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How to make long, very thin wedge

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Forum topic by George Seifert posted 09-16-2019 01:14 AM 529 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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George Seifert

18 posts in 796 days


09-16-2019 01:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I need to make a long (about 6”), thin wedge. The wedge needs to be 1/32” on one end and taper down to nothing. I only need to make one.

I’m thinking maybe I could double-stick tape the wedge-to-be to another board with one end raised 1/32” and run it through my belt sander. Keep sanding until one side is down to nothing. The problem I see though is that as the wedge gets really thin it’ll probably flex as it goes through the sander because it’s only supported on the two ends.

Any other ideas?

George


9 replies so far

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Firewood

960 posts in 2147 days


#1 posted 09-16-2019 02:14 AM

You can use a taper jig on the table saw. It will come off on the waste side Make it longer then needed and select the best section for your wedge.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

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therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#2 posted 09-16-2019 02:58 AM

Making shim stock on the Miter chop saw is one of it’s best uses IMHO. Beyond just making straight cut offs for rough length that is.

I lay a piece of hardboard, or 1/4” scrap plywood over the bed to effectively make a zero clearance insert, and cut it off a large piece. But a 6” long 1/32” to nothing is child’s play. Without the ZCR deck it will also quickly turn to wood mush if it falls into that MAW a miter saw has.

Sharp blade is sort of a must too.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Snipes

432 posts in 2757 days


#3 posted 09-16-2019 04:12 AM

Steve you should do a video on this. I’ve done it many times in a pinch, but it always feels a bit dangerous to me.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

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therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#4 posted 09-16-2019 04:45 AM

Come hold the camera. I’m not a videographer. Especially if my hands are otherwise engaged.

Seriously nothing difficult in the cut. Make sure you start with a big piece of wood, and just chop the end. Make a ZCR with a sheet of something thin 1/4 or even 1/8” and use a sharp blade. It could get dicey if you didn’t fill that huge gap all miter saws start with. Once filled, the offcuts just fall over.

I can’t sleep, so I went out and gave it a try. Keep in mind a 32nd and a playing card are pretty close to the same thickness, so a person really has to wonder what this shim is actually going to do? It is however possible to cut, if the wood used is going to stay together. Going to “nothing” invites shearing of the fibers, and pretty much leaves you with a half piece in most cases. I could get 1/8 pretty easy, 1/16 about 1/3 of the time. 1/32 not so much. I tried hard maple. Making a 1/32 cut is possible, just the going to “nothing” thing is a hard nut. About 1/2 way to it, the wood just disappears. So cancel the childs play part. I can’t see a TS doing much different, and I think sanders would grab that little “nothing” portion, and grind it up.

Ulmia 354, or one of Economaki’s Joint Makers Pro’s might sliver it off, but still it’s going to be about the wood.

-- Think safe, be safe

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therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#5 posted 09-16-2019 05:46 AM



Make it longer then needed and select the best section for your wedge.

- Firewood

I had given up, and was going to try getting back to sleep. What you said here finally smacked me upside the head.

Start by making a larger than 1/32 cut off of pieces 12” long. Where they disappear, measure back to 6” and see what the thickness is. Do that several times, and you might fall into one 1/32 at top, going to scant. Your tails are always going to disappear, but that just matters if you try to start at 6”

Still no idea what that sliver is going to do?

-- Think safe, be safe

View seturner's profile

seturner

30 posts in 932 days


#6 posted 09-16-2019 01:33 PM

Next Level Carpentry on Youtube has a video on exactly this. Calls them “Super Shims”

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George Seifert

18 posts in 796 days


#7 posted 09-16-2019 04:13 PM

Thanks for the tips. I also tried making a long piece and selecting the right portion. So far I haven’t had much luck.

Here’s what I plan to use it for. I need to taper a guitar fretboard so that the end of it is 1/32” thinner than the other end, i.e. it will go from 1/4” to 7/32”. I guess the pros will hand plane it. I don’t think I’m good enough with a hand plane to get a nice even taper – especially on ebony.

So I thought if I could put a wedge under the fretboard I could tape it to another board and run it through my drum sander. I don’t think I can just jack up one end by 1/32” and leave the middle unsupported – hence the wedge. Maybe I just should have asked how to solve my original problem.

George

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sras

5200 posts in 3642 days


#8 posted 09-16-2019 04:25 PM

I’d use your drum sander. But instead of a single wedge I’d start with a thin strip 1/32 across the width of the fretboard. Then I’d use strips of playing cards to create other supports every 3-4 inches. When playing cards get too thick use layers of tape. I’d put all of this on a support board – a flat & straight piece. I usually use MDF.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View George Seifert's profile

George Seifert

18 posts in 796 days


#9 posted 09-16-2019 04:33 PM



I d use your drum sander. But instead of a single wedge I d start with a thin strip 1/32 across the width of the fretboard. Then I d use strips of playing cards to create other supports every 3-4 inches. When playing cards get too thick use layers of tape. I d put all of this on a support board – a flat & straight piece. I usually use MDF.

- sras

That’s what I’m thinking might be best. I don’t really have to support it under the full length. Just enough to keep it from flexing. And if I take really shallow passes, it probably won’t flex much.

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