Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Pile of Fingers

Practice cut offs from the finger joints
Thought I better post an update as to what's been happening in the shop since the barstools were finished and delivered.  I'm waiting on the word to proceed with the four dining chairs, fairly certain I'll get that bid but it's the timing I'm not sure of -- blame the economy but it'll come around.

In the meantime it's a good opportunity to polish up skills and do required maintenance.  My next major push will be to market my pistol cases.  The website is pretty much how I'd like it to be, you can see it here.  The cases are put together with finger joints so I wanted to fine tune the jig and decided to make a box for my cabinet scrapers, burnishers, etc.  A couple of meetings ago of the Sin City Woodworkers, Jamie gave a demo on cutting finger joints.  Although a fairly straight forward joint, the jig needs to be dialed in just right.  She was off a bit and gave a tap with the hammer and they were right on.  Me; I'm just not that lucky as the pile of cut off fingers by miter saw show!  I had also added a feature to make the adjustments easier (or so I thought).  This was done with a threaded insert, a machine screw, and a knob left over from another project.  This is what my jig looks like:

Finger Joint Jig

You can see a completed joint as well.  The adjustments are pretty sensitive and the wider your board is and the more fingers you have, any error accumulates as you cut across the board.  Granted, when Jamie did her demo she only had a couple of fingers and here there are seven on each board she was still pretty darn lucky!
Another thing I ended up doing is readjusting the fence on the miter saw.  It was off ever so slightly but squareness is critical in woodworking.  I bought a couple of dog leg carving chisels and have a project in mind to try those out on.  Seems as if they work well for the style of carving I'm working on.

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