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Gold Coast. OZ
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been helping a lady at our woodclub who has an interest in 1/12 scale georgian dolls houses and associated furniture.

My query is that after seeing Buggyman and Ken's work here it is obvious I have to have a complete rethink on how I do things. their hummer, and coach build were enlighting and they seemed to manage that using ordinary tools one might expect to find in any well equiped workshop.

However, with 1/12 scale antique furniture the subject becomes even smaller which has told me the smaller the work the greater the increase in accuracy.

Needing small pieces of wood, as small as, 1/2 inch by 1 inch with all sides square and parralel is not an easy task.

can somebody point me in the direction of where to look for more information. I have found the steel set up blocks i got from Woodcraft a few years ago have been brilliant as a guide when gluing up.

But it is important to have square stock, any suggestions, as putting through table saw is not a good idea and cutting oversize and sanding, which is what I am doing now is very time consuming and still not quite accurate enough for me at the moment.


Pete
 

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Pete, a small chute board and block plane may be just what you need. I use it all the time when making small boxes or other small pieces that need to be squared.
 

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Old School
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If you have a flat face on your lumber, you can make a pass on the table saw with a straightedge. That will give you a 90° edge to the face.

I've done scale model buildings in different scales, and done them in wood and Plexiglas. You can cut very small pieces on a table saw. Make yourself a sled made to hold small pieces, and away from the fence. You can also use a band saw, scroll saw, or a Dremel saw.

Make yourself a chart which shows the conversion from inches into scale sizes in inches.






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Really underground garage
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O.K.,I'm thoroughly confused now........

It seems EVERY time I mention grinding or machining wood to even crude(by some stds) go-no-go dimension it gets shot down asap.

So,very best of luck with your thread.You do need to state what tolerances you're working to.Going out on a limb here....but for the sake of positivity.....Hitting .005 is easy and rediculously FAST on any of our TS's.Can get that a little tighter if you hold your tongue just right.

The bandsaws are a little easier to hit .001's.Both of the above however "usually" isn't a perfect tooling finish.Although the TS gets very close.With aging eyesite,unless we use real good lite source its hard to tell whether an egde has been TS'd or run across jointers....TS blade technology is that good.

Next up is the daddy of precision....and thats "grinding"(sanding to some).You can grind wood exactly like you grind any other material.And just like,let's say steel.....grinding is NOT limited to some POS bench grinder.Thats absurd.So grinding wood is no different.Heck profile ginding(sanding)has been used on moulding for decades.

You need precision in your measuring....and this really should be your first purchase.Let's say you buy some precision ground Maple from somebody....how you gonna know?Even though dial indicators are really "low budget"(was going to say trailer trash).....they do have some applications so snag a nice one of those.A simple,nice 0-1 mic is going to do you more good in the accuracy dept because you have a better feel.In a lot of cases the measure isn't so much whether it's this particular size......it's how consistant your stock is over a run.This is the reason we still use spring leg calipers.And why back in the 18th cent they weren't giving up squat for accuracy.A fact that some don't seem to realize.Combine them with a known gage and they can rival almost anything out there.

All the above is fine and good.....you need a thorough understanding of wood and it's movements.Another subject that folks get a little confused with,and start spouting off nonsense about WRT hitting dimensions.Wood is VERY predictable....it'l react almost the same way everytime if the conditions are the sam.But you have to be able to measure it first.Just taking a stance that...."no,you can't do it"...is not verifiable.

Like I said,good luck in your quest.....and yes,there are plenty of tools/equip(some you already have)that can be easily modified to hit almost any number you want.
 
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Gold Coast. OZ
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies although I think I may not have explained myself very well.

I am looking for real tight tolerances. The miniature furniture is only about three inches by four inches with over thirty parts making it up.

I have to machine and dimension the wood myself, so have to get down to about 1/8 of an inch thick or the thinnest I can get it. How would you get down to this side on a thicknesser, planer.

Pete
 

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Old School
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You could hot glue, or use contact cement to a thicker board and make passes that way. For small sized pieces, you can cut them on the table saw, or with a band saw. If you lay down a sheet of sandpaper, you can run the small stuff over it to rid any rough sides.

Some hobby stores sell thin wood pieces.





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"real tight" might mean one thing to C-man(and saying that with respect)....and then be "real loose" to me.

You need hard numbers.......don't answer this for my sake.You need to decide what your tolerances are first,then you make an educated assesment of what equip you have available.

Belt grinding(big,straight belt sanders,edge sanders)is about the only way to safely work with real thin pcs.Any cutting operations(TS,BS) it jsut gets too dangerous.

But,for the sake of discussion......with some nice fixturing(aluminum plate) to build sleds....heck we can even include vacumn chuck/holdowns on these....right much CAN be done with a TS.Though a BS would be better.It boils down to how much blade you're exposing "to the cut".

Same fixturing,but comparing a TS to a BS.........the TS at say a 1/2" blade height has how much blade exposed to "the cut"?Compare that to the BS....This is going to kill your accuracy if it isn't minimised.BS is going to win this contest just about every time.

But,that dosen't mean the TS can't be a MAJOR asset in the process.You have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the individual machine.Forget the wood issues at this point.....that comes after you understand the process development.

Some folks don't like "stories"...stop reading now.How many layers of skin do you have on your finger tips?It's seven I believe.If I said I wanted you to peal off 3 of those layers and your choice of equipment is(this is just a story,don't anyone get their panties in a wad)...A TS,heck make it a $15K nice German model.Next choice is a really nice BS...brand new blade of your choice.Or an edge sander?Think about the tolerances here......You can hold your finger against a belt grinder and watch the layers peel away one by one....and stop,at any particular layer.Theres not one nickles worth of difference in this level of precision when considering "grinding" wood.

BUT,you may not "need" to be grinding to these kinds of tolerances.....You may be PERFECTLY happy with an 8" TS setup?This is why the tolerance numbers come first.
 
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Gold Coast. OZ
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. I am a bit thick at the moment, a lot going on and having some difficulty thinking straight and putting down a clear picture of what I need.

Although, I think you guys have most likely answered my query. Remember, I am in OZ and sometimes we might have a slight difference in the way we do things here and our tool and machine selection might slightly differ.

I like the idea of a small sled,the skin off the fingers does not appeal to me as I do not like blood, especially my own.

I am thinking wood selection is also critical for these small items, the closer and tighter the grain the better. I can get hold of some poplar, but the Poplar we have here appears to be a bit softer than the small sample that Buggyman sent me.

So, I think I might have to do some research on suitable wood. Am I on the right track and does wood selection have an important part to play the smaller the work being contemplated reduces to miniature sizes.

Pete
 

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Have you ever planted flowers with an excavator? Me either. Sounds like you need to get it pretty small, then hand craft it from there. I can get strips down pretty thin with my table saw, on a pretty consistent basis, but cutting the rest of it to width would be tricky.
 

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Thin woods:
1. In the city, I can buy rosewood and mahogany junk cutoffs, a by product of the guitar-building industry. They vary but the rosewood is usually (planed lovely-smooth) 1/8" and the mahog varies from 1/16" to 3/16". Interesting glue-ups as some of my wood carving tool handles.
2. In a wood store, they may have rolls of (real) wood veneer strips that you could glue along the raw edges of 18mm ply and so forth. That stuff is both very thin and very even in thickness.
3. Other than those, Pete, you're in for some really fiddly sanding in any case. Cut & sand 20 cm and select the best part for the model?
 

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Old School
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I gave you a tip in post #3...Make yourself a chart which shows the conversion from inches into scale sizes in inches.

Here's what you will find in doing models. All your parts will be a lot of different sizes. So, to make it easy to know what to cut your pieces, is you use the size of the real size, and use the chart I mentioned to know what size it converts to in inches (the scale size).

Your saws should have ZCI's. You'll wind up having a lot of scrap pieces to cut sections off of. If you don't, start with stock that can be cut that way. For the individual sizes of the pieces, take a larger board and cut off the edge to get one of the thicknesses, and then the other dimension. If they are cut a bit heavy, they can be sanded to dimension on a sheet of sandpaper secured to a flat surface. It's a lot of hand work, but that's what model making is.






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