Jointer Alignment – Parallel Tables

August 9th, 2017

When I first purchased my jointer, around ten years ago, I never checked for parallelism between the infeed and outfeed tables.  Although the jointer has been performing ok, I’ve often wondered how close to perfect they were aligned.  A popular method for checking for parallelism involves purchasing an expensive straightedge that can span both tables in conjunction with feeler gauges.  Alhough I’ve never tried it, the straightedge method appears to be a time consuming process.

I’ve often wondered if it would be possible to check for parallelism with a dial indicator, but I never came up with a solution; until a couple days ago.   The method that I came up with utilizes a dial indicator and a shop-made alignment tool (a dial indicator magnetic base is also used in the process).  The tool is very easy to make and the process turned out to work very nicely and was quick.

Over the years I have demonstrated several different alignment uses for a dial indicator.  If you don’t own one by now then I’d suggest that you’d be a happier woodworker if you bought one.  Dial indicators can be purchased for less than $20 and you’ll use it over and over again.

See the build and demo video here.

 

Production Upgrades

April 26th, 2017

Wireless Lavalier Microphone

I recently upgraded my video production equipment to include a wireless lavalier microphone (lav mic) and an external monitor.  I purchased the lav mic for dialogue segments only to reduce/eliminate reverb (which was a big problem for me).  I have both my wireless lav receiver and my shotgun mic camera mounted and I can easily switch between them depending on what I’m shooting at the time. For woodworking steps w/o speech I’ll use the shotgun mic.

External Monitor

A while back I purchased an external monitor for playback and for setting up shots, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to use it until now.  I needed a good way to mount the monitor on my crane. Initially I tried mounting the monitor on top of my camera, but this produced too much weight which needed to be counter balanced at the other end of the crane.  I could easily counter balance the weights fine, however the large weights on either end of the crane created too much camera shake (it took too long for the camera to stabilize after moving it).  I decided to instead mount the monitor at the fulcrum of the crane so that the weight of the monitor would not be a factor.  This required me to purchase an HDMI coupler to connect the video out from the camera to the center of the crane using an additional HDMI cable; the HDMI cable travels through the top square tube of the crane.  An added benefit of the monitor is that it has an audio out jack for headphones which will enable me to monitor the audio from the wireless system for any problems captured during dialogue.

Just like my woodshop tools, my production equipment continues to evolve.

Tilting Drill Press Vise

April 16th, 2017

There have been several instances when I needed a tilting drill press vise in the past, but I didn’t have one.  After searching the web for examples I came across a steel version that I really liked, so I used the design as a starting point for mine.

With the exception of the screws and metal threaded rod, mine is made entirely from wood.  I purchased a 1″ tap and die several years ago and I still keep finding uses for it, and this project is another example of its usefulness.  I made the vise in two days, including filming, from scrap lumber that I had on hand.  You can watch the build video here.

If you’d like to build your own I have the plans available for a small fee that might make things a little easier for you.  If I inspired you to make your own without the plans, please consider purchasing the plans anyway as a means of supporting what I do here at GW.