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A Clockmaker's Diary
SECOND INSTALLMENT -- The Waist Assembly


Reviewed the section on making cove cuts with the table saw in my copy of Power Tool Woodworking For Everyone, the great “how-to” textbook that comes with every Shopsmith MARK&npbs;V. Actually, the cove profile I want is not a quarter of a circle -- but rather, a quarter of an ellipse. So, I'll have to tilt my MARK V's worktable to get that profile (5-degrees for the upper molding; 13-degrees for the lower molding).

It took a lot of trial-and-error to find the correct settings for the angle of the fence, table tilt and saw blade height. Used an ordinary, all-steel 10-inch all-purpose blade for this operation. When coving, the teeth of the blade don't really cut as much as they scrape the wood. Figured the sideways pressure probably wouldn't be too good for my carbide-tipped blade.

Took the better part of a whole working day just to get the setup right for the first cove cut. Who would have guessed? Now, it's on to the lower molding. It should go faster (I sure hope so!). Those who've never done this kind of cut on a table saw would be amazed at the ease of the actual sawing operation. With a sharp blade, it goes very smoothly -- no kickbacks.

For safety, I positioned the fence so that the blade pulled the stock into the fence rather than away from it. I also added a safety guide block on the saw table. It's job is to keep the blank from slipping away from the fence and down into the blade (see Figure 1). Used push blocks throughout the whole cutting operation. Was extra careful because I had to remove the upper saw guard for this operation.

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