October 25, 2009

Stop Block


photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

I am cutting the side frame strips for another dollhouse window. They are too long to allow me to clamp a stop block to the side of the miter block and too short to extend past the edge of the miter box to reach a stop block clamped to the table. Notice that I am cutting with the part against the back edge of the box. That is because I am using a saw that cuts on the stroke pushing away from me, that means I am pushing the part against the fence as I cut. This means a more accurate cut that does not wobble all over the place. If I were cutting with a pull saw my work piece would be against the front fence. Use the force of the cut to your advantage. Simple trick but one a beginner might not learn without some frustration first.

Here is where years of looking at creative woodworking jigs in books and magazines brings up the easy solution. Put a screw into the stop block, oh so easy to do and it gives me a fine adjustment stop block. No need to loosen and move a clamp, just turn the screw  to move it a tiny fraction for the perfect length of cut.

Over the years in news groups I have had people write and say they don't know how to go about making jigs. Therefore I keep showing this type of everyday situation and easy solutions so everyone will realize jigs are not always complicated and they can be as simple as a scrap of wood, a screw and a clamp. These very basic items have just created a fine precision, adjustable, stop block for making fine miniatures in less than a minute of time. I will be using this one jig often.

I love that gold anodized Zona Miter Box and Razor Saw, they are so much nicer than the Exacto brand miter box. Just two pushes of the saw cuts right through the window frame. It is so fast and easy to use there is no point in setting up a power tool to do the job.
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