Working Small

Safely cutting parts that are too small to handle is easy with some simple jigs.
By Robert W. Lang
Pages: 86-87

From the December 2004 issue #145
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Cutting and machining small parts can be one of the biggest challenges a woodworker faces. Beading, mullions and muntins, and small mouldings are difficult to make accurately and safely. Small pieces can bend and twist when meeting a router bit or saw blade, and the usual methods of controlling stock and working safely can either make it impossible to move parts for machining, or double or triple the amount of labor needed.

The usual advice of milling large pieces and cutting the small parts from them sounds sensible, but it isn’t always practical, and it’s rarely efficient. You still reach a point where you’re working with small pieces in close proximity to a saw blade or router bit.

Here are two methods I have found to safely and accurately cut and mould small pieces of stock. I’m able to keep control of small pieces while keeping my hands at a safe distance from blades and bits. Plus, it virtually eliminates the chance of kickback.

From the December 2004 issue #145
Buy this issue now