Improving a Delta Miter Saw: Part 2

If you haven’t seen it, check out part 1 of this series about improving a Delta Sidekick 12″ Compound Miter Saw (Model 36-235).

I’ve been keeping a list of improvements I wanted to make to the miter saw and haven’t made time to work on any of them. When I made a frame a few weeks ago I noticed the fence to the right side of the blade wasn’t square. After looking things over, I found a large crack, which I’ll share in part 3. Now I had an excuse to prioritize the improvements and give the saw some love.

I removed several things from the saw and decided the first thing I’d build was a zero clearance insert plate. The original plate was a little beat up.

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I actually made two plates since it’s not much extra work. I can either use the second one for bevel cuts, which I don’t think I’ve done once since I bought the saw, or keep it as a spare. I really liked the natural wood look, but it’s better to paint them red to signify the dangerous area.

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Check out the difference in that slot! Cuts will be much cleaner and I’ll no longer have to worry about things clogging up underneath. The new inserts also fit much tighter than the original.

I used a piece of reclaimed pallet wood (oak I think) to make these. Here’s a video of the process, which took about 2 hours.

Improving a Delta Miter Saw: Part 1

I’m starting on some improvements to my miter saw and realized I never posted anything about some of the things I’ve already done. I bought this Delta Sidekick 12″ Compound Miter Saw (Model 36-235) for $75 off someone on Facebook Marketplace last September. It’s not a sliding one, but the 12 inch blade is nice.

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I immediately bought a quality 12″ Diablo blade since there was only a 10″ in the saw. I also took the handle apart and replaced the mangled power cord with a 10′ extension cord I bought at Harbor Freight.

A few months ago I picked up a Masterforce folding miter saw stand from Menards. I think it was less than $80 during a sale. It’s been so nice to have the saw ready to go at all times.

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I recently cleaned up the sticker residue (was still there in the picture above) on the table and fence. I think that about covers it for what I’d done so far. Stay tuned for the fun stuff to begin in part 2.

Within Reach

When I built my my workshop table I put a magnet tool holder on each side, but haven’t really used them. Finally making use of them with a 6′ tape measure and a pencil with a magnet glued in. I also used a nail for hanging a speed square there. Both sides of the table have the same setup.

I’m always trying to make things more efficient.

A New Table Saw Sled Fence

I built my crosscut sled for the table saw just over a year ago and one thing always bugged me. The piece of plywood I used for the original fence had a slight bow to it, so the cuts weren’t perfectly square. While it had served me fine for building shop furniture, it wasn’t going to work when building a couple of cabinets.

To fix the problem:

  1. I cut an old piece of 2×4 to length.
  2. Using the jointer, I flattened the front face and squared the bottom.
  3. I also cleaned up the top and back on the jointer.
  4. On the router table I added a chamfer to the bottom edge of the front face. It gives sawdust a place to go instead of getting in the way of the work piece.
  5. All of the top, left, and right face edges also got the chamfer for comfort when handling the sled.
  6. I went over all of the chamfers with a sanding block.
  7. Then I attached the new fence to the sled, making sure it was square to the blade slot.
I like the look of the solid wood much better.
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I hadn’t cut through the fence yet, but here you can see the chamfer at the bottom.

I should have fixed it a long time ago, especially since it was only a 30 minute job.

If It Looks Straight It Is Straight

I bought this small poster from Jimmy DiResta’s shop, knowing it would be a good opportunity to make my first frame. When the poster is purposely printed crooked, there is no pressure to create a perfect frame and any build mistakes fit right in.

The wood is cut-offs from the sanding station drawer resizing. The plastic and backer board were cut from an old poster frame I had in a closet.

I experimented by using several router bits to make the frame profile and then burnt the wood with a torch to bring out the grain. I didn’t do any sanding and gave it three coats of spray lacquer.

Sanding Station Drawers

I didn’t think I’d use all of the drawers in the sanding station, but I did.

Various hand sanding items and a sanding disc/belt cleaner

 

Discs for random orbital sanders and 1/4 sheets of sandpaper
Sandpaper sheets
Random scraps of sandpaper and pieces for a Black & Decker Mouse detail sander (really good use of the largest drawer)
Sanding drums for a drill and belts, discs, sleeves, and accessories for sanding machines
Random orbital sanders
Other hand sanders

Upcycle: Sanding Station

In the summer I snagged an old Craftsman workbench (model 706653800) for $30. I thought it would make a great sanding station for my workshop. Here is a before and after of just the table (near the end is a photo with my sanding machines attached). I’m really happy with how it turned out!

One of the first tasks was to make use of the right side. I started by cutting a couple of plywood panels and screwing them in.

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If you look back at the post where I took out a couple of walls to open up my workshop, you can see a unit with five drawers. When I dismantled it, I saved the drawers and slides. This was the perfect project to use a few.

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The drawers were too wide, deep, and tall, so I had to resize them in every dimension. Thankfully glue wasn’t used in the original assembly, so they were easy to break down.

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It felt like I measured and checked my calculations 10 times before cutting anything to size. I didn’t want to rush it and cut too much from any pieses, so I ook my time and the assembly went well. Putting the drawer slides in was tricky, but I made everything fit.

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I cut a plywood base and attached it to the frame. Then I screwed in some locking casters ($4/each at Harbor Freight). I drilled holes for the drawer handles before taking both sets of drawers out and removing all of the slides. After two coats of a glossy black on the body and base, I was finally able to move it to the basement and free up the space in my garage.

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I sanded the wood drawers, wire brushed the original drawers, and cleaned all of the drawer slides with Brakleen. The faces got two coats of glossy white and the handles were sprayed with metallic aluminum.

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I’m really glad I decided to paint everything. Having this and the lathe stand in more of a finished condition makes the shop feel much nicer. I might have to paint some of my previous shop projects.

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I gave the galvanized metal top a good scrubbing with a soft brush according to what I’d read and it was still in rough shape. So I used a wire brush and a wire wheel on a drill. It ate up the rust, but went through some of the galvanizing. I found a product made by Rust-oleum to resurface the metal that looked promising for less than $5.

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I did 3 good coats, screwed the metal back to the MDF, and attached it to the stand. Looked pretty sweet if you ask me!

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I gave the galvanizing a full week to cure. I’d read about people having mixed results with it scraping off.

My original plan was to make some kind of hinging platform for the larger belt/disc sander so I could flip it on the side to use the belt for edge sanding. It couldn’t come up with a layout to make it work though, especially making sure I still had access to all of the dust ports. This configuration should work just fine.

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From left to right:

  1. Craftsman 4×36″ belt and 6″ disc (Model 137.215360)
  2. Ryobi oscillating spindle (Model OSS500)
  3. Craftsman 1×30″ belt and 5″ disc (Model 137.215150)

I bought all three of these used and paid $25, $50, and $30. The smaller Craftsman sander was still sealed in its original box. If you buy the Harbor Freight versions of these three machines, the new prices are $70, $145, and $85 respectively or $56, $116, and $68 with 20% off coupons if you make separate trips to the store. I love buying used tools!

All of the power cords run along the back and then over to the right side where there is a power strip (free from Harbor Freight) and an extension cord ($9 at Harbor Freight) so I only have to deal with one plug.

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My shop feels infinitely more organized without the three sanding machines scattered across the floor. All that’s left now is to fill up the drawers with my hand sanders, sand paper, and accessories.

Custom Belt Guards for a Craftsman 12 Inch Wood Lathe (113.23800)

After I improved the lathe table in September I actually did start on a belt guard for about 15 minutes and then didn’t touch it for weeks. Happy to say I finally got back to the project and ended up making a guard for each belt.

According to the product manual, here’s a sketch of the main belt guard.

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I actually found one for sale on eBay and here are pics from that listing.

The pictures of the speed chart turned out to be especially useful because I was able to manipulate them in a graphics app to create my label.

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This was a fun build where I got to try a lot of new things. I hadn’t created a video in a long time and it showed because there were several times when I forgot to turn the camera on or off. I tried some new editing stuff too, like sequences for repetitive build actions.

I need a simple project to learn how to use the lathe. Any suggestions?

DIY Trash Bin Wheel

Back in April, a wheel fell off my trash bin and someone ran it over. Without the wheel, the bin easily tips over and it’s been a pain in the ass getting it out to the road on trash day. So I finally made time to make a new wheel.

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I glued and screwed two pieces of 3/4″ plywood together. Then I found the center of the block, center punched it to make drilling easy later, and drew a circle to match the size of the working wheel.

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On the band saw I cut close to the line.

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Then I took it over to the disc sander and sanded right up to the line.

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On the drill press I made a hole the center with a bit slightly larger than the trash bin’s shaft.

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Time for a test fit. It was perfect!

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Back over to the sander, where I added a chamfer to the edges.

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Sprayed a couple of coats of paint.

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Then I used epoxy to attach a washer to each side of my wheel, which would sort of act as bearings.

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The final step was to find something to hold the wheel on the shaft. In one of my junk boxes I found a plastic piece, which fit on the shaft after using a file to make the hole a little larger. I used more epoxy to attach this to the shaft.

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I’m not sure how the plywood will hold up to the rain and snow, but I’m sure I’ll find out over the next few months.