California can't seem to make up its mind whether to stretch summer into the calendar or to begin fall. Our annual Santa Ana winds blew countless wildfires all over Southern California and continue to leave extremely poor air quality throughout the Los Angeles area. The fires are largely under control now, and nights are growing longer. Like many woodworkers, I'm finding that the call of the shop grows more compelling with cooler weather and the approaching holidays.
A great deal of our time at Micro Fence is spent trying to navigate internet marketing and learning how to grow our efforts on a restricted advertising budget. (Word-of-mouth is still our strongest suit.) One idea was to seek out woodworking forums/clubs/associations who might want to inform their membership of our discount opportunities (like the ones you receive as a subscriber). If you are aware of such a group, please let us know.
What's New at Micro Fence
The Redesigned Ellipse Jig
We're very close to the completion of our newly redesigned Ellipse Jig. Previously offered with a phenolic axes plate, this greatly improved iteration features a flat aluminum tooling plate to which various lengths of T-slot tracks are attached. Tracks in 6",12", 24" and 36" lengths and Guide Shafts in 12", 24" and 36" lengths will be available to create a wide range of elliptical shapes. CNC-milled center-lines are marked for both the T-Slot tracks and the axes plate itself, adding versatility to layout and design capability of the jig.
Each kit includes an alignment tool for setting up butter-smooth slide travel (above left). Hold-down options include screws, two-sided tape, and working up-side down. Of course, there's always the option to cut a perfect template and make copies with a flush-trim bearing guide bit.
A vacuum port accessory and gasket approach will allow scar-free hold-down with our Vacuum Center Assembly or your own vacuum pump equipment (above right).
We're now accepting pre-production orders if you'd like to ensure you'll get one of the first run units, which should be available sometime in December. Give Rich a call for details 1-800-480-6427
Tips & Techniques: Smoothest Plunge Travel
For Plunge Base Owners
If your outer plunge mechanism is feeling sticky or resistant, nine times out of ten it's due to dust or resin build-up on the posts or inside the bronze bushings. Our Maintenance Kit offers the solution by providing a small set of snap-ring pliers for removing the motor carriage. Once removed, the posts themselves can be wiped down and cleaned with our Dynaglide, and the inside of the bronze bushings can be swabbed out with wool daubers and DynaGlide to remove dirt and grime and restore the base's silky smooth action. The Maintenance Kit can be found in our Accessories/Plunge Base pages, along with detailed instructions for cleaning your device.
Our Free Drawing will be held on December 1, and one lucky subscriber will win our Original Micro Fence Circle Jig Complete and Stabilizer Bar(a $229 value). If you've received this email, you are already entered to win.
Project Spotlight: Elliptical Display Case
One of Rich's commissions a few years back was to build walnut-framed display cases into two french doors. The doors provided access to a storage space behind a false wall that held a large flat-screen television in the client's living room. The cases were half elliptical cylinders lined with African anigre veneer, with walnut doors and face frames and fitted with top-lighted glass shelving for art display..
Construction began with building both male and female forms for the glue-up of the half cylinder (using the Micro Fence Ellipse Jig) and leaving a 5/8" diameter difference between the inside and outside forms (for more details see richardwedler.com). The curvature was created on the male form with five layers of 1/8" bending poplar. The curved area was glued in successive layers with contact cement, and the outer most edges were clamped with yellow aliphatic resin.
Once set, the anigre veneer was applied to the interior surface using the same form in conjunction with the female form. The resulting half cylinder was fitted into the french door frame and clear-finished. Dimmable low-voltage lighting provided ambiance control for the living room.
Current Project: End Panels
The current project in my shop (not shown in this shop picture above) is a Greene & Greene-inspired side-board of cherry and redwood burl, accented with ebony details. I've just finished milling the end panel components and look forward to the major casework. The design includes sliding doors with some exquisite redwood burl panels. More photos will be forth-coming in future emails as the project evolves.