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Wedges (spacers)

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
As I find theese little devils very hard to make, I was wondering if any of you honorable gents would have a word (in fact several words) of advice? Most frequently I end up making them flat and that is surely not desireable, though they do work anyway. But I`d like to keep things as traditional as possible and hence that an easy of making them would be very much appreciated...
regards gents (and I`m back again ;-) )
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
torbenbp said:
As I find theese little devils very hard to make, I was wondering if any of you honorable gents would have a word (in fact several words) of advice? Most frequently I end up making them flat and that is surely not desireable, though they do work anyway. But I`d like to keep things as traditional as possible and hence that an easy of making them would be very much appreciated...
regards gents (and I`m back again ;-) )

Billy Ellis has a video on this:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Great little video. I hadn't seen that one. Thanks for posting.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Yeah, Bill Ellis has a great set of videos on his blog. I highly recommend seeing them all.
 

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
Thanks..but have seen that one several times;)
I`m not as fortunate as to have all those pieces of machinery, but are limited to a simple hand saw and sanding paper.(and a Dremel)
This means that the edges almost certainly will become rounded (sanded on sanding paper almost surely makes rounded edges) and thus it wont fit the scales tightly.
Now I realize I was unspecific..what`s in need is a simple way of making wedges with a limited amount of tools..:cry: And that is a bit of a task!

Regards gents & thanks for responding
 

malacoda

Member
For lack of any big tools like belt sanders, etc., I use a little $45 orbital palm sander I have on hand for little home repair jobs. I just cut a piece of clear packing tape, wrap it around my index and middle fingers a few times, then stick the spacer on it and press against the spinning sander with off center pressure...

...which gives me an idea for accomplishing the same effect with a Dremel tool...

Now, I haven't actually tried this because I just thought of it while reading this thread, but it just might work...


  1. [li]Take a 3 or 4 inch long piece of packing or duct tape and fold it over on itself, and press it flat so you have flat pad of tape that's sticky on both sides.[/li]
    [li]Stick down on the top surface of 1 or 2 inch thick piece of wood so the edge of the tape pad is flush with the edge of the wood [/li]
    [li]Stick the spacer down on the tape pad so its edge is also flush with the edge of the tape/wood. Positioning the wedge at the edge of a wood block like this will give you the height clearance needed for the next step.[/li]
    [li]Put a carbide cutting disk on the dremel (flat black cutting disks that look sort of like carbon fiber and usually come about 5 to a pack)[/li]
    [li]Rather than using the thin edge of the disk to cut, using light pressure, press the top, flat surface of the disk down onto the spacer at a slight angle (to create your wedge shape). In essence, using dremel like a miniature, upside-down palm sander.[/li]
    [li]If the disk radius isn't large enough to contact the entire width of the wedge, you can sand one half of the wedge a little, then the other, going back and forth while eyeballing it to make sure you're keeping the flat of the disk parallel to the surface of the spacer so as to finish with a flat surface on the spacer rather than a rounded one.[/li]

The only other option I can think besides this that might work when limited to a hand saw, sandpaper and dremel is to use the saw, dremel, and some scrap wood to make some kind of little sanding guide (e.g. sort of like a saw guide) that will hold the space and allow you to run a sanding block (never use the sand paper without wrapping it around a piece of wood or you'll never get a flat surface) over it at a consistent angle.
 

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
Thank you Malacoda. That`s one thing I had`nt thought about. Will surely give it a try later today:thumbup: Wait...I got a orbital sander too! Wonder where that might be..hmmmm...hmmmm

Bart : Yes I do have a hand plane but no working area/working table as I currently live in a flat. So actually all work is done sitting on the floor at the balcony :cry:
For some completely irrational reasons my wife forbid me to work at the kitchen table ??...Women..;)

Regards gents and thanks again
 

malacoda

Member
Anytime Torben. Like I said, I've never tried the flat of a carbide disc for sanding a wedge (although I have used to sand/deburr other things) as it was a completely new idea inspired by your post - so if you do give it a spin, post back to let us know how it works out. (Am very, very busy with work right now so it'll be at least a month or two before I get to work on my next set of scales and put to the test for myself.)

Best of luck,
John
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Here's the hand plane solution. I believe the pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Just take a piece of scrap wood that you can clamp or screw to a solid surface. Chisel out a sloping slot, that will hold your little blank for creating the wedge. Use a well tuned and sharp plane to slice the wedge to proper dimensions. Cutting a slot takes 5 minutes, planing a wedge even less. You could cut several different slots with varying angles.

This is derived from a technique I use to create wooden nails for post-and-beam type of framework.


 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Super post sir Bart, and what a wonderful idea :thumbup:

I myself do not have a hand plane, but next time I have a wedge to make I will give it a go with the electric one I own, I have made my wedges using my vertical milling machine, however the material is a devil to hold firm in the vice!

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
Super post sir Bart, and what a wonderful idea :thumbup:

I myself do not have a hand plane, but next time I have a wedge to make I will give it a go with the electric one I own, I have made my wedges using my vertical milling machine, however the material is a devil to hold firm in the vice!

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)

Now, just wait a second there, my friend, before you have a wee little accident.
An electric hand plane has a drum with blades. The clearance opening for that drum is wider than that short piece of wedge blank.
Hence, when the drum grabs the wedge, there's nothing to hold it down, and it will fly.

On a hand plane, the clearance opening is less than a mm, so there's plenty coverage of the plane sole to keep the wedge snugly into its slot.

Kind regards,
Bartson.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Yes but I can wind the blade up so it cuts only a wee bit?
I am brave, reckless and impetuous, beside that I can always find someone stronger and less intelligent than me to try it out for me :thumbup:
Bwhahahahaha

I think I MAY give it a miss...lol

Best wishes
Ralfson
SHITCA
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
I make them "free hand"
I use 220 grit sandpaper glued to a flat surface such as a sheet of glass (the same glass I use to lap my hones).

Place a finger "off center" (or at the end you need to get thinner) and rub the piece until I get a taper on the side against the paper (the sticky tape turned backwards on your finger will help to get a good hold on the wedge). When you think you have enough tapering on that side, you then rest rest the finger in the center continue lightly rubbing the same side to make sure the side is flat (but still tapered... no longer parallel... but nice and flat so it will be flush with the scales), once the side is flat you will have a wedge. you may adjust the angle by placing the finger at one side or the other to get a wider or smaller angle.

You don't have to sand the other side... really, it doesn't matter.
 

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the inputs guys...Hav`nt had the time to try some of the more advanced methods (Bart) but hope do try it out soon. In the meantime I`ve arranged a small working area in the basement so that will make things a bit easier..if only it was`nt three floors down ;-(

Well, back to studying danish litterature,finals are comming up...hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Will post results later.

regards gents
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Good luck with your studies my friend... don't forget to take a break from time to time :thumbup: .
 
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