vegans with typewriters

Bandsaw Update

It’s been almost two weeks now that I’ve been running with the new fence and table on the bandsaw, and while I won’t say that it has changed my life, it certainly has changed my work flow in the shop. Since I’ve made the modifications I haven’t done any work with sheet goods. As a result, my table saw is now serving as a stand for my thickness planer because I’ve been doing all my ripping and resawing on the bandsaw and then cleaning up the saw marks with my planer.

The main reason I decided to make this change in workflow was because I wanted to do some work with smaller stock and honestly, I find for stock under 1 ½” wide that the table saw is just too spooky, even with jigs and push sticks. The other thing is, my table saw is REALLY REALLY LOUD. Even with ear defenders on, the combined noise of the saw and the dust collector can get to be like nails on a chalk board. This may be a leftover effect of when I was making parts for Muskoka chairs and had the saw1 going for 8 hours a day.

The results of the experiment have been largely positive. As I said before, I took the advice of Alex Snodgrass on how to dial in the blade guides and tracking. I’m using a ¼” 6 tpi blade and so far, I’ve had good results. I haven’t noticed any drift. Basically I square up the fence, set my width, and away we go.

I am, however considering a new design. Having two clamp down points on the fence means that adjusting for width is a little bit more fussy than it needs to be. I end up having to find a speed square and a ruler before I set up my cut. I think the next iteration of the table and fence system will involve a t-square setup of some kind. That will likely have to wait for next spring, however because we’re heading into cold weather and I really want to have the car live inside over the winter. When I do that project though, I’ll document it for sure because I haven’t seen anyone take this particular approach to making a fence.


  1. I wasn’t using this table saw in that endeavour. I was using a Rockwell-Beaver 9” contractors saw with a custom t-square style fence that I welded up. I still have that saw but havent moved it back home yet. Also, because of that gig, I can’t stand the smell of cedar anymore.

On the Bench

I have a Delta Shopmaster 10” bandsaw. For most of my work, it does an ok job. For some operations though, I found the factory table to be too small and not having a fence limiting. I did a bit of poking around on YouTube and found this video from American Woodworker magazine, which shows how to repurpose a table saw mitre gauge as a bandsaw fence. I thought it was a neat idea so I went shopping. Unfortunately, my local Busy Bee was out of mitre gauge track, so I changed my design and picked up some T Track instead.

A Delta 10 Inch Bandsaw with a shop built table and fence

I used white melamine edge banded with pine for the table top, not because I’m a huge fan of it, it’s just what I happened to have sitting in the corner. If I were to do this build again I would probably use something a little more durable and less dirty to cut like actual counter top laminate over plywood substrate. At any rate, I used basically the same technique as described in the video, rip a runner and use the existing mitre gauge slot to position the table. I made two fences for the table, one high one for resawing, and one low one for ripping small stock with the blade guide as close to the work as possible. I’m using a Viking ¼”x 6 blade from Lee Valley and so far haven’t had an issue with drift. I found the video Bandsaw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass from Carter Tools to be helpful in explaining the process of setting up a bandsaw without drifting off into yak shaving.

When I finished the bandsaw table, I still had some material left over and really felt like doing more edge banding (ok, not really, but I was set up for it), so I decided to replace my old drill press table with a new one that uses the same design ideas as the bandsaw table.

A Delta bench top drill press with a new shop built table and fence

The next day, I started back into a refinishing project that has been hanging around for at least 10 years. I started to strip this rocker sometime before I met my wife and it’s just been hanging around, half finished ever since. Today was the day to take it out of time-out and move forward in the process. I’m not going to try to strip it back to bare. I just want to smooth everything out and I’ll probably just shoot it black again. Maybe.

A wooden rocking chair being refinished

Off to the side is a pair of experimental earrings I’ve been playing with. The colour is from an aniline dye applied using the technique is shown in Woodturning with Tim Yoder, Ep. 4.

A pair of wooden earrings being dyed red with aniline dye

The New New Bench

A picture of a workbench with a lathe and a coffee cup on it.

Those of you following along may have noticed that as part of my garage reorganization project I’ve added a nifty built in workbench as part of the design. The only problem was that before I could even finish the edge banding I had managed to fill the bench with junk, leaving me again with no place to work. My solution was to hang a two foot by four foot handy panel off the end of the new bench and call it an extension wing.

This proved to be not such a good adea after attempting to actually use it. So, inspired by this video, I decided to build another workbench. So I would have room to finish the first bench. You know how it is…

On the Bench

A picture of a workbench with tools on it, as well as a pair of newly created finishing stands and a jig for ripping sandpaper sheets based on a design by Tim Yoder

I managed to get out into the shop for a bit this morning and knocked out a couple of infrastructure projects. In front of the hammer are a couple of finishing stands made from scrap 2x. They’re similar in spirit to the low Japanese saw horses show on the Lumberjocks blog. Front and center is my take on the sandpaper cutter inspired by this one that Tim Yoder made. I thought that I would get fancy and actually carve the measuring lines on the board and discovered, somewhat unsurprisingly, that I suck at carving. I’ll just clean those up with a v cutter in the router and a straight edge….

… And Now, Some Links

I stumbled across this video on YouTube this afternoon. These are pretty cool folding sawhorses.

Shop Dog Folding Saw Horses

Here is a neat idea for a table with a built in beverage cooler. I may have to borrow some ideas from this design.

DIY Patio Table with Built-in Beer/Wine Coolers

How about a beautiful painted dressing table? Dorset Custom Furniture – A Painted Dressing Table

or a much less traditional desk from Slate. Slate Tech Desk

Finally, to escape the horizontal, here is a photo documentary of one person putting The Seven Samurai on his dining room wall. Seven Stenciled Samurai

Drop Spindle Test Run

For those who have been wondering what I’ve been up to lately, I’ve been cleaning up the garage and moving stuff out of storage and back to our house. I managed to dig out my Delta Midi Lathe and spin up a test drop spindle. Hopefully this will be number 1 of many.

Quick Image Links With Text Expander

Here is another snippet that leverages TextExpander’s ability to run shell scripts. To use it, select the images you want to link to in Finder or Path Finder, copy, and then trigger your snippet. file = "/img/" + path.split("/").last is in the script because Pathfinder puts the whole path name on the pasteboard rather than just the file name. As always, remember to set the contents of the TextExpander snippet to “Run Shell Script”.

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 #!/usr/bin/env ruby

  pasteboard = `#{"pbpaste"}`.downcase.split("\n")

  pasteboard.each  { |path|
      file = "/img/" + path.split("/").last
      puts "<a href=\"#{file}\" title=\" \"><img src=\"#{file}\" alt=\" \"></a>"
  }

A Ruby script that parses pasteboard information into image links