Welcome back for another edition of What I Screwed Up This Week! Once again, we’ll be looking at a problem with building the turning saw.
After affixing my templates to the hickory, I went ahead and cut the pieces out without taking into account that I needed to bore pin holes (bottom circles) and chop mortises (upper circles). This left me in a situation where the pieces would not be properly supported during these operations.
I used cabinetmaker’s handscrews to hold the pieces in alignment during the drilling and mortising. Handscrews can, when properly adjusted, provide excellent holding power for irregularly-shaped objects, and can act as a flat reference surface when performing operations like drilling.
Whenever possible, plan to do operations like mortising or drilling BEFORE cutting the curves on parts. It’s often possible to establish flat reference surfaces parallel or at right angles to the area that needs to be worked. Then, proceed with shaping the piece after the machining or joinery is finished.