Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finger Joints Revisited

After what seemed like a bizzillion practice cuts to double check the accuracy of the joints they are now completed.  I've talked about this particular jig before and it's good but far from perfect and predictable.  It's weakness is the method of adjusting which can be seen on the right side of the photo.  There's simply too much variation possible when you have a metal screw head pushing against a thin wooden piece that is also attached to the fence.  Sounds somewhat convoluted but if you're familiar with the Incra line of jigs and fences I can see the value of something along those lines.  The down side the Incra line is their cost which can go up to five or six hundred dollars.  The Dutch in me is trying to figure out how to make the adjustments on this jig more accurate.  For starters, waxing the surfaces where the two fences slide together is worth pursuing.  The other thing is to make the adjustment system entirely out of metal will be the next.  If these pistol cases take off I'll definitely work on making the jig a "better mousetrap"!
    You may notice the shiny spots on the two longer boards -- one of the thrills I get from resawing is that you never know what the grain will look like inside the board.  In this case there were a few knot or worm holes which I filled with a sawdust/epoxy mix.  Personally, I think that small knots or defects can add to the beauty of the piece, just so we don't get that knotty pine, cabin look on the pistol cases. The next phase of the cases is to size the panels and cut the dado for them.  I'm going out Monday to talk to a perspective client that's needing some book cases built -- see what I can do for them!

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