Are we ready?
The sun is shining, so its time to get busy. Our first step this morning is dealing with the presents left by Mother Nature yesterday. Copious quantities of left over water always finds its way into every possible pocket in the covers on my machines.
First step in today's build is to carefully dump the water, dry the tarp, and get everything set up to work.
I'm sure that somewhere, someone, has the perfect router bit to make a sloped sided box at a price far beyond my ability to even dream of owning. Therefore, when the time comes, I'll be cutting the slopping sides at the table saw. Today I discovered that my saw will not make a cut deep enough to slope a 4 inch side. So its back to the drawing board and some quick math. We need to lower the sides by an inch, and even at that there may be some cutting by hand to get the full effect.
I set my fence to remove 1/2" and proceeded to rip away a little from both the top and bottom of each side piece.
Notice how thin the cut off of the already rabbited bottom edge is. This cut could never have been made using the stock Craftsman fence that was issued with my saw. However, the Delta T2 fence system makes this kind of cut as simple and safe as any other cut made on a table saw. If you own an older Craftsman and are looking to improve its performance, putting a T2 fence on it is the best money you will ever spend.
After nearly destroying the project when I lost my balance on the first day, I decided to adapt my technique at the router table to match my now limited abilities at standing up-right and holding onto stuff. This build is as much of a learning experience for me as it is for others...
I made an aux fence from 1/4 hard board and clamped it to the router table fence. Now instead of a wide opening at the bit, the space is a mere 1 inch wide. I also swapped over to a 3/4" straight bit instead of the 1/2" bit that I used the first time. This new arrangement makes it possible to lay the work pieces flat on the table rather than running them on their edge creating a much more stable arrangement that even I feel safer working with.
So, once again, we measure and mark the location of our rabbit, and using the marks as a guide, we adjust the bit to about half of the needed cut. Connect the shop vac to the dust collection port on the fence and prepare to route our pieces.
Run each piece through once, then reset the bit to finish the cut and run each piece through a second time to get our final rabbit.
Repeat the process for the opposite edge, adjusting the depth of cut for the difference in the top and bottom rabbits, and the finished piece is sheer perfection...
(See, I told you I'd fix that mistake from the first day
Please note, the ear protectors are not holding the aux. fence, they are being shown to remind everyone to always wear ear and eye protection when using machines. I'd show you the safety glasses, but then I could not see to take the pictures...
Everyone has heard the rule, make multiple passes at the router table. Has anyone ever showed you why?
Here is a piece of scrap set up to make a full rabbit cut in a single pass.
And here is what happened while attempting to make the cut..
Part of the way through, the work piece refused to move and a large piece chipped off, leaving the mangled mess you see above. I still haven't found the clip that flew off the work piece. Hopefully its inside the shop vac. If not I'll find it in the sweepings at clean up.
At this point I took a break, went inside to get out of the heat, poured myself a cup of coffee and relaxed.