Okay, this is Doug, and like you I have been enjoying reading the posts about Joel’s trip to North Carolina (with a lot of jealousy!). But I thought I would jump in here and talk briefly about my seminar last Thursday on "5 of My Favorite Shop-Built Jigs."
I hope that those of you who were there got the message that jigs don’t have to be real fancy with lots of "bells and whistles" to do the job for you. Each of the jigs I showed could be built in an afternoon (okay, some may stretch into the evening). And they will all make your woodworking more accurate and safer. Actually, over the long weekend I was using my panel/cut-off sled in my own shop to cut some very heavy 3/4" melamine for some cabinets. Some of the pieces were 24" wide and almost 6 feet long and I was working by myself! I had to balance one end on a board that I clamped to the top of my adjacent table saw and had the other end on my sled. There is no way I could have cut that big of a piece alone with just the miter gauge on my table saw. It was a piece of cake with the sled. I just pushed it across the blade and the cut was a perfect 90 degrees.
The one thing that was a bit surprising at last Thursday’s seminar was when I asked how many of you had built or bought a large table and fence for your drill press. Only a few raised their hands. As I explained, personally I think this is one of the most valuable things I have ever built for my shop. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make it so you can adjust the fence fairly easily without having to clamp the fence directly to the little metal table on your drill press (that’s always a pain!). As I said in the seminar, "Building my first drill press table with an adjustable fence a little over 20 years ago improved my woodworking skills more than just about anything else. Give it a try."
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for attending the seminars this year and those of you who took the time to fill out the survey about the seminars last Thursday. The results were very positive and I have forwarded them onto the presenters and will try to incorporate the kind of seminars you enjoy the most in the 2006-2007 seminar season.
I was also extremely surprised and pleased to see from the survey how many of you read many or all of the articles in the handouts and save them. And how many of you have visited this web site and downloaded articles off it. (I wish more of you would post your comments, ideas, and photos here though!)
Well, I hope you have a good summer. As promised, I will try to write up the story and present the photos on how I built that little bent lamination table I brought to the seminar. Keep checking here for that (Once I get out of my shop long enough to write it!)
Back to you, Joel!