Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Circular Saw Told Me Lies

 Today and yesterday we have been living in a snowglobe.
 This morning we woke to 5 degrees out.

 That's 5 degrees Fahrenheit, oh yes it is!
So I've been building a table for David's weight room gear.  It's loosely based on this plan, belonging to Ana White, which is a bit shorter and a bit simpler than what I intend.  When I saw her plans, I thought,

Hey, that's a pretty solid-looking support structure!  I bet I could make that a bit taller and WAY MORE COMPLICATED...and it would be perfect!

So that's what I proceeded to do.

ALSO.  In the instructions, right there at the beginning, Ana says you need a compound miter saw.  A what? O-a-one o'these:

However, being the efficient skimmer that I am, I always skip that section since it tells me I need a pencil, measuring tape, safety gear, etc, etc, etc, boring.  Besides, my trusty circular saw does this awesome head-tilt thing where you can do a bevel cut to any angle up to 30 degrees!  Who needs to go spending $500 on a new tool when the whole point is to be frugal?!

***This is not intended to be a tutorial.  I won't be explaining the following process in-depth...just the mistakes.  I may post a full plan and step-by-step at a later date, but for sure not right now. 
Ok, so the first thing you want to do is cut the legs.

 Check.  I'm not real sure how this whole angle-cutting-thing is going to go, so I just cut the full length of what I know I'll need (long point to long point).  Same for the horizontal leg supports.  Also, I know it says screwy numbers for the supports, but I just kinda rounded.  As long as they're all cut the same, it doesn't really matter.

 Then I ganged up the four supports at their mid-points, set the depth on my circular saw to 1 1/2", and did multiple passes through a 3 1/2" space to get my channel (called a dado, if you're a fancy woodworker).  Then you just insert a chisel and knock out those little squares you just made with all those passes.
 Pine is super easy to do this with...it tends to break pretty flat to what you cut.  Whatever's left can be removed by chipping at it with the chisel.

Make sure that dado will fit a 2x4...

Now...tilt the saw's head to 10 degrees, slice off the ends of all the legs and supports, and pre-drill all the pocket holes!
 Check, check, and check!  Wew, those pocket holes are kinda time-consuming when you're having to clamp each one (we've only got the Mini Kreg Jig kit).

Now attach the legs, painstakingly, to the apron pieces with countersunk screws from the top.  They don't have to be perfect, but they should be as close as possible.
 Isn't that nice?  They already stand on their own!
 Erm...does that look funny to you?  Let's check the measurements.

Dave...my legs are supposed to stand 20" apart on the floor, but they're measuring only...15" on one and 18" on the other.  How could I be a whole 5" off??  And not even consistently??!!!

How, indeed?  The short lateral supports...
...would only squeeze into a position 2" below where the longer one was supposed to fit, and the longer one...
 ...was never gonna fit between those legs period.

I guess I'm going to have to cut these supports down smaller...

And so I proactively filled all the pocket holes I'd just made with wooden plugs and wood glue.
 And then we did a puzzle.

I told Dave I would recut the angles tomorrow.  Or maybe I'd go buy a compound miter saw tomorrow, and then recut the angles.  Or I could just make do with what I had and recut the angles with the circular saw.  For some reason, the lady in the puzzle is holding a bleeding rose.
 By the time I went to bed, I still wasn't sure about the compound miter saw.  Did we really need it?  I really wanted it.  We went to bed.

In the morning, this
is what we ended up doing.  It is a sliding 10" single bevel compound miter saw.  It was 200 bucks.  I also bought more 2x4s.

And would you look at that!
On the right, we have the circular saw's "10 degree" legs.  On the left, we have the new miter saw's 10 degree legs, measuring a precise 20" apart.  Aw, man...I shouldn't have filled in all the pocket holes on the horizontal supports.

Oh circular saw!  You lied to me!  10 degrees?  10 degrees??? That isn't even 8 degrees!  I mean, I could have handled it if you'd just told me you couldn't do it...but to lie and say that you could!  That I didn't need a miter saw!  To waste my precious time! <sob> And now I have to start all over again!

But thankfully, compound miter saws are really easy to use, and this one, with its laser guide, is really really easy to use.  Which is good...because I actually ended up re-cutting those lateral supports 3 times.  And did I re-cut the mid-section dado and re-drill the pocket holes each of those times?  Please.  Of course I did.  It took an entire day.
This is the table right now.  The legs are assembled, the top two stretchers are mounted, and the two shelf stops are in place.  The hole for the iron pipe is ready to go (a whole 'nother story that I have no photos for, but y'all, who knew Dremels could be hilarious?).  The two shelves are cut and pocket holes drilled, but I can't position them on my own...and also I've run into a poor-planning rut.  I apparently planned for the back of the first shelf to hang suspended in space, because I can't see any physically possible way to do it.

Why does everything have to be so difficult??


  1. It’s great. I like wood. The information good for me. I like décor my home by wood. I have problem with cutting board 45 and 90 degree. Do you sharing tips? I want to décor crib for my daughter next week

  2. Thanks for your sharing. I am going to buy miter saw cut metal and wood. I wonder two brand Hitachi with Dewalt from this site. You have many experience, give me your advice


Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC