Saturday, February 03, 2007


Over the last couple of days I've been preparing to cut the sideslots in the heel. I found this task rather intimidating, particular in light of my adventure with the neck/head joint. But, as I then blamed my tool, I found it necessary to revisit my saw sharpening skills. This was the saw I practiced my sharpening on in the first place and in doing so, it took me a few goes to screw it up completely and many more to fix my mischiefs; Obviously they did not all get fixed then.

To make a long story short, I jointed the teeth which revealed a that one side of the set had longer teeth than the other. As I went about the sharpening I tried very carefully to get them all the same size and eventually they were - sort of. I dressed the side of the teeth to correct potential flaws and minimize the set. In the end I ended up with a kerf that was about 0.050" - probably a little thicker than ideal but narrow enough to to do the job. The saw is very large. It comes from a miterbox I bought years ago and has a 24" long blade. This makes it rather difficult to handle precisely freehand. On the other hand, once it gets going it is very stable and there is nothing stopping it.

I did a few test cuts in maple using Cumpiano's 'insert a slice of veneer and make a second cut' method and it seemed to work very well. I used a slice of Formica about 0.040" thick as veneer. I tried with maple but the saw cut through it - maybe because it was a little buckled.

Cutting the actual slots went remarkably well. Though I have nothing really to compare with, I think I've would have had a hard time getting them much better with my skill level.




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