Archive for the ‘DIY Shop Tools’ Category

Jointer Alignment – Parallel Tables

Wednesday, 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.


Tilting Drill Press Vise

Sunday, 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.

Chisel Bevel Gauge

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Out of sheer laziness and cheapness I decided to make a bevel setting gauge for my chisel honing guide.  In the past I would place the chisel in the honing guide and eyeball the correct placement in the honing guide for my bevel; it was usually hit or miss and would require readjusting.

The bevel angle setting gauge was designed to work with my honing guide and the basic idea was taken from commercial examples.  I will most likely draw pencil lines for my most commonly used bevel angles alongside the ‘chisel stop’.

A 1/4″ channel was created in a piece of hardwood for a ‘chisel stop’ to travel.  The ‘chisel stop’ has a 1/4″ slot with a 1/4″ piece of wood glued in place which will travel in the 1/4″ channel.  A piece of threaded rod was placed through a hole in the ‘chisel stop’ and inserted into a threaded insert in the ‘chisel stop’ (two nuts were used to lock the ‘chisel stop’ onto the threaded rod).  A nut on the opposite side of the channel component (epoxied into a piece of wood for a knob) will lock the setting.


Pencil marks next to the ‘chisel stop’ will define my most commonly used bevel angles: