I Was Finally Able to Use My Table Saw to Finish Stuff for Christmas

I was finally able to get my table saw up and running. Not only that I bought a zero clearance insert and casters for it as well. On top of that I built a sled for it so that I could do some repeatable cuts while working on the stepping stools that I did for Christmas presents. It was so nice to finally have a real table saw.

The stepping stools came out pretty nice although I did not get them done in time for Christmas. They were built and glued but I did not get to priming them until after Christmas. At the time of writing this they still need to be sanded and to be touched up.

I also did not get the second batch of magazine racks done either. They are stained but I still need to put the Polyurethane on them. I did take the people that were getting them into the garage to show them what they would be getting “some day soon”. That day hasn’t come yet but I will try to get them done during this long weekend.

What I Learned

These were some really cool projects that brought several really good lessons with them. Here are some of those lessons:

  • The grit of the sandpaper that you use determines how much stain the wood will absorb.
    I found this out by sanding the first set of magazine racks with 220 grit. They did not seems to want to take the stain. Then on the second batch I sand just a few blemish areas with 100 and the stain did not want to take in those areas. Next time if I sand one spot I sand the whole thing with 100 grit.
  • My paint sprayer has adjustments for the paint and air flow and I should adjust them before painting my pieces.
    I used oil base primer to seal the stepping stools which was really thick paint. It coated the stools with a texture because I had too much paint and air coming out. Half way through I started messing with the knobs on the back and was able to get nice even texture-free coats on some test pieces. Oh well, that is what sanding blocks are for.
  • Start building Christmas presents before December 1st.
    I had not planned to build Christmas presents this year but then I saw the magazine rack idea on the Wood Whisperer and thought “Hey, I can do that”. Sure I was able to do it but not in the quantity and time frame that was needed. Next year I am starting in August 😉 .
  • Keep things in perspective, this is supposed to be fun and I am just starting out.
    This is probably the most important lesson. There was a point a few days before Christmas that I was exhausted and tired of rushing to get these things done. It was not fun anymore and that is not how it should be. Therefore I took a couple of nights off from it which is why they were not done for Christmas. I don’t regret it as I needed to take a step back. Also, I was rushing too much and that always leads to accidents which I did not want.

All in all it was a good Christmas season and I loved being able to make something by hand for folks. For those that did get their magazine racks before Christmas they loved them and I am sure the other folks will like theirs when they get them.

After all the dust settles it looks like I will be moving on to a gadget station for me and a head board for our room. I can’t wait!

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