One of those "lightbulb goes off" moments

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Blog entry by SC_Galoot posted 10-12-2007 08:15 PM 1197 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I thought I’d share a recent “duh” moment I had while building a built-in cabinet and shelves for a friend of mine. The face of the cabinet is 54 inchs wide by 35.5 inches tall. It’s a corner unit so I needed to mitre both sides to a 45 degree angle in order to make it sit flush to the walls. Well, I spent the better part of 2 days trying to figure out how to support such a large plank on my table saw so I could safely run it though with the blade tilted appropriately. The only thing I could come up with was that I’d have to stop the project and build a side extension table. While this is something I intend on doing anyway, it is not even remotely convenient to do so now.

Well, the ‘slap my forehead’ moment came when I realized I can do the same 35.5 in. cut with a chamfer bit and my router. So I thought, “Cool, now I just need to figure out how to mount a simple fence to guide the router base.” Plus figure out how to set the bit depth so as double the size of the chamfer. The bit is only half as wide as I need the final mitre to be. Note: I still haven’t actually started any woodworking yet and have still not made any real progress on the case. As I was beginning to start setting up the router, it donned on me that I can do the same thing with my Stanley block plane and there’s no set up required.

Needless to say, the plane worked amazingly fast. As soon as I put the sole to the stuff, I started shaking my head thinking, “Why didn’t I think of this 2 days ago??” Arrrggghhh!

Now that I’m making progress again, I hope to finish the mitres and cut opennings for 2 doors either tonight or this weekend. And I plan on keeping my block plane within an arm’s reach.

8 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5319 days

#1 posted 10-12-2007 08:20 PM

one of those “back to the basics is better” options?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View SC_Galoot's profile


30 posts in 5041 days

#2 posted 10-12-2007 09:34 PM

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. I plan on foregoing the tablesaw and picking up the block plane again when I get around to making the shelves.

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 5060 days

#3 posted 10-12-2007 09:38 PM

We all do it. It’s more acceptable when it’s a solo (and secret) thing but more often than not it’s my wife who suggests: “Why don’t you use the block plane” or whatever the obvious is!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5149 days

#4 posted 10-12-2007 09:59 PM

BTDT…several times. Goes along with the “build as you go” plan.

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5236 days

#5 posted 10-13-2007 12:15 AM

Another plug for the ole’ hand plane.

I gotta get me a couple.

-- BLOG -

View 's profile

593 posts in 5130 days

#6 posted 10-13-2007 03:42 AM

Another convert to the KISS principle, welcome to the club SC.

The chamfers you see under the seat top in the second picture of this project were done only with the block plane you visible in this picture. A 10 minute very pleasant job.

There is nothing like not having the right tools to do the job to boost up your mental acuity. :o)

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5256 days

#7 posted 10-13-2007 03:51 AM

Sometimes I think the machinery slows us down…..

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5121 days

#8 posted 10-13-2007 05:55 AM

It slows down our thinking. Instead of thinking about how to get it done we are thinking about how to do it easier with an expensive machine. Now SC, acquire some more hand tools and watch life get easier.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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