Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Little More Railing

The railing frame is slowly crawling across the back porch. Tonight I got a few more of the vertical braces in place as well as 2 more sections of the horizontal. I'm not sure why it is taking so long. Perhaps it is because we no longer are faced with an immediate deadline of expiring permits. Perhaps it's because I stop and daydream about alternate designs every few minutes. Or, perhaps both...

I did get to do some compound miter cuts. Woohoo! The framing attaches to the columns at a 26 degree angle and the columns themselves are pitched at a 6 degree angle. Fortunately my trusty Dewalt was up for the challenge and it turned out perfect. I'm glad I got a good miter saw. It doesn't have lasers or sliders or anything fancy. It just makes very accurate cuts.

Here is where I left off (click images for different sizes):

View from the back door:

And, finally the railing and downspout living together in harmony:

NOTE:Comments that appear to promote commercial web sites will be deleted.


Blogger Jocelyn said...

I love your columns- so bungalow!
When you say Dewalt, is that a table saw you are refrring to? (just curious) We do alot of wood cuts here and end up clamping boards onto work tables etc... and using a circular saw. I am pondering the idea of buying a table saw and if yours is good, I'd like to know the model etc... if you don't mind. Thanks

3:54 PM, April 30, 2005  
Blogger Greg Emel said...

Thanks for your complement! That means a lot to me. :-)

If you look at the 2nd picture I took for the Wednesday entry entitled "View from the back door" you can see the two saws I use the most.

The Dewalt saw I was talking about is what's called a 12" compound miter saw (yellow saw on the left side of the picture). This is by far my most prized power tool (and most expensive). It's best for making very precise length cuts. For example, if you need a board to be EXACTLY 27 and 3/16 inches long, you can consistently do this with a miter saw, while a regular circular saw is more likely to be off by 1/8 of an inch or so. But, the bonus feature of a compound miter saw is the ability to cut the ends at very precise angles. You can cut the angle in one plane (for example a 45 degree picture frame) or two planes (what I was doing that day). I spent $300 for this saw at HD. You can pay less and get a less powerful motor or less precise angles, or pay more and get a laser guide or sliding feature. But, this is a very solid contractor grade saw. I highly recommend it.

As far as table saws go, I own a very cheap portable "Skilsaw" table saw (bottom of picture – on its side). I paid about $100 for it about 4-5 years ago. As you may read elsewhere, the main differences between a $100 table saw and a $1000 saw is what is called the 'rip fence'. The fence is what helps guide the board a precise distance from the saw blade so that the boards turn out the right width. With a cheap table saw like mine, you have to spend extra time making sure the fence is anchored square and at the precise distance from the blade. Some day I will buy a nice $1000 table saw, but for now, the $100 one is good enough.

With these two saws, I feel like I can cut the exact right sized board for any project from cabinets, to trim, to furniture, etc. The only things left is the joinery, which I still suck at... :-(

Hope this helps!

1:46 AM, May 01, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home