Episode 109 AmanaTool Raised Panel

AGE Raised Panel Set from ToolsToday.com

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.

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.

ts-55-r-fs-2

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:

00_Masterbild_1230x692_e_klasse_cabrio_NEW_1_1179_582

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.

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!

Addition and Subtraction

The battlefield of the very near future could be quite a different place indeed.  At least as far as logistics and materiel supply is concerned.  I imagine it will be even more profound for the Navy, who have a stable working platform (stable by our standards!)

Where once, a battle was fought only as far as the supply chain could stretch, and every spare part imaginable was carried, it will soon get to a point that all that will be required is the generic raw material, and the ability to fabricate any required part in the field.

The age of one-off part creation is upon us.  It may still be in its infancy, but RP (rapid prototyping) and RM (rapid manufacture), in the form of 3D printing is about to become an unbelievable growth industry over the next 6-10 years.  Even the Formula 1 is taking it very seriously.  They already use 3D printing for prototyping parts for their vehicles, but it won’t take long before the cars themselves have 3D printed components on them, especially where it comes to recovering from an accident.  Cars are occasionally knocked out of the big event due to a crash during practice, and the inability to get the required spare.  This costs the team a fortune in lost exposure, lost advertising, let alone potentially lost championship points.

3D printing is a form of AM – additive manufacturing, where raw material is processed and added to build the required component, layer by layer.  This is no longer restricted to plastics either, with companies now able to utilise titanium 3D printers.  This results in products that goes far beyond prototyping and concept models, and results in fully functional products, some which cannot be made by any other method, with moveable components in seemingly impossible locations.  Impossible if traditional fabrication methods were used.

So where 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, CNC routing is a subtractive process.  You start with a block of raw material, and carve away everything you don’t want.  Each have their advantages, and CNC machining has now been around for decades, so is a very mature process.

Soon, both additive and subtractive computer manufacturing in my workshop.  The Redback CNC will give me the subtractive process, (in spades), and a soon-to-arrive 3D printer will let me start to become familiar with additive manufacturing.  The rolls of filament arrived during the week, so hopefully the 3D printer is not too far behind!

Redback CNC

redback

Some news!

There will shortly be a new CNC machine (CNC router) on the market.  Once that is Australian designed, and made as well.

Comes from a pretty interesting stable too – the same inventor behind the Torque Workcentre, and his company, YAS Engineering.  Now Keith (for those that don’t know) is actually a specialist in CNC machines, and has been making custom builds for years from the small, to the very large.   This design is one for production, rather than custom builds, and it is only about 6 weeks or so away from making the transition from prototype, to the first production machine.

And that machine will be making its way down to sunny Melbourne, to a modest shed that I am somewhat familiar with!

The bed on the CNC is 600x900mm, although the overall cutting capacity of the machine is more than that (yes, more, not less).  That means it can work over the end of the bed, so working on the ends of boards etc will be possible.

Thinking Aspire would be the best product to get to really showcase the capabilities of the machine, rather than just sticking to VCarve.  Have played with VCarve already, looking to jump to the next dimension (the third dimension) with my CNC routing!

More news as it comes to hand!

 

Raising some revenue

I’ve had the tool section running for a little while now, and it has been good to (slowly) move on some items.  I’m going to keep the section running, as there are always a few odds and ends (spare components primarily) that can find another home.

I am looking to really ramp up the production quality of the videos again, and have new lights, new mics, and am now working on adding an extra camera as well. So I’ve turned (once again) to eBay to move a couple of things to assist.

One is the radial arm saw.  It may go for less than it was offered on here, maybe more (although I’d be surprised).  It is currently at $8, with 5 days to run, so is quite the bargain (if you want a radial arm saw that is!)

FirefoxScreenSnapz006Radial Arm Saw on eBay

The other item currently listed (which has nothing to do with woodworking, but at least the revenue raised will!), is the last of my dive gear, which I used to do a lot of deep diving with.  Currently at $270, with 2 days to run.

FirefoxScreenSnapz007Dive Gear on eBay

Sad to see it go, but I’m not using it, and one past hobby can help fund a current one.

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