Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Don't Know Jack. Get To Know Jack.


So, do you remember the La Forge Royale Miter Jack we've been working on? Is your's finished? Good, because we're just now getting around to shooting some video of the thing. Which we did today, even though it was 68 degrees outside, billowy white clouds, no humidity, light breeze. The kind of weather that makes you wish you were a meter reader. Wait, does anyone do that anymore? Well, you get the drift.

The La Forge Royale miter jack is indeed a piece of imperial hand-tool jiggery that you won't be able to live without, even if you think your fancy-pants shooting board is your Obi-Wan Kenobi to the miter jack's Luke Skywalker. If you think this jack can't perform, it can bullseye whomp rats with the best of them. For the record, after building the La Forge Royale Miter Jack, I've named all my shooting boards Jar-Jar Binks.

But all tomfoolery aside, a miter jack really does deserve a place in your pantheon of appliances. Why? It can do stuff that a shooting board struggles with.

Like angled tenon shoulders. Shooting boards can't do those at all. At all! The miter jack excels here. It provides a dead flat and precise ramp to ride your chisel down, ensuring your shoulders are all in the same plane. Easy and fun. Especially if you like Asian joints. No, I'm not talking about the place downtown with the incredible steamed dumplings (I paused here for 10 minutes and daydreamed) I'm talking about Japanese joinery, like the triple miter.

Or what about square shoulders? With a miter jack you can pare square shoulders with ease, even tweak a tenon you've managed to screw up with a shoulder plane (we've all done it, you know its true.) If you have a French-style flush saw you can even use the jack to saw angled tenon shoulders. No paring required.

Or how about tweaking a miter that's off 45 by just a tad? Easy stuff for the jack. You'd have to re-plane the fence on your shooting board, add a shim, or adjust the fence (if you have an adjustable one). Okay the shooting board works pretty well here, but the jack can hold its own. Shift the workpiece a bit, plane, done. 10 seconds. Shooting board? 10.2 seconds.

And what about half miters? Yeah, the LFRMJ can do those too, with its integral, quick deploying twenty-two-and-a-half-degree auxiliary ramping jaw. Wrapping moldings around forty-five's has never been more fun.

There's more the miter jack can do. Like planing miters on odd-shaped stuff, like crown moulding. But to really know what its capable of, you must first have one at the ready. And we can help you with that. We still have a few miter jack kits left in stock from the small run we did late last year. You can purchase directly on our store page. Each order will receive the decal pictured above along with their kit. If you ordered a kit already, and would like a decal, drop us an email and we'll toss one in the mail for you. If you request a decal, but didn't order a kit, we might feel generous and send you one for free, but we also might lick it first to teach you a lesson about mooching.

If we have any jack kits left in a couple weeks, you'll be able to purchase at the Benchcrafted booth at Handworks.











12 comments:

  1. Beautiful work, great decal. The Benchcrafted logo begs the question: For those less adept at fine millwork, will you be offering a complete jack for sale?

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  2. Thanks. I wish we could. You should make one though, its a fun project, and not that difficult if you take your time and follow the series we posted earlier this year.

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  3. Help! Jameel, I purchased my kit, but then got ill for a few months, just coming up for air. Do you have a download file/video on how to make it? I did not see any "series" referred to. Thank you for any help you can offer. The kit parts are fantastic, and I want to begin the build in a couple of weeks. Mary
    rev.marybettencourt@gmail.com

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    1. Click on the La Forge Royale Miter Jack category on the right, and you'll see everything we've posted about it, including the Sketchup model, some 2d prints, and lots of step by step blog entries.

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  4. Hey there Jameel,

    How about one of those swell looking logos? I hope that the miter Jack I come up with will do it justice! Be well my friend.

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  5. (sigh) If I only had a bandsaw and the room for it...very nice work.

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  6. Jameel, my mitre jack is finished and I'm very happy with it. It was a fun project to do. Paring cheeks of tenons is a brilliant use of the jack. Thanks for producing the video and more importantly the kit.

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  7. Very nice video.
    What do you mean by "French flush saw"?
    Is it the saw shown here :
    http://furnituremaking.com/wordpress/tenon-shoulders/
    Sylvain

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  8. " For the record, after building the La Forge Royale Miter Jack, I've named all my shooting boards Jar-Jar Binks."

    Harsh man, really harsh.

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  9. Holy buda of finesse. After seeing the Royale Mightyness in action I don't think it's possible to do anykind of woodworking without one. As soon as I finish my bench .I am jumpin all over this.

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  10. That is a great looking tool Jameel! I am glad you are making woodworkers aware of it and available. I have found, when adjusting a miter, if a long, wide paring chisel is used instead of a plane, there is no chance of taking material off the miter jack itself. Trim the miter the same as is shown for the shoulder of a tenon. See you at Handworks!

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    1. Good point John. There are lots of ways to use these, but not much written about it. See you in a couple weeks.

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