T7 the big kid on the block? Not any more.

Tormek have released the T8 grinder for the ultimate in sharpening.  Available in Australia in July 2016.

While the changes over the T7 are probably not enough to make all T7 owners want to run out to get one, if you are in the market for a new grinder, the T8 is definitely worth considering.

They are currently available on pre-order from Ideal Tools.

The changes include a repositionable water trough, useful for the changing dimensions as the grinding wheel wears (of course, you have to do a fair bit of grinding to wear the wheel away!  Mine is still pretty close to original dimensions.  There again, if I used it more, I’d have sharper tools too.  Doh!)

The body is now cast zinc, and the drive wheel is also zinc.

The body is enclosed, and there is better splash and run-off management (and that is a good thing – I get quite a river happening after a long sharpening session!)

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While many still struggle with the whole concept of a wet stone grinder costing north of a $1000, for those who have been able to justify the expenditure, there is no question about just how good the machine is in achieving its purpose in life.  Ultimate sharpness.

More detail can be found on the Tormek website

Torque Workcentre for sale!

A regular of Stu’s Shed has a 3.5m Torque Workcentre for sale that has had very little use.

Given how rarely second hand Torque Workcentres come up for sale, and the lead time on getting a new one, I am pretty sure there will be someone out there keen to snap this one up.  It is being sold for $5000

“I have for sale a Torque WorkCentre. I have had it for a number of years, but have never really used it. It simply doesn’t suit my woodworking, or workflow.
The details and accessories are:

3.5m by 900mm WorkCentre ($5060 current new price (cnp))
Extension beam ($745 cnp)
Circular Saw Attachment ($245 cnp)
Copy Attachment ($190 cnp)
Triton Router Attachment ($160 cnp)
Dust Extraction Guard ($115 cnp)
Drill/Grinder Attachment ($60 cnp)

Also a pro router switch, multiple lengths of t&g T Track, various stops, fences etc.

All up new, that’s more than $6500. And I guarantee, my unit is as new (some shipping plastic wrap still on some parts!)

I am based in Gippsland. Please message me if you have any questions at simonleecreations@bigpond.com or call on 0478 401 013”

Vacuum Systainer

An interesting concept- Festool now have a vacuum that is inside one of their systainers. Makes for an interesting option, especially in space-limited situations, or when needing real portability.

  • Power consumption : 1000 W
  • Max. vacuum : 20000 Pa
  • Filter surface area : 5357 cm²
  • Rubber-insulated mains cable : 5 m
  • Container/Filter bag capacity : 4.5/3.5 l
  • Dimension (L x W x H) : 396 x 296 x 270 mm
  • Maximum wattage of connected tool : 1200 W
  • Volume flow : 3000 l/min
  • Weight : 6.9 kg

Called the Mini Extractor, or CTL SYS

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Blast from the Past – Cool Tools

Came across the video from when I headed over to Denver to appear on Cool Tools, demonstrating the Torque Workcentre.  Wasn’t that long ago in years, but it was a lot of grey hairs ago that is for sure!

What is it?

One of the Men’s Sheds recently got in contact with me to try to help identify some tools that were in an old chippies toolbox.

Does anyone recognise what these are, and their purpose?  Either end of each is a lead sphere.

I don’t have a good answer, but it strikes me that they may have something to do with balance, and/or heat.  If one end heats up faster or hotter than the other, whether this is a trigger for what these are attached to, or a way or measuring differential temperature.

Anyone have a more knowledgeable answer?

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The 45190

It sounds like another Whovian thing (or more precisely, Torchwood) (aka “The 456“), but instead, it is a lot simpler than that.

The 45190 is a router bit.  For my current activities on the CNC, it is THE router bit.

It is not overly complicated – a straight 1/16″ (1.59mm) 2 flute solid carbide cutter embedded in a 1/4″ shank.


Amana Tool 45190 Carbide Tipped Straight Plunge High Production 1/16 D x 3/16 CH x 1/4 Inch SHK Router Bit

from: Tools Today

But it is what I have been able to do with it that sets it apart.  Or rather, that it gets done what many other router bits have failed to do.

As many would know, I am cutting out a lot of patterns on the CNC, particularly from 3mm thick MDF. To get the level of detail I need, I am using a router bit that is around half that thickness so it can get right into the various corners.  But it also needs to do some miles, and that is also where this router bit has been scoring some exceptional goals.

I have tried other router bits, with some (but decreased) success – spiral upcut bits work, but have a tendency to pull the resulting piece that has been cut out, right out of the sheet.  It can then be thrown or bumped to a point where the router bit plunges through it while cutting another.  I’ve even found small pieces that have been cut out subsequently stuck on the router bit, trying their best to emulate a helicopter!

Downcut spirals work better, but they still have a problem that the dust they are carrying downwards gets deposited under the sheet, causing it to lift, and in the worse scenarios, to completely detach from the vacuum table.  Granted my vacuum table might not be as strong as a commercial one, or may not be able to carry away any sawdust produced so this doesn’t happen.

I’ve also tried larger bits (specifically 1/8″), but they do not give the same degree of detail, and the joints are not as tight.

So that leaves the 45190.  Yes, I have broken a fair few (and am again down to my very last one, that makes me nervous!) but that has always been the result of something other than cutting normally.

So far, the router bits I have broken have been:

Forgot to slow the feedrate back to 100% from a previous operation, and the router bit tried to cut 3-4 times faster than I have worked out to be a good speed for my machine for that bit and that material.

I’ve hit the clamp on at least one occasion, and a screw on a couple of others.

I’ve had a piece come loose and wedge itself against the spinning bit, and it has broken when the CNC moved in that direction.

Sadly, I have occasionally forgotten which is Y and which is Z (or have simply clicked the wrong button), and instead of lifting the bit, have tried to drive it through the material.

And more than once I’ve had the CNC get its + and – directions confused, and it has driven down hard, rather than up.

In spite of all this, when the router bit is treated correctly, it does the energiser bunny thing – it keeps going and going and going.

dino3

Check out the teeth on the dinosaur (Spinosaurus) and you will see what I mean about retention of detail.  Remember that MDF is 3mm thick to give you an idea of scale.

The straight cutter is also not the worse solution either.  The dust that is produced gets packed into the cut, which helps hold the piece being cut from moving.  The top and bottom surfaces stay pretty smooth, and only a very light sand is required.

The detail is retained, which is important, and the yield from each sheet is maximised.

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So when I am doing these CNC MDF jobs, and I keep mentioning this one router bit, there is good reason. The 45190.  Its a Whovian thing!

torchwood-welcome-the-456

 

 

He’s champin’ for a clampin’

For those who don’t recognise the quote, it comes from a character in Futurama, known, surprisingly enough, as Clamps. (Short for Francis X. Clampazzo).

clamps

Back in the 21st century, we still have the standard mechanical versions (no homicidal robot attached).

Given the old adage that you can never have too many clamps, it is definitely a good thing to find that there are good clamps available that don’t have to break the bank.

Timbecon have a full range of clamps now available – quick action F clamps were what I was looking for particularly.  Their range can be seen better on their website, but what I picked up were a set of 120mm throat clamps, ranging from 300mm to 1000mm in length.

Price wise – $22.50 for a 300mm clamp through to $29.90 for a 1000mm one.  Yup – under $30.

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The price for an equivalent Bessey or Irwin is $72 (from another supplier).  So you can afford to get the number of clamps you need, not the number you can afford.

I also like the quick lever clamps they have (again Torquata brand).

 

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Again around $30 (+/- depending on the size).

A wall of clamps like you see on your favourite woodworking show (or a project covered in clamps during a glueup) is now a lot more affordable!

 

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