Episode 91 Amana Tool Melamine Blade
A blade designed to cut double sided melamine, by Amana Tool.
Available from Toolstoday.com
I’ve been running through the different tools that can be mounted to the Torque Workcentre, getting a feel for the pros and cons for each, and just some of the ways the TWC brings a different element to each of them. The more I play with the tool, the more I get to iron out any setup issues and get to know how to tweak and finetune it. As I’ve said in the past, the platform has a solid engineering base, and basis, so fine tuning is all about realising its potential, rather than covering up defects.
First out of the blocks is what has been seen a number of times already – overhead mounting of a router. In this case a Triton 2400W, with a 6 flute surfacing bit.
Each tool mounted can be rotated around both the X and Y axis. In this case, the X axis allows +/- 45 degrees. Around the Y axis, it can be theoretically rotated through 360 degrees, although practically you’d go a maximum of 90 degrees, which is very cool being able to have a horizontally mounted router. (Obviously these changes in tool orientation are NOT done while the tool is running!) Whatever the orientation, you still have the plunge mechanism operational, so again for example, if the router is horizontal it can become a horizontal mortising machine.
Each tool can be used with the copy attachment, and not necessarily for copying! In some cases it provides additional control over the tool, and a degree of separation which can be a safety point, as well as providing better visibility of what is happening at the cutting point. As Larry has pointed out, the copy attachment is also an excellent storage for the hex keys. And it is very easy to remove and replace when necessary.
The tool guard / dust collection(which is optional), I would regard as a must have. The brushes around the edge help trap particles, and the hose itself is orientated to collect particles which get thrown in that direction by the direction of spin of the bit.
You can again see in this photo how successful the Walko surface clamps work.
The simplicity of the drill mount is misleading compared to the capability. No drill press has the range or versatility that the TWC has with the drill mounted. It won’t result in me parting with my dedicated drill press (it is too handy having one ready to go at a moment’s notice, and it has obvious power benefits), but it has severe limitations in range and capacity compared to the TWC!
Mounting a circular saw is also possible with the saw mount. Here I have mounted one of the largest circular saws out there – the 2400W 9.25″ Triton.
The saw can be mounted for crosscut, or ripping, and presented at any angle. And still, the saw is used in its most stable position and the plunge on the carriage is used to bring the tool to cutting depth.
And still we haven’t exhaused how the saw can be used. If the arm was rotated around the Z axis, you could then do coving for the full length of the workcentre. And that is just one thought of many.
I was initially thinking of titling this entry “Blade Care”, but I’m aware that this is not the best way to protect the blades, so will keep that title for the refined solution!
Blades should be stored vertically, and since the inaugural “Battle of the Blades“, I’ve had them sitting in their boxes on a shelf, which is not only less than ideal as far as blade care is concerned, it also makes accessing the blade that you want somewhat frustrating. I was looking around the workshop, looking for some wall space for tool storage, and happened upon the cupboard doors. They can only take a moderate load, so were not suited for the tools I wanted to relocate, but it dawned on me that the doors were not a bad solution for hanging blades. So that’s what I did.
On the left are 4 CMT blades from Carbatec – from top to bottom there is a thin-kerf combo, a rip, combo and crosscut. Below that is the extremely mean looking Linbide Rip, and at the bottom is an old Triton sanding disk (that mounts on the saw) that I used to fill the final gap.
On the right are 4 Freud blades from Woodworking Warehouse – from top to botton there is the Freud Industrial (still my favourite blade), followed by a rip, combo and crosscut Freud Pro. Below that is the Linbide Combo (the blade most likely found on my tablesaw), and the Linbide 100 tooth crosscut.
I was sad to hear that Sam Maloof passed away late last week – of course being one of the most influential woodworkers of our age, it never made the news (perhaps some celebrity slept with some other celebrity somewhere which took precidence). Obituaries
Sam Maloof is possibly best known for his chairs, although this is far from the only thing that he made, a Maloof rocker was something highly desired, even by past US Presidents
Although at 93, you might expect that he stuck with only traditional tools, I always found it fascinating in the Taunton Woodworking DVD on Maloof that he was not against using any tool that would get him to his desired destination, whether that be the bandsaw or spokeshave, or whatever.
There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it.
– Sam Maloof