Confused About the BCTW Precision Fence System? Me Too…

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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I am not sure about the universe.” –Albert Einstein

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Each year I do my best to take the week off between Xmas and New Years–and this year is no different. My mistake is that addictive iPad which forces me to check my email each day–and today it appears the DSN needs care and feeding…
 
We have received several dozen requests from JMPv2 owners who want to use their new JMP Precision Fence System on a table saw sled, and they want it to pivot on the sled–just like it does on the JMP.   We have also received questions from Table Saw Sled Kit buyers who want to know how to make their fences pivot too–as opposed to our original fixed @ 90 degrees version.
 
So, what appears to have happened is that we have confused our overly demanding customers and here I am working on vacation… Heck, I am confused too. So let’s get unconfused.
 
Precision Fence System Update for BOTH the JMPv2 (and converted JMP’s) and the Table Saw Sled Kit
First, we have a very large list of names of folks who want in on the 2012 JMPv2 production run. It is larger than it has ever been this time of year–and that’s cool. Consequently, we will open the JMPv2 pre-order window in January of 2012. I mention this because the Precision Fence Systems are being produced prior to the JMPv2 run–by opening the JMPv2 window in January, we will be able to offer a JMPv2 Works package that includes the Precision Fence System. (The total cost will be near identical as incurred by current JMP owners who are purchasing the Precision Fence System).
 

  • For those of you who plan on using the Precision Fence System only on your JMP, you need not worry, or do anything.

 

  • For those of you who ordered the Precision Fence Table Saw Sled Kit and you want the fences to be permanently 90 degrees to the blade, as is the tradition with most sleds, you need not worry, or do anything other than place your order.

 

  • For those of you who ordered the Precision Fence Table Saw Sled Kit and you want the fences to pivot, you will need to purchase a fence base that is unique to the sled kit. This will be made available soon.

 

  • For those of you who own a JMPv2 and a table saw, and want to use the Precision Fence System on both, you have some options. If you want to attach your JMP Precision Fence system to a sled with FIXED fences (90 degrees to the blade), you have the option of purchasing our table saw Bridges and Guide Rail kit (not posted yet) or, you can build your own. This kit will be made available for pre-order in the email that we will send out soon.

 

  • If you want your table saw fences to pivot, you have two options. You can use your JMP fence bases (the extrusions fasten to the fence bases) but you will need to route arcuate slots in your sled for two point locking. Here’s why; the fence bases attach to the JMP tables in two places. These fastening locations are on the left and right of the fence base center. We cannot recommend using these bases to pivot on the table saw sled because there is too much leverage working against the pivot. I tested it and I don’t like it. So, we are recommending that you don’t use these bases without the arcuate slot. If you want the system to pivot on the sled, and you do not want to route arcs in your sled bases, we recommend you order the Table Saw Fence Base Kit. (It too will be available soon for pre-order.)

 
NOTE: The fence bases designed for the Table Saw Sled Kit have centered, single-point locking locations–the locking handle threads directly into the steel guide bars. When you attach 150 grit sand paper to the bottom of the fence bases, it fastens rock solid to the sled substrate. You do not want 150 grit sandpaper attached to the bottom of your JMP fence bases because it will trash your nicely finished, orange anodized table surface.
 
I will get all this posted with imagery and emailed out to you folks next week–don’t worry about deadlines because I am on vacation!
 
–John
 
PS-We delivered all of the Angle Master Pro v2’s over the past couple of weeks. We did a small overrun resulting in about 20 units waiting for new homes–next run will be 2013. FYI.
 

The Ultimate Table Saw Sled: Spring 2012

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“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” –Mark Russell

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A couple of weeks ago we launched the Precision Fence System for the Jointmaker Pro and SW. We also offered a kit for table saw owners. Everything you are about to read is applicable to both systems.
 
If you recall, I designed the fence system for me–I have projects in my brain that will never come to fruition on my JMP without this fence. And then it happened…
 
I couldn’t sleep.
 
One of my ideas involves using this material from Midwest Products (FYI, their stuff is AWESOME and a huge time saver at times). I realized that pivoting finger stops would be useless with thin material. That is now fixed (@ no extra cost), a pic of the revised stop is below.

 
Here is an image with thin stock firmly stopped prior to cutting (you can also see how the red aluminum stop can pivot out of the way);

 
Once that was fixed, several JMP owners inquired if it was possible to make the Table Saw Sled Kit fences pivot. I thought about this for a couple of days and decided to add additional tapped holes into the table saw guide bars. This will allow JMP owners to attach their fence base directly to their shop made table saw sled. We are now going to offer this option to non-JMP owners with the kit shown below–this avoids the routing of an arcuate slot in the tables;

 
As mentioned, the fence will bolt directly to the guide bars and when fully assembled (the kit does not include the sled substrate material) will look like this (both fences can be angled);

 
The lever locks will provide plenty of force to keep the sleds in place. But I would be remiss if I didn’t live up to my huckster image by adding…wait there is more!
 
You can now use the bases to attach our articulating clamps as pictured below;

 
These changes precipitated some minor changes that are not worth mentioning. But this next image is a big deal; When you set one stop, you can use the opposing stop as a clamp–to make cuts like the one below–you will most likely need to still hold the stock front to back (not on small stock however!);

 
We are changing the color of the integral clamp to red. This is a subtle reminder that there are cuts you may want to make and that you cannot put this clamp in harms ways. As cool as this system is, it does require at times that the user engages the organ residing within the cranium.

 
What this sled allows you to do is make many of your angled cuts (not all) without tilting the blade. And now that the fences tilt, this includes the ability to make some compound miters without tilting the blade as well. Because of this, we modified the protractor plate to allow compound miters without intersecting the pivot arm. This also required more slots for the integral “C” clamp. This is way cool.
 
The bias arm allows angled cuts as shown below, as well as a way to firmly hold round stock;

 
This is a typical tenon cut set-up. What is not easy to see is that you now have the ability to move your stock using the micrometer adjustor…0.001″ increments.

 
If you are a JMP or JM-SW owner and have placed an order for the Precision Fence System, you need do nothing. If you ordered the Table Saw sled kit and you want to add the pivot bases, you need do nothing UNTIL we announce their availability via email next week.
 
We believe both of these products are game changers. They are also our last offering for 2011 and we will close the order window on December 30th for a March/April delivery.
 
So…if you are a typical male and when asked what you would like for the holidays and your stock answer is “nothing”, and then get depressed because your wishes were granted, we hope to hear from you the week between Xmas and New Years! :)
 
–John
 
PS: This is a big shout out to all who participated and commented regarding this system–your voices were heard and we have a better product. Thank you!
 
PS Again: Our very own Michael Berg, who works in a toxic waste dump of an office, can now be found between the pages of Smithsonian Magazine. He is taking a couple of days off to practice signing autographs.

Last Call for Entries: 2011 Sh!t Bunny Award

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“I am not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.” –A. Whitney Brown

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Each year we do our best to breach the subject of design, or the lack thereof, in the avocational woodworking community.
 
We understand that it is more fun to talk about glue, rags that spontaneous combust, the evils of MDF, and the Global Ripoff known as Bridge City tools, but at the end of the day, looking at a well made, well designed piece is way more fun.
 
Simple FACT 1: There is more bad work than good.

Simple FACT 2: We have all made BAD WORK.

Simple FACT 3: Nobody wants to repeat your BAD WORK.

Simple FACT 4: In order to prevent Simple Fact 3, we here at BCTW need to ferret out said bad work from the Drivel Starved Nation.

Simple FACT 5: If you are honest with yourself, and you want to help mankind, send us a pic of a piece that you made that you would never repeat because…well, YOU WANT TO WIN ONE OF THESE
 

 
As you might imagine, entrants must have some traits that would prevent them from suing us. They include;
 
1. Maker must have a sense of humor.
 
2. Maker must recognize that they have made something that only their mother would love.
 
3. Maker understands that design is a much deeper discipline than woodworking techniques.
 
4. Maker agrees that he/she has learned from said entry and would never repeat whatever it was that should have caused the piece to never have been built in the first place.
 
5. Maker agrees that as a Sh!t Bunny Award winner, your name will forever be associated with, er, Fred West.
 
6. Maker understands that our promises of TV shows, red carpet appearances and yet to be named benefits were exaggerated a little. Maybe a lot.
 
7. Maker understands that the coveted Sh!t Bunny Award is recognized by the IRS as $19.95 of unearned income. FYI.
 

Here is my biggest fear: We might lose our ability to legally claim “Totally Awesome and Worthless” in association with this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog. The Sh!t Bunny Award is AWESOME! And if we don’t find a winner, then we become WORTHLESS. Get it?
 
Got game? john@bridgecitytools.com
 
–John

Cool Jointmaker Pro Project….

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“After a time, you may find that “having” is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as “wanting.” It is not logical, but it is often true.” –Spock, “Amok Time” Stardate 3372.7

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From the quote above, it looks like Bridge City will be around for awhile…
 
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from fellow DSN member “DJ”, aka “Dennis”. He is a JMP owner and had a couple of cuts that he felt did not lend themselves to the JMP and I wanted to see exactly what he was talking about. He sent me the following pics and with his permission I am pleased to share them with you–it is a cool project.
 
This project is a gift for a friend of his in Japan and I don’t know if he is back yet, but I think you will agree, this would be fun to receive. More on the difficult cuts at the end.
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
“I used the JMP for the length cuts, dovetail cuts, etc. on the trays. These went very quick and easy. I stacked several and zipped them out. The only problem was the sliding dovetail cut for the cover. I had to enter the wood on the corner of the edge and cut at an angle into the side piece. Couldn’t make that cut happen..”
 
Dennis was correct, the JMP will not do the puzzle cuts…just kidding. I do believe sometime next year the accessory to make that sliding dovetail cut on the JMP will be available. For those of you who have been working in wood for awhile, you know it is harder to do smaller projects well than large. There are very few bail out options when you don’t have much material to work with. Cool project Dennis!
 
Feel free to comment, but I can see several spin offs for his idea and I am keeping them to myself.
 
Lastly, one of you DSN folks needs to be honest with yourself and send me some pics so we can pick the 2011 Sh!t Bunny Recipient.
 
Oh, one more lastly thing—I do believe Fred West is still living with his Entertainment Center. Ouch.
 
-John