Sunday, February 17, 2013

Down to Details

Getting the details just right in a miniature project is important if you want the final product to look "real." 

      In this case, I had to use a little geometry (Yeck! I did not like that subject in school!) to get the lintel just right. (The lintel is the board that spans across the front on top of the porch pillars.)

     You see, the roof angle on the porch project is far less than a 45 degree angle. In geometry class I think they called that an acute angle.  So I had to figure out a way to get the lintel cut to be compatible with this very narrow angle.
     Because my table saw blade cannot be tipped beyond a 45 degree angle, I had to figure out a way to solidly support a tall, narrow piece of wood to go through the table saw without putting my fingers at risk of getting

cut by the blade. I also had to make sure that the piece I was cutting would come to a sharp point along the entire 1.5" width. I was able to do that with the setup at right. Because I only had to make two cuts like this, I didn't bother to make a cutting jig. (If I had a lot of pieces to cut, I probably would make a jig.)

     First, I set my table saw blade so that it was at about a 73 degree angle. That's where the geometry came in. The angle of the roof is about 17 degrees. To get to that, I had to deduct that number from 90 degrees to get to my angled cut. I took a square chunk of 3/4" plywood and then used a clamp to hold a thinner piece of plywood at a right angle to the 3/4" plywood.

Next, I set my table saw fence so that the plywood was touching the side of the saw blade. That meant that anything held against the plywood would be cut down to the acute angle  without any flat portion on the end, which was exactly what I needed.
      I held my small, right-angle square against the plywood to make sure that it stayed upright at precisely a right angle. The picture to the right shows the finished cut of the lintel. I got it right with the very first cut, which meant I didn't waste any wood on this part of the project. (And believe me, I've wasted plenty of wood in my miniature-making!) I was pleased with how the lintel turned out.

1 comment:

miraclechicken said...

Brilliant! Very interesting. I love this project! Thanks for the info---

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