut the keys, it’s critical that you pay careful attention to clamping the boards into place. In my case, the Sydney blue gum that I’m using is recycled tongue and groove floorboards, so I was able to screw a sacrificial board about 50mm in from the edge of my bench with the groove facing toward me, then screw an offcut of pine onto that for additional lateral support.

20111009-095237.jpgIt was then a matter of sliding the tongue of the board the key was being cut into, into the groove of the board screwed to the bench and the material was secured and ready to cut.

As i did in the previous article on sliding dovetails, I’ll be using the Bosch GMR trimmer to cut the dovetail keys. Once the keys are shaped, I’ll be using the band saw to cut the keys from the main board, then planing the cut edge of the board flat before clamping it back in the jig and beginning the whole process again.

The first step is to attach the fence to the trimmer. I’ve attached a piece of melamine to the fence to give the trimmer more support when used in the horizontal position. There is a notch cut out of the board to let me see the location of the cutter and to allow the wood chips to be ejected, so they don’t clog the cut.

Please use safety glasses or face shield plus a dust mask and earmuffs when using any router

We know that the height of the dovetail key is the same as the depth of the trench we’ve just cut, so now we need to reduce the dovetail keys to the correct width so they can be inserted into the trenches we’ve completed.

Set the fence, so it covers about 3mm of the cutter and, after checking that everything’s clamped and tight place the trimmer on the workpiece, turn it on and cut the first side of the tail.

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If you’ve never routed horizontally before make sure you have a go at doing a couple of test cuts first. The key points to remember are to keep the base of the rout pressed firmly against the edge of the workpiece and the fence pushed firmly down on the top of the piece.

Once you’ve cut the first side unclamp, then flip the piece over, re-clamp and cut the second side.

20111009-095951.jpgGrab one of the pieces with the trenches in it and see how it fits. If you’ve managed a perfect fit on the first cut, I take my hat off to you. If it’s too big just move the fence in by a small amount, then try again. This part of the process can be a bit tedious, but it’s necessary to get as tight a fit as possible.

Once you’ve achieved a nice firm fit, and by this I mean that the tail slides into the trench with a little effort but not so much that you need to whack it in with a mallet, firmly lock the fence on the trimmer into place, so you don’t lose the fence position.

The next stage is to free the tail from the workpiece and for this, I used my band saw. My workshop is small and I don’t have a table saw, so all of my rip cuts are done on the band saw then cleaned up with either hand planes or by doing a series of .5mm planing cuts on the router table.20111009-100313.jpg

Since my tail needed to be a minimum of 6mm long, I set the fence on the band saw to 8mm and using a push stick removed the tails from the workpieces.

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After removing the tailpiece from the main work board, I planed the edge flat to remove the tooth marks from the band saw and started the whole process again.

If you don’t have access to either a table or band saw you could also use a jigsaw or plain old handsaw to remove the tails from the main board.

Once I had everything set up it took me just over an hour to cut the 24 dovetail keys for the 12 shelves that I’d made.

Once all the tails were cut it was then just a simple matter of gluing them and sliding them into there corresponding trenches. I had a mallet handy to help “persuade” a few troublesome keys to get into the correct position.

20111009-100820.jpg

I left the keys about 20mm oversize from each side of the shelf, planning to trim them flush when everything was dry.

After 24 hours drying time I used my Japanese saw to trim the excess keys flush with the edges of the shelves and then used a Stanley smoothing plane to trim the excess height from the keys, so they were flush with the shelves.

The next process was to place a 5mm radius cutter in the Bosch GMR trimmer and round over all the edges on the shelves to remove all the hard edges.

The next article in this series will show you my method of applying Tung oil to achieve a beautiful finish.

As usual, your comments and questions are appreciated

Thanks for reading this article,

Bryan

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