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!

:-( Table Saw Parts are not Here Yet

I called the company that I ordered the parts for my table saw and then have not arrived or even gotten a ship date for them yet – bummer. 

I am going to give them another week and a half and then if they are not here by then I am going to cancel my order and go with one of the other companies that I found online. 

I really wanted to support a local company but I may not have that option.

Table Saw Parts Are On Order

I finally got the chance to take my abused table saw apart to see what parts needed to be replaced. Basically all of the motor mount pieces need to be replaced since it seemed that the saw landed right on that section as it hit the ground.

After searching the internet high and low I finally found a local company that had the best prices for the parts that I needed to fix my table saw.

The parts that I ordered are:

  • 509491 – Support, Motor Base
  • 818527 – Spring
  • 509494 – Base, Motor
  • 509492 – Insert (Includes Set Screws)
  • 824340-6 – Rail RearAcc

The total for all the parts came to around $125 which put the total cost of the saw at $350. This is still a whole lot cheaper then the $500-$600 original price of the saw. The parts are supposed to be in within the next week or two.

Funny Moments in Woodworking – Table Saw at 4am

I was looking through my stats for this site this morning and saw that someone came to my site from the term “table saw craigslist”. I did a quick search on Google to see where I came up and stumbled upon the following Craigstlist post in the Best of Cragslist section.

This particular post struck me because I was up at 1am last night running my table saw to see if I had put it back together correctly after the accident. Currently my closest neighbor is accross the street but I am going to have to keep my late night woodwoorking adventures to a minimum once they finish building the house next door. Also, I am known to run in the house and yell at the kids to be quite when I can hear them out in the garage. 


Dear Neighbor, 

When I went to sleep last night at 11pm. Nay, when I went to bed last night at 11pm I heard, very clearly, the intermittent hammering coming from your basement, 15 feet and a privacy fence away. Can’t say that I was pleased, but I had no idea the Black & Decker nightmare you had in store for me. 

I managed to drown out the sound of the hammer long enough to drift off to sleep, alas I was awakened at 4 am by the sound of a… what’s that? No, it can’t be. A table saw? 

Sir, I am a general contractor’s daughter and know, make no mistake about it, what a table saw sounds like. I was also able to identify a high-powered (bordering on a dentist’s wet dream) drill you insisted on using when you weren’t busy with the aforementioned hammer or table saw. 

And while I am certain it’s not your fault that I left a shoe in the middle of my own floor, I place the blame squarely on your shoulders, fair neighbor, for the gaping head wound (thank you window sill corner) and concussion I suffered when I went ass over apple carts across my bedroom in an effort to find out just what the hell was going on over there. Maybe it’s the concussion, could be the sleep deprivation, but here are the thoughts that went through my mind over the course of the next THREE HOURS (I didn’t call the police because I fear, above all else, turning into my mother): 

1. You’re building a dungeon. 

Power tools in the middle of the night? Creepy old house? Basement? Tell me did you already have your victim chloroformed in the corner, or are you still just stalking her? And for the record, I will not be putting any lotion on myself or in any basket. And I will eat Precious just as soon as look at her. Period. 

2. You’re building a better mousetrap. 

Or maybe just the biggest mousetrap EVER. Or quite possibly 9,000 better mousetraps, at the regular size. 

3. You’re building a popsicle stick Taj Mahal. 

Gentle neighbor (I saw your sensitive ponytail), I think we can all sympathize with the panic that ensues when one has completely spaced a school project due first thing the next morning. But I have to admit that I think using a table saw for balsa wood is overkill. What? Your index fingers and thumbs weren’t strong enough to break the sticks in half? Then I don’t think you have the dexterity necessary to safely use a table saw, drill, hammer or, for that matter, a remote control. 

4.You’re building a Y2K bunker. 

It’s 2005, I think you’re safe. 

But the strangest thing you did was this morning at 8 am. While in the shower I heard you yell at your dog to be quiet. Huh? My conclusions are as follows: You’re a hearing-impaired, insomniac, do-it-yourself imbecile with no concept of irony. This does not bode well for the life of our neighborly arrangement. However, if that dungeon has my name on it, I may have bigger hurdles in front of me than a few bags under my eyes.

Here’s the link to the original Craigslist post – Seriously? Operating a table saw at 4am?

Yeah! I Got a New Table Saw, But I Broke It

Black-and-Decker-table-saw I had been scowering Craigslist for the last few weeks looking for a new table saw. My current saw is no more then 2 years old but it is a beginner’s bench top saw and I have been hitting the limitations of it in the last few projects that I have worked on. The biggest limitation is that the table itself is pretty small compared to a contractor’s saw. In fact in comparing my bench top saw to the new saw the new saw is almost 2 times bigger. This makes a big difference when doing various cuts. The other thing that I really did not like about my bench top saw was the fence, it was never square. Every time I wanted to cut something using the fence I would need to take extra time to make sure it was square and the correct distance from the blade.

rigid-table-saw-TS24241 Over the last few weeks a few Rigid contractors saws had come up on Craigslist and I seemed to miss out on each of them until yesterday. Yesterday I scored a Rigid TS24241 which is a one generation old fixed base contractor’s saw for $225. This saw was at least $500 brand new so this was really a great deal. I picked up the saw without a hitch but the ride home was something else.

NOTE – I write the next part with my head hung in shame. I wouldn’t normally share a huge screw-up like this but I am so that it can hopefully help others to slow down and do things the right way.

Here’s what happened AFTER I picked up the saw…

The guy I picked it up from had it in his truck on it’s side with the front of the saw facing down and the motor facing up. I did not notice if he had the saw strapped down or not. I knew that it was top heavy so it made sense that you would want to keep the center of gravity as low as possible so having it this way instead of standing up seemed to make sense. I pulled my brother-in-law’s truck right up to the back of his truck (tailgate to tailgate) and slid the table over to my truck.

I did not tie it down.

I got out of the parking lot and took my second turn near the freeway and the saw rolled out of the back of the truck and into the road. It scared the hell out of me. I got out and thank God the saw did not hit anyone or any other cars. There I was standing in the middle of the street with a ~300lbs saw that I could move or get into the truck on my own. Fortunately there was a guy across the street at a gas station that saw what happened and ran over to help me get it back in. We both strained to get it back in and this time I put it in with the table down with the legs standing straight up. I collected the various pieces of the saw that broken off or flew out with it and pulled into the gas station to assess the damage.

All told this is what got damaged/broken –

  • The motor mount broke
  • 1 leg got tweaked
  • The rear aluminum rail for the fence got bent on both ends
  • I put a crease in the corner of the cab on my brother-in-laws truck
It was terrible. Here I had just scored a great saw and within 5 minutes of owning it I break it.
Once I got home I searched the internet to see if I could find parts for it and luckily I found a couple of different sites to order parts from. All told it is going to be about $70 to fix the saw and an afternoon of sanding/priming/painting to patch the damage to my bro-in-laws truck.
The moral of the story is that safety is king even outside of the workshop.