A Night at the Opera

Or more like, a night in the shed 🙂  Got a number of things done out there which was very refreshing, and actually felt like real woodworking for once. I even got to make some sawdust!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had some trouble with my current inadequate power supply to allow me to use dado blades on my tablesaw. As a bit of a test, I purchased a tradesman’s extension cord yesterday which has a 1.5 mm core rather than the standard 1.0 mm (or even smaller) in typical household extension cords.  I plugged this feed directly into the tablesaw, and gave that a try and the difference was quite remarkable. Even running a standard blade, the saw sounded somehow different.

I then fitted a dado blade, and this time I was successful. The saw easily managed to bring the dado set up to speed. I must admit, that it has been a while since I’ve been that nervous around woodworking equipment- the first time you use a dado set is scary!  When a typical blade has lots of whirling teeth looking for something to eat, like a circling shark, a dado set looks like a whole school of sharks, and they know what they want.

On the other hand, it sure makes cutting a trench or a dado easy! (Funny that).  This dado test is going to be very interesting, and I’m now in a position to start testing the various blade sets that I have.  There have already been some irregularities come to light, so that is what this battle of the dado blades is all about.  One set appears to have the wrong outside blades, as the tooth count is incorrect to match with the chipper blades so that they cannot stack correctly (and I’m getting some feedback from the relevant company about that), and the set I used last night (CMT) had a very poor trench, because one of the chipper blades is over 1mm oversized which I was very surprised about with a set costing over $400.  Anyway, all this will be revealed in full Cinecolor in the reviews in the near future.

Next, a very rusty demonstrator got to shoot the raw footage for Episode 41 of Stu’s Shed TV which briefly covers some of the jigs that can be used on a wetstone sharpener.  I did get a very respectable edge on my carving knife, so the next tomato will pay the price in the kitchen!  I’ve said it before – the Triton sharpener should come with a knife jig – it is the best excuse to justify buying a tool ever!

Then finally, and inspired by my article about the Chris Vesper Joinery Knife, I had a further play with that laying out some rudimentary dovetails, and that inspired me to (finally) assemble the Dovetail Master I got from the Australian Wood Review over a year ago.  I had put it into the “too hard to think about now” basket, but last night everything just clicked.

Dovetail Master

Dovetail Master

It comes disassembled, but it isn’t actually that hard to put together.  Of course the proof will be if I actually can use it to produce a handcut dovetail, but it looks like I managed to assemble it without too much drama.

Disassembled Dovetail Master

Disassembled Dovetail Master

It is currently on special for all of $35 from Australian Wood Review (direct link to the product) fwiw.

So it was a good night – some sawdust made, some video shot, some old jobs completed.  Good times 🙂

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