Waste of Time and Wood Today

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 06-13-2014 07:57 PM 2390 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think I need a new blade for my table saw. At least a blade is cheaper than buying a jointer. I had this idea that I wanted to start making a project today and I didn’t want to buy the wood. So I rummaged through some out of the way spots in my workshop and came up with two identical drawer fronts. The wood I need for the project needs to be 12 inches across and these two 8 inch drawer fronts were my best bet. Unfortunately, I’d have to glue them together edgewise. No problem said an optomistic I.

I began by sharpening up a card scraper and removing the layer of varnish on the drawers. Then I set up my planer and ran the boards through it. They are glue-ups, but not pine. I can’t judge woods by their grain yet, but at the very least it’s gotta be poplar. My optomism says they’re maple.

I tried every trick on YouTube to trim the edges of these boards to glue them together. I tried Izzy’s TS Method. I tried Steve’s TS trick. The edges just wouldn’t match up. I tried a router trick, no dice. I tried a TS and pin router trick. Nope. I even got out my dad’s old plane and tried that. No way.

I’m thinking the problem is inherent in that I’m still using the blade that originally came with my saw. It still cuts, but it’s not up to doing real woodworking tricks. Either that or bottom of the line TS’s just don’t cut it (pun definitely intended!)

A pity too. The project I was trying to start is a scroll saw made from a jig saw.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

10 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2779 posts in 2613 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 08:28 PM

You are probably right about the TS blade. Viewing your shop, it appears you have the same, or very similar, table saw to my Skil Saw bench top model. I tried to make delicate cuts on my saw, like tenon shoulders, but wasn’t satisfied with the results. My TS miter has slop in the slot, continuously cuts 1 or 2 degrees off 90, both ways. On top of that, I made a sled to try for better shoulders, but the blade must gave some wobble ( it is the original Skil Saw blade ) because as tight as the runners are in the slots, the kerf in the sled is wider than the blade.
I’ve since relegated thus saw to rough cutting pieces, then hand tooling them to the layout line. This suites me fine, as I can’t stand all the noise, and dust, from the TS.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 2034 days

#2 posted 06-14-2014 12:59 AM

Dave I am a firm believer in using as many hand tools as possible. I do have all the big power tools and I still use them quite frequently, but more and more I am using my handplanes and other hand tools. My work has vastly improved. You can still use your table saw to get a straight and square edge, then with a tuned up hand plane take a couple fine shavings off the edge and you should be good. Check out a guy by the name of Paul Sellers, he has a website and blog with lots of great videos that explain how to use hand tools, sharpen and tune up those tools.

If you don’t want to go that route at all then check out FORREST SAW BLADES, in my opinion they are really good, especially the WWII combo blade. Be sure to check the blade is 90 degrees to the table using a high quality engineers square. I tried for years to get precision work right off the power tools and it is very difficult to accomplish, a good craftsman will always use his hand tools to tweak things to get them just right.

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View Rxmpo's profile


269 posts in 4168 days

#3 posted 06-14-2014 04:01 AM


Cross has it right, hand plane will save you time, money and Frustration! Jointing these edges took less than 2 minutes and I have used that same technique on boards 8 feet long with flawless results. Don’t need fancy expensive plane either. Just a sharp iron tuned right. And it is more fun:).

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30389 posts in 2761 days

#4 posted 06-14-2014 06:09 AM

I do believe that most saw blades that they “give” you with the purchase of the saw should be thrown away before use. Good blades are worth the money.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1775 posts in 2611 days

#5 posted 06-14-2014 11:06 AM

Sounds like if I do some learnin’ I should be able to solve my own problem. I’ve got my dad’s old Jack plane. Likely I need to learn how to sharpen it properly.

Rxmpo, I probably would have had better results it I had paired up the edges like you show in your post. This will be a bit of a journey.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2990 days

#6 posted 06-14-2014 11:55 AM

Get the jack tuned and sharpened. I agree with the Paul seller’s videos.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1775 posts in 2611 days

#7 posted 06-14-2014 12:22 PM

Don W, Is tuning and sharpening something I can do myself, or do I need to seek help? We have a knife grinder in town, but I have no idea of his skill level.

I just went and looked. I have a Dunlap plane. The finish on the knob and handle is so old that it’s crackled. The sole isn’t pitted, but it also isn’t a mirror finish. Knowing my dad, I’m sure he bought it second hand from an auction house about 1950 or just before. It’s not a rusty wreck, but I’m sure it’s in the same condition it was off the shelf, I.E. untuned.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View stefang's profile


16705 posts in 3757 days

#8 posted 06-14-2014 12:28 PM

Our tools are teaching us stuff all the time Dave. Sometimes they are telling us they need a little help from us before they can perform well or they are just worn out and want to retire, and still others may be willing, but just aren’t up to the job, like some with the machine equivalent of a bad back. Eventually we learn enough from our tools to get something right once in awhile.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2990 days

#9 posted 06-14-2014 12:54 PM

Here is some tune up help,

Paul Sellers has some good videos and lots of guys here just waiting to help. So it sounds like you’ve already found the help you need, now just get to it . :-)

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View McKennon's profile


2 posts in 1764 days

#10 posted 09-23-2014 08:25 AM

It is pretty fascinating to know how much resources you can get without having to spend an extra penny. That is why before you perform any house clearance, ensure to properly sift through your waste products to see if any of those would be useful one fine day. A good example is when you would need just that little bit of materials to complete an ongoing project. If you had kept it earlier on, there is no need for you to go out and buy more.

-- McKennon Farell @

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