Milling the taper. The opposite side has allready been milled. The orange thing is the jig.
This little project convinced me of the usefulness of a couple of tools that Micro-Mark sells. I had looked them over before and thought .. “cool” .. and continued on. I have a different perspective now.
Basswood is nice to model with – but it is soft. Harder then Balsa but still, it mills poorly. I milled the caps earlier out of poplar which works much better. The problem being that you can purchase poplar at Lowes as small as 1/4’in. sq dowell .. but that’s it. If you wanted something else you would have to ‘roll your own’. That brings up these two tools I mentioned.
MicroLux Mini Tilt Arbor Table Saw : The blurb says that “…for balsa and basswood up to 1 inch thick, hardwood up to 1/4 inch thick ….
MicroLux Drum Thickness Sander : The blurb says .. “Sands wood up to 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches wide.”
With those two you could make your own poplar strip-wood .. assuming you could figure a way to get your poplar planks from Lowe’s reduced to the 1/4-in. thick, 5-in. wide ‘planks’ needed to run through the two Micro-Mark tools. That would probably require a full-sized table saw and planer. *sigh*. You could find a friend I guess that could reduce your large bits to small bits if lucky.
|Here I have the finished Packing-Blocks sitting on the jig like they were to be milled. This may give a better idea of how it worked.|
.. and the finished Packing-Blocks and jig. While I groused a bit about the Basswood being somewhat soft to mill well .. they didn’t come out too badly. I could have cut these out individually with a X-Acto blade I suppose .. but I doubt I could have matched the precision using this method. I found that increasing the speed of the cutter helped a good bit too.
Now .. IF .. I had access to a laser cutter then that would be perfect for something like this. Since entry level models are over $2,000 .. that will have to wait.