Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 12: Cut it Close
With the previous check, we recommended buying a thin-kerf blade. This paycheck, and some savings from your nest egg, purchase a blade designed to make wide cuts, along with a flush-trim router bit, a Forstner drill-bit set, and a roll of double-faced tape (amazingly handy stuff to have around, as you'll discover). Click here to buy these items and have them sent to your door.
A dado set consists of two blades that can be stacked around additional blades (chippers) to plow cuts on the tablesaw from 1⁄4 " to 3⁄4 " wide.
They come in 6" and 8" diameters. While an 8" set allows making deeper cuts, that capacity is seldom used, and a small saw may have trouble powering through such cuts. A 6" set serves very well, and won't tax your saw as much.
A flush-trim router bit has a bearing at the end the same diameter as the cutter. So you can use the bit and a pattern made of hardboard or plywood to produce parts identical to the pattern. Learn more here. There are other ways to get similar results using a pattern bit, or a guide bushing with your router. Click here to learn more about these methods.
Use the flush-trim router bit, Forstner drill bits, and tape to make zero-clearance inserts for the tablesaw. By fitting close around the blade, a zero-clearance insert prevents cut-offs from falling into the saw, and reduces chip-out on workpieces. Relief areas on the underside fit around flanges in the throat of the saw.
Get instruction on making a zero-clearance insert and watch a free video of the process. Then make a stockpile of these blanks, as you'll need a new one for different widths of the dado blade and for each time you tilt a blade to a new angle.
Watch the video below of Idea Shop 6 growing from an empty garage stall through all of the items acquired and built with twelve paychecks. Then look ahead to Paycheck 13, the halfway point of Idea Shop 6.