Power-tool Joinery

Tricks and procedures for perfect tool setups.
By Bill Hylton
Pages: 84-86

From the April 2006 issue #154
Buy this issue now

When you are using power tools for cutting parts and joinery, accuracy has less to do with laying out individual workpieces and more to do with mastering setups.

I have a simple routine. Whether I’m cutting parts or joints for a project, the routine helps me achieve good results with a minimum of fuss:

• Set the cutter and the guide device.
• Make a test cut and measure the result.
• Tweak the setup.

Do the initial setup carefully, keeping a few guidelines in mind that will simplify the inevitable tweaks. But don’t get nuts about it. It’s easy to waste time trying to get a perfect setup. For the initial setup, close is enough.

The test cut is your best means of evaluating the setup and making effective adjustments. Practice does make you better at this. Your “eye” improves, and your hands become more deft. Once you understand the routine, the whole process becomes second nature.

From the April 2006 issue #154
Buy this issue now