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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm making a tabletop using three different hardwoods (walnut-oak and umbua[sp?]). I'm trying to create a piece that employs the use of rhombus-shaped pieces to create the feeling of being three dimensional when it is only two.

I am using a miter-saw for the angled cuts and the tablesaw for the straight ones but this hasn't been real dependable. I'm getting about fifty percent failure so stored the jig in my fired-up Franklin and am looking for a better idea.

Does anyone have an ideas for a dependable jig that will produce 1-2" rhombus shaped pieces? The table will be 8'x2' so this means an awful lot of angles and each incorrect angle, even if less than a degree, throws the whole mess off and you might not see it for several sections before it becomes apparent.

Any ideas?

Tony

attached are a photo of the rhombus and a small pic of what I'm trying to achieve
 

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Since the pieces are all the same width, and all have the same angle, I'd be mass producing them by ripping close to finished width on the table saw. Then running those strips on edge through my planer for final width. Then put a good 80 tooth blade on a compound miter saw before rigging a stop block and sacrificial fence to cut the angled individual pieces all to the same length at the same time.

Wood will expand and contract though, so assemble quickly after cutting them out. What fits today may not fit when it rains tomorrow.
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks

Thanks for the 4-D angle on it. I'm doing pretty much what you describe here. I have a small sled to keep fingers away from the blade and I've been shimming the fixture with a piece of tape to fine-tune the cut. Just the thickness of plastic tape will alter the end result enough to make a fair difference. The daily thickness of the wood varies some (mostly the oak). I just did a coffee table and liked the results so will epoxy it as I go, few pieces at a time, and then do a final layering for finishing.

The small pieces can cause a lot of trouble on a table saw when they occasionally bind up but if I keep it all clean and use a small sled they go through nicely. I was hoping someone would have come up with a spiffy rhombus jig. I've been looking but the answers are so far all along the guidelines of what out stated.

This is a simple shape but almost impossible to get all four sides exactly the same. It's amazing how the mistakes can quickly multiply. I've always followed the idea of "one mistake can be covered up but the second one puts in inn the rework bin. The moisture in Oregon is at this time of year is always fluctuating.

Thanks-
Tony
 

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I would make each rhombus by taking a long piece of stock (maybe 4' long) and ripping the bevel cuts on the table saw. This would give you the rhomboidal cross section along the length of the piece. I would then take multiple pieces of different wood species and glue them together which creates a hexagon that is 4' long. You can then take these hexagons and cross cut them to whatever thickness you need for your table. Now you are gluing together hexagons rather than rhombuses.
 

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Scotty D
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I would make each rhombus by taking a long piece of stock (maybe 4' long) and ripping the bevel cuts on the table saw. This would give you the rhomboidal cross section along the length of the piece. I would then take multiple pieces of different wood species and glue them together which creates a hexagon that is 4' long. You can then take these hexagons and cross cut them to whatever thickness you need for your table. Now you are gluing together hexagons rather than rhombuses.

That is a good suggestion, but I don't think it would work for this situation because of the grain orientation needed to give the 3D effect. :smile:
 

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I would make each rhombus by taking a long piece of stock (maybe 4' long) and ripping the bevel cuts on the table saw. This would give you the rhomboidal cross section along the length of the piece. I would then take multiple pieces of different wood species and glue them together which creates a hexagon that is 4' long. You can then take these hexagons and cross cut them to whatever thickness you need for your table. Now you are gluing together hexagons rather than rhombuses.

Here are two examples of this process on LumberJocks:

http://lumberjocks.com/degoose/blog/10460

http://lumberjocks.com/RetiredCoastie/blog/27568

The second one is a different design, but with the same 3D effect
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wow!

Good answers and great suggestions. I will report back tomorrow after perusing this and trying some things.

TonyM
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I tried the recommendations early this AM and got good results...but I still dislike using power tools for this cut. I finally made myself a makeshift miter-box with the right width and angle and then placed a stop where it needed to be and got out one of those small thin-kerf Japanese-made saws that can cut a Buick Roadmaster in half without getting warm. It finally "felt" comfortable and the fit is nice, just as good as with the tablesaw work.

The older I get the more I realize how much closer you can get to the work if you use as many hand-tools as possible.

TonyM
 

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If you go to woodsmith.com and look up Quilt Top Box. They show you how to cut pieces that are shaped like what you want. They tell you how to make the jigs and a shooting board to fine tune your pieces with a hand plane.
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
addendum

Here are two examples of this process on LumberJocks:

http://lumberjocks.com/degoose/blog/10460

http://lumberjocks.com/RetiredCoastie/blog/27568

The second one is a different design, but with the same 3D effect
__________________
- Tim
These both turned out to be very helpful as was the suggestion to get one of the magnetic blade angle digital meters. Man is that nice!. I have been messing with it for the last few days. The improvement in the results are obvious. I will post a few pics of the efforts in a day or two.
I'm tired.

Once I verified the blade angle gauge measurement I did doing some softwood mock-ups to get the dynamics of the fixtures down. The gauge really helped because then I could focus on getting a true cut without chipping out. Using the clamping device shown was well worth the couple hours to make it. I haven't built the frame-press yet but I have the hardware set aside. I played with some different patterns and color combinations and as I tinkered I kept moving up the hardness scale beginning with scrap cedar-oak-walnut and ending with a hard maple, a dark ash and padauk. I believe a few of the practice ones are usable but not on the shelf/table in my mind and focus.

Once I got into the denser woods the mating edges were real sharp and the glueless layouts became consistent and mirror image of one another. It's going to look nice.

As I cut the pieces I made sure each piece started with a pre-determined shape so the strip of scrap can be used for a later project. I love the fact that from the scrap I can create mozaics of smaller detail to inlay if desired. I'll get my camera out there tomorrow.

Thanks for the great advice and help.

TonyM
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good tool...

I got one of these for Christmas and it is well worth the $$$. If you use it correctly this is right on the money. I rarely run a mock-up test anymore to determine angle correctness.

Thanks for the help folks. This was a big one.
TonyM
 

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I bought one of these early and it has made a huge difference in my woodworking. I use it on practically every machine for setup.
 
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