Matching the kerf of a saw cut for knot pens - International Association of Penturners
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Matching the kerf of a saw cut for knot pens

Sometimes when cutting the inserts for knot pens it is difficult to cut the small inserts to exactly the correct kerf size. The secret is to make a spacer piece that fits in the jig and is exactly one kerf width too short.
Here is the concept:

I am assuming that you are using an angled jig of some sort to do the cuts.

1. Cut the blank so it is exactly square. Cut a piece of scrap wood just smaller than the blank. Not critical, but must be twice the length of the blank.

2. Cut the insert material so it is 1/16" to 1/8" smaller than the blank. The reason will be clear later. Just make sure the insert is large enough to create the pen you have in mind.

3. Take the scrap piece and cut all the way thru it using the angled jig. Now take the off-cut piece, reverse it and cut it again. You now have two identical pieces. Put one piece on the jig and butt the other piece against it. Run the saw thru the piece. You now have a piece that is shorter by exactly the kerf width. Use this piece in the jig and slice the insert pieces.

4. On a table saw (referred) or band saw cut most of the way thru the blank. Leave a 1/16" to 1/8" portion uncut. Now glue the insert pieces into the slot. Do this four times for the blank.

Make sure you keep your fingers safely out of harm's way. I use clamps while cutting and glue to hold the jig pieces together.
Randy S.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pictures please. I'm conceptually challenged :D
San Bernardino, CA
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by dalemcginnis

Pictures please. I'm conceptually challenged :D
If it's not fun it's time to do something else.

Bruce Fifer
Ninety Six, SC
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm currently searching the IAP archives to garner what I can regarding techniques for segmenting, creating Celtic knots, etc., prior to the construction thereof.
Photos are very helpful, worth the effort, and appreciated.
Twin Cities, MN
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The math makes perfect sense but holding small pieces like one will end up with
when cutting off the kerf of the second piece in step 3 requires hold-downs and
safety devices if someone is to keep all 10.
It's probably more effective to make a thin-strip ripping jig (plenty of those
have been posted on the 'net) and then make a kerf-thick template by finding the approriate thickness using trial-and-error and saving that for future use.
Gary, Melbourne and McIntosh, FL
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Can you show how this is done with pictures. I am having trouble understanding what you mean. This is a question that i have always wondered How to get insert wood the exact size of kerf.

Knighthood for Jock Stein.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have not done it yet but I saw at woodcraft a pack of thin wood, it looked to be the same kerf as a saw blade. I picked it up but do not remember where I put it due to the cancer. Let me look for it tomorrow and see if it is.
Tom in Chandler, AZ
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Clever method to get inserts of proper size.

I tried it and had some difficulty in sliding the inserts into the kerf.

Any help will be appreciated.

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Old 05-01-2008, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm lucky enough to have a little 20" drum sander so it's a piece of cake. I can sand as thin as 1/32" and can take off .001" at a time if I want. If I didn't have the sander I believe I would opt for ripping a piece close on the table saw and using a card scraper to ease it down to the final width. A good sharp scraper will leave a clean surface and remove material pretty fast.
Rick Herrell
Pilot Mtn.,NC
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