Saturday, July 26, 2014

Make a Wood Screw Tap

A wood screw tap is handy when you have to install screws in hard wood or when the pilot hole in not quite right. The tap can be used to make internal threads making it easy to install the screws.

I use it for some projects when I have to repeatedly  tighten and loosen a piece, it makes things easy.

A piece of hardwood will split if it is not predrilled.
 Here is a sample, one side was drilled and tapped and the other side I just turned in  a screw and it split right away. The split side will have no strength at all.

To start I used a 3/16" drill bit for the pilot hole for a #14 x 3 1/2" wood screw.
 After a pilot hole is drilled I will make the screw tap.

To  make the tap I just grind two sides of the screw on my sander giving the screw some teeth ready for cutting.

The screw should be held with  pliers and supported on the base.

Here is the screw tap and a regular screw in some hardwood.
The piece of wood is oak hardwood 2x4  and when the tap is used it creates threads and the 3 1/2" screws  turns in  really  nice even by hand.

Here is another piece I tried in hardwood with shorter screws.  First I drilled a pilot hole, ground down a tap and turned in a screw.

I tried the tap on some softwood but it was not necessary although a pilot hole is always important so the wood does not split.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Computer Cable Lock and Label

 I have too many computer cables and some get lost or misplaced,  so I decided to make some  wooden labels for them. I will make them is such a way so I can lock them. I will take the cables I use  most and lock them on my desk or anywhere I need too.

 To start I cut some 17 inch long oak into strips using my ripping jig.
They are cut at 4.17 mm.
 On my miter sled I will cut them to length... 2 1/2 inch blanks.
 A 1/2  inch  Forstner bit is used to make the hole for the lock cable.
I use my horizontal drill for the holes for the cables. Two blanks are stacked and clamped ready for drilling. An 11/64 inch drill bit is used and the cable slides free in the hole.

They are now glued and clamped and set aside. Later I light sand, chamfer the hole and round the corners on a small belt sander all the while watching not to touch the cable.
 If ever I need to take them apart they can be placed in the vice and tapped  carefully with a screw driver and pried apart. I tried one and there was no problem, although the glue was quite strong.

See also:                                                                                                  

         Make a Mini Lathe                                                Table saw jig for edge banding and ripping

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Angled Spline Jig and Making Boxes

I wanted to make a spline-cutting jig, here is my version of the jig. It can cut 90° and 45°angled splines. The jig is simple and can be made with a piece of 3/4" plywood, 18"x 11" a piece of 2x4 and a hardwood runner for the t-slot. A stop block was added for precise repeatable cuts.

                               I used a piece of oak for the runner and attached it to the bed of
                               the jig making  sure everything was aligned.

A 2x4 was marked at 45° and my saw blade at the same angle. I cut the length giving me a cut similar to a v-block.

                              After the block was cut I screwed it to the base and ran it through
                              the saw at 90° and 45°.

I did not know what kind of stop block to use so I made a u-shaped block that can slide on the block and be clamped to different placements with a c-clamp.

I made a two simple boxes with 3/8" birch plywood. Four pieces are cut on the table saw and glued together. Painters tape is used to keep the pieces together and for I'm ready to cut some splines.



With some measurements and use of the stop block the cuts were easily made.  I then inserted the splines with wood glue. After they dried I rough trimmed them with the band saw and finally put them on the belt sander and got a clean looking finish.


They now sit proudly  on my bench holding my screws. I will make some more and
I may try other angles and and come up with other designs!

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