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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend report

Update 8/11/08
Still setting up shop. Seems like just about the time that I finish up something else needs tending to. I have also started refurbishing older Stanley planes for my neanderthal passion. Honestly a cool segway into the past. These planes are 30-100 years old and once given a little tlc are far better than brand new tools coming from China or India. it requires a couple of hours time to bring an old hand plane back to life in the shop.

I have gone ahead and installed a Hock brand iron and chip breaker in the Groz #4. This combination right off the bat eliminated some of the cut chatter. I took the time to flatten the sole, clean up the mouth, and move the frog a little tighter while I had the plane apart. These small exercises took this plane from functional to enjoyable to use. Here is a short video review of the Groz kit pre-updates:

Harbor Freight video #2 with discussion of plane iron and using some Tormek fixtures

This weekend I spent a fair amount of time on the tablesaw. I just wasn't happy with the height (at 44" it was just too tall). I was also not very happy with the stability of the table. Lastly I wanted to add a small outfeed table. Since I can only back it up to the rear hanging motor I may as well have a table back there over the motor.

So I wrestled the saw back off the mobile base. I relocated the casters to the inside of the platform. This lowered the top of the mobile base about 2-1/2". I removed the feet from the saw to lower the top another inch. Now the top of the saw is about 40", which works well for my height.

While I had the base upside down I took the opportunity to add eye bolts and t-nuts for leveling and stability of the base. I gotta say, this is an excellent solution for stopping the wiggle that I had with just caster brakes. Ten bucks well spent. I will need to devise a foot as the thread ends concentrate load enough to damage the floor if you just turn them without aid. But once elevated off the casters the whole platform is rock solid.

To further assist stability I added a piece of 3/4 mdf to the left end of the table. This removed any hint of wiggle at the table surface. I used deck screws to fasten to the base and 1/4in bolts to hold it to the extension table. I may add another end off the router side, but haven't decided that it is necessary (and it could block access to the router). Last thing to do was bolt the saw base to the platform. it was prone to shifting when I pushed the platform around the shop.

Next I did up a quick and dirty outfeed table. I don't want to worry about warping, bowing, or wood movement. So I devised an adjustable/leveling attachment scheme. Basically 1/4-20 bolts to the rear angle iron and the support legs from the extension table. With aid of the long bolts, extra nuts and a couple of lock washers I was able to work out levelers. To prevent bowing under load I jointed a 2x6 and glued it to the underside of the table.

Okay, on a positive note I am producing sawdust and wood chips in the shop again. I see a light at the end of the tunnel where my tools are setup and I can actually work on wood and not machinery again. I have been able to get back to work on the hall table. The top is now trimmed to finish dimension, planed, and scraped. Next comes the legs and skirt. Check back for updates as they come.

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