• The number one secret is to use the correct blade. For particleboard or MDF, it is suggested to use a triple chip grind blade with 80 teeth. Man-made materials can quickly dull saw blades. With a triple chip grind, the corners of every other tooth are chamfered at 45°. The teeth between are either flat top rakers or alternate top bevel teeth. Each chamfered tooth creates a rough center cut, which is then cleaned up by the rakers. Along with the correct blade, a zero clearance insert is recommended. The insert will provide a solid surface under and right up to the blade. This will give you a safer cut and because the wood fibers are fully supported, they are less likely to fray or tear out.
• Number two would have to be a properly tuned saw. Most importantly, your fence and miter slots in your saw must be aligned parallel to the blade. Your saw blade teeth should be raised so that half the carbide is showing over your stock. By using dust collection, you will deter debris from collecting around your saw teeth and obscuring your cut. A respirator is advised when cutting MDF due to the urea-formaldehyde resin content.
• Number three — on to the actual cuts. For many materials, scoring is one way to assure a good cut. If using thin material, stack cut using double face tape to secure the stock. Masking tape is a good way to keep fibers in place as the cut is being made, but be careful when peeling the tape off after cut.
George, one of our woodworkers and store associates at Eagle America is also an expert fly fisherman and instructor in the field. George ties his own customs flies and just recently came across a great way to show off his talent. George writes: “What a treasure for me when my wife stopped at a garage sale and bought this unusual 3 frog candle holder for $1.00. Being a fly tier, the idea came to me for the frogs to be looking up at their lunch. What I refer to as Fly Food (my hand-made fishing flies). I wanted to use a piece of drift wood for the 3 flies to sit on. Lake Erie, being close to home, was the best place to go searching. So, on a nice warm day, my wife and I went to the lake and walked to shore, enjoyed the view and found the perfect piece. Below, you can see the result…”
George (The Fly Tier / Woodworker)
In Tom’s Words:
One of our store customers left word that he was looking to dispose of his collection of antique Stanley planes because he is now using a couple of Lie-Nielsen’s planes. I have been looking for a #8 foreplane and hadn’t found one (that I wanted to pay for!) on ebay or the antique dealers in Ohio or the internet.
I gave him a call one evening to inquire what he had. He thought he had a #8 Bedrock and I gulped, regained my composure, and said I would be over.
It was one of the really early Bedrocks with the round sides, manufactured well before they settled on the frog adjustment design that appears in the flat sided Bedrocks. Unfortunately, I was not interested.
He had spent some time blowing off the sawdust from the rest of the collection so I took a look. There was a #112 in the lot, broken tote, a little rusty, no significant pitting, but with a #28 toothing blade. I ask him how much he wanted. He responded, “How much is it worth to you?” I thought about how much I had on me, told him and he said OK.
I am now the proud owner of a #112. After that, I wanted to escape with my treasure but I stayed a while longer and drooled over his Lie-Nielsen planes, had a discussion about how well Festool products are engineered and then excused myself and scurried for home.
I am not going to say how much I paid for this rather rare Stanley, but let’s just say that my wife did NOT roll her eyes when I got home with my new toy. A good sign for any woodworker!
Our new August catalog is in the mail but today, our blog friends, get an exclusive first look at all that it has to offer. As usual you will find a nice selection of attractive new products and new specials but today we want to focus on the front cover theme – sign making.
Summer is the perfect time of year for making wood signs in your shop so it is time for you to let your creativity and imagination run wild! Come into your shop out of the heat and make beautiful wooden signs for your home, office or shop. They also make great gifts for your family and friends. To help make these projects even more affordable we are kicking off our Sign Making Sale right now. Click here to take a look at what we have to offer. Of special note, we are taking 25% OFF select sign making router bits! You don’t want to miss savings like this.
Not only are there savings and bonus offers to be had but we are also highlighting a selection of other sign making handy helpers in one place on our site to make your life easier. Below is just a sample of what you will see. Sign making is very fun and easy to do, click over today and start making your own signs tomorrow!
Your Friends at Eagle America
Mike, one of Eagle America’s woodworkers, just finished building a solar kiln. The footprint is 8′ x 10’, the back 6’ high and the front 4’ high. It is designed to totally dissemble into flat panels for easy storage and future use. The top solar collector is made up of discarded thermal pane windows in wood frames that my brother gave me. The fans were from an earlier kiln that was torn apart and discarded. The temperature inside at noon today was 150 degrees and it currently holds 1100 board feet of cherry. Total cost was under $200.
Great Job Mike!
One of our customers recently showed us exactly how creative and resourceful you can be with a router. He used it to…carve a bowling ball! We love it when someone uses our router bits to make a piece of art. What do you think of his handy work?
Eagle America is very proud to be a small, family owned business and we feel that gives us a distinct advantage over many of the “big” woodworking suppliers out there. To “the big guys” you can get lost in the shuffle but to us, every single customer matters. Whether you are a professional or a weekend warrior, you mean the world to us.
You mean so much to us in fact that we actually want to hear from you (as opposed to some of the “big” places). We want to know what you think of us…both good and bad. We want to have a relationship with you. We want you to send us photos of your finished products (go ahead and brag, you earned it!) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post them right on our Facebook page. If you are in to Twitter, then send us some tweets. Ask us your technical questions, tell us what you want us to offer you, even tell us what you think we shouldn’t carry.
We look forward to this blog being another place where you can reach out to us, and where we can reach out to you. Thanks for reading!