Woodworking Drill Press: The Ultimate Completed Guide

Operator seen using a drill press

The drill press is a classic woodworking drill machining tool that is popular for its efficiency and accuracy. Its efficiency and accuracy, as well as numerous functionalities, simplify work and provide usability. 

In recent years, the drill press has become an everyday machine the woodworker must possess in his catalog. Nevertheless, there exist several types of drill presses. Deciding which press to use can be a daunting task for beginners and even experts. 

This article presents the ultimate guide to a woodworking drill press. The article will introduce to you everything you need to know about the drill press.

Operator seen using a drill press
Figure: Operator seen using a drill press

Section 1: What is a drill press?

1.1 Introduction

The drill press is a modern machine that turns a rotary tool to penetrate surfaces. So, the most common use of the drill press is to drill holes on surfaces. However, replacing this rotary tool(drill) with other machine tools allows for multiple machining operations. Some machining operations include drilling, reaming, tapping, counterboring, countersinking, and spot facing.

1.2 Parts of the drill press

  • Drill Head:

This part of the drill press houses the electric motor and the speed adjustment mechanism. 

  • Motor:

The electric motor is the driving force of the drill press.  The electric power is what enables the drill press to cut wood and other materials.

  • Spindle:

The spindle is the part responsible for the revolution of the drill bit. You can either automatically program its revolution or manually turn the spindle.

 

Spindle

Figure: Spindle

  • Speed Adjustment:

Speed adjustment is responsible for changing the cutting velocity. This velocity typically varies from low to high speed depending upon the nature of the material. 

  • Chuck:

the chuck helps to hold the drilling tool in place. Asides from holding the tool, the chuck also prevents dangerous parts from causing serious injuries.

  • Table:

the table is a part that serves as a surface for the workpiece. About the workpiece, the table part is often customizable to high and low. The customization helps make sure the workpiece is at the perfect height for the bore’s tip. It also acts as a support for the workpiece.

  • Table Clamp.

It helps hold the table all over. 

Table clamp
Figure: Table clamp

  • Section:

It is set at 90 degrees on the base and fills in as the drill press’s foundation. This part helps to support the table and the head.

1.3 Types of the drill press

Portable Drilling Machine:

its portability makes it famous among small-scale woodworkers and personnel. This portability also makes it a perfect fit for personnel without an industrial drill press set up. The kind of boring tools utilized relies upon the personnel’s workpiece and the hole diameter.

Portable Drilling Machine
Figure: Portable Drilling Machine

Sensitive Drilling Machine:

It is a specific kind of drill press variation. This variation is seen as the inclusion of a spindle head and belt drive. The spindle head, belt drive, and drill press design make this machine ideal for cutting soft and hard materials. Another peculiar advantage of this machine is its ability to incorporate bench and floor mounting.

Upright Drilling Machine:

Its design features a vertical column. In addition to the vertical column, you will typically see a column mount over the machine’s base. The upright drilling machine is prevalent for medium-scale drilling tasks and projects.

Upright Drill Press
Figure: Upright Drill Press

Round Column Section Machine:

Its design features a round section similar to the upright drilling machine that operators use. Nevertheless, operators find this machine particularly useful for drilling lighter or softer materials. In addition to cutting softer materials, this machine’s round column design has an advantage. Its advantage is that it makes it easy for operators to make a stable and robust cut into the workpiece.

Box Column Section Machine:

Its design features a case segment area. In addition to this segment area, operators find this design particularly useful for drilling rigid and inflexible materials.

Radial Drilling Machine:

It is another famous sort of penetrating machine. This machine uses gear bits and allows radial movement during drilling. Its popularity for drilling tasks is due to its adaptability and flexibility in operation.

Gang Drilling Machine:

This type of machine is irregular for its various single spindle segments situated on a similar machine base. The machine is the ideal drill for several modern processes and large-scale manufacturing.

Multiple Spindle Drilling Machine:

It is the best sort if you need a drilling machine to bore numerous openings simultaneously.

Automatic Drilling Machine:

This class of drilling machines are appropriate for large and repeated project activities. Often, these large and repeated projects aim to obtain similar cuts of a workpiece.

Section 2: Why does woodworking choose the drill press?

2.1. Accuracy

The essential motivation behind why you should have a drill press for your project is accuracy. Accuracy is crucial as most woodwork projects require precise openings. Regarding precise openings, a drill press allows you to create the perfect and accurate openings you will need. 

All you need to do is to clip a piece of wood solidly into position. When clipping this piece of wood, you must ensure that the drill press’ spindle is set to a specific point or position. This position must be comparative with the bit and wood. It allows you to accomplish the point of the source that you will need. A death stop precisely forestalls the drilling bit from sinking too far into the bit of wood. These features lead to openings that are precise on your wooden workpiece.

2.2. Speed

A drill press permits you to do much more work in a shorter time.  By automation and setting depth stops, you are less prone to making mistakes when using the drill press. Also, recent drill press technology has advanced speed capability. 

Unlike the handheld drills, woodworkers do not require strict guidelines while operating the drill press. Drill presses typically have better engines than handheld drills. Unlike the handheld drills, drill press engines turn drill bits extra rapidly, prompting speedier drilling.

2.3. Power

The engines on drill presses save energy during drilling.  Drilling openings typically require less exertion than it will with handheld drills. Furthermore, a drill press engine permits you to use larger drill bits for drilling more extensive openings. 

Drill presses also create extra power through influence from other parts of the drill. A typical example is a chuck, which attaches to the drill press. Another example is the rack-and-pinion switch, which brings down the chuck and spindle.

2.4. Functionality

A drill press permits woodworkers to precisely drill wood at different angles. The varying angle capability of a drill press remains one of its core advantages. This advantage is crucial as it is difficult to make angular openings with handheld drills without having parallax error.

A drill press is also useful for drilling openings into complex objects with special purposes. This sort of functionality makes a drill press accommodate any of your woodworking desires.

2.5. Versatility

Drill presses are adaptable machines fit for drilling most types of holes. In addition to this hole capability, most of these drills operate at variable speeds. Also, the drills are compatible with accessories like the spindle smoother or a rotating sanding circle. Adding an attachment like the mortise allows you to drill squares into a piece of wood. Additionally, a drill press’s structural design and configuration make it equipped for drilling openings into metal. This metal-drilling functionality has been useful over the years for blacksmiths’ metal projects. The functionality also allows woodworkers to seamlessly venture into metal works and fuse them into their woodworks.

2.6. Safety/Security

The essential focal points that operators consider for drill press usage are safety and security. Drill presses are safe to use as woodworkers look to drill pieces of wood. The variable-speed function assures woodworkers over the drill bit. You can also use a cinch to tie down a piece of wood to a drill press table. This tying activity keeps the wood from dangers on the ground and helps protect the craftsman.

Section 3: What is a drill press used for woodworking?

3.1 Mortise cutting

A mortise features a square or rectangular opening. It gets a tenon of a similar size cut out of a connecting bit of wood. For quite a long time, hand-cut mortise has been common for projects. Present-day technology presents to us a mortiser that you can use for cutting mortises. A mortiser features a drill bit located inside a square or rectangular chisel. This rectangular chisel feature helps to drill openings and cut square edges of the mortise simultaneously.

3.2 Using a drill press mortising attachment

Your woodworking project might demand a couple of mortise and tenon joints. An alternative would be making the mortises with a force drill and a sharp chisel. Notwithstanding, if your project requires various mortise and tenon joints, there is an ideal solution. This solution involves you getting an empty chisel mortiser. This mortiser will help to whip out various clean mortises fast.

If you don’t have space for another force tool, there is another alternative. This alternative relies on the fact that you have a drill press. Drill press producers often offer an empty chisel mortising connection. This connection permits you to utilize empty chisel mortising pieces. The sizes of these pieces vary from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in width.

3.3 Sanding spindles

At the point when your workpiece has various bent cuts from a jigsaw, you must do something quickly. The fastest and best outcomes originate from a swaying spindle sander. If a spindle sander isn’t promptly available, one straightforward arrangement is to utilize the drill press.  The drill press allows variable velocities. The variable velocities allow various acclimations to the spindle sanding paces. You can make these sanding paces to be suitable with almost any kind of material.

3.4 Doweling

Doweling has been in use for quite a long time by woodworkers who expect to fortify their wood joints. The guideline behind doweling is straightforward. Little and uniformly cut sticks of wood (called dowels) fit into completely coordinated openings. When assembled, these dowel assemblies give a solid and strong woodworking joint.

The main assignment in making dowel joints is to drill the dowels’ openings in the connecting sheets. If the openings aren’t drilled precisely in the correct spots, issues arise in the dowel joint. The dowel won’t adjust appropriately, and the joint won’t hold well.

Section 4: How to choose the best woodworking drill?

There are lots of drill presses with varying prices. Beyond the price or cost of a drill press, there are several other factors to consider. These factors also have a huge impact on determining the choice of a drill press. These factors also determine the level of accuracy and efficiency you have in drilling. They are namely; size, model type, horsepower, speed adjustment, depth stop, weight, quill stroke, and drill press table tilt.

5.1 Size:

The first step in choosing your drill press is to identify the drill’s size. To identify the drill size for a workpiece, you will consider nominal diameter and total obtainable depth dimensions. These dimensions will allow you to work effectively on your workpiece and produce excellent results.

5.2 Model type:

There are two major models of the drill press: the floor model and the benchtop model. The floor model is suitable for bigger or industrial projects. Unlike the floor model, the benchtop model is suitable for smaller and workshop size projects.

5.3 Horsepower:

Your drill press horsepower determines the drill press’s ability to drill holes in different materials. To drill through sturdy materials, you will need a higher horsepower.

5.4 Speed Adjustment:

Depending on the material you are cutting, you will adjust the drill press speed to suit your activity. Drilling wood often requires faster speed, while metals require lesser speeds. As a general standard for speeds, look to stay within 500 and 4000 RPMs speed ranges.

5.5 Depth Stop:

This is a control system in the drill press that ensures that all holes have consistent depth.

5.6 Weight:

This is a huge criterion in drill press selection. The bigger and heavier your drill press, the stronger the drill press. A weightier drill press will have less vibration and allow for a smoother cut. 

5.7 Quill Stroke/Spindle Travel:

The distance your drill chuck and drill bit travel in the downward direction when turning the handle. Hence, you can describe it as the maximum number of turns the drill press spindle can go before bottoming out. As a general standard, you should only stick with drill presses with quill stroke longer than 4-inches.

5.8 Drill Press Table Tilt:

Drill presses with a table tilt of about 45 degrees left and right are tremendous. So, these presses are a rare gem for drilling angled mortises. Some tables tilt come in 4-directional tilt for cutting complex angles. Hence, asides from the extra cost for the table tilt drill press, you should look to add table tilts to your tool accessory.

Section 5: What is the best woodworking drill press?

JET JDP-17MF Floor Drill Press: this a popular drill press that most operators look to always have in their respective workshops. These drill presses typically come in sizes ranging from ½ inch to 16 inches.

JET JDP-17MF Floor Drill Press
(JET JDP-17MF Floor Drill Press)

Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press: an award-winning drill because of its durability and strength. Nevertheless, the 18-inch type remains one of the most common drill presses.

Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press
(Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press)

RIKON 30-217 Drill Press: this drill press features 6-inch spindle travel. This press also features a motor with a power rating of 1.5 hp. It is a modern-day speed machine.

RIKON 30-217 Drill Press
(RIKON 30-217 Drill Press)

JET JDP-20MF Floor Drill Press: is another common type of drill press from JET.  This drill press is quite popular due to its cutting edge advancements in drilling.

JET JDP-20MF Floor Drill Press
(JET JDP-20MF Floor Drill Press)

PORTER-CABLE Floor Drill Press: this is an effective drill press. Many experts know this drill press as the best value award winner. However, this drill press has a downside of excessive vibration. Hence, users must have experience in mitigating the effect of the vibration.

Porter-cable floor drill press
(Porter-cable floor drill press)

Grizzly Floor Drill Press: features a motor with a power rating of 1.5 Hp.

Grizzly Floor Drill Press
(Grizzly Floor Drill Press)

General International  Floor Drill Press: possessing large swing and a four 3/4″ quill stroke. This press is a must-have.

General International Floor Drill Press
(General International Floor Drill Press)

Section 6: How to choose the right drill bit for the woodworking drill press?

6.1 What are the different kinds of drill bits for your drill press

Over the years, woodworkers have improved the type of cut they can make due to drill press capability. Woodworkers continue to modify drill bits so as to create the ideal hole. However, we have numerous types of drill bits available to every woodworker today. This availability is regardless of the type of cut and material you intend on cutting. Below are a few of the drill bits available today:

6.1.1 Woodworking Drill– Twist drills

Because of its 118° tip design, the twist is one of the most versatile drill bits available today. So, the twist is efficient in cutting several materials like wood, plastic, and metal.

6.1.2 Counterbore drill bits

Counterboring drill bits create a flat-bottom cavity. This cavity allows the head of the screw or bolt to rest totally within the counterbore. Nevertheless, most operators often use these screws with washers.  Because of this usage, the counterbore bit creates enough room to accommodate the entire coupling set.

6.1.3 Countersink drill bits

The countersink drill bit is so popular for creating pilot holes for screws. Nevertheless, it is ideal for starting a drilling operation. Sometimes, the countersink drill bit also creates holes for the screw shank. Besides, this drill bit creates a recess that allows your screw​head to sit with the wood surface. 

6.1.4 Flat bottom boring bits

The flat bottom bit is perfect for creating an accurate start. In addition to these accurate starts, these bits have sharp rims that can cut clean edges. Nevertheless, these bits create large shavings. When creating these shavings, you may have to remove your bit from the hole to clear chips.  Because these bits mostly come in diameters ranging from 3⁄16 ” to 42″, you have wide options. So, for more information about the types of drill bits, click here.

Sets of different drill bits
Figure: Sets of different drill bits

Section 7: Woodworking Drill– Frequent Q&A

7.1 Should I wear gloves when using the drill press?

Choosing to wear gloves comes with its preference due to the fact that some people might find it comfortable. However, avoid gloves that are baggy because they might stick to the drill press.

 

7.2 What is the drill press settings?

Drill press settings address the general setting of your drill press. So, it determines how your drill press will run. Because this setting involves choosing depth stop, calibration, and automation are possible.

 

7.3 Woodworking Drill– Does the size of the drill bit matter?

Drill bit size can prove crucial due to chuck size and material strength. While metals would require that you have a thicker drill bit, wood will require drill bits with lesser thickness. Hence, a harder or thicker material requires a bigger shank of drill bits.

 

7.4 Are there any accessories that can improve the performance of the woodworking drill press?

Yes, several accessories can aid your drilling process. Nevertheless, these accessories include drill press vise, support, mortising attachment, and cutting fluid. When these accessories are used properly, you will get improved performance and better results.

Conclusion

The drill press is a top tool you must have in your catalog. This article has systematically looked into the drill press background, parts, and types of drill presses. In addition to the drill press background, this article also guides you in choosing the most suitable drill press.

Drill presses are popular among professional, skilled users, and unskilled operators due to its capability. Therefore, as you continue to look out for helpful tips about drill presses, look no further. NCCuttingtools has got you covered. We have high-quality products and the most experienced professionals so as to guide you through the process. Check out this video for useful ideas for the drill press machine.

Knife Handle: How to Make the Most Suitable and Most Satisfying

Different knife handles

Having a knife nearby can be crucial in many situations. Whether you are in the kitchen preparing food, working on DIY projects, or trying to get by in the wild, it is an essential utility. A handle is a crucial part of any knife; therefore, it ensures a comfortable grip and long-term use.

Moreover, if you would like to learn how to make a knife handle? It is vital to pick the right handle material depending on what you expect from a knife. That is why it is best to design a homemade handle that will fit your expectations.

1. Knife Handle Materials – Which One Should You Choose?

You can choose between a long list of available materials, both a blessing and a curse. 

The main material categories include:

  • Natural
  • Synthetics 
  • Metals

Here are some homemade knife handle ideas for the materials to choose for your project!

Natural Materials

These come from natural sources and include:

  • Wood – the most frequent choice for knife handles. It is an affordable material that is easy to find. Wood is available in many varieties to ensure it suits your expectations. The grip is also comfortable and resistant to slipping. However, wood is porous, and the grip might lose stability over time.
  • Leather – genuine leather doesn’t have to be expensive, and it will give a traditional look to your knife. Therefore, if you are a hunter, you might like a leather knife. However, this is not a durable material, and you might need to replace the handle often.
  • Bone – these are the classic handle options, and the bone can come from different animals. That includes buffalo, cow, sheep, but also elk, deer, etc. The problem is bones can crack with heavy-duty use, and the grip might be slippery.

Synthetic Materials

These include human-made materials, and here are the smartest choices:

  • Carbon fiber – although it is expensive, it is famous for being extremely durable. Also, carbon fiber is lightweight; moreover, it won’t be heavy to bring it with you. The only thing to ensure is to avoid sharp impacts since the material is brittle. 
  • G-10 – we get this from a fiberglass laminate called Garolite. It doesn’t look attractive, but it is incredibly durable and tough. You will often find textured handles for an improved grip. That makes it versatile and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
  • FRN – it stands short for fiberglass reinforced nylon, and it first appeared in the US market. It is incredibly durable and also affordable. However, FRN doesn’t have a grip as comfortable as with G-10. The affordability ensures there is a variety of options available for different uses.

Metal Materials

You can pick between the following:

  • Stainless steel – as a metal, it is resistant to corrosion, which makes it durable. Despite that, stainless steel isn’t the hardest material out there, which is why it’s not great for heavy-duty knives. However, most common users will find that it is affordable and fits their expectations. 
  • Aluminum – a light material with impressive corrosion resistance. It will last for a long time, but it is vital to have a proper texture. You can use it indoors and outdoors, but make sure to avoid cold weather since it can be chilly to hold.
  • Titanium –is an extremely strong material that provides a comfortable grip. It is also light, but it’s prone to scratching. The good news is that titanium is suitable for cold weather since it won’t be cold to keep in your hands. 

2. What Do We Need to Prepare Before Making Knife Handles?

Preparation is the key to a successful project, and that applies to making knife handles. Therefore, you will need certain DIY skills to perform all the steps well. That includes basic woodworking and metalworking skills. You might need the paint booth to handle the epoxy section of our guide.

The first thing to secure is the materials to use during the project. Here is what to acquire:

  • Blade – the blade should fit your size requirements.
  • Scales – check out the section on materials to learn more about which to pick.
  • Pins – if necessary, pick between solid, mosaic, or those with rivets. The pin should fit the blade optimally. 
  • Epoxy, masking tape, and sandpaper – you will need these as additional materials. 

As for the machines, here is what you will use:

  • A band saw for wood or metal.
  • Scribe
  • Drill press
  • Sanders
  • Files
  • Clamps

3. How to Make a Knife Handle

Caption: Various knife handles

You are now familiar with different materials and preparation required to make a DIY knife handle. It’s time to describe the process step by step, so there needs to complete the project successfully.

Here are some tips on choosing the right material:

  • Wood – the most versatile material suitable for both folding and heavy-duty blades. You can check videos on how to make a walnut and cherry knife handle, too.
  • Bone – an excellent choice if you want a stylish and durable knife.
  • Stag – it utilizes deer antlers, so it’s natural, and it’s also unique.
  • Aluminum – go with this choice if you want a lightweight blade. A textured handle will reduce the risk of it slipping from your hand.
  • Stainless steel – it is corrosion-resistant, and you often find it mixes with rubber to enhance grip. 
  • G-10 – a fine material that is both strong and lightweight. 

We will discuss several most popular materials in this article, and our main guide will focus on wood knife handles. 

Before you begin, our suggestion is to get rid of any distractions. Make sure that you have at least a couple of hours to focus on this project. Once you master knife handle making, you will enjoy crafting it and using your knives!

3.1. Preparing Materials and Cutting Handle Material to Size

Caption: Knife handle closeup 

In the previous section, we mentioned the materials and tools you need to prepare. If you have the items ready, place them on a flat surface. Make sure to arrange them properly so that you can easily access any item you need.

Here is what you need to do within this step:

  1. Grab some masking tape and wrap the sharp portion of the blade. That will ensure you don’t cut yourself while making a knife handle. 
  2. The next thing is grabbing your handle scales and cutting them to the desired size. You want them to be a square, but leave up to an inch of additional material to have wiggle room. 
  3. Use a pencil or any other marking option to mark the blade’s edges on the scales. Feel free to place the knife and then mark around it.
  4. Next, activate your band saw and use it to make a vertical cut. It is vital to leave up to a half of an inch of additional room. Therefore, you will use the sanding process to get everything to perfection, and we’ll discuss that later.

3.2. Drilling Pin Holes

Caption: Drill closeup

The crucial thing to know when making a custom knife is that the handles you acquire already have holes in them. That is how the manufacturers simplify the process for the operator.

It sounds great; in addition, the requirement is to buy a suitable pin. Therefore, try the pin to see if it fits the hole. If it doesn’t seem perfect, perhaps you will need to expand the hole. You can do this with a metal drill press.

Here is how to handle the process:

  • Grab the scales and tape them together. Use the tape to place the blade handle over the top. 
  • Use a pencil to identify where the pins should place. It is vital to be careful and position the holes properly, which affects how to make a handle.
  • Pick a drill bit that’s close to the pin size but larger. For example, if your pin is 0.125 inches (1/8), you will use a 0.132 drill (3/16). 
  • Place the scale into the clamp and start drilling. Always begin from the edges and then move to the holes in the center.

What If Your Knife Has Rivets?

If that happens, your goal is to countersink the hole to achieve the required depth. Therefore, it’s best to take advantage of a caliper to measure the rivet’s head, and that will decide the hole size to drill.

Sanding and shaping the scale section that is near the blade’s edge is imperative. However, the scales should be symmetric for the knife to look attractive.

3.3. Cutting Your Pins to Size

It is time for the next step to make a knife handle, and it starts by joining the handle. Now, the pin’s outer sides must remain visible. Grab a pencil and head to the long side to mark a 1/8th for cutting.

The next step is cutting the desired pins to the desired length. Remember that it is easy to cut a bit more. However, you can’t make up if you cut too much of the pin. That is why you should be cautious during the process.

3.4. Epoxy the Blade Handle Together

Caption: Epoxy closeup

You will need to use a paint booth for this step. Make sure to take a couple of clamps with you and some paper. 

The first thing to do is to place the paper on a clean and flat surface. Position the pins in the holes you prepared. You can assemble and disassemble the knife multiple times. It will help you to learn how to put a handle on a knife quickly. Why is this important?

Once you epoxy the handle, time will be of the essence. Therefore, you will have a short time to do everything right regarding how the coating works.

Are you ready for the actual process? The experts advise to get the epoxy ready and apply a brush on a single handle. Next, connect that to the blade, and then place the pins in their position. Your idea is to connect the metal and wood. Now, grab the other scale handle and epoxy it. Position the scale over the protruding pins and connect everything.

You can use a clamp to ensure the handle is well-connected. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes to tighten. If you notice epoxy on the blade’s outer side, use some tissues to remove it immediately. You don’t want to risk it drying as it will be almost impossible to remove then.

3.5. Sanding Your Blade Handle into Shape

Caption: Sandpaper closeup

The next step in making a homemade knife handle is to get it into the desired shape. You do that by planning the desired shape first. Feel free to suit it to your needs – would you like your homemade knife to have a thin or wide handle? Do you want a creative or specific shape? 

There is no reason why you shouldn’t start the sending process and decide then. The only thing you need is to use a belt, circle, or spindle sander. Now, begin on the outer section and sand the material until it’s even with the metal. If you use a circle sander, rotate the handle to achieve the desired form.

It is up to you to decide when to finish the process. However, make sure that the pins don’t stick out – if that happens, do some sanding on them, too.

3.6. Polishing 

We are getting close to finishing the how to make a wooden knife handle project. Therefore we still need to do polishing and finishing. Feel free to choose the desired polish, and use sandpaper to act. 

The experts recommend the sandpaper to be 400-600 grits. Therefore you can go above that limit if you want a perfectly smooth handle. Now, the process is simple – apply the polish, and use the sander. 

Perform this process a couple of times, and apply another polishing layer. Leave it to rest overnight to see how it will look in the morning. If necessary, you can repeat the process.

3.7. Finishing

It’s time for the final touches, so if you have any desire to decorate the handle, now is the right time to do it. You can search for wooden knife handle designs online or get creative yourself. Either way, don’t forget to remove the tape from the blade so that you can use it freely.

If you feel like you could use video instructions, check out this useful footage on making a knife handle:

4. Making a Stag Knife Handle

Knife HandleKnife Handle

Caption: Stag knife

Is the process of making a stag knife different than with other materials? The imperative is to find this natural material since it is quite pricey and not easy to find.

Check out the steps to make the handle:

  1. Firstly, Prepare the stag by deciding a position for cutting the horn. The idea is to make it flush, and you can use a hacksaw. Don’t forget to smoothen the edges once you finish using the tool.
  2. Secondly, Boil the stag in hot water. You can leave it for 60 minutes in the bowl (remove from the heat). The idea is to soften the material.
  3. Thirdly, Use a vise to wrap the blade, and don’t forget the masking tape to avoid cutting yourself during the process. Position the stag to put it onto the tang. Leave it overnight to dry.

Then test if the grip is optimal. If it doesn’t feel tight, you can glue the tang and repeat the process.

5. Making G-10 Knife Handle

G-10 is another knife handle material you can use. Here is a short step by step guide for making a G-10 knife handle:

  1. Firstly, use a magic marker to mark the handle at the desired positions. You will need to mark the holes properly.
  2. Then, grab a hand drill to begin drilling, and you can take advantage of a drill press to even out the holes.
  3. Use brass bolts as pins and assemble the handle. Use epoxy to glue the scales together. 
  4. In addition, clean the epoxy residue and let it dry. Once you finish that, you can use sanding to achieve the desired shape.

6. How to Replace the Wooden Knife Handle

Would you like to change your wooden knife handle to adjust the unit’s aesthetics, or it seems too old and needs refreshment? Whatever the reason, replacing a handle shouldn’t be too difficult.

The entire process starts by removing the old handle. You can use a hacksaw or a similar tool to do that. Before this, don’t forget to wrap the blade’s sharp end to avoid getting cut in the process.

You can follow how to make knife handles guides provided in this article. It all comes down to using appropriate holes for the pins and connecting the handle properly. If necessary, you can consider sharpening the blade, too. Once you finish revitalizing the item, the knife will look and perform as good as new. 

Summary

If you are making a knife handle, you can choose between a variety of materials. That will ensure the product fits your requirements and preferences. Although you need to spend some time to prepare the tools and materials required, the actual project won’t take a lot of time and effort. 

NCcuttingtools can provide various blades and tools at affordable prices. The company has modern equipment and knowledgeable staff capable of complying with customized orders. If you believe we can help with your next project, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Countersink VS Counterbore – What is the Difference Between Them?

Cross-section of counterboring and countersinking bits

Many a time, newbies to the world of cutting and machining confuse Countersink VS Counterbore. Even though these two words are quite similar, there is still some level of difference. These differences affect the usage of screws and bolts and the shape of holes they make. Hence, this article aims at highlighting the core differences between these two styles of drilling holes. Also, by the end of this read, we hope you have learned how to make holes using both methods successfully.

Figure 1: Cross-section of counterboring and countersinking bits
Cross-section of counterboring and countersinking bits

1. What are countersink and counterbore?

These two methods both create holes, but as they differ in shape, so does the respective fastener. You must understand these two to know which option fits your project. Note that counterbore or countersink simultaneously refers to the cutting tool and the hole itself. Thus, you should pay attention to both terms’ dynamic usage in this article’s subsequent part.

What is a counterbore?

A counterbore produces a cylindrical hole with an enlarged flat head such that a fastener’s head will flush fit. A Forstner bit drills the hole following a specified depth and diameter. A prominent feature of the counterbore is that the hole’s diameter is slightly lesser than that of the fastener’s head. The counterbore usually has two distinct cutting radii. One is for the actual counterbore and the other for the recessed cavity. An interesting feature of a counterbore is that it helps to conceal the fastener when joining parts.

What is a countersink?

A countersink produces a conical hole at an angle that matches that of the screw head to allow flush fit. Similarly, the flush fit is to either the workpiece surface or slightly below. There are several styles have of countersink for different purposes and applications. Besides, a countersink can help deburr or create chamfers on a workpiece. A striking feature of the countersink is that it looks V-shaped. Generally, to use a tapered head screw, you must have a countersink in place already. Many properties define a countersink, such as; diameter, depth, and angle.

Figure 2: Close-up image of a countersink.
Close-up image of a countersink.

2. Are there many styles of the countersink?

Yes, because of the demand for various areas of application of countersinks, many styles exist. These styles vary specifically due to the angle of cut. Also, each style comes with its distinct advantages over another. Below are the various standard angle sizes of countersink available in the market today with their respective applications:

  • 60° for deburring
  • 75° for rivet heads
  • 82° for US standard countersunk screws
  • 90° for countersunk screws
  • 120° for countersinking of sheet metal rivets
  • 180° for cylindrical and hexagonal head screws and nuts.

Furthermore, a detailed examination of the various styles of the countersink is as follows:

Cross-hole cutter

This countersink is special because of its unique drill hole across the countersink. It features a hole at 45° to the countersink’s axis but a countersink angle of 90°. The hole at 45° helps to take out chips quickly. It prevents jamming and keeps the workpiece clean. They are also the best choice of countersink for deburring.

Figure 3: Countersink showing its drill hole for chip removal.

Countersink showing its drill hole for chip removal.

Flat Countersink

It cuts a cylindrical shape at 180° for cylinder and hexagonal head screws and nuts at this countersink’s tip. The guide goes firstly goes into the pre-drilled hole for precision. There exist two broad categories of flat countersink. These are for-through and thread core holes. They differ in their mode of fastening two separate workpieces together. Only the second material is threaded in for through holes, while in the thread core hole, both materials are. Again, the for-through hole’s fixed guide diameter is often larger than that of the thread core hole.

Shell sinker

A shell sinker has its countersink mounted on a twist drill. The set-up is such that initial drilling and countersinking happens in one working step.

3. What are the differences between the Countersink VS Counterbore?

There exist some distinct differences between the countersink and counterbore. We have highlighted some of these differences, here they are below:

3.1 Shape

The shape of the hole produced by a counterbore is straight, while that of a countersink is V-shaped. Also, you could say that the counterbore is cylindrical, while the countersink is canonical. The key difference between countersink and counterbore lies in their shape. Thus, from physical inspection, you should recognize both hole type.

It is worthy of note that a countersink produces a narrower hole than its head. On the other hand, a counterbore is the same diameter all through.

Figure 4: Countersink showing its canonical/ V-shape.
Countersink showing its canonical/ V-shape.

Figure 5: Threaded and Un-threaded Counterbore showing its cylindrical shape.
Threaded and Un-threaded Counterbore showing its cylindrical shape.

3.2 Type of fasteners

Due to the nature of the countersink or counterbore, the type of fastener used automatically differs. Countersink will always have canonical-head fasteners while counterbore has flat bottom fasteners. Examples of counterbore fasteners are hexagonal head screws and bolts, nuts with end bolts, etc.

3.3 Application

More often than not, wood as a material is quite easy to force-fit canonical head fasteners. It automatically makes the essence of countersinking useless in woodworks. Hence, for metals, PCBs, and other less flexible materials, countersinking is best adopted. Meanwhile, counterbore is more synonymous with wood but also harder to carry out too. The reason for this is because counterbore usually has much larger heads.

4.  Countersink VS Counterbore– What tools can make a countersink?

The simple tool used to form a countersink is also called a countersink. However, to eliminate confusion, it is sometimes referred to as a countersink tool. These tools come as either manual or power-driven. Your usage and application should guide which version you purchase. Heavy jobs require more power to drive deeper. All you need do is, consider the complexity of your job and purchase a good set with different sizes.

4.1 When should we need a countersink?

Primarily, once your choice of a fastener is a tapered one, then countersink is compulsory. Besides, the perfect flush of the fastener’s head to the workpiece surface always gives your work a fine finish. More so, a countersink will ensure that your fastener can go full length into the workpiece. It will ensure a perfect fit and strong joint without breaking the workpiece’s surface. Conclusively, a countersink adds more aesthetics to your job and averts likely cut or tear to the skin or clothing.

5. Countersink VS Counterbore– When should we use a counterbore?

A rare case of having a fastener not long enough can be solved easily with a counterbore. When fixing two workpieces, they have a thickness greater than the available fastener’s length. The counterbore proffers a solution by ensuring that the hole is sufficient to fasten only. With a counterbore, you can fasten without allowing the fastener’s head interference. Even though the counterbore does not increase the fastener’s length, it still helps you achieve the end goal. It happens when the hole equals the fastener’s threaded end while the head keeps below the workpiece’s surface.

5.1 What tools can make a counterboring?

Unlike the countersink, a Forstner bit produces a counterbore. These bits come in various diameters and make precise holes with straight edges. The typical size of the bit ranges from ¼’’ up to 1’’ is on the market.

6.  Countersink VS Counterbore– Which Way is the Easiest?

Honestly, no method is the easiest; both countersinking and counterboring require a similar effort. It can do it manually or with power tools. Although, it is only woods that the manual method would be easy to use. Other materials will require the use of a power-driven tool. Recall that wood is softer, delicate, and easier to ruin, hence manual over the power-driven tool. The manual approach gives you more control over the drilling; however, you want it than the power tool. All in all, for convenience, countersink for a tapered head fastener and counterbore for a T-shaped head fastener.

7.  Countersink VS Counterbore– Frequent Q&A

Learn about some important question mostly asked about counterbore and countersink below

7.1 What does deburring mean?

Burrs form as a result of the small shreds of materials left after drilling a for-through-hole. Burrs are dangerous, especially if they are metallic ones. Therefore, the process of removing these burrs is termed deburring. A countersink with an angle of 60° helps carry out deburring successfully. Deburring helps to widen the hole’s entry region through countersinking and aids internal threading of the hole.

7.2 How do we determine the dimension of the Countersink VS Counterbore?

For both the counterbore and countersink, follow the steps below to determine its dimension:

  • Measure the screw’s diameter and divide by two to get the radius.
  • Calculate the area of the circle through ℼ× (radius)2.
  • From the result in (b) above, multiply again by the screw’s length.
  • The result from (c) gives the appropriate depth of the countersink you need.

Additionally, for a counterbore, the Forstner bit does the job. The design is such that the pilot has a reduced diameter than the fluted end. For a countersink, use one that corresponds to the angle you desire.

Summary

In conclusion, this article has enumerated the differences, similarities, and intricacies of counterbore and countersink. All your cutting tools, a custom product, and services reach out to us now at NCCuttingtools. We will gladly offer our professional consultancy to you anytime, any day.

Miter joint-Teach You How to Cut the Perfect Miter Joint?

Miter joint closeup

DIY enthusiasts and professionals both know how vital a miter joint can be. Its versatility is impressive, and it can be incredibly strong, but only if you do it right. If done properly, it will seem like the wooden pieces wrap flawlessly around each other.

It is not easy to make a perfect miter joint, especially if you are a newbie to these cuts. 

This article offers a detailed guide on what you need to do to cut a miter joint. That includes acquiring the right tools and making suitable steps, and paying attention to all relevant details. 

Section 2: What Is a Miter Joint?

According to the definition, you make a miter joint by cutting two pieces of the same material to join them across the main surface. The most common angle used is 45 degrees, and you form a 90-degree angle for the joinery to look clean and visually attractive.

You can also make splined miter joints since they are stronger than the regular ones—users to that by inserting a thin wood wafer into the slot. 

The most common examples of work where you will see miter joints include molding, pipes, and picture frames. That makes them extremely versatile and suitable for different projects.

Here are the main types of miter joints:

  • Perpendicular – these are the most common joints, and they form a 90-degree angle.
  • Non -perpendicular – these services for any angles that don’t form a 90-degree connection. You want to ensures that the two material pieces can join properly. That can be a tricky task because you will need to determine two cutting angles to match them correctly.
  • 3D joints – if the two connected pieces aren’t on the same plane, you need a 3D joint. That is why you might need to rotate an item and make the other necessary corrections to place them properly.

You can also make other types of joints, depending on your task. That includes half-lap, rabbit, biscuit, mitered butt, box, rabbet, and mortise and tenon joints.

Section 3: Choose the Right Tools for the Project

Caption: Using a handsaw and miter box to cut aboard

Apart from versatility, the advantage of miter joints is that you can use various tools and cutting techniques to make them. 

Here are the methods to use:

A handsaw combined with a miter box 

It is a basic approach that doesn’t require a significant investment. It makes it suitable for newbies. Although it is easy to use, it will be tricky to achieve the desired accuracy and maintain the perfect angle. A handsaw is quite portable, which makes it easy for moving between locations. 

Miter gauge 

It is accuracy your primary concern? A miter gauge will help you to find an optimal angle for every cut. The setting up process takes a bit more time than with a handsaw, but the results will be worth it.

Special miter jig 

It is an accessory you use with a table saw. That means you need to know how to operate this tool, and the entire setup isn’t quite portable. The good news is that you can expect consistent results when using a special miter jig.

A radial arm saw 

This tool is another option for how you can get miter joints. It is quite versatile and easy to use, although there is the initial investment to acquire the equipment you need. The product is fairly portable, and you will easily find the desired cutting angle.

Compound miter saw 

The most common miter joints you will make are perpendicular units. If that is the case, a compound miter saw will do the trick. You can expect to find the right angle easily, and performing the cut should be simple. 

Sliding compound miter saw 

You can use another option for miter cuts that don’t come with a long learning curve. Even beginners will quickly figure out how everything works. Thanks to the tool’s capabilities, it will be easy to achieve the desired accuracy regardless of the cutting angle.  

Ultimately, selecting the tool depends on your upcoming project. It is vital to consider the level of accuracy you need or want and other material specifics. That will help you to determine the right tool for the job. 

Section 4: How to Make a Miter Joint?

It is always nice when you see a beautiful and strong miter joint. The good news is that it only takes a bit of practice to make one yourself. You can use multiple methods for making these joints, and we are listing them below.

4.1. Using a Table Saw Sled to Make Miter Joints

Is accuracy your main concern when making miter joints? If the answer is yes, put some time and effort into designing a table sled for your miter saw. 

The biggest downside of this method is that it requires a lot of preparation. However, once you have a table saw sled ready, you can use it repeatedly. That will simplify the process and ensure you have the perfect miter joint every time you use it.

Once the sled is ready, position it on the saw. Now, add the workpiece to cut the joint. You want to aim for a 90-degree angle between the sled and the fence. Experts use a framing square to even out the fences when joining them to the base.

The idea is simple – cut the left side, and then proceed to a matching cut on the right. It should be easy to ensure the matching with a masking tape.

4.2. Using Your Table Saw’s Miter Gauge to Make Joints

Do you feel like it’s a bother to design a miter sled? The alternative is to use the miter gauge, and it is an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts. If you don’t make joints that often, a gauge will be sufficient to perform a decent cut.

If you have a long fence, it would be smart to attach it to ensure optimal board stability. Please take advantage of the speed square as it can assist in setting the initial gauge’s angle. Now, you want to take things slowly since this method takes a bit of practice. It is advisable to do a practice cut or two first.

4.3. Using Your Miter Saw to Cut Miter Joints

Caption: A man working with a miter saw

Here is another way how to make a perfect miter joint – you can use your miter saw. While this is the simplest method, it is also a bit restrictive. That is because it will make a great cut only if you need a precise 45-degree or another angle offered by the tool.

It will take a bit of practice to get comfortable with using the tool. Don’t start with the workpiece you need, but take several materials you can practice until you improve your skills. Once you are confident enough, proceed with the required application.

Tear-outs might happen in the back section, but you can use a masking tape or a throat plate with zero clearance. 

Section 5: Which Miter Joint Cutting Method Is the Best?

Caption: Miter saw and carpentry joinery

There is a reason why we recommended several methods. You will find there isn’t a perfect way how to cut a miter joint. Various approaches can be suitable, and it depends on the desired action.

You can use a sled to cut miters that allow the boards to lay down flat. Sleds can be an excellent choice for tabletops that aren’t big, but they are not suitable for stock with a wrapping mitered corner. That is where a miter saw comes into play since it makes a fantastic bevel cut. Users should also consider miter saws for crown molding, baseboards, windows, and door casing.

The table saw might seem inconvenient to operate, but it is a smart pick when you need the highest possible accuracy. 

Section 6: How to Fix an Imperfect Miter Joint?

Would you like to make a reliable miter joint spline, but the tool doesn’t seem to listen? It seems you have the 45-degree angle set, but it still won’t cut the way it should. Here are the solutions to the two most common problems in this category.

6.1. Cut a Long Piece

You will recognize a long piece because it features an overhang. If this is the case, the experts recommend an easy fix. It would be best if you used steel in the corner to fold over the longer item’s grain. The only additional tool you need is a screwdriver. If the piece were a bit longer than it should, this would ensure the cut looks clean. 

6.2. The Blade Was in Some Way Out of Alignment

It might occur that you didn’t adjust the blade properly, and that is why your miter joints don’t look satisfactory. If this happened, you would notice a gap in either the outer or inner sections. There is a simple fix if you don’t want or have enough material to cut the application again.

You can use the mixture of glue and sawdust to combine the pieces. The experts suggest biscuit joints and using a generous quantity of glue. Apply the sawdust from the identical material, and you will fill the gap. 

Section 7: How Can We Make the Miter Joint Stronger?

Are you looking to make a reinforced miter joint? Here are the steps to take to make your joint stronger:

  • Find the exact position on the workpiece

You want to decide the application’s cutting position before you start using the tool. It will help with accuracy.

Always keep the miter block on a solid surface 

The surface should be stable to acquire the desired accuracy level.

Clamp the timber in the block 

Now, be careful while positioning the workpiece inside the block. Make sure to use a clamp because you don’t want the material moving during the process.

Be confident and steady when using the saw 

Try to make decisive moves, but not rush things too much.

See if there is room for improvement 

You might need to perfect your joint or do everything from scratch again. However, a strong miter joint is the one where two material pieces connect perfectly.

Section 8: What Do We Need to Consider When Making Miter Joints?

Whether you are making a standard or splined miter joint, the cut needs to be optimal. Here are some critical considerations to take into account during the process:

  • It would be best if you had maximum attention when the mitering boards need to form a miter box (square or rectangle) of four pieces joined together. That is where you want the top level of accuracy to ensure everything looks perfect. The best example of this is the frame used for a picture.
  • Users don’t have to stress that much during furniture base molding or doing a single corner miter. They won’t be in a visible location, and the odds are not many people would notice.
  • Each deviation from the standard 45-degree angle will mean that there will be a gap when connecting the pieces for a frame. That is why accuracy is imperative.
  • You also need to ensure the boards are of identical length. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of stop blocks to check the length.
  • Always use a sharp blade. If you notice the blade is dull, the odds are the cut will be ugly and imperfect. That is why it is vital to sharpen the blade first and then proceed with the cut.

Summary

Making a perfect miter joint requires practice, but the results will make it worth your while. You will have a workpiece that looks great and exceeds expectations in all categories. If you need the tools to make great miter joints, you can rely on NCcuttingtoools. Our company has years of experience in manufacturing customized cutting tools and saw blades for various users and requirements. We are here to help if you need a new tool, and our experts can assist in choosing the right equipment!

Scroll Saw Blades – Choosing the right blade Ultimate Guide

A scroll saw showing its table and blade

In recent times, the rising need to carry out rare cuts birthed the development of new tools. Scroll saw blades have helped solve so many cuttings problems around the globe, which may appear arduous. Scroll saws look and operate exactly like the common cloth and shoe sewing machine. However, instead of bearing a needle and thread, they carry a scroll blade that cuts intricate designs.

Furthermore, scroll saw blades come in various types for specific purposes depending on the task at hand.

This article focuses on the scroll saw blades to shed light on how to choose the correct type.

Figure 1: A scroll saw showing its table and blade.
A scroll saw showing its table and blade

Section 1: What is a scroll saw?

The basis for the invention of a scroll saw lies in cutting intricate designs on wood and metal. Whether for straight or bevel cut, the scroll saw table delivers the best. You can switch between the speed you desire, depending on the job at hand. They can make about 400 to 1800 strokes per minute with just the rotation of a knob.  While many confuse the scroll saw for a jigsaw, the difference lies in the ease of handling. Unlike the jigsaw, which is hand-controlled and portable, the scroll saw is heavy-duty and comes with a pedal.  Moreover, the ability of the scroll saw lies in the small blade it uses.

Primarily, there exist two broad categories of the scroll saw blades: pinned blade and pin-less blade. The nomenclature adopted for the blades has nothing to do with having a pointed edge. Instead, it refers to how the blade connects to the machine. 

Figure 2: A modern scroll saw.
A modern scroll saw.

1.1 How is the scroll blade made?

Just like other manufactured blades, the scroll saw blades have different types made of different materials. The material used for making scroll saw blades would later affect the strength of such a blade. Two scrolls saw blades in existence include; the Ground hardened steel, and Milled Scroll saw blades.

1.1.1 Ground hardened steel blades

Scroll saw blades made from hardened steel have higher strength with a finer and straighter cut from experience. Also, these scroll saw blades offer longer durability up to three or four times more than others.

One very key property of this class pf scroll saw blades is that they are stone-ground. It implies that they will have sharper edges, cut very smoothly, and produce no chip.

1.1.2 Milled scroll saw blades

Normally, this type of scroll saw blades should have almost identical characteristics as the Ground hardened. However, the mastery of the manufacturer when producing determines the outcome. The milling process involves hardening and tempering of softer metals, called metal flow.

Thus, the manufacturer’s ability to control the metal flow will determine the quality of the scroll saw blades eventually. Ultimately, purchasing from a manufacturer with a track record of proven quality is what matters most.

Section 2: What do we need to consider before buying a scrolling blade?

Surely before purchasing scroll saw blades, some factors must be considered to avoid costly mistakes.

2.1 Is the blade compatible with the machine?

Undoubtedly, compatibility goes a long way in the usability of different blades with a scroll saw. While some manufacturers have produced their saw for specific blade type, others make their universal. Again, some scroll saws have provision for pinned or pin-less blades. Eventually, it would be best if you chose scroll saw blades that will fit your saw specifications completely.

2.2 Material (Thickness, density)

Depending on the nature of your workpiece, the type of blade to choose will have specific properties. Especially properties such as its tooth configuration and size must effectively cut the workpiece without breaking. Subsequently, the sizing of scroll saw blades would follow to give you a better understanding.

2.3 Precision and maneuverability

The measure of how easy to use a blade helps to determine whether to go for it or not. For instance, spiral scroll saw blades cut internal curves and round internal shapes because of their shape. On the other hand, pinned blades cannot do these; instead, they cut only straight and external cut.

2.4 Blade diversity

Scroll blades may either be pinned or pin-less depending on the manufacturer and your choice. However, the pinned blade often sits well on the saw and cuts better because of more stability.

2.5 Lubrication

Similar to other types of blades, scroll saw blades also get heated and blunt. Hence, they also require adequate lubrication periodically to function properly. With tape or beeswax, you can easily lubricate your blade to prevent it from burning your workpiece, especially wood. Bear in mind that dense wood will quickly dull your scroll saw blades, although proper lubrication can reduce the rate.

Section 3: Do I need pin-end blades or pin-less blades?

Before deciding on the type of scroll saw blade to opt for, you need to understand the two categories available. The pin-end and pin-less blades have peculiar characteristics, which makes them different. The choice of which type of scroll saw blades to use among these two depends on your scroll saw.

Pin-end or pinned blades have what is known as a cross pin at both ends. They have a holding hook to install on the saw with a cross-piece for this type of blades. You can remove the blade by just unhooking, which releases the tension.

Pin-less or plain-end blades do not have much difference from the pinned counterpart except the mode of installation. Installing it involves connecting them into the slots located above and below the scroll saw table. This type of blade is fast becoming the most common in modern saws.

Figure 3: Pinned scroll saw blade.
Pinned scroll saw blade.

Section 4: Which types of scroll saw blades do we need?

Asides from the blades having different sizes, the teeth configuration plays a major role in its ability to perform a certain task. Therefore, this section focuses on the different teeth configurations of the scroll blades, which divide into seven:

4.1 Standard-tooth blades

Certainly, this class of blades always remains the best seller and most used by all and sundry. Most scroll saws come with a standard-tooth blade from the manufacturer. Their unique characteristics lie in the equally spaced distance between the tooth. Also, the teeth’ arrangement is one-sided, and that side should face forwards at all times.

Additionally, this class has two sub-categories; the ones used for wood and those for metals. You observe lesser but larger teeth and wider gullets for the wood option to allow for grip and dust evacuation. On the other hand, the metal option teeth have smaller but more teeth because of metals’ density.

Generally, the standard-tooth blade is multi-purpose but cannot handle complex jobs such as fine detailing and special cuts.

4.2 Skip-tooth blades

The skip-tooth scroll blades look similar to the standard-tooth blade but with one less tooth consecutively. Hence, they have larger gullets or ridges, which makes them similar to the wood type standard-tooth scroll saw blades. Furthermore, the major merit of this teeth configuration is that there are better clearance and clearer visibility for the user. It is very suitable for beginners to use or practice. Also, heat dissipation occurs easily, and this prevents smokes or burns when cutting tough materials.

Consequently, it would be best if you understood that the skip-tooth blades are for rough cuts with little or no precision in mind. Thus, never attempt to use them for fine cuts; instead, use them to resize for another scroll blade to finish.

4.3 Double Skip-tooth blades

This blade is similar to the skip-tooth blade but with two teeth placed together along the blade’s length. It implies that it produces a similar cut to the skip-tooth blade but a bit smoother because of more teeth available. Although, it takes more time to complete a cut than a regular or standard-tooth blade. Endeavor to use this blade to cut only materials with thickness less than or equal to 2 inches.

4.4 Reverse skip-tooth blades

This blade aims to reduce and control chipping, splintering, and cracking of brittle materials. Ordinarily, this type of scroll saw blades look identical to the normal skip-tooth blade. The only difference is the inversion of a few teeth at the bottom to point in the opposite direction. Again, it experiences faster wear and tear because of its orientation in two directions.

Presently, modern technologies gave room to the development of an ultra-reverse skip-tooth blade. This ultra-version aims to address the issue of dust clearing with a slight altering of the tooth configuration. Clearing sawdust will help to eliminate heat build-up when cutting.

4.5 Precision-ground blades

Often known as the PGT blade, they can cut tougher materials without getting blunt quickly. They have a similar configuration to a skip-tooth blade but have grounded teeth, not shaped teeth. For extreme durability, superior strength, and sharper edges, the PGT is the right choice. All you need to do is select the right size for the job you have at hand. They leave a good finish with minimal chips and cracks. Because of the high level of technicality required, only professionals and experts should handle them. Finally, they cut faster and efficiently, which helps you increase your overall production.

4.6 Spiral blades

Of all the tooth configuration discussed earlier, the spiral scroll saw blades stand out. It can cut in all directions with its blade having various standard-teeth spun around its length. Thus, the spiral blade’s teeth appear in all directions, so be careful when installing not to cut yourself. For all irregular patterns and shapes, you can count on the spiral blade to do it right. On the contrary, they stretch and find it difficult to maneuver tight angles.

4.7 Crown-tooth blades

This tooth blade happens to be the most recent and the biggest innovation in the world of the scroll saw. They feature teeth with a crown-like shape with two points facing opposite directions but similar to the reverse tooth blades. Unlike other scroll saw blades type, they can cut plywoods, plexiglass, and other harder materials. Generally, when you use this blade, you stand to gain better control for a smoother finish.

Figure 4: Different teeth configuration of scroll blades.
Different teeth configuration of scroll blades.

Section 5: How do you choose the right scroll saw blade size?

Sizing scroll saw blades is easy and straightforward, although there is an established number system to this effect. As the blade gets bigger, so does the number system get higher. The number ranges between #12 and #0. It implies that bigger blades will be thicker and wider with a low TPI.

5.1 As the thickness or density (hardness) of the wood increases, so does the scrolling blade.

Ideally, #5 or #7 scroll saw blades are the most suitable for ¾ inches thick wood. However, the more you skilled you have, the smaller the blade you can adopt for any task. But the rule of thumb is that #9 blade cuts wood of about 1-inch thickness.

5.2 Larger scroll saw blades (#9 and above) are more durable.

Know for a fact that the bigger the blade, the stronger it is and durable. Larger blades in the #9 category upwards have lesser TPI, stays sharper for longer, and do not break easily.

5.3 For thin wood, using a smaller blade is a good choice (3# or smaller blade).

To avoid splintering of wood, materials of about 1/8 inches require #3 or smaller blade type. Blades of this size can cut around tight corners seamlessly. The downside to this class of blade is that they have higher TPI, which cuts slowly.

5.4 Select the blades based on the thickness of the stack if you want to make stack cutting.

Whenever you stack wood or other materials, you have increased the overall thickness of the materials. It means that the blade chosen will correspond to the overall thickness and not the material’s thickness.

5.5 Consider the intricacy of the cuts.

Lastly, the complexity of the cut you have in mind should guide your decision on the blade to use. As discussed above, smaller blades can fit into tight corners even though hardwoods might break them. The overall conclusion is that you choose the smallest possible blade capable of cutting your material.

Figure 5: Close-up picture of a scroll blade and top clamp/holder.
Close-up picture of a scroll blade and top clamp/holder.

Section 6: How do we use scroll saw blades correctly?

6.1 Determine which end is the top.

The only way to determine the top-end is via the teeth direction. The top-end should be opposite the direction of the teeth configuration. But this does not work for the crown-tooth blade because it cuts in both directions. So, you can use any end as the top for the crown-tooth blade. On the other hand, for other blades, run your thumb through to know the exact point and permanently mark your top-end for future reference. 

6.2 Prevent blade slippage.

Usually, manufacturers rub some oil on blades to keep it rust-free, but this oil causes slippage. Eventually, you should clean off this oil before using the blade with either sandpaper or cloth.

6.3 Install the blade.

  • Fasten the top clamp/holder to the blade. 
  • Once this is in place, feed the blade to the bottom through a hole on the saw and clamp. 
  • Check the tension of the blade such that the blade is tight enough so no flex occurs. 

6.4 Apply tension.

After installation, tension the blade properly for the best result. You can avoid the blade’s breakage under proper tension since the blade will not get stuck in between the workpiece. Finally, do not under-tight or over-tight; moderate tightness is great.

6.5Prevent friction.

Blades heats up, gets blunt, and eventually breaks sometimes. The sole cause of this occurrence is friction. While it is impossible to eliminate friction, you can minimize its effect by using lubricants such as beeswax. 

Section 7: What materials can the scrolling blades cut?

Asides from woods, scroll saw blades can still cut plastic, thin metals, and glass. Nevertheless, cutting these materials with a scroll saw blades involves some peculiarities. For instance, plastic cutting must do with a lubricated blade because it tends to melt due to friction. Also, glass requires special blades coated with diamonds. Make provision for instantaneous cooling when cutting to prevent the glass from due to heat.

Figure 6: Intricate pattern cut with a spiral blade.
Intricate pattern cut with a spiral blade.

Summary

To finish with, a strong take-home from this article is the uniqueness of the scroll blades. Furthermore, we have highlighted the scroll blades’ abilities and characteristics, which affect usage and adaptability. Over the years, NCCuttingtools has developed the capacity to provide cutting tools, saw blades, and customized services. Please send us a message to get answers to all your questions and have all your problems solved.

Table Saw – How to Build a Crosscut Sled for A Table Saw?

A typical crosscut sled

The table saw crosscut sled is every woodworker’s dream. This dream is not just because of the speed associated with getting things done but also the precision. There are a lot of technical ways you can go about making a crosscut table saw sled.

This article presents all you need to know about building a crosscut sled for the table saw. It will present several factors you must consider and the steps you must follow.

So, as we move through each section, open your mind to making a practical DIY crosscut sled.

A typical crosscut sled

A typical crosscut sled

Section 2: About table saw crosscut sled.

2.1 What is a crosscut sled?

A crosscut sled is a device you can use to make crosscuts. However, there are different intricacies about creating a crosscut sled. Crosscut sleds are not just a modern time tool, as different generations have different applications and modifications of the tool. The different variations of the crosscut sled available today call for sufficient insight before making a choice.

2.2 What can the table saw crosscut sled do?

As a modern woodworking tool, the crosscut sled has quite some functionalities that you must know:

The crosscut sled is best for making safe and repeatable crosscuts on a tables saw.

Crosscut sleds are also renowned for their accuracy and are very helpful in making complex cuts.

With a 90-degree position design, it also possesses zero-clearance kerf.

They are also very versatile in that you can add accessories like stomps and clamps to improve functionality.

Speed is one of the finest attributes of the table saw. The speed allows the crosscut sled to cut through multiple parts easily.

Tablesaw crosscut sleds also come with a single or double miter track design for improved accuracy.

crosscut sled
crosscut sled

Section 3: Why do we need the table saw crosscut sled?

3.1 There is no friction between the crosscut sled and the table saw.

Friction is a major concern whenever you carry out activities that involve motion. Likewise, for the table crosscut sled, friction affects its motion. This frictional concern occurs because as you cut your ply or hardwood, they are mostly in a flat position. This positioning, along with the movement from the workpiece against the blade, causes friction.

As such, your grip on the workpiece must be firm and strong to get an accurate cut. This step can prove to be trickier at times where you have to cut slippery materials. In a nutshell, as your workpiece gets larger or more complex, they increase friction. Some woodworkers prefer to use miter gauges at such times, but the crosscut sled can be more effective.

Miter gauges may not be effective in cutting materials of such sizes. The crosscut sled’s design makes for a larger base that prevents contact of the workpiece with the saw table. The absence of this contact makes the crosscut sled a much better option for reducing friction.

3.2 Crosscut sled fences can prevent from hurting.

Due to the increasing sizes of materials and complexity, the miter gauge fails to meet accuracy and speed. Using the miter gauge will leave you open to accidents from the blade. For this reason, the crosscut sled edges the miter gauge with its design configuration. This configuration includes accessories that improve its safety worthiness.

A crosscut sled is particularly useful in preventing injuries or causing fatalities. Crosscut sled’s tailgate provides a clamping surface, thereby preventing accidents.

3.3 Table saw crosscut sled can make repeat cutting:

If you are a woodworker, the crosscut sled device is your best option. This device allows you to carry out repeated cutting during woodworking. With its adjustable stop feature, the table saw crosscut sled is a perfect tool for repeat cutting.

All you need to do is to input parameters of the sled that mark the dimensions you need. The sled operates more like a basic control system. Some sleds, however, don’t come with this feature. You can easily attach a scrap block to the fence, and you are good to go with the feature.

3.4 Crosscut sled can accurately cut at an angle.

The crosscut sled is a gem for making cuts at impossible angles. With its zero-clearance feature, the sled provides you with accuracy and acute functionality combined.

Section 4: How to build a crosscut sled for your table saw?

4.1 Structure

The design and structure of this sled restrict to the number of resources you have available. In addition to the design is the factor that allows you to borrow concepts from earlier and other manufacturers. Invariably, you are not building from scratch. It is just a combination of different techniques and methods of building a crosscut sled.

4.2 Tools and Supplies

Just like most DIY projects, you will need to know the tools that will help make your sled. The crosscut sled for the table saw is precision equipment, requiring you to use precision tools. Below are the major tools that you will need in creating your crosscut sled:

  • Tri-Square
  • Drill Bit
  • Countersink Bit
  • Calipers
  • Miter Saw stand
  • Plywood
  • Hardwood scrap (straight)
  • Earmuffs
  • Wood glue
  • Feeler Gauges
  • Router Bit Set
  • Kreg Mini Track

As a side note, you must calibrate your table saw before making any cuts to prevent errors in cutting dimensions.

Tri-square
Tri-square

4.3 Gather materials and cut the pieces

Get yourself a ½” plywood, then mark and cut a 36 inches’ width along with a 26 inches’ depth dimension. This dimensioning will make for a suitable table saw sled base.

For creating your fences, use a double stack ¾” plywood. You can use offcut plywood for this purpose. You should create strips with 37 inches and 23 inches for the back and front fence, respectively.

Glue your strips together to make for a compact fence that is very straight.

Finally, let the glue dry for 8-10 hours before cleaning up the faces with a jointer.

Cutting pieces
Cutting pieces

4.4 Cut and assemble the runners and the base

  • In assembling the runners and the blade, begin by first cutting your back fence square. After this, you go on to mark your workpiece using a table saw sled base.
  • You can cover all exposed edges using a round rover. Then dimension the plywood to make cuts at necessary points.
  • Cut your runners using the maple wood according to your dimensions for width.
  • Adjust the fence to ⅜”, then flip your runners and run them through.
  • Drill countersunk holes in each runner.
  • Next, use the miter slots to position the runners.
  • Create slots on your plywood and put two washers along with the slot
  • Drop in the runners to move them up from the table surface.
  • Secure your runners to the base with permanent screws
  • Cut your runners in correspondence to the length of your sled base.
  • Finally, give the runners a trial test.

4.5 Add the stiffener and square the fence.

  • Before setting up your fences, make sure to add stiffeners at the respective table saw sled ends.
  • Next is to make marks on the sled on your router table. These marks will indicate the track length from beginning to end on both sides of the table.
  • Mark the width of the cut
  • Make a plunge cut on the backside.
  • Move your router fence back to allow for maximum width groove.
  • Use a chisel for each slot to give it a polished clean look.

4.6 Test the fence for square

  • Smoothen your track edges to keep it from catching on anything, then test.
  • Put your front fence to hold the sled after cutting.
  • Adjust your fence to the end of the sled the drill in with 1-½” screws.
  • Raise your blade to cut through from the fence till you get to about 3inches to the back fence.
  • Drill your back fence edge with a countersink bit
  • Clamp the fence firmly and square with a chisel.

4.7 Add stop blocks

  • Cut a small scrap block and spline, then adjust with your sandpaper to fit your sled track. The stop block is a basic block design that acts as a safety measure. The block has a spline to keep the block from rotating with the blade when you lock down the crosscut sled.
  • Position your block to about ⅛” to create an allowance for sawdust and minor kickbacks. Subsequently, attach the stop block to the table saw crosscut sled.
  • Cut two other sled blocks of sizes 4×3 inches.
  • Glue them together and around sled edges.

Create First Cut Series

  • Adjust your fence using the popular 5-cut method series.
  • Firstly, assign numbers to a fresh 18*18 plywood on all sides.
  • Create a strip from each side, with the first strip having a higher dimension.
  • Measure both sides of the strip using a caliper.
  • Secure all countersunk hole locations to increase rigidity.

4.8 Check accuracy (5-cut Method)

  • Repeat your 5-cut method process to take the error percentage.
  • Your error should reduce drastically with up to 80% error reduction.
  • Clamp a level to your fence for rigidity, then screw in the fence in place.
  • You can also create further assurance by securing all countersunk hole locations with omission to the first hole.

Section 5: Can I make a table saw sled for 45-degree miter cuts?

5.1 Magic miter sled

The Magic Miter is a woodworker’s go-to tool to measure and cut the ideal markings on your workpiece. Magic miters prove to be integral equipment for handling the versatility that comes with different projects.

5.2 How it works

Using the magic miter, you begin by placing a measuring tool at the points you are looking to measure. Subsequently, it would be best to change the different sides’ miter to lay the level against the wall or plane.

Place the Magic Miter in line with the measuring tool. Change the Magic Miter arms by pushing the middle support forward or in reverse. Continue pushing this support until the arms sat at a similar point as the measuring tool’s point.

Press the point measuring tool down onto the Magic Miter and lock it into a spot to set the point. Add the wood (or other material) you wish to cut into the Magic Miter. Next, supplement the material on the left arm of the Magic Miter. This procedure does cut a point facing left or right.

Next, add the sharp edge to the Magic Mitre’s middle groove before working on the wood. Hold the wood set up with your non-cutting hand. Saw the wood until it carves entirely through before removing the wood from the Magic Miter. Press the point estimating device down onto the Magic Miter and lock it into a spot to set the point.

Supplement the material on the Magic Miter’s left arm. It allows you to cut a point facing the left or the correct arm to cut an angle.

5.3 How to build a table saw sled for 45-degree miter cuts?

The first step to making a 45-degree miter cut is to attach your runners. To do this attachment, you will tape the top of the runner on both sides. Next is to align your fence to the base with your runners.

Following that, you must attach your sled base to the tape and check to see if it runs smoothly. Then drill in holes through your runners into the base and create tap threads into those holes. Subsequently, fasten with a countersink drill bit. One of the simple tasks during this construction is attaching the fence. All you have to do is place it on the sled such that it flushes with the edge. Next, you must carefully slide the fence over the fence and take the biggest square. Once you are sure you have taken the biggest square, set it. After setting the square, all that remains is to screw the screws in the corners.

Conclusion

Crosscutting is a popular practice among professional, skilled users and unskilled operators. Making a crosscut sled can prove to be quite tricky, especially if it is a DIY sled. This article outlays a systematic approach to making your table saw crosscut sled. In conclusion, therefore, as you continue to look out for helpful tips to help make your table saw crosscut sled, look no further. NCCuttingtools has got you covered. We have the best products and professionals to attend to all your table saw needs. Contact us today.

5 Advice on Custom Saw Blades from Experienced Engineers

Man using custom saw blade

When it comes to Custom saw blades, the most important thing is that people will encounter many problems when customizing these saws. And many of those issues can affect blade safety. Blade safety is critical to cutting, and if you are using an unsafe blade, you risk injury and even death. That said, choosing the right circular saw blade, even a customized one, is crucial.

Man using custom saw blade

Section 1: Importance of Safety with Custom Saw Blades

Custom saw blades used on a job site

Custom saw blades used on a job site

There are several things to think about when you are using circular saw blades, including customized circular saw blades. When you are using these blades, safety is one of the top concerns. There is an old saying that an ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure. It is especially true when using powerful cutting tools like a circular saw.

The first thing you must do is follow the instructions and use the saw as the manufacturer intended. If you are doing this, it is going a long way towards making sure that you will be safe when operating the saw. Using the saw as also intended means securing item cut. It means clamping it in place, not using your hand to apply pressure, as that is a major cause for injuries.

The other thing you must do is select the right blade for the job and inspect the blade repeatedly to be sure that the blade is performing optimally. If you have a blade that is sharp and not having any degree of warp, you have a blade that will serve your saw well. Also, use the recommended blades for your circular saw. Many circular saws have a certain recommended RPM, so you want to make sure that you are using the right blades for the saw. Doing so ensures smooth operation and keeps the blades from breaking and becoming safety hazards.

Section 2: Understanding Environmental Factors Affecting custom Saw Blade Performance

Using custom saw blades to cut wood beam

(Using custom saw blades to cut wood beam

When it comes to performance, many things will affect the performance of your blades. Many of these issues are environmental, so you must be making sure that the area you are working in is clean. The cleaner the area you are working means extending circular saw’s life, and the blade will be more efficient when cutting, and that cuts down on the risk of potential injuries as well.

Dust

One of the first things you should be aware of is the problem associated with dust. Dust is a major issue because it is flying around everywhere when you are cutting. There are a few ways to deal with dust, but first, it is important to know why dust is such a major problem for circular saws. The first reason is that dust is quite small so that it can get into the motor of the circular saw. The more sawdust kicked up by a cut, the more you need to have an effective system securing dust from your circular saw.

With certain materials, wet cutting accomplishes this, but with wood, you would have to dry cut. You’ll see professional lumber yards have vacuums and other tools to get rid of the dust immediately. Still, for someone without those luxuries, the best thing to do is use a brush or other tools to keep dust from accumulating at the engine housing.

Ventilation

There are other ways to keep your work area clean. The first is making sure your area thoroughly vacuumed before and after use. The second is making sure you are working in a well-ventilated area. It allows dust to fly around and not settle on you or the saw. If your saw’s engine has too much dust, this prevents the engine from working correctly and could overheat. This increase in heat affects the blade, and this is where the blade is spinning faster than it should and could crack. Make sure you have a clean area to work, and that when using a custom circular saw blade that does not pile onto the saw and the engine.

Section 3: Selecting the Custom Saw Right Blade for a Job

Worker safely using custom saw blade

(Worker safely using custom saw blade

Cutting type

The key to getting great cuts with custom blades has the right blade for the job. Assess the job first. If the wood is the material cut, see what type of cut needed. For rough cuts, blades with larger teeth are ideal, but if you need smoother cuts, it is imperative to have a blade with smaller teeth. Then there is the type of wood to consider as well. Plywood is easier to cut through because it is thinner and made from less dense material.

However, there are denser types of wood, and if a blade is fragile, then big rip cuts could create problems for the blade. The best thing to do is to make sure you are using the right blade for the right type of wood. There are many guides for you to see. Many times, the manufacturer of your saw will give you the guidance needed to get the correct blade for the job.

Revolutions per minute

The next thing to consider is RPM. Every blade and type of wood has a recommended RPM. Consider a few things here. The first of these considerations is how much RPM can your circular saw handle. If the blade and the wood require more RPM than your circular saw is capable of providing, this is an inefficient cut, and it will cause your circular saw to work harder and burn out the motor. The next thing is when you have the right blade and the right RPM. You need to make sure your saw set to do work at that speed. Check for the sharpness of the blades as well. If a blade is dull, then the RPM and all that caution will not matter, and you’ll be stuck with a circular saw blade that is problematic for your saw’s engine, which in turn can put your safety at risk.

Masonry cuts are different as well, as many of these blades feature a continuous rim. The reason is these blades essentially grind the stone at a fast rate, thus creating the cut. Crushed diamonds cover the blade tips, thus ensuring the cutting masonry. The problem here is most cuts with masonry blades should be wet cuts. However, if this option is not available, then be sure not to cut for too long at a time. The reason is the dust from masonry cuts is very fine and accumulates inside the housing of your circular saw’s engine. As with wood, make sure you have the right blade and the right RPM for cutting different types of stone. For example, concrete will have many different requirements than granite, marble, or quartz.

Section 4: Caring for Custom Circular Saw Motor

Custom saw blade ready for use

(Custom saw blade ready for use

The motor of a circular saw is the heart of the power tool. If you don’t care for this motor, then you are just asking for your circular saw to have problems. It includes using custom blades. The first thing you need to think about with a circular saw motor is how much power it has. It means RPM. RPM is a fancy way of saying rotations per minute – in other words, how many times the saw spins in a minute. Caring for the motor means doing some basic TLC.

The first thing that you should do with your motor is making sure when not in use, storing in a covered area. The last thing you want is debris getting into the vents and creating more heat when the circular saw is in use, which will lead to overheating and other motor problems. Before you use the circular saw, make sure to inspect it and that there are no obstructions on the vents of the motor.

Section 5: How to Maximize the Lifespan of a Custom Saw Blade

Custom saw blade cutting a plank

(Custom saw blade cutting a plank

A custom saw blade allows you to have lots of options for cutting, but not all people store the custom saw blades correctly. The most important thing about storage is making sure that one part of the blade does not bear a disproportionate amount of the weight of the blade. It means you have to make sure that the blade itself is flat. A great tip for storing your circular saw blades is to remove the blade from the saw and then have the blades in their separate area where they are flat. Don’t pile anything on top of the blade. Otherwise, you will have serious issues that can lead to warping or cracking of the blade.

Make sure you are sharpening the blades as needed. A dull blade causes the circular saw to work harder, and when that’s the case, the motor has increased problems, and you will not be able to use the saw efficiently. Eventually, the circular saw will give out, and that will be an expensive replacement.

Section 6: Storage Tips for When Custom Circular Saw is Not in Use

When a circular saw is not in use, try to remove the blade and lay the blade flat, as mentioned above. Also, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place so that no moisture affects the performance of the power tool. Have the saw near the blades, but not in a way where the blades could bear excessive and undue weight and pressure. A great place to store these items is in an upright tool chest.

Section 7: Final Thoughts

Using the right circular saw blade for a job is critical to success. When you are caring for custom blades and using them correctly, assuring your safety and you will get a very long life out of your circular saw blade. These custom blades can perform a bunch of different cutting functions. So if you need a custom circular saw, please feel free to contact us.

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