From day one, I didn’t think I’d cut too many full 4x8 sheets of plywood. I made my frame smaller (4x4) so it didn’t take up the full size all the time. It can, however, still cut a full sheet when and if I wanted to. It’s still a full build minus the huge cutting area. I also made it hinge on the wall (don’t have a lot of space). Noise was also a concern so I made a vacuum silencer for my dust collection. Very little noise and no dust. Pictures of this are below.
The only thing left was a good way to clamp smaller random pieces to my cutting area. I didn’t want to drill a million holes in the backer and have to worry about where to put screws so I didn’t router through them. I also didn’t want to go through sheets of foam waste board (perhaps I’m too cheap). I would also need a skirt for each random piece that I cut. As you all know, thicknesses of the “same material” even varies so I’d have to create multiple skirts and store them. Big problem - introducing my custom Maslow vice.
It works similar to a camera iris. The four inside corner pieces that hold the material are adjustable from about a 4" square piece to a 36" square piece. Each inside corner is glued to one rod while the other rod passing through it can slide. A nut on each corner clamps it tight. The nice thing is you can fit .25"-1.5" material thickness in the vice and you won’t need any waste board behind it. The material is flush with the top corner pieces so it is suspended from the frame. The larger rectangular darker boards are the skirt that adjust to the size of the material. They also just slide on the rods. The top surface of the material, corner clamps and skirt are all coplanar so the sled rides smoothly across all of them. Little blocks on the outside of the frame hold the vice in place. Precision was key to make everything line up.
Here’s creating the new home to start the cut.
A closer shot right before I started cutting.
And a side shot of the whole set up.
A close up of the cut. The material was a piece from an old book shelf (particle board). 1/4" perimeter through cut with a 1/8" detail cut in the middle.
Here’s the whole thing put away (uses very little space).
Closer up on the vacuum silencer box and dust collection.
Now for the finishing of the snowman project.
After lightly sanding the top surface, black paint was gobbed into all the cuts. Once dry, power tools came out to sand the whole surface smooth and clean.
Then it was like painting a coloring page (easy). A few touch up spots were needed. Turned out great and am happy with the custom adjustable vice.
More detail about the vacuum silencer later once I get more time. It’s not as easy as throwing a vacuum in a box…