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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #1441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I'm not blaming you. Just don't ask me why one of the legs in my benchwork has 5 holes for 2 screws.
    Thank you so very much for that!
    I redid the correct leg. (I hope.) And realized that when I assembled and painted them several weeks ago, my standards were not up to what I'm now demanding of myself for the top. All three leg assemblies probably need paint touched up. And of course, the reworked one needs paint on areas previously hidden but now exposed. I already applied wood filler to the screw holes left by the rework, including those from the temporary piece I put on to maintain the alignment while pulling off what needed to be moved.

    My thought processes on this have been interesting.
    This morning I took some measurements and made a sketch. Showing the two opposite leg assemblies in either of two arrangements. (The south leg is cast in stone.)
    One arrangement, the spaces between the S, middle, and N legs were going to be three and five feet, respectively, give or take. The other way, five and three feet, respectively, give or take. Ok, maybe six inches off those but still. So I resolved to sleep on it. The issue was entirely aesthetic, I had no concerns whatsoever about structural integrity.
    Early this afternoon I realized I was going to see that awkward spacing every single time I drove my wife's car into the garage. As soon as I realized that, NOTHING ON EARTH was going to prevent me changing it.
    Again, it would have been structurally fine. But I was going to see it, and regret it, forever.
    It took less than an hour to do the basic fix. Painting and such will be a little more.

    This has maybe set the project back by a few days. But there's no deadline. It'll just keep me busy a little longer.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #1442
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    I installed the flooring for my bedroom over a few days, finishing it this morning. I think most people would have done it in a day. I chose to cut the pieces of laminate in the garage, so the stairs were used a lot. I have obtained the casing for all the upstairs doors (21-14ft pieces), and am waiting for the window casing to arrive, and will buy the baseboard last. Doing this room first let me use up of a lot of boxes of laminate in short order. It's crowded in my garage! Today I tore out the carpet from the upstairs hall and will get to that next. I'm still dreading completing the stairs.

    I haven't yet ordered the bricks for the walkway. I could not get a perfect colour match for the ones I installed on the other side of the house many years ago, so I was waiting for some samples to arrive to see what would work best. In the meantime I'd done my calculations and excavation based on the size of the previous bricks. They were called "4x8", but in reality are 4.4x8.8 inches. The retailer referred to the currently available ones as 4x8 too. But when the samples arrived I set them on the old sidewalk and immediately noticed that they are considerably smaller. They're actually 10x20 cm, so they cover 20% less area. I recalculated how I might lay them, the necessary curve radii, new surface widths, etc. And the project goes from having a surplus of bricks if I order four pallets to a shortage. No wonder the price per brick hadn't gone up as much as I'd expected!

    And over the weekend my daughter planted the front flower bed with annuals. We drove to my favorite greenhouse to get them, and I saw that they had one apple tree left. I'd been thinking about putting one in the back yard. So I bought it, and then realized that the row of tatty aspen along the back property line, which is nevertheless seriously competing with my lawn, would also make it difficult for this tree. So out came the chainsaw for the first time in a decade. A shot of ether into the carb got it started. Felling and bucking those trees was a bit of work, but the real work was in the cleanup. That was finished yesterday. Beer never tasted so good.

  3. #1443
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ... Again, it would have been structurally fine. But I was going to see it, and regret it, forever.
    It took less than an hour to do the basic fix.
    Yep, a few minutes of work now and you saved yourself ages of regret later.

  4. #1444
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    I installed the flooring for my bedroom over a few days, finishing it this morning. I think most people would have done it in a day. I chose to cut the pieces of laminate in the garage, so the stairs were used a lot. I have obtained the casing for all the upstairs doors (21-14ft pieces), and am waiting for the window casing to arrive, and will buy the baseboard last. Doing this room first let me use up of a lot of boxes of laminate in short order. It's crowded in my garage! Today I tore out the carpet from the upstairs hall and will get to that next. I'm still dreading completing the stairs.

    I haven't yet ordered the bricks for the walkway. I could not get a perfect colour match for the ones I installed on the other side of the house many years ago, so I was waiting for some samples to arrive to see what would work best. In the meantime I'd done my calculations and excavation based on the size of the previous bricks. They were called "4x8", but in reality are 4.4x8.8 inches. The retailer referred to the currently available ones as 4x8 too. But when the samples arrived I set them on the old sidewalk and immediately noticed that they are considerably smaller. They're actually 10x20 cm, so they cover 20% less area. I recalculated how I might lay them, the necessary curve radii, new surface widths, etc. And the project goes from having a surplus of bricks if I order four pallets to a shortage. No wonder the price per brick hadn't gone up as much as I'd expected!

    And over the weekend my daughter planted the front flower bed with annuals. We drove to my favorite greenhouse to get them, and I saw that they had one apple tree left. I'd been thinking about putting one in the back yard. So I bought it, and then realized that the row of tatty aspen along the back property line, which is nevertheless seriously competing with my lawn, would also make it difficult for this tree. So out came the chainsaw for the first time in a decade. A shot of ether into the carb got it started. Felling and bucking those trees was a bit of work, but the real work was in the cleanup. That was finished yesterday. Beer never tasted so good.
    I'm tired and in need of a beer just reading this post!

  5. #1445
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    A couple of questions about vinyl wall panels...

    I've never used them before, but what I have read about cutting them makes me think they won't work for something I've been pondering. Apparently, the cutting method, at least for the thin, flat kind, is to make a shallow cut and then try to "bend" the panel til it breaks right along the shallow cut, so you don't need to cut all the way through. This makes me think there's probably no way to get it to bend around a corner on the outside (what would be the convex side if this were a curve). I can imagine trying to cut into it from the back and remove some of the thickness in a line where I want it bent, without cutting through the front, then bending it so the uncut front is still exposed on the outside wrapping around the corner... but I'm picturing the front just breaking along the line anyway. (And even if not, this kind of work feels like it would be easy to ruin with the slightest imprecision.) What does a cut/broken edge of one of these things look like? If it can't wrap around, and cutting/breaking leaves an edge that's too visibly discontinuous with the surfaces on either side of it when it's on a corner like this, then this just won't work for what I have in mind.

    Also, for the kind that have some three-dimensional depth & texture to them, obviously there's no way wrapping it around corners could work, but, if you cut off the ends of some of those shapes to line them up at a corner instead, there's a lot more exposed cut surface left than there would be with the thin flat kind of panel. So do these things look different on the inside from the way they look on the surface?

    The project this would be attached to if it happened at all, for any who might wonder, although it doesn't really affect the above questions:

    My living room has a fake fireplace that's just awful, but I'm renting this place, so I can't get rid of it. So I'm pondering building a fake fireplace shell to put in front of & over & around it without affecting the original inside. (Why is there a fake fireplace? I suppose it was originally real, given that the wall behind & above it sticks out from the rest of that side of the room like the bottom of a chimney, but it was disabled when a more modern heating system was installed; now the bulge in the wall is covered in flat drywall & painted just like all the other walls, and the hole where the fire wood would once have gone is lined with bricks not only at the sides & back but also on top, so there's still a place where firewood could be put but burning it would just put all the smoke right into the room.)

    What's wrong with the way it is now?

    It's super-dark wood, carved sort of complexly but in mostly straight lines & square style, but so absurdly dark you wouldn't normally see the shapes anyway unless you're looking right at it & for it; otherwise it's just a giant block of anti-light trying to suck all the light out of the otherwise relatively light room, like a TV when it's off, but you can't even turn this thing on & see something worth looking at. It has some lighter tiles in it, mostly (12/15) with a botanical theme, but they don't seem like they fit in and connect and belong there; they're just little squares of lighter color floating in the dark void. And they're all the same small painting of leaves & fruit, in a very low-saturation, dirty-looking color pallet in which the fruit is a dull barely-yellowish beigey shade of yuck. And the remaining 3 little square tiles are faces in what I suppose was meant to look like bronze but mostly just comes off as a dull brown substance that can no longer be identified behind layers & layers of some kind of clear applied coating. (The color is like when you're trying to adjust your RGB code to create the exactly balanced shade of brown you're after but you've still got either the G just a few points too high or the R just a few points too low but you're afraid to go too far the other way so you probably should boost the B just so the unavoidable R/G imbalance won't jump out so much.) Who are these faces? Roman gods? I have no other idea what the intention was. The one facing out at the room is a woman and the ones in right & left profile are two different men; that's all I know.

    The overall style that whoever made it was apparently going for would seem to be something like this or this... but with much much darker wood, the lighter columns broken up into a dozen little squares showing the same depressing little fruit painting over & over again, much much darker wood, three more little squares showing some weird kind of monochrome relief depictions of three strangers' faces, and much much darker wood. Have I mentioned the darkness of the wood? This is the darkest wood I could find on a picture of a fireplace that anybody wanted to actually show to other people, and what I have is darker than that. And notice that, when a competent fireplace maker goes for a style even that dark, (s)he sticks to the theme and doesn't throw in a bunch of little disjointed out-of-place squares of lightness. So overall it's a rectangular black hole that somehow still hasn't yet pulled in a dozen floating copies of the same painting of sick-looking unripe fruit on backgrounds that look like they're trying to be white but failed about 40 years ago.

    And to top all of that off, there's a fairly ornately shaped black metal panel with a bunch of differently-shaped holes in it that somebody got to cover the opening, but it doesn't even fit. It can only stand a bit out in front and lean back. Somebody clearly got it from some unrelated source separate from the original fake fireplace because something had happened to whatever was supposed to be there in the first place (if there ever even was anything before) and they wanted to cover the inside of the hole because the red bricks and concrete floor in there are crumbling & gritty and wouldn't match the outside "style" even if they were in better shape. I can't even tell what other kind of cover or door would have been meant to be there in the first place, if anything, because there are no apparent attachment points for anything else.

    So the idea is to cover that awful thing in some other style. And part of the idea is to leave it for whoever's here after me, so they have the option to get rid of it but won't want to because they'll prefer it over the awfulness that it's hiding, so the new thing's style needs to be something that other people will accept as a valid fireplace type, not just some idiosyncrasy by & for me alone. A lighter shade of wood would be an option, but in fireplaces that would normally be carved into more complex shapes than I'm prepared to attempt, so the standard looks for fireplaces that are left after that are brick & stone. And mine can't be made of one of those in reality, so it needs a brick/stone-like look that can be applied to an empty removable wooden frame. Without vinyl wall panels my main other options other than wallpaper would be to master some painting tricks that I've never done before (and then I'd still need to find a way to handle the difference in texture between the end of a piece of wood and its other sides, particularly at the corners), or to 3-D-print a bunch of tiles myself (which comes with its own issues & complications, but at least I wouldn't be dealing with any of the uncertainties that the other choices come with for going around the outsides of corners).

    Also, it really needs to have a pair of lamps on top of it, which currently means the power chords to those lamps are just hanging out. And there's nothing to do with the speaker wire for one of my surround-sound speakers but let it sit in front of the fake fireplace. And I'd like to throw in some LEDs in the hole and a new pair of doors for the colored light to shine out through, but the wires for the LEDs' power would also currently have nowhere to go but right out in front of the fake fireplace. So the one I make would have subtle openings and internal channels for these wires to run out of sight.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2021-Jun-07 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Font color tag removed

  6. #1446
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    A couple of questions about vinyl wall panels...
    I had to snip a lot of your post out because I could not see it!
    Some notes:
    Vinyl comes as rigid PVC or plasticised PVC and the first note is to think of fire, because PVC burns producing both horrible black smoke and nasty burn products.

    Rigid PVC panels can be cut with a jigsaw ( Metal blade ) and first put masking tape along the cut to make your cutting line and to control the chips. Making a scribe line and bending it does work but Unplasticised PVC is very brittle and you are likely to get breaks.

    You can bend the rigid PVC panels around the curve by first warming it, for example using hot water, it has a low melting point and will become quite plastic. To make a good job of a small radius you need some kind of bending jig and that can mean extra work. If you are careful you would not lose the texture of your PVC because you don’t heat it up to its melting point.
    Last edited by profloater; 2021-Jun-06 at 08:45 AM.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  7. #1447
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    Ya, that kind of stuff is what I figured. Vinyl is out. There's a limit to how many new problems/challenges, and required solutions/workarounds to learn and possibly screw up on the first try, that I'll take on all in the same project.

  8. #1448
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    I have cut and drilled all the wood for the shelves that will come underneath the railroad benchwork. That's a lot of wood. Especially since I used leftover floorboards, so I had to cut off the whatsitcalled edges first.

    1500 drilling actions, using a heavy handheld drill without torque limiter, with a 2mm drill, and only broke 1 drill. I call that a success. The break appeared to be metal fatigue rather than clumsiness.

    Up next: screwing all the shelves together. That's a major screw job. Royal size, one could say.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  9. #1449
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    Mortise and tenon?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #1450
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    Tongue and groove for me. (I have never had a small drill bit fail by metal fatigue - my sheer clumsiness ensures that they are broken well before any chance of metal fatigue setting in. So I only buy 'cheap' drill bits as the quality ones are wasted on me. And yes, I break good quality bits just as fast as cheaper ones. I try to blame it on my not having binocular vision so I tend to have a problem ensuring the drill is straight - a weak excuse I am sure.)
    Last edited by ozduck; 2021-Jun-07 at 03:26 AM.

  11. #1451
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Tongue and groove for me. (I have never had a 'small' drill bit fail by metal fatigue - my sheer clumsiness ensures that they are broken well before any chance of metal fatigue setting in. So I only buy 'cheap' drill bits as the quality ones are wasted on me.)
    Tongue and groove!
    I knew there was a correct name I wasn't coming up with!
    Meanwhile, today I installed the corner stand of my project. It'll support one end of the bench top plus the corner cabinet we got stuck with.
    The latter has the mass of three or four bull elephants. It must do. Or why else would I have built the stand so dang stout?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1452
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    Today's not-a-workbench task was going to be carefully measuring the crossmembers on the top, then carefully measuring positions for the legs that will interface with them, then maybe, if I was lucky, attaching one of the legs to the wall.
    Then maybe next week, after attaching the other leg, I'd shuffle the top over along with the sawhorses, slide it onto the legs, and fasten it to them.
    Here's what it looked like this morning:
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    And then I had a brainstorm. Why not shuffle the top into its final position still on the horses, then position the legs under, clamp them together, and attach?
    So I did. Not quite as simple as described, the horses were set slightly higher than the legs (on purpose), so I had to wiggle the top into place, roughly position the legs, then lower the horses one notch and get them back under so the whole thing wouldn't come crashing down if a loose leg assembly kicked out. The fight the clamping, because my clamps aren't really quite deep enough. Then get down on the floor and underneath to put in some screws. Then pull some of them out and replace because in my awkward position I stripped a couple of the heads. But I got it done! Maybe a week earlier than expected! Still work to do of course, but the bench is in place. I'm not going to get up and stand on it, but I could.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    To the left in that photo you'll see the cabinet that's going on that stand in the corner.

    Most difficult part of the whole process: Getting up off the floor after getting down. It sucks getting old.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #1453
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    Oh, and here's what that space looked like before:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The two wooden crates came from my late in-laws' attic, and contained military gear from WWII. Parkas in one, a B-17 radio in the other. The bench setup has been intentionally designed for them to be slid underneath.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #1454
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    Wow, it looks so crisp and clean. If it were in my garage I'd probably not put anything on it for a few weeks just so I could admire the bright finish.

  15. #1455
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    It actually needs another coat of paint but I was so excited to get it installed I went ahead and did it. Today I'll start working on shelves and a top for the thing in the corner. I'll have to have help to get the cabinet up there.
    Also need to provide some electricity for it. Hmm, maybe some light as well.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #1456
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    I still need to screw some modules together so they stay better aligned and more stable, but here we are:



    Only disadvantage: this used to look like a huge space when it was empty. Now, not so much. Especially as the benchwork isn't all the way against the wall (with the windows); I've left a 70cm space so I can reach the layout from the back. And the windows.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  17. #1457
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    Nicolas, that looks great!
    Solfe

  18. #1458
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    Looks great. The space may be less huge, but the area under the roof wasn't all that usable anyhow, was it?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #1459
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    You can stand upright quite far as the roof is steepish and starts at 107cm height. Where the windows are, you can stand almost up to the wall.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  20. #1460
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    Î'm now loading my train collection into the shelves. I hardly knew what I had, as it's the result of 22 years of carboot sale collecting and storing for better times.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  21. #1461
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    I now have both cars in the garage! The project still has work to do, but the main mess is straightened.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #1462
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    Nicolas, that image of the assembled table, and then measuring a similar area in my house, drives home how much surface you have to lay out your track. Impressive! Good idea having those shelves too.

    I finished installing the laminate in another bedroom and in the upstairs hall yesterday. I'm taking a break.

    The bedroom floor squeaked badly in one spot. It looked like builder-wannabe ran out of spiral nails for his nail gun and decided to finish installing the subfloor using smooth, skinny nails with great wide heads on them. Screws fixed that problem. Also, one of the joists was really low in relation to the rest of them, so part of the floor was seriously off-level and out of spec for the laminate (>3 mm/m). I'd never noticed it before because of the carpet. That took a while to level. Oh, and what part of "This Side Down" on the subfloor sheets did dude not understand?

    There was some complicated cutting for the hallway pieces where doorways, linen closet, and stairs are close together. I messed up one large piece because my reference piece had moved as I was measuring, resulting in one of the cuts being off by 7 mm. When I cut its replacement, I forgot to apply the correction! I felt quite stupid at that point and really angry with myself.

    Two views of the hallway, each towards a room that's also been completed (except for all the trim!)


    The hallway width varies by >1 cm over the length of the bannister, so I aligned the laminate to split this difference. When the trim is in place it won't be noticeable.

    Setup for painting the upper reaches of the stairwell. Despite appearances, it was solid:
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  23. #1463
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    I wish I had not seen that last picture....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #1464
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    I've shut off my laptop and I STILL see that last picture...

    But anyway, I'm very familiar with the joys of laminate floor in intricate hallways. My record is 13 cutouts in one board.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  25. #1465
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    My turntable (vinyl records) project is almost finished. I can't show anything yet, but that will come soon. The first results are very promising. I used cheap disco cartridges for these tests, and what I heard was not bad at all. Tomorrow, body permitting, I'll install the expensive and the sickeningly expensive cartridges and see what they can bring out. Body permitting, as I've just had my first COVID vaccine today.

    I've experimented with turntables and DIY aspects therein in the past. But this is the first time I took it this far. And that is really far.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  26. #1466
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    I'm looking forward to seeing that turntable.

    Today I installed 972 Holland block pavers. That's two pallets, and not even half done. My back is okay, but I suspect my hands will feel cramped tomorrow. Two more pallets are to be delivered tomorrow, but I may let them sit on the driveway and just drink beer instead. It's supposed to go to 29C.

  27. #1467
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    I too am looking forward to turntable photos.

    As for block pavers, we recently had a landscaping guy give an estimate for putting concrete or gravel (he used the term three quarter minus) in our side yard where we want a covered patio. Really expensive, and he said they aren't doing pavers because of the project backlog (our town is experiencing a construction/remodeling boom) - pavers take too long. So I very briefly explored the idea of setting pavers down as a DIY project. Yikes! That's a lot of work! And we'd probably screw up the leveling.

  28. #1468
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    Question for PetersCreek (or anyone else with relevant experience): I'm going to start on my wooden ship model case and thought it would be a good project to employ my Rockler box joint jig. The case will be about 10" x 16" x 20" (10 inches deep to accommodate the longest mast yards, which will mean joining two 5 inch pieces). Given I'm new at box joinery, what wood would you recommend? I'm not settled on whether it should be a dark or light wood.

  29. #1469
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Question for PetersCreek (or anyone else with relevant experience): I'm going to start on my wooden ship model case and thought it would be a good project to employ my Rockler box joint jig. The case will be about 10" x 16" x 20" (10 inches deep to accommodate the longest mast yards, which will mean joining two 5 inch pieces). Given I'm new at box joinery, what wood would you recommend? I'm not settled on whether it should be a dark or light wood.
    Pretty much whatever you like. Maple, walnut, cherry, white oak, even pine...anything you like, so long as it machines cleanly. Some of the more challenging hardwoods will also be fine since the jig's MDF backer really helps control tearout. But I'm speaking as one who does box joints at the table saw only. I tried using the Incra jig on my router table once but I wasn't happy with the result because my bit just wasn't up to the task. However, I know people get good results so imagine that if you have a clean, sharp bit of the right design, it'll be fine
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  30. #1470
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    Speaking of the Rockler box joint jig, did you also pick up any of the box joint cauls? I visited Rockler during our recent trip to Minnesota and grabbed several. I should make a box just so I can try them out.
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