Commissioned!

With a little more time, and some minor changes to the layout once the dust extractor was relocated to the mezzanine, the dust extraction ducting was finished.

At least the first stage!

Stage 1 – connect up a functional dust extraction run from each of the main machines to the dust extractor, with blast gates isolating each machine.

Further work to be done as time, energy and motivation permits:

Modify base of dust extractor so it fits properly in the available space.  This may also involve shortening the legs by a couple of inches to assist with clearances (to be assessed).

Capture dust from the tablesaw dust guard.

Improve (straighten) path from thicknesser to vertical ducting.

Break into existing ducting to add a run towards the wood turning area.  Includes a pickup from the bench for the bench-mounted tools, and a quick coupling connector for the superflex hosing for cleanups.

Set up extraction as appropriate from the lathes.

Increase diameter of trunking from the dust extractor along the main run to 6″

Add a cyclone separator if possible.

The Super Dust Deputy is $US239, or $A626 for the metal version.

snapz-pro-xscreensnapz001Alternately, the latest version has a standard size, or an XL size for larger HP extractors.

Not sure if and when they will be available in Oz, but they cost $US239 for the XL version, and $US169 for the standard version. It will be interesting to see how the price compares.

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Sliding Crosscut Table for SawStop

I haven’t paid too much attention to sliding tables before, although the Sliding Extension Table on the Triton was rather handy.

The latest offering from SawStop looks rather interesting, and I’ll be giving it serious consideration when it becomes available down under.

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Aluminum Extrusions: T-6 Aircraft Grade
Table Depth: 47.25″
Table Travel: 55″
Table Crosscut Capacity: 48″
Table Crosscut Capacity (flush mount): 36″
Fence Width: 43″
Fence Extends To: 58″
Fence Scale: Imperial / Metric
Fence Scale Pressure: Adjustable
Miter Gauge Measurement Range: +- 60 degrees
Mounting Type: Pre-drilled holes for SawStop saws

No doubt it will be able to be fitted to other tablesaws.

I do wonder if anything has been added to insulate the fence from the operator- I would imagine that if you cut the fence accidentally while you were contacting it, the brake would activate.

In any respect, I can well see how useful an add-on it would be- very tempting indeed.

I Wood Like

The guys down at I Wood Like have done a lot of work recently, and have done a complete rebuild of their site.  It looks much like it did before, but has had a significant upgrade, especially around the new online store.

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For those that don’t know, they are the importer/reseller of the SawStop tablesaw, so I have been working closely with them on the video front, providing footage about the SawStop.

At this stage, they have my video of the assembly of the saw, the video of the saw in use, including the brake, and a short of the blade brake in action.

Upcoming footage on their site includes my video about the guard & riving knife and using the dado blade (and a short video of the same).  The next video after that will be about fitting the genuine SawStop wheel kit, which is a much better solution than the standard machine wheel kit I have been using.

As the I Wood Like site grows, it will be interesting to see their next round of developments.

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The online store that is now up not only covers the SawStop and the related accessories, but also a range of other machines, including the MiniMax bandsaw, panel saws, combo machines and more.  That includes a range of BSP Blue sawblades.  Not sure what they are like yet, compared to the blades I know, but will be interested to find out, and the SawStop Titanium blades measure up.

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Will also be interested in seeing how some of the other machines measure up to those we are familiar with.  So many tools, so little time!

Rail Saw

I’ve been flat out recently getting the next magazine articles together (so sorry for being so quiet here – the combination of everything has been overwhelming, so I had to let some areas slip right).

One of the projects has involved making quite a bit of use of a rail saw, and in this case it was the Festool Tracksaw system, including the MFT/3 (multifunction table) that was extensively used, and as much as some are going to hate hearing it, it is bloody awesome!

This was the first time I had a chance to start putting them through their paces, and I was doing jobs on it that I would have struggled to work out another way, at least finding another way that was as easy.  The more I use it, the more it becomes apparent that it is incredibly useful in the workshop.  It doesn’t remove the need for a good tablesaw, or a SCMS, and both the SawStop and the Kapex got a heavy workout as well, but it was a real pleasure to use the right tool for each job.

hb_mft3_495315_p_01aThe MFT/3 with the rail that flips out of the way was brilliant.  Being able to drop the rail down in a consistent location meant that at one point I needed to shave off about 1/2mm, and I was able to set up for that accurately, and quickly.

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If the MFT/3 was good, the TS55 running on the rail was even better.  Precision height adjustment, accurate tracking made very easy given the saw is captive on the track.

I’ll shoot some videos of these doing their thing soon – cool tools.  There are always many ways to skin a cat, some just make it so quick, easy and accurate.  When I used to look at a circular saw, I saw a rough machining tool, inaccurate, noisy and dangerous.  (My old man almost killed himself one year with a circular saw).

The Festool version is like comparing this:

Lada 2103 1300 1978 frontwith this:

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Both will get you from A to B.  Sort of.

Some people can’t see the point to anything more than the Lada.  Or justify the price difference (the cost of a good coffee, vs a small house!)  Although they both have 4 wheels and a motor, but that is about where the simularity ends, and the same applies to the difference between a basic Bunnings $50 circular saw, and a $1000 Festool.  The longevity of one tool over the other is just one small factor in the decision.

Suck it up

A new (and relatively cheap, at about $35) tool caught my attention at a recent Festool demonstration, which I mentioned briefly at the time.  It is the Festool Dust Removal Nozzle, and it just goes to show that sometimes the best ideas are so simple, you ask yourself “why didn’t I think of that”. It isn’t the first time that a vacuum based system or similar concept has been used, but it certainly is a good example of one!

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Drilling can be a messy business, especially when inside the house and the room where you need to do the work is perfectly clean otherwise, (well, again, relatively speaking!)  I’ve had this situation a number of times, and often in the kitchen when you want to install something above the kitchen bench.  You drill a hole, and the plasterboard produces that talc-fine dust that falls down from the hole you are drilling and lightly coats the bench surface.  You spend more time trying to wipe up that damned powder than the time it took to drill the hole!  That includes those plaster wall anchors that you either drill a hole for, or those that drill and self tap a hole.

I’ve seen many examples over the years of how people have tried to solve the problem simply and cheaply, even resorting to post-it notes

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The Festool solution is a dual chamber system, which allows the dust collector to adhere to the surface (rough or smooth), as well as collect dust that is produced.

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It isn’t a drill guide per-say (although I know Dennis is working on a mod for his one that does just that!), but it sucks onto the surface, and collects the dust right at the point that it is being produced, which is the best place to do so, especially rather than trying to wipe off the residue from the clean kitchen bench below!

As mentioned, overhead isn’t a problem, nor is rough surfaces, such as concrete, even when both ‘challenging’ scenarios occur simultaneously

19431So there you have it – a cool tool, Festool, and yet you don’t need to break the bank to have one!  And just think of all the times you’ve had to clean up after drilling into plasterboard.  Use post-it notes for writing reminders (or your next art work)

post-it-notesFor keeping drilling dust under control, there is a better solution!

MagSwitch 2014

Retailers of MagSwitch will soon have a new Point of Sale device that looks quite well done.  Nothing like being able to play with a product to see how well it works!

image003They have also released their latest catalog which not only covers the product range, has some really interesting details about field depth, magnetic saturation, effects of airgaps (including painted surfaces etc).  Worth a quick gander (here).

I’ve suggested a new product to them – the MagSwitch GoPro mount.  They probably won’t go with it, but when my 3D printer arrives, I’ll make one anyway!

Episode 108 DadoStop!

Had a look at the blade(s) after the fact, and found out where the significant cascading sound comes from when the brake activates.  12 separate tungsten carbide teeth ripped loose of the blade.  Most presumably are due to the spacer blades not being in direct contact with the aluminium brake, so were able to move when the blade was (rapidly) decelerating, and knocked the teeth off as they slid past.

It is a good effort, stopping that much spinning steel on a dime!

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