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Sabbatical Day 5–Jigs and Purchases

June 7, 2014

My company, Red Gate software, has given me a 6 week sabbatical. I’m documenting the time with all the posts under a tag if you want to follow along.

Today I started the day (after PT) with a little shopping. With the approval of my chisels from the instructor, I could just add the other tools that I needed for class. I had the safety glasses and hearing protection, along with a backsaw and measuring tape. The things I need are:

  • A square
  • A marking guide
  • A Honing guide

The last one I wasn’t sure about, but we’ll be sharpening in class, it could come in handy at home, and the ones the school has certainly have worn out bearings. Plus at $15, I figured it’s worth just grabbing.

The instructor likes Lee Valley, who I’ve seen at a number of shows and been impressed with the craftsmanship of the various offerings. We had a number of choices for each item, and I spent a few minutes going through them. The squares were quite a range of choices

From $14 to $70. I decided the second one, a small square that we actually saw in class, was a decent compromise. The 4” one will get me measuring, and I’m curious to see how far out of square the other combination square, carpenters square, and right angle square I have here are.

I also picked the $35 marking guage. I tried building one at one point, but it didn’t work that well for me, so I’ll give a professional one a go and see how that works.

The weather sucks today. It’s very windy, 25-30+, and gusting, which makes for an ugly time with the saw. Plus it will be blowing stuff all over the garage. Still, I want to get some cutting and assembly done on my jig.

I went out and decided that I’d give the wind a chance to die down and start by getting my work surface ready. I had placed a scrap piece of OSB on a long 2×4 and also a few scraps to give me a surface that was 8ft long. I had the OSB slightly extended beyond the end of the 8’ 2×4 so that I could attach the next piece there. I started by first using a few screws to attach those the OSB to the 2x4s. Once that was done, I added another scrap piece and a couple of long 2x4s with another sawhorse. I laid everything out and measured. I had a bit over 22ft, so I was in good shape.

Photo Jun 06, 1 33 55 PM

As you can see, I needed to hurry a bit now. The weather was looking bad.

Photo Jun 06, 1 39 10 PM

After I got these pieces on, I checked the level. It was off, so I put a few scrap 2x4s on the sawhorse to raise up the pieces. Things looked close enough here.

Photo Jun 06, 1 40 10 PM

With the wind blowing and a few drops of rain, I managed to screw down a few more pieces and soon I essentially had a 22ft work surface. I measured, and slide the OSB towards the ends, leaving a small gap in the middle, but since I’ll be putting a jig on top of here, that’s fine.

Photo Jun 06, 1 35 25 PM

And since a storm was coming, I also added some scrap braces to ensure things didn’t blow away. The last of these went in as rain was coming down.

Photo Jun 06, 1 45 54 PM

The rain was a coming in so I closed the shop side of the garage and spent a few minutes with my plywood, extending my lines along it. No cutting with the wind and cars in the garage today, so it’s an early day. A good thing, since I’m beat. This has been a long week.

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