Tips Techniques

Release lever

{ These shelf brackets lock in the up position and are released by pressing the levers inside the horizontal arms of the brackets.

Flip-Up Outfeed Extension Table

In my small, basement shop, there just isn't enough room for a permanent outfeed table for my cabinet saw. I needed a table that I could set up and take down quickly, but was still strong and sturdy.

I found the solution while roaming around in my local home improvement center — the folding shelf brackets you see in the photo at left.

As the drawings below show, I attached the vertical arms of the brackets onto mounting plates so the table top would clear the saw's fence rail when it was in either the up or down positions. I did the same thing with the horizontal arms to raise the outfeed table level with my saw table. To keep the table flat and to add

Table Saw Outfeed Extension

< This outfeed extension table swings into action when it's needed and safely tucks out of the way when it's not.

strength, I added braces underneath the outfeed top and then mounted the table perfectly level with the saw table. Finally, I cut grooves in the table to line up with the miter slots in my saw table.

< This outfeed extension table swings into action when it's needed and safely tucks out of the way when it's not.

It works very nicely, and now I have the outfeed table I've always wanted — one that's there when I need it and gone when I don't.

Malcolm Robb Brantford, Ontario, Canada

Cutout for blade guard

Cutout for blade guard

Router Sled Planer

Planer Sled

Planing a flat face on a wide, warped board can be a real challenge. The problem is that the uneven surface of the board causes it to rock back and forth on the planer bed like a see-saw. To solve this problem, I built a planer sled.

A pair of cleats on the end register the work-piece. Then to get one face flat, I added a row of cut-off woodscrews along each side, as shown in the drawing. By raising the screws, you can support the workpiece (detail 'a'). When the top face is flat, remove the sled, flip the board over and finish planing the other side.

Brent Robinson St. Paul, Minnesota

Handscrew Support

Working with long stock and wide panels can be a real hassle. Not only are they difficult to move around, but they're hard to support while working on them. This is especially true when the piece has to be supported on edge. For that, I usually clamp the piece in the face vise of my workbench. However, that means the other end is unsupported for planing, sanding, or cutting mortises.

While wrestling with another large workpiece, I came up with a pretty simple solution that uses a traditional woodworking tool — a wood handscrew. As you can see in the photo at right, all I did was clamp the hand screw at the end of the workpiece and

rest it on the top of the bench. It worked perfectly. Now if the workpiece still moves around as you're working, you can clamp the handscrew to the bench with another handscrew or other clamp.

Scott Wallace Goshen, Massachusetts

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more tips from our readers

Longer rod with knob makes it easier to adjust blade tension

Nuts and washer provide positive stop for lever

Band Saw Blade Tension Lever

Setting the tension on my band saw blade was time-consuming. I needed a way to release the tension and then quickly return the tension to the proper setting the next time I used the saw. One day, it struck me that I could make a simple lever to quickly release the tension (see photo at right).

First, I replaced the band saw's original "knuckle-busting" tension rod with one long enough to clear the saw's housing. That will make fine-tuning the tension easier.

For the lever to clear the tension gauge, I built a riser and slid it down the rod. The riser sits on the guides on either side of the gauge.

To make the lever, I used a 2' piece of hardwood and tapered it to fit my hand better. I rounded the front and bottom corners to make the lever easier to raise and lower.

Next, I attached a spacer block to the lever. This block will hold the lever in the "up" position to maintain the proper blade tension when I'm using my band saw. But you'll need to attach the block to the lever at this point so the hole for the rod is drilled at the correct

angle. Then, I took the lever (with the spacer attached) to my drill press and drilled the hole to accommodate the rod. I counterbored the hole to hold a washer and lock nuts at the same angle as well.

Then I added the lever and the hardware (see detail 'a'). To tension the blade, I simply lift the lever and pivot it toward the saw until the spacer rests on the

riser. To release the tension, all I have to do is just lift and pivot the lever away from the saw. You can still fine-tune the tension if you need to by adjusting the longer tension rod and knob.

Bill Esposito Rindge, New Hampshire

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