Safety Day 2013 - Rough Cutting Lumber Safely

Learn the process I use to rough crosscut and rip my lumber.

Build your own (Small) Marking Gauge

Learn how I built another, smaller, marking guage.

Multi Slot Mortiser / Horizontal Router

Check out my Slot Mortiser based on the plans from

Bandsaw Dust Collection Upgrade

Awesome upgrade to dust collection on a bandsaw

Build Your Own Marking Gauge

Learn how to build your own marking gauges - based on a Fine Woodworking Article by Matt Kenney

Lie Nielsen Rabbet Block Plane - 60 1/2R with Nickers

Quick overview/review of the Lie Nielsen Rabbeting Block Plane - a versatile gem.

Review - Charles Neals Pre-Color Conditioner

Building a Holtzapfel Inspired Workbench

Check out my 11 part video series on building a Holtzapfel Inspired Workbench

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Woodworking Safety Day 2013 - Rough Cutting Lumber Safely

May 1, 2013 is Safety Day in the woodworking world thanks to the efforts of Marc at the .  Every year he asks his fellow woodworkers to contribute a blog post and/or video to the effort and help make woodworking both safer and more enjoyable for all involved.  This is my contribution - I hope you find it useful and perhaps a safer way to work.

In my very first video and blog I ever posted - part 1 of my 11 part series on building a workbench, I showed you how I cut up the rough lumber using a circular saw.  Well, I nearly lost a finger - it wasn't really that close but this was mainly do to a poor cutting setup/clamping and rough and twisted wood. 

This scare, which you'll see again in the video at the end of the post, pushed me toward another approach to making rough crosscuts AND rough ripping. 

I no longer crosscut with my circular saw, joint, plane and then rip on my table saw.  Instead, I use my jigsaw and my bandsaw and rough cut all the wood in its rough state.  I find this to be MUCH safer, quieter, less dusty and allows for better use of wood.  I like to make these cuts with a 4" long 6 to 8 tooth per inch blade with a lot of set. I do not know the model number on Bosch blade but find the most aggresive blade you can so the cutting goes fast.  This longer blade will also cut through 8/4 and larger stock with ease.

After laying out the cuts I want to make, typically in caulk, I start by making crosscuts with the (Bosch) jigsaw.  I will clamp the wood to my bench or assembly table and support the offcut if its large enough.  Because of the controllable cut with the jigsaw, you can get away with just holding the offcut if its small enough but I recommend using a support whenever you can, especially on large or heavy pieces.

Once all the crosscutting is done, I take the parts to the bandsaw and rip out the parts. There is no need for the fence and your really don't want to use it anyway since none of the edges are jointed straight.  I really like my Woodslicer 3/4 (teeth per inch) Skip Tooth blade but anything in the 3 or 4 tooth per inch range should work great.

Build Your Own (Small) Marking Gauge

If you checked out and possibly built my other marking gauge, or you have a marking gauge then you know how valuable they can be for laying out joinery. 

You may also, like I did, find that you want a smaller marking gauge.  This video will show you how to make yourself a smaller one.  I think you'll really like it - give it try.  See below for a link to some of the products I used - all are from

1/4" x 20 Brass Threaded Insert - I used a steel one for metal but this would work too.


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