Using the TSquare

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Here's how it works. Kook the T-square over the workpiece so that the jaw of the fixed clamp is against the bottom surface. Use your offset gauge to position the T-square. Keep the crossbar against the workpiece edge. Tighten the fixed clamp.

Slide the movable clamp tight against the back edge, then tighten the wing nut. The T-square is locked in place, ready to guide the router.

You can see that the workpiece must be supported in a way that provides access for the clamps. Here the work is dogged to the workbench.

Slotting an already-assembled T-square can be done on the router table. Guide the work along a fence that's thinner than the T-square's blade. Mark the center of the bit on the fence, and the ends of the slot I on the T-square blade. Lower the work onto the bit, and rout until the bit mark and the end mark align, then tip the work up off the bit. Take two or three passes to rout the slot.

Vacuum T-Square

Vacuum pressure is a great way to hold a T-square on a workpiece so you can rout a groove or dado.

The most common T-square hassle, in my experience, to getting bodi it and the workpiece clamped. Typically, the square needs to be clamped at both ends to really hold its position, and that can be problematic when you have 1 12-inch-wide workpiece resting on a 24-inch-wide workbench. I-ven with the T-square with integral clamps (sec above), you have to have access at and underneath the workpiece edges.

Not so with a vacuum T-square. Just set the square in place and apply the vacuum. Rout your dado. Release the vacuum, move the square to the next spot, and reapply the vacuum. Obviously, you need a vacuum system. Get the vacuum details in the chapter "Vacuum Clamping' on page 50.

Making the Vacuum T-Square

The square shown in the plans drawing is the same one presented at the beginning of this chapter. Follow those directions for cutting die parts and assembling the basic square. For the best vacuum, you need to use a high-quality, void-free plywood for the fence. Though you probably wouldn't apply a finish to the T-square under normal circumstances, you ought to in this situation, just to seal the surfaces and prevent air leaks.

When that is done, install the vacuum accessories

VACUUM T-SQUARE PLANS

SECTION VIEW

Quick-disconnect fitting (male)

VACUUM T-SQUARE PLANS

SECTION VIEW

Quick-disconnect fitting (male)

BOTTOM VIEW

I" dia. hanging hole

Fence plywood

- PSA-backed vacuum tape ^

Crossbar Flow gate-extend vacuum area along fence by "opening" break in tape.

! '.y.",/ ' V/..

VACUUM T-SQUARE Cutting List

Part

Qty. Dimensions

Material

Fence

I 34" x 3Vi" x 30"

Plywood

Crossbar

1 YS x W x 9}A"

Hardwood

Hardware

4 drywall screws. #6 x 1 !A"

Vacuum tape, x ]A", approx. 36"

Quick-disconnect fitting, male

1. Install the vacuum port. Drill a hole for the fitting roughly where shown in the drawing. Apply an economical bead of silicone sealant to the barbed end of the male fitting, and insert it in the hole.

2. Apply the vacuum tape. As you can see from the drawing, the vacuum zone is divided into four chambers. Apply :he vacuum tape to the bottom of the fence. You can joint the corners carefully, as shown in the drawing, or you can us: a continuous run of the tape, bending around the corners. Once you have the entire perimeter taped, add the dividers and the closure strips (which 1 call "flow gates" on the drawing).

For a 6- to 11-inch-wide workpiece. use only the first dumber. As the workpiece width increases, you open more of the chambers to the vacuum.

Using the Vacuum T-Square

Presumably, if you are using vacuum for clamping, you've got the vacuum pump conveniently located on your workbench and hooked up to your air compressor. Setting up the T-square, then, is nothing more than switching the hose from one jig to another—like switching bits in your router.

Gamp the workpiece to the bench (you can use vacuum to do this, of course) so it won't slide away from you. Position the T-square in relation to the layout lines for the cut (using an offset gauge), pull a vacuum, and you are ready to rout.

Apply that sucker just about anywhere! You don't have to fuss and finagle to get the workpiece positioned where there's room for a couple of clamps. Vacuum sucks this T-square tight to the workpiece. Once it's placed, the T-square's only obstruction is its vacuum hose, and that is flexible enough to be directed out of your way and the router's path.

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