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Who's Got The Stew Mac Fretting Cauls?


Setch
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I'm assuming someone else will come along with a better answer. But, there's an article in Stew-Mac's "Trade secrets" on how to build the "jaws" press, and as far as the dimensions of the cauls, it says : " These shoes, made from 3/16" X 3-1/2" X 3/4" flat brass bar stock, are the easiest to make".

Then again, that article was written before they actually started selling the Jaws and cauls. So size of cauls could have changed for mass-production purposes.

I would think StewMac customer service would tell you the exact dimensions if you asked.

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I have just a digi caliper. I obviously zero'd it. I got 1/8" thick by 2 & 29/64" long by 13/32" tall. So thats 62.50mm long by 3.13mm thick, by 10.50mm tall.

Another measurement I got was how deep the pocket in the arbor is itself and measured out at 5/16" or around 8mm deep.

I took pics of it for whatever reason. Hope that helps a little bit. By the way this was a 12" radius caul. I have the set so if you would rather have me measure the height off of another caul with less radius let me know, I just had the 12" in at the time I grabbed it. With having the depth of the pocket in the arbor I figure that'd be more important anyway. With the radius piece in place it sticks out less than 2mm in the center of the arbor, actually about 1.5mm. Also the brass radius insert is actually just shy of being as long as the arbor. The arbor itself is 2 1/2" or about 62.57mm or so. Best of luck and let us know how they turn out. J

IMG_00312.jpg

Edited by jmrentis
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Jason, does that caliper have a decimal option ? I'm wondering if it's just rounding off to the 1/8".

In other words, are those cauls right on the .125" mark ?

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if StewMac gets brass stock in slighty different thicknesses.

I should have guessed 3/16" is thicker that what they're selling, because the ones I make are 3/16" and I always thought they looked thicker than what I saw in StewMac ads.

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What ? !!! Me giving advice to the "tool man" . LOL !

Yeah, bought some little round end bits from McMaster. They go on the Dremel. You know how the stock Dremel router base accepts two steel rods for an edge guide ? Well, I rig up some really long rods in there instead. Radius caul is clamped down to a jig (well, I put two counter-sunk screw holes in all my cauls, so they can be bolted down- in order to mill the radius into them). Then like a little moving, milling compass, I rout that groove in there with the Dremel. BUT, I think the way I do it is too complicated.

What I should do is use that same Dremel router base like a little router table and make some kind of little piece that surrounds the ball-cutter bit most of the way, or half-way, so that just a portion of the ball cutter is sticking out. Then you just work your caul across it and it's got that "safety stop" to make the depth the same across.

That Stew-Mac article actually shows something like that, except more basic (they seem to rely on the ball-cutter bits shaft acting like a depth stop. I think that would allow too deep of a cut).

I guess I should also mention that my "stock" dremel router base has a base I made, which is larger than the stock one, plus it's square, so it is like a little router table when turned up-side-down.

Heck, this is the kind of thing I usually only share with certain people off the forum.

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What ? !!! Me giving advice to the "tool man" . LOL !

Yeah, bought some little round end bits from McMaster. They go on the Dremel. You know how the stock Dremel router base accepts two steel rods for an edge guide ? Well, I rig up some really long rods in there instead. Radius caul is clamped down to a jig (well, I put two counter-sunk screw holes in all my cauls, so they can be bolted down- in order to mill the radius into them). Then like a little moving, milling compass, I rout that groove in there with the Dremel. BUT, I think the way I do it is too complicated.

What I should do is use that same Dremel router base like a little router table and make some kind of little piece that surrounds the ball-cutter bit most of the way, or half-way, so that just a portion of the ball cutter is sticking out. Then you just work your caul across it and it's got that "safety stop" to make the depth the same across.

That Stew-Mac article actually shows something like that, except more basic (they seem to rely on the ball-cutter bits shaft acting like a depth stop. I think that would allow too deep of a cut).

I guess I should also mention that my "stock" dremel router base has a base I made, which is larger than the stock one, plus it's square, so it is like a little router table when turned up-side-down.

Heck, this is the kind of thing I usually only share with certain people off the forum.

Hah - great minds think alike. I actually made up a slotted guide with a ball ended diamond cutter, like you describe, to groove my cauls, but it made a very rough cut - the diamond on the dremel cutter is very coarse, and the aluminium a bit too soft to machine well.

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Hah - great minds think alike.

Yes, they do. Now if we could just find a way to get those guys to talk to *us*.

Didn't use a diamond bit. I bought some toothed round carbide bits. One of them is what I would describe as "double cut". But right now, I can't remember which one I liked better (the single or double cut)

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Jason, does that caliper have a decimal option ? I'm wondering if it's just rounding off to the 1/8".

In other words, are those cauls right on the .125" mark ?

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if StewMac gets brass stock in slighty different thicknesses.

I should have guessed 3/16" is thicker that what they're selling, because the ones I make are 3/16" and I always thought they looked thicker than what I saw in StewMac ads.

I checked a couple times and it comes in at .1230". I could probably check the others to check for variances, but probably won't bother unless anyone is curious or needs it done. I should have add the decimals for each measurement, I added the mm instead, which I did to show that the fractions weren't exact just as you thought to ask about. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Ok thanks. I'm so unfamiliar with metric measurements, that I didn't realize those were more right on the money.

Yeah, I never know what to use anymore, so generally I just use what is referenced. Say some site or person suggest 2mm, then I'll use mm, if its in fractions, I'll use fractions, and so on. I never know what to use and am not entirely familiar with metric either, I completely forgot that my caliper did decimal conversions as well, which I'm glad to remember as it will be useful surely. I have a web page that'll do loads of conversions for me in a click, so when lost I generally refer to that. I think it was a member here who pointed it, one of the bookmarks I use quite often. Can't recall who posted it, my first thought was Jon, but I really can't recall.

Metric to Imperial

Edited by jmrentis
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