Wulf's Webden

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Making Sawdust


I took the day off work today with the main purpose of making headway on my bookshelf project. Mainly I made sawdust, along with a few mistakes, but at least it was heading in the direction of progress.

I’ve been watching a lot of woodworking videos and, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, thought I could probably make economical use of some cheap studwork pine. It turns out that what I’d really need for that would be something like a tablesaw. I spent a while working on a jig to scribe a line down the centre of the piece, which didn’t work quite as well in practice as it did in theory, and then more time trying to work out how to clamp the wood down to try cutting it with my jigsaw. I finally got something that I thought worked only to be reminded that, if you try and cut wood that is too thick with a jigsaw, the blade is likely to flex and go off true.

More successful was using the jigsaw to cut some 9mm ply wood and using that to build a router sled (neatly trimmed down the edged with the aforesaid router). The sled can be set to run on parallel rails, allowing the router to move back and forward on a fixed level and level out a piece of wood. I managed to give some of my mis-cut lengths a more even finish but decided that, for this project, I’ll make do with things that are more within my current grasp to cut neatly.

By close of play, I’d picked up the wood I needed (based on the day’s experience and a bit more design sketching) and cut the bracing pieces I needed from a couple of lengths of stripwood. Those came out satisfyingly uniform, thanks to a combination square to help measure and mark lengths and several clamps to stop things moving when I was cutting them. I might get the bookshelf built by the end of the weekend but, with sawdust and mistakes enroute, I’m definitely improving my woodworking skills.

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