Saturday, June 22, 2024

A simple hold down for the sled.

I've finished the first week of my two week residency program for advanced woodworking students at ESSA. Between opportunities to help guide and encourage other woodworkers, I've been busy doing a few things to help the shop. For example I made seven new wooden mallets for student use, new backing boards for the two compound miter saws, and a newly invented hold down for use on sleds. 

In teaching I’ve noticed that not all students have the same hand strength so holding down both pieces while cutting on a sled can be a challenge. For beginners, knowing where to place their hands during the cut can be confusing at first.

The inspiration for this simple device came from Marc Adams school where students are advised to use simple similarly shaped but thin hold downs to keep fingers a safe distance from the blade when using a compound miter saw. For use on the table saw sled as shown, the tunnel underneath provides for passage of the blade without cutting the device. The outside, placed anywhere on the device guarantees that the hands are away from the blade. The extra thickness of this hold down being glued up from 4 thicknesses of MDF provides pressure over wider, thin stock as would be used in box making. It’s also useful for holding down smaller parts, again keeping the hands a safer distance from the cut.

I've submitted a tip on this device to Fine Woodworking for their consideration.

In the meantime, the August 2024 issue of Popular Woodworking arrived in yesterday's mail. It includes my 6 page article on making a Torsion Table.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in living and learning likewise.

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