Drilling down

The saga of my drill press continues.

For years, I have had a full height drill press – Woodman series, that I purchased pretty early on in the scheme of things, making the best decisions that I could at the time.  That is to say in hindsight, I have been a bit disappointed in it from the start.

I tried many different ways to deal with the shortcomings – different table tops

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(the second was very interesting, but WAY too heavy!)

different chucks, but what began the end-game was when one of the capacitors blew.  That was back in May 2014, and somehow I have been dealing without one ever since.

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Can’t exactly remember the timing, but either late last year/earlier this year I finally got around to trying to fix the motor, replacing the failed capacitor with another.  Seemed to work, and a few 5 second runs seemed to show it was back to being functional.  Still, after having it out of action for so long, I’d learned to work without it, so it didn’t get used.

I finally needed to on the weekend – a small hole with a forstner bit.  3/4 of the way down (20mm or so), and the motor on the drill press was smoking more than the workpiece!  Soon thereafter, and the motor ground to a halt, and this time it will be permanent (at least as far as I am concerned).

So it was off to the store once-known as Masters (now in liquidation), and picked up a bench-top drill press a couple of friends have also purchased, and have been pleased with.

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Got it for 10% off (liquidator’s price), then an additional 5% with my soon-t0-be defunct Masters trade card.  Cost about $350.

That will keep me going at least until the Nova Voyager drill press is finally available from Teknatool.

Can’t wait!!

Panel Saw

Had a ‘new’ panel saw turn up over the weekend.  It is a Safety Speed Manufacturing branded H5 saw, made in USA.

Their website lists it as being around $A3500, although in this case the saw is well used (second hand), and doesn’t have the motor or blade any more, nor the counterweight.  (In Australia, it is listed as $A7300.  Does it seriously cost that much to land it from the USA?  In saying that, it makes my $100 investment about the best bargain I have ever done!)

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In saying that, it is otherwise complete, and includes an aftermarket dust trap.  Adding a counterweight will be easy, as will mounting a saw to it.  So not bad at all for $100!  It is an ex-Bunnings saw, and came from the demise of the Woodworking Warehouse.

A mate with a truck dropped it off yesterday (thanks Dennis!)  It weights a tonne (actually 135kg)

The saw can cut panels up to 1600 wide, and can be orientated to also do a rip cut.  Additionally, the saw can be replaced with a router, and although I probably won’t, it is an interesting idea.

It is a bit of a monster to fit in, but I have it across the roller door, so that may be ok.  It is partially blocking the outfeed of the tablesaw, but only for large cuts, and well, large cuts are probably better done on this panelsaw now anyway!

Like everything, I’ll juggle it around until I get a good fit.  Hmm- wonder if it can double up to be a mount for the Frontline clamps…….  Not bad for $100 anyway!

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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