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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Out in the shop, week in review

Nothing too exciting around the shop this week. I worked Friday, so no long Holiday weekend for me. We weren't overly festive this year anyhow. I actually marinated and grilled some steaks for our Thanksgiving dinner. Saturday was house cleaning. I did get a chance to finish up sharpening and tuning the Sandusky woodie.

Finally Sunday afternoon I got some shop time. Ended up spending half that time sitting there scratching my head. Then the other half doubting the decisions made in the first half. Check out this thread for details of that mess.
Here is a shot of the pile of rough poplar in question

Still scratching my head a bit, but think the route forward is in motion. I am most concerned with conservation of thickness, so ripping to jointer width on the bandsaw is going to be the best path forward.

Last night I finally got the Woodcraft low speed grinder out of the box. Initial impressions are mixed. The speed and noise are good. The narrow format, thin guards, and cheap tool rests leave some to be desired.

The stock tool rests are finished by paint or powder coat over the rough cast iron. Cast iron is good. The weight will help damp out some of the vibration. The rough finish is not so good. Another noteworthy trait is that these tool rests are tiny. They may be fine for chisels, but I wouldn't trust my ability to keep a wide iron flat instead of teetering off the edge.

So I have devised a plan to pilfer the tool rests off my high speed grinder. They have a lot more surface to register on.

I just need to decide the best route to attach the parts. I am leaning towards JB Weld or Epoxy. I started to go the drill and tap path, but thought better. The cast parts stand a fair chance or cracking during the process. It would also lead to holes in both rests that could collect abrasives or catch on tools I am working. Since this isn't a high stress application I think it is fine to go the epoxy route. Eventually I would like to make or purchase independent tool rests, but with the holidays coming that will have to wait a while.

I think the high speed grinder is a good candidate for buffing duty. It has a much wider stance at the arbor mounts. This conversion would also be good since I am borrowing the tool rests for the new grinder.

That's all I got for this edition. Look for progress on that rough lumber in the next go round, a grinder update, and maybe some more discussion of the sharpening station. Thanks for reading.

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