Monday, December 22, 2014

Building The La Forge Royale Miter Jack - Body Dims

Today we were busy packing up Miter Jack kits and printing out postage labels for the many that have pre-ordered. We're scrambling to get as many shipped as soon as possible. Some of you may receive them before Christmas, but most won't. We're sorry we didn't hit that target, but we think the quality of the kit will make up for it. I admired every nut block that I packed today, and was simply awestruck by the quality of the material. All nearly dead quartered, dead clear, straight. This maple looks like it was extruded at the Silly Putty factory. It's beautiful. There are even a few curly blocks in the mix. I got tempted to single out one of these for my personal vise, but I resisted (you're welcome.)

So this evening, long after its safe to do real work, I sit at my computer and figure out how to get the Sketchup drawing out to the shop. I don't like to keep a computer in there because of dust, so its over to Layout to make some measured drawings. You can make your own from the Sketchup drawing using the tape measure tool, but I figured since I'm making these for myself, I might as well post them.

I'm not including every dimension on these prints. Some you'll have to interpolate. But all the info necessary is there. This is also just the info I need to start milling wood. No more. I will post instructions for how I mill the components as I build them, including photos.

If you want to rough down your stock now, you'll see that the final thickness of the body is 1 15/16". That's going to be a trick to squeeze from typical 8/4 stock. So use your own judgement. I'll say that you can go a bit thinner, but you'll have to adjust for the discrepancy as you go along. I'll be building to the print. I have 12/4 maple for this project, so I'll be able to easily hit 1-15/16. You can also laminate to get the necessary thickness. And if you use quartersawn boards, which are easier to find in thinner dimensions, your base will be ultra stable. Mill all the components to 1 15/16", and don't cut the spacers to length yet (mill the stock for them at least 12" long, and you'll have enough to make three.) Make the front body section about 1/8" over width at 3-3/4" wide, the spacer stock on size at 2-19/32" and the rear body section also about 1/8" over width at 2-13/16" The body will get cut to final width later, after the spline grooves are milled. This will help remove any blowout from the groove cutting operation, and allow you to dial in the final width exactly. Do not cut the 45 degree bevel at the front, but keep it square for now.


  1. Looking forward to building this Jameel. I was sourcing stock and had some 12/4 picked out then I remembered that the nut block is included in the kit. The stock I was planning on is a different species and now I'm thinking I had better go get Hard Maple to feed my OCD but also from a movement perspective. Have you ever seen a mixed species miter jack in the wild? With this appliance still kinda new to me I'm not sure if varying movement numbers (however slight) would be an issue. Any thoughts on this?

  2. I think mixing species is way less important than using good stock wisely. Like you, the visual difference would be enough to sway me. I wouldn't build this out of anything but close grained hardwood anyway, so, sugar maple or beech.

  3. I cant get Sketchup 8 on my old laptop. Can you make a version 7 copy for us.


    1. Here you go.


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