First page of the poplar archive.

Festool Kapex 120 “Mate” – support on a budget

Posted by is9582 on December 3, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

Yesterday I wrote about purchasing some wood for a new workbench top, and I just may also have enough to make a new base, too. This morning I started getting ready for the impending delivery. I pulled out three nondescript pieces of some wood, that wouldn’t upset me if they were damaged, to use to keep the boards elevated off of the driveway.

I planned to use my Festool Kapex 120, which is truly the most awesome piece of gear to break down some pretty danged large sticks of wood. I knew I’d want to support the wood on both sides of the Kapex, to reduce or eliminate it binding the blade as the cut completed, so it needed to be the same height as the Kapex. I measured the distance from the bottom of the Kapex, to it’s cutting deck, and sought out some offcuts that were large enough to fit the requirements (approximately 4.35″). I also grabbed a couple of narrow pieces that would get inset 90-degrees across the main boards, and help prevent the supports from falling/tipping over.

I started out cutting the larger boards so they were just oversized, and planed them down to the target dimension. I also planed up the narrow pieces so they would be either square, or leaning towards a very slight taper, so they would  tighten up with a light tap.

5/4 Poplar offcut still in rough state, but plane passes starting to show.

5/4 Poplar offcut still in rough state, but plane passes starting to show. After flattening the edge, there was very little left to remove to hit the target size.

I laid the two boards across each other, and marked the dimensions directly from the narrow board, onto the bottom of the tall boards. I used my Lie-Nielsen cross-cut saw to cut close to my lines, and to full depth.

Marks from cross piece, with saw kerfs next to them.

Marks from cross piece, with saw kerfs next to them.

Since I used Poplar boards, it was easy enough to use a chisel and mallet to pop most of the waste out pretty quickly.

Waste removed from space for the narrow cross piece.

Waste removed from space for the narrow cross piece.

I pared the base of the opening down to the scored line, and did the same for the two sides. After checking that the narrow piece locked in place with a light tap, I ultimately decided to use some yellow glue to make sure they would stay together, since the large Soft Maple boards these would support, were quite heavy.

Cross board glued and tapped until completely tight.

Cross board glued and tapped until completely tight.

I repeated the process on the second “Kapex Mate” (seemed like the appropriate name for these, don’t you think?), and then it was just a matter of time for the glue to dry.

Both new

Both new “Kapex Mates” waiting for their glue to finish drying.

When I started breaking down the Soft Maple boards, it was great to see just how impressive these simple accessories performed. I have a number of Systainers but none are Systainer 1 size, which is the same height as the Kapex.

It was nice to see just how well these supports performed, with only using a few pieces of left-over wood and a squeeze of glue, while dealing with some of the largest boards I’ve every used. That is impressive, and if they ever get damaged or disappear, another set is just a few minutes away.

I plan to write an article regarding the performance of my Festool Kapex, in the near future, for Highland Woodworking’s blog. Keep your eyes peeled and check both blogs regularly.

Thank you as always, for stopping by to check out my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Does the Tooth Fairy like Houndsteeth?

Posted by is9582 on February 8, 2012 with 1 Commentas , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve always enjoyed the craftsmanship of nice hand-cut dovetails. Something in them has always called to me. Many of the dovetails I’ve cut were used in smallish boxes for family/friends, and usually those are of what might be called “standard” dovetails.

Hand-cut dovetailed boxes I’ve made for family.
This morning I was playing with a friend’s new saw, and I thought I’d try my hand cutting what they call a houndstooth (there may be other names, but that’s the one I’ll use). I wasn’t planning to use this test piece for anything, so I just used a small cut-off of mahogany that was laying around. After cutting the tail portion of this joint, I thought I may as well make the pin portion to finish it up. Since I wasn’t expecting to actually finalize a joint, I wasn’t too concerned with how deep I initially cut the tail, but was more concerned with making sure I had enough room for the “extra” part of the tails.  So, now I was looking for another cut-off that would match up with the first piece. I looked at everything I had and it was no way, no how. I finally picked up a piece of poplar I’d planed down from super rough, and even though it wasn’t as thick as would be proper, I put it to use. I lined up the edges of the two pieces so it would in some way mimic what I’d do if I was using the two in a real project of some sort. After sawing, I put the two together, and thought I’d just lop off the extra lengths of tails, so they were flush. I glued the joint together and figured I’d remove the excess wood, after the joint was dry and solid. 
Glued but not cleaned up, as you can still see markings on the Poplar.
Well, now that it’s dry, it caught my eye in a different way. Now, after cleaning up the joint with a plane, I’m wondering if in some way this should be used as a design element. 
Main surface cleaned up, and a different perspective. 

Thoughts??