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70sSanO
06-12-2010, 08:06 AM
I'm in the process of experimenting with different types of wood for a saddle, and maybe a nut... Red Henry's mandolin bridge site has really intrigued me on the use of different wood types.

Last time I did an ebony nut and saddle I did it on my 10" Craftsman table saw, a somewhat harrowing experience.

Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive Jarmac clone for $40. Has anyone used this or any other ideas?

Since it is going to be of limited use, I wouldn't mind a good hand saw-mitrebox-rip setup. I'm not sure how to accurately rip small pieces of hardwood. I figure someone has done binding and inlay and may have a suggestion.

Thanks for any info.

John

Pete Howlett
06-12-2010, 09:24 AM
That's why you have a BANDSAW buddy - much safer... Remember... BANDSAW Say it seven times before you think of that nasty table saw again!

Allen
06-12-2010, 10:57 AM
You can still use your large table saw but make yourself a Zero Clearance blade insert. Most important for all work but especially so on small pieces. I've got several for different size blades and tilts. Ie ones for 45 degree tilt with my large ripping blade, and others for various other tasks. I make mine out of MDF to fit the insert. Use your factory supplied one as a template. Then to use you just crank up the running blade so it slices through the MDF from the under side.

Next is to get yourself a small, fine kerf blade. You don't need to be swinging a 10" blade for most luthier work. I've got a 6" blade that is designed for a battery powered trim saw. It cuts through hardwood like a hot knife if butter, and it's a lot safer to be using in tasks like you are describing.

And don't forget to use feather boards. both to keep the workpiece tight to the fence, and down on the table. Finally, push sticks. If you need a narrower one, then make one.

Pete Howlett
06-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Stop encouraging him for heaven's sake. A table saw is no the right tool for what he wants to do, especially if he has no training in its use! Save me mother :(

Keef
06-12-2010, 02:52 PM
I really wanted to post on how you can set up a table saw for doing fine work on small parts but really alot of it depends on your dexterity and experence . Table saws are famous for grabbing and throwing parts and kicking back so Im going to bow out of this one

Allen
06-12-2010, 10:22 PM
Stop encouraging him for heaven's sake. A table saw is no the right tool for what he wants to do, especially if he has no training in its use! Save me mother :(

Sorry, I was thinking bridge instead of nut and saddle. I'd make them by hand myself.

Pondoro
06-13-2010, 02:58 AM
Nut and saddle, use a back saw.

dave g
06-13-2010, 05:00 AM
I've got some short pieces of ebony that I've been meaning to cut up into nut & saddle stock. Not exactly sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I'll try to take pictures :)

70sSanO
06-13-2010, 05:21 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies!

I did some research on bandsaws and there are a lot of different reviews with varying quality. A lot of problems with bearings wearing out, not cutting straight, plus the biggest factor is convincing my wife to put another 70+ lb tool in the garage.

I found a used 4" Proxxon saw that a lot of hobby people use to cut small wooden planks for model boats and model railroaders use for railroad ties. Supposedly it will cut hardwood up to 1" thick, if it will cut half that I'll be happy.

I think that is the way I'm going to go.

When I cut an ebony saddle on my 10 inch table it was from a block of ebony so that helped a lot. I'm cutting from small pieces this time.

John

Ken W
06-13-2010, 06:18 PM
I taught woodworking/cabinetmaking for years to a wide age range of people from middle schoolers to adults. The rule in my shop was nothing went to the table saw less than 1/2 x 4 x 12. Anything smaller than that goes to the bandsaw. I still have all ten of my fingers and (to the best of my knowledge) so do all of my students...even those who now make their living in a woodshop. It's been a while since I looked at the data regarding injuries in the woodshop (I no longer teach and therefore no longer have to be prepared to defend myself in court) but I would bet that the number one machine involved in serious accidents is still the table saw. Most folks think the danger of a kick back is that the wood will hit you as you stand behind the blade. In fact, even if the board doesn't hit you, it will likely pull your hand back into the blade. My goal has always been to be able to walk into a crowded bar and order five beers with one hand. Well...I have other more important goals, but you know what I mean.

Pete Howlett
06-13-2010, 09:12 PM
At last, an American talking sense.

koalohapaul
06-13-2010, 09:21 PM
We use a Proxxon in the stringing room for small tasks, such as trimming down saddles. While I'm a table saw fanatic and have the injuries to document my journey, small parts are difficult to cut, if you lack experience. As Pete and many others have mentioned, a bandsaw is a safer method for smaller pieces. While you don't get the same linear accuracy as a tablesaw, the risk factor is dramatically lessened. Better to spend some extra time sanding, than in a hospital room. If you use one of those little ones, it should handle what you want to do adequately.

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 01:53 AM
I have never understood the loyalty to the table saw in the US. I still see practice in Fine Woodworking and the copious YouTube videos where this tool is operated sans riving knife and guards, where the arbor is ganged up for dado cutting or multiple cutting as in kerfed linings - practices long ago banned in the UK. If you get a good bandsaw, align the wheels properly and do a little basic setup preparation to it, you will find that you can cut very straight lines and do most cutting operations required in ukulele making. Please be careful - the only significant workshop accidents I have ever had requiring A&E treatment have been from a table saw...

Ken W
06-14-2010, 04:13 AM
Yep....the only thing I would expand on regarding the bandsaw set up is to make sure that you have a good fence and a good sharp blade of the proper width. I'm always amazed when I see folks ripping with a 1/4" blade and no fence and they complain about not getting a straight cut. I think a lot of people don't like to take the time to swap out bandsaw blades and try to make due with one size that they often allow to get too dull before changing. Keep it sharp, change it out, make sure the guides are adjusted properly (and you don't need the BIG $ roller guides...though they are nice), and keep your fingers.

70sSanO
06-14-2010, 04:28 AM
I still have to figure this out. As someone who plays a ukulele, the last thing I want to do is something stupid and not be able to play.

I do agree that there is a point where a Proxxon is not safe. I think the smallest starting size I will go with to rip will be around 1 inch wide wide x 5 or 6 inches long.

I dont mind working a lot of it by hand, I just need some straight edges to begin with.

John

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 04:44 AM
John

If you don't mind me saying... what you want us to do is approve your purchase of a mini table saw. I actually don't think you want advice as such. If that is the case then go ahead, buy it; I even authorize you to do so ;)

I love my bandsaw, don't have a table saw and don't even see the need for one because I get my straight edges with a No15 Millers Falls foreplane with a keenly honed edge. Over to the bandsaw with its 1/4" 6tpi blade which i can use for straight or curved cuts and when I need to do some one off resawing of ribs it still works great giving a straight cut.

The thing that did it for me was James Krenov's first book on cabinet making. He details how to set up a bandsaw. Never looked back. Interesting fact - Joel Eckhaus went to Krenov's woodworking school...

Michael N.
06-14-2010, 07:16 AM
The only power tool that I own is a Bandsaw. I did think of buying a Proxxon for making and cutting up herringbone patterns but given the price I decided against. I'm glad I did. I have a very cheap Chinese Bandsaw that cuts extremely well, that is after I did a few simple modifications as well as a decent set up. Put in a thin kerf 14 TPI blade and it's almost a finish cut.

70sSanO
06-14-2010, 09:19 AM
I think this thread should be closed. I'm not trying to cause any friction.

I am only going to be making a few saddles and probably only a nut or two for a single ukulele. I really wanted a good way to hand cut the material, something like a closed end mitre box with end slots every 1/16" or so to rip small pieces. But I haven't found anyone who makes anything like that. Harbor Freight sells this really junkie mini table saw, so I thought I would ask.

I do appreciate the responses and will take them into consideration; especially the advice on exercising safety.

Thanks!

John

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-14-2010, 09:30 AM
No need to close the thread. I've deleted my comment if it has offended anyone. Mea culpa X 3.

Choose the right tool for the job and learn how to use it properly and you won't get hurt.

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 09:47 AM
john - hold to your views. We are all friends here and no-one is trying to dis you or bait you. Using a mechanical tool is too often the route novices go to without actually considering the more Zen like apporach of hand tools. besides, spending money on an expensive piece of equipment that will rarely be used seems a bit odd to me... and this is the man with 13 routers!

fahrner
06-14-2010, 09:51 AM
John, here's a couple of recommendations for what you want to do.
A small saw that cuts really well on the pull stroke;http://www.amazon.com/Shark-10-2204-Dowel-Dovetail-Detail/dp/B00004TBPU/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544184&sr=1-12
The other item is a small accurate mitre box; StewMac and LMI both have these but they are probably overkill unless your going into production. You can make one... probably the best choice.
Our you could shop/buy one; maybe like this; http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-D3201-Aluminum-Miter/dp/B0000DD5AB/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544520&sr=1-4
Or this; http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Miter-Box/dp/B00065CM3M/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544657&sr=1-14
No friction here.... just the normal rants. Everyone is very safety conscious and believes in the right tool for the job. These beliefs are strong enough that at times, bring out some emotion.
The table saw is a favorite subject and sometimes brings heated discussion..... and some days it just doesn't take much to stir the pot.
Good luck with your project.
Fred

fahrner
06-14-2010, 09:55 AM
john - hold to your views. We are all friends here and no-one is trying to dis you or bait you. Using a mechanical tool is too often the route novices go to without actually considering the more Zen like apporach of hand tools. besides, spending money on an expensive piece of equipment that will rarely be used seems a bit odd to me... and this is the man with 13 routers!

13 routers!?
You should never have told us that Pete.
Thought I was bad but only have 5. Wait till I tell my wife.

SweetWaterBlue
06-14-2010, 10:12 AM
John, here's a couple of recommendations for what you want to do.
A small saw that cuts really well on the pull stroke;http://www.amazon.com/Shark-10-2204-Dowel-Dovetail-Detail/dp/B00004TBPU/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544184&sr=1-12
The other item is a small accurate mitre box; StewMac and LMI both have these but they are probably overkill unless your going into production. You can make one... probably the best choice.
Our you could shop/buy one; maybe like this; http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-D3201-Aluminum-Miter/dp/B0000DD5AB/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544520&sr=1-4
Or this; http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Miter-Box/dp/B00065CM3M/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1276544657&sr=1-14
No friction here.... just the normal rants. Everyone is very safety conscious and believes in the right tool for the job. These beliefs are strong enough that at times, bring out some emotion.
The table saw is a favorite subject and sometimes brings heated discussion..... and some days it just doesn't take much to stir the pot.
Good luck with your project.
Fred

I would add to that a good plane and a shooting board, as Pete was alluding to (he has a good video on it which I cant seem to find at the moment). Before you can use a miter box, you have to get a good straight edge. On a small piece of stock, I can't think of a better way to get a flat edge, and eventually a square one, than a plane. Add a shooting board, and you don't really even need the miter box. I would probably do a rough rip cut with a pull saw (or back saw) and then use the plane or miter box and shooting board to get me the rest of the way.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-14-2010, 10:25 AM
13 routers!?
You should never have told us that Pete.
Thought I was bad but only have 5. Wait till I tell my wife.

Jim Olsen, of Olsen Guitars, has 60 routers. His router table has six routers mounted in it.

fahrner
06-14-2010, 10:36 AM
I would add to that a good plane and a shooting board, as Pete was alluding to (he has a good video on it which I cant seem to find at the moment). Before you can use a miter box, you have to get a good straight edge. On a small piece of stock, I can't think of a better way to get a flat edge, and eventually a square one, than a plane. Add a shooting board, and you don't really even need the miter box.
That's certainly true to a point...... if your well skilled with a hand saw you don't need the miter box.
When making critical small parts, I still like to use a miter box to keep everything lined up. A block of wood clamped square to the work piece to help guide the saw will also do the job.
I assumed John. you're already starting with a flat/square edge.

fahrner
06-14-2010, 10:40 AM
Jim Olsen, of Olsen Guitars, has 60 routers. His router table has six routers mounted in it.

What did little Jimmy Olsen use to say? Holy smokes Superman!
Not the same Olsen.
Six routers on one table? Trying to understand how that would work.

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 10:44 AM
On my overhead router come rocket ship I am going to have a head above and one below, mega 2.5hp jobbies... I'll never catch up with Jim Olson. BTW Chuck, how does he do that headstock with the binding on the back. Clever but unnecessary and weird looking.

fahrner
06-14-2010, 01:13 PM
Jim Olsen, of Olsen Guitars, has 60 routers. His router table has six routers mounted in it.
Chuck, just wanted to say thanks for the Olson reference. Wow! Had not seen his web page. Now I understand. A router for every setup is quite the luxury not to mention Fadal.
Funny though. Didn't see a spoke shave, a draw knife or even a humble block plane.
Certainly a different approach.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-14-2010, 01:32 PM
Jim would rather buy a new router than change a router bit. He builds 50 to 60 guitars a year and his work shop is the epitome of a one one man production shop. (He does have one apprentice who does the grunt work, like scraping bindings.) The biggest tip I've gotten from him is to set aside production days (or weeks) where you just make parts, necks, bridges, fret boards, bracings, etc; all the parts you need for 6 months worth of production. It makes the building process flow so much better when you can simply grab the parts you need rather than to stop, tool up, and make one of anything.

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 09:04 PM
That is good advice. I'm moving shop soon having packed 6 months work into 3 so I should have the time to try that one chuck. Have you seen Peter Lieberman's post - 300 ukes in production plus 27 custom jobs. Is he back with a small workforce at Maui Music or is he doing this all himself? You can reply if you are reading this Pete :)