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June 29, 2017

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled

Cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled while using the table saw is a very effective way of producing highly accurate tenons safely in a short period of time. The woodworker makes his or her pass with the dado sled in a very controlled manner as the sled runners glide freely back and forth through the miter gauge slots. The craftsman’s hands are clearly away from the path of the dado blades. Also, the material is easily held firmly in place for each and every pass. There is no need to hurry as it it just a matter of enjoying one’s time at their craft while working with complete confidence.

 

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut SledWhen cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled, it is easy to determine where to clamp the stop block in place. Let’s say that the length of the tenon of the tenon needs to be 1-1/4″ long. 1.) Simply measure 1-1/4″ from the furthest dado saw kerf’s edge. Make a pencil mark on the sled. 2.) Align the stop block end with the pencil mark. 3.) Clamp the stop block securely in place.

Obviously, when cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled, the craftsman needs to take a minute to install the dado blades. Consider this as an investment of your time that will pay you back handsomely in return. When a woodworker has a project with tenons, typically, there are multiple tenons to be cut. So, once the dado blades are installed on the table saw it is just a matter of raising the saw blade height to the desired level of the cut. Now keep in mind that some woods are denser and as a result harder than other wood species. If you are working with a very dense wood, it may be necessary to raise the dado blade incrementally. However, most of the time in my shop I am able to raise the dado blade set to a desired fixed height and then cut the tenons without any further blade height adjustments.

Safety First

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled and more

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled and more

Working safely is imperative. It is not an option. In closing, cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled can be done safely, effectively, and with confidence. Now, as a woodworker you have numerous methods for cutting tenons and it is great to have a variety of techniques at your disposal. However, remember to always place safety as the primary requirement for you decision.

Questions

What is your method for cutting tenons?
What tools do you use to produce tenons?
What questions do you have about cutting tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled?
…….

Learn how to Build a Dado Crosscut Sled for the tablesaw.

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How to Make Spline Miter Joints

Spline Miter Joints

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Goethe…(1749-1832) German writer, Polymath

 

The Beauty of Spline Miter Joints

 

Splined Miter Joints on a Picture Frame with Wood Inlay - Spline miter joints

Splined Miter Joints on a Picture Frame with Wood Inlay

Spline miter joints offers strength and elegance. It is a joint that wants to be seen and recognized unlike many other joints that serve a utilitarian purpose and are concealed. Often times spline miter joints are made of contrasting colored woods and that is this case of the species chosen for the joinery of this arts and crafts style picture frame selected for this posting. The frame is made from a Camala, a light toned wood from Peru and the spline miter joints for the joinery is cut from black walnut.

 

To create the spline miter joints we use a shop made spline miter jig that is simply made from scrap plywood in the woodworking shop. The jig has a 90 degree cradle that seats the picture frame and is held in place with a spring clamp. When cutting spline miter joints a flat tooth saw blade is used so that the walnut spline will fit into the saw kerf without any exposed gaps present. In this instance a 1/8″ dado blade is chosen for the task.

 

Watch how to: Make Picture Frames with the Dedicated Miter Sled for the Table Saw

 

Location of the Spline Miter Joints

 

It is a good idea to determine the location we want for our spline miter joints to be cut on the picture frame. Once this placement is made we can simply clamp a piece of scrap into the jig and to make a test cut. We will need to adjust the rip fence in or out as we will be sliding the miter jig alongside of it. Also, we need to set the saw blade height as this will represent the depth of the cut for the spline. Once these settings are adjusted it is simply a matter of carefully making a pass through the blade and then repositioning the picture frame for the next miter to be cut.

 

Learn: How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

 

Once all the cuts have been made for the spline miter joints, we can focus our attention on making the spline material. In this case it is 1/8″. Start by ripping the spline a bit wider than the depth of the miter cut and then dimension the material equal to the width of the joints’ saw kerf. Once we achieve the proper thickness for our splines it is time to cut enough triangular pieces for all joints. This is performed by using the dedicated miter sled for the band saw. It makes for quick work and it is very safe especially for working with smaller sized material.

 

Gluing the Spline Miter Joints

 

When all the splines are cut we simply brush white glue onto the spline and press the spline into the saw kerf. Now, it is just a matter of repeating this procedure for all the joints. At this point allow for the glue to set at least an hour before sanding the excess of the splines at the disc sander. (Be careful to just remove the excess of the splines and avoid sanding into the frame. Notice how the miter gauge was used to control the sanding.) When all the spline miter joints are finished with sanding at the disc sander we can then use a block sander to detail the joints in preparation for applying one of my favorite wood finishes.

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

How to Make Picture Frames with the Table Saw Miter Sled

Picture Frames Made with a Miter Sled

 

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Leonardo da Vinci…(1452-1519) Architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, and painter.

Picture Frames made in the Wood Shop

Making picture frames in the woodworking shop is fun especially when we have a system in which to work. In this case we are making the picture frames from picture moulding that was made on the router table and also on the table saw using dado blades. The dado on the moulding will house the decorative wood inlay that we have previously created in the workshop. (It is nearing the Christmas Holidays at the time of this writing and we have quite a few gifts to make.)

Cutting miter joints for picture frames

Cutting miter joints for picture frames

 

Picture Frames made in Production

 The picture frames that we are making have mitered corners so we are using the dedicated miter sled for the table saw. The sled is set up to cut perfect miter joints and this will allow us to go into production mode as we are building 12 picture frames at this time. Each of the picture frames will display pictures that are 5″ x 7″. The picture moulding is of a Peruvian wood called Camala.

 

The System of making Picture Frames

1.) Using the crosscut sled…Crosscut the moulding lengths slightly oversized.

2.) Divide the lengths into two separate piles (if the sides and top/bottom of the frame are unequal.)

3.) Using the dedicated miter sled… Cut a right miter on all moulding members.

4.) Determine the actual length needed for the sides, use a stop block to control the cut length, and cut the opposite miter.

5.) Determine the actual length need for the top/bottom, use a stop block to control the cut length, and cut the opposite miter.

6.) At the workbench… Assemble the frames by fitting, gluing, and using spring clamps to secure the miter joints in place.

 

Having a dedicated miter sled enables us to create wood projects that have miters with dead-on accuracy. Using the above system with the miter sled allows for production work that is quick and efficient. Appreciate the process and enjoy the results!

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

Making Perfect Miter Joints

 

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
Michael Jordan…(1963- )Former American professional basketball player, businessman.

There’s something nice about seeing wood joinery that is well done. It’s a if the craftsman is making a statement about his knowledge of the trade, his set of skills, and his pride in craftsmanship. When you see miter  joints that are clean and tight the craftsman is sending a message that he knows what he is doing because he is well practiced and he cares about his craft. It can simply be seen in his work.

It could be said that miter joints are definitely one of the most common joints in woodworking or carpentry. This is a joint that we are taught early on in our apprenticeships because we will be cutting miters throughout our entire career. As an apprentice it sounds simple enough to just cut a left 45 and a right 45 and glue then together to form a 90. If it were so simple then why are there open miter joints? Let’s take a look at how we can make perfect miter joints.

Perfect Miter Joint Technique

 

In this article I will share with you the best method I know to make miter joints in the workshop. My technique for cutting miter joints is using a dedicated miter sled on the table saw. The sled is simple to build and it does not cost much to build it. In fact it can be made within an hour from scrap material in the shop. Once it is built it can serve the craftsman for a long time. The miter sled if built correctly offers unparalleled accuracy. The sled can easily be set up to do production work. With a good miter sled and a sharp saw blade one can cut perfect miter joints for a picture frames that are ready to glue. Simply put the miter sled is a joy to use.

 

Watch this video…Building a dedicated Miter Sled for the tablesaw

As you can see from the photos the woodworker is making quite a few picture frames. (These wood projects are Christmas gifts in the works.) Notice the stop blocks in the pictures. The location of the stop blocks control the lengths for parts of the picture frames and by having these stop blocks in place the woodworker is able to precisely cut uniform lengths repetitively. This allows for production woodworking as all the parts can be cut accurately and efficiently. Once all the lengths are cut it is just a matter of fitting and gluing the miter joints together.

 

Perfect Miter Joints & Ulmia Spring Clamps

 

When it comes to gluing the miter joints I highly recommend using Ulmia spring clamps. These clamps allow you to properly align the miter joint and then secure it. Once clamped the miter joints will not move. Of course there are different size spring clamps for different size miter joints. My spring clamps have been with me for over 30 years and they have clamped a lot of miters. The clamps are truly worth their weight in gold. If you have yet to experience these clamps you will quickly understand when you use them for the first time. When you decide to purchase spring clamps make sure to buy enough because when you go into production mode you will be doing a lot of clamping. Keep in mind that mitering with these clamps goes quickly.

 

Working with a dedicated miter sled and spring clamps is quick, efficient, and accurate. By following this route you will see your skills and miter joints improve. When finished you can also take pride in the craftsmanship of your work for a job well done.

 

A video for mitering smaller material…Let’s Build a Bandsaw Miter Sled



 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

How to Make a Bandsaw Miter Sled

The Bandsaw Miter Sled

 

“I will see it when I believe it.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer…Motivational author and speaker (1940 – )

 

Bandsaw Miter Sled – a Wood Shop Accessory

Miter Cut on Bandsaw Miter Sled

Miter Cut on Bandsaw Miter Sled

There are many times while in the shop working on wood projects that we find a need of various woodworking jigs and then at times we also will have a need for an assortment of saw accessories. Sometimes we need to make a shop accessory while in the middle of our wood project and then again there are instances when our project is actually the building of a shop accessory. In either case here is a crosscut sled that you may find very handy at some point. Let me introduce you to the dedicated bandsaw miter sled. You’ll be glad to learn how to make a miter sled for your bandsaw.

 

Cutting a Miter with the Bandsaw Miter Sled

Cutting a Miter with the Bandsaw Miter Sled

One of my favorite cross cutting sleds made in the workshop is the dedicated bandsaw miter sled and the reason I like it so much is because it is great for working with smaller material. Now, often times I will use the dedicated miter sled for the table saw for the miter cutting of larger wood pieces. However, when there is a need to cut a miter on smaller material I choose the dedicated bandsaw miter sled for making the cuts because it too is very safe, accurate, and efficient.

 

The Beauty of the Bandsaw Miter Slde

 

Bandsaw miter sled front view

Bandsaw miter sled front view.

The beauty of the dedicated bandsaw miter sled is its simplicity. It is easy to make from wood scraps in just 10 minutes and you will be is ready to cut dead-on miter joints immediately thereafter. One of my favorite uses for this saw sled is miter cutting when fitting and installing bandings of wood inlay. It works especially well when cutting segments for an wood inlay pattern called “Wolf’s Tooth“.

 

 

 

Enjoy these Band Saw Accessories and Techniques: :

Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

Bandsaw Crosscut Sled

Bandsaw Rip Fence made in the Shop

Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw



The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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