• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Newbie advise

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Michael Lewis

Member
Joined
10 Jan 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Teddington
HI,

I'm new to woodworking and need some advise on a project: I'm going to make my son a chess board/table and had a look at some tutorials on YouTube - "end grain chess boards". My query is - do you think I'd be able to use a track saw with a rip cut guide for precise (repetitive) cuts rather than a table saw?

(conceptually it seems simple : glue walnut x maple x 8 , wait to dry, rotate 90 degrees and make 8 equal width cuts - re-glue).

I ask as I don't have that much space and hence getting a track saw is preferable to a table saw - unless this sort of thing really requires a table saw?

Thanks in advance for any opinions/advise...
 

BigMonka

Established Member
Joined
27 Feb 2017
Messages
84
Reaction score
1
Location
Yorkshire
Welcome Michael!
I don't see why it couldn't be done with a track saw, and managing to do things with less tools is always preferable to buying something big specifically for it (particularly as a cheap table saw may be more hassle than it's worth).
Have a look on Youtube for the tracksaw workshop series from Peter Millard (who posts here) - he shows good ways of doing repetitive cuts etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JQjGwZT3Ak
 

ED65

Established Member
Joined
3 Dec 2015
Messages
3,593
Reaction score
2
Are you fixed on the idea of doing this using end-grain pieces? It can look just as good, if not better, using the long-grain surfaces. Plus the resulting piece is easier to finish to a high standard.

I don't think this is a job that screams: buy a track saw! Get one if you want one and you're sure you will have lots of future use for it by all means, but a track saw to make a chessboard is bit like buying a sledgehammer to crack an egg.

Had you considered hand tools at all? They take up less space, and anything half decent lasts indefinitely so they're a great long-term investment.
 

Stanleymonkey

Established Member
Joined
15 Jun 2014
Messages
889
Reaction score
102
Location
South West London
Welcome Michael

Track saws are awesome little tools and not hugely expensive when you get a good deal. I own one myself and use it regularly/ I think the Paul Sellers tutorial requires a little jig to be built (I might be wrong on that though!)

I just thought a fifty quid Stanley mitre saw like this one on Amazon:
Stanley 1-20-800 Adjustable Mechanical Mitre Box - would be a good bet. Just clamp a stop block and all the pieces will be same length. The blade is fine and the first cut would be smoother than a circular saw blade. Might only fit 3/4 strips of wood in at a time depending on the board size but just a couple of extra glue up steps.

Just my opinion. Good luck with your project. I hope you've found D&G tools in Richmond already. Well worth a visit if you havn't been there yet.

Best wishes

Martin
 

Michael Lewis

Member
Joined
10 Jan 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Teddington
Hi,
Thanks for all the advise. I was thinking of a track-saw as I'm really not sure I could cut straight enough with a hand-saw. I've practiced a bit with a straight edge - using a Japanese pull saw (which was ok, but did this on fairly small pieces). I found using a guide and jigsaw (with straight cut blade) to be a bit hit/miss - what I found was that whilst the jigsaw cut to the straight edge the blade would still bend a little bit - so always give me effectively slightly beveled cuts.
The mitre box would be ok, but not sure I could fit the board in it, to cut the strips. i.e. As far as I can see to make the board - need to glue [walnut ] [maple] ..... [walnut][maple] strips and then rotate - make the straight cuts - and re-glue.
All the best,
Mike
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,693
Reaction score
426
Location
Warrington
to get perfect joints you are going to need a plane and to spend some time learning how to use it.
for something that is going to be looked at so closely (like a chess board) it needs to be perfect and you aren't going to get that off a saw. so you cut oversize and plane down to final dimensions before glue up. then cut oversize again and plane down to square before glue up again.

I reality the right power tool is a good bandsaw as it will be planed to finished. a track saw can do it too, but it's a bit overkill really. hand saw wise a good, sharp saw will do it but will take practice. you can do it with a tenon saw or a panel saw.

I've found that cheap chinese pull saws tend to flex a lot and can mess up a cut pretty easily, but that's no different to a western saw though. it takes practice is all.
 

Benchwayze

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2007
Messages
9,450
Reaction score
108
Location
West Muddylands
I made a chequerboard topped table for a friend, I used Maple, and Utile; the end-grain on that is very pronounced and looks quite pleasant.

I did the repetitive cuts on the table-saw attachment, for my Coronet Major lathe. It did the job perfectly. I suppose I could also have used the Mitre-chop saw with a bit of thinking about stops.

Sadly, the friend passed on recently, and his son came to see me, asking if I minded that he kept the table.
Naturally... NMTBS!

John
 
Top