Biting the Bullet

After much internal debating, I did decide to move over to the PRL2 (Precision Router Lift) from Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and now the only in-cabinet adjustments I need to make are speed changes on the fixed-base router.

I thought the router would be at least as noisy as the Triton, but it was definitely not the case – quite a bit quieter which was a pleasant surprise.

The coarse height adjustment will take me a little to get used to – while very fast, I found I would overshoot the mark easily.  Granted, I only tried the whole thing for a few seconds – too many other demands on my time.  The fine adjustment is very fine.  It has a 32nd” thread, compared to the 16th” thread of the previous router lift.  The 16th” never seemed overly coarse, so this is very fine.

Now you may wonder – why do I need two router lifts?  One that can fit a plunge router, and one that fits the fixed-base router that it comes with.

Well there is a really simple answer.  I don’t.

I did an upgrade deal with PWS, so they now have my router lift to sell (just as soon as I drop it off!!)  Based on one other that they had to resell recently, it won’t last long!

It was a hard decision – I do like that router lift!

Back to my new PRL2, I do have one interesting idea about the microadjuster wheel.  That red wheel looks perfect to engage a motorised drive.  Be interesting to see how practical that is.

In the Firing Line

I recently met with a new owner of the SawStop, and took them through some of the specifics of the machine, including some of the basics of safe operation of a tablesaw.  As they were an experienced operator, the focus was certainly around the brake mechanism.

Six months later, and I get a call.  Turns out the SawStop mechanism got tested for real.  Scared the bejesus out of him – not only when it activated, but more fundamentally, that it happened at all.  So we are going to have another session, and this time running through the A, B, Cs of tablesaw use.

Had my own experience last weekend.  Not of the SawStop mechanism, but a reminder of basic safe operation.

I try to ensure that I am not standing directly in line with the blade when it is cutting.  That isn’t always possible, but it is a good practice, and this time was no exception.  I was standing to one side while ripping a piece of timber, and a piece of the offcut splintered from an unknown internal fault in the timber.  It got spat out by the blade, and sailed right past my ear.  Close enough for me to hear it pass by.  Close enough that I felt it brush the ear.

Reinforces why I like standing to one side while cutting!  Even if it had hit, it is unlikely to have done any damage, but it is a good reinforcement why we practice safe use.  And why eye protection is mandatory.

I finished off the cut – nothing wrong there, so the technique was fine.  It really came down to a weakness in the timber.

As much as I was out of the line of fire, it was a full-depth cut.  And while having the riving knife fitted helps protect against kickback, having the full dust guard fitted when it was appropriate for it to be used would have prevented this happening at all, at least as far as having a small missile launched in my general direction goes.

How’s it hangin?

The ol’ router table that is?

Ever lusted over a router lift, being able to precisely dial in a router bit height, make a pass, and need a 0.1mm adjustment to make it perfect?  That is what a router lift can give you.

Sure they are not cheap, but then the router table is one of the main workshop tools, and if you are prepared to put some bling into some of the other tools (tablesaw, bandsaw etc), then perhaps consider giving the router table some love.

I am coming from the other side of the decision, having had a router lift and the Incra fence for a number of years.  I’ve always enjoyed the accuracy, and it comes as second nature these days.  Guess it has improved my woodworking, but that isn’t actually why I have it. (Probably should be!!) I just like being able to use good gear when I am pottering around.

We did think the day of the router lift in Australia was numbered, when the Woodpeckers Router Lift ceased manufacture. The Router Lift was specifically designed for plunge routers, which are just not popular in the USA for some reason.

However, that is not the only form of the router lift that is out there, and the American version, the Precision Router Lift Version 2 (or shortened to PRL V2) is now available here.

This has some cool features that my router lift doesn’t have.  Such as a spring loaded plunge handle to quickly set the height close to what is desired, without winding and winding.  The other, and this is even more interesting, is it has a built-in large diameter knurled wheel to dial in the precise height (it is bright red in the photo, so hard to miss!)

  
This lift cannot fit a plunge router, but then having a plunge router under a lift is a bit of a waste anyway. I haven’t taken my plunge router out of the table for years.  Probably so full of sawdust now, it may not be able to plunge properly anyway.

So what do you use instead?

Well the PRL V2 from Professional Woodworkers Supplies comes with an 1800W 1/2″ (and 1/4″) fixed base router. So that takes care of that problem!

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are looking for a kick-ass router table, having a router lift with such accurate adjustment, it will certainly have appeal to some.  Given my Triton is struggling (age catching up with it), this is a rather tempting option, and solves one of the final issues with my current setup – how to do through-table bit changes, without having to adjust both the router lift, and the Triton router.  Something I’ve put up with for the overall benefit of the lift.  Guess I really like the look of that red dial!

Timbecon has opened in Melbourne

Timbecon Website article.

A new store, in North Coburg apparently opened on Monday, and their first sale is this Saturday from 9-1 for everything instore (excluding some Triton, although I couldn’t find any on their website anyway).

Interesting.

Don’t know a great deal about Timbecon (them normally being in Western Australia) other than seeing them at the occasional wood store (and having a lot of rather bright orange machines)!

The Shed Mag

 

Latest issue out now.  Featuring my weather station project.

 

The Far Side of the World

kara rasmanis

An awesome photo of the Clipper, taken by a friend of mine – Kara Rasmanis.  It is using a real map as the background (not photoshopped).  The flag on the back is one my daughter was inspired to make when she saw the ship being assembled.

Clipper

Know it is getting a little repetitive, but I couldn’t resist making just one more of these.  Sure I’ll make more, but you don’t need to see them all (unless you want to!)

This was a pretty easy one to cut out, but I found the design had left out a number of hull sections, so that was a bit of a problem, and the assembly directions were ordinary as well, so a number of parts got broken and needed replacing as I worked out a new assembly order.

However, neither of those took as long as tying the sails into position!!

ship-1 ship-2

Cut out with a 1/16″ solid carbide straight cutter router bit (Toolstoday.com), running at 50mm/sec, and at 12000 RPM (I’d run it much faster, but I don’t have spindle speed control at the moment)

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