Archive for the 'Power Tools' Category

Jun 12 2015

The Ethos of Woodworking Precision and Accuracy

There are a lot of different opinions floated out about accuracy and precision in woodworking, and further, about how it applies in handtool woodworking. I’d like to take a few moments and help add some additional perspective from a toolmaker, and from someone who has also had a long career as a journeyman tradesman. This read is a little long, but I feel the perspectives will be helpful to us as we develop our craftsman skills.

I don’t want to overstate what others I’ve read are saying, but cumulatively I read a lot of woodworkers who write say things like: “wood has too much movement for a need to work accurately”. “Measuring is unnecessary, just match things up so that they are good enough”. I could go on, but I am sure we are all aware of what I am referring to.

On it’s face, sometimes these statements may be true, maybe only true for those who state them, but they can be precarious things to say in a context where the reason why is not well prefaced. Let me explain.

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Aug 18 2014

Shooting Boards and Woodworking Safely.

Over the past several years I have received many inquiries regarding woodworking methods that are difficult to make safe. Believe me, being very fond of my fingers and their daily health is always in the forefront of my mind as a full time toolmaker.

Finger Hazard Warning

Some of the most common questions have been regarding working with short lengths of stock, and thin stock. Both of these sizes of wood not only commonly put our fingers in the near vicinity of rotating cutters on many different power tools and shop machines, but are also such that the power tool or shop machine can grab them and remove control from the operator.

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Dec 01 2011

Sewing Machine Oil. An Excellent Woodshop Lubricant.

Published by under Hand Tools,Power Tools

Over the course of time I have had opportunity to observe how many oils and lubricants perform in the woodshop, and the trades. My Father and Grandfather used 3 in 1 oil in their shops, along with other brands of light machine oils available at the time.

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They also often used non-detergent 30-weight oil, but it’s terribly messy and doesn’t perform well on a lot of woodworking equipment where exposure to cold temps and sawdust are concerned. In light of what my ancestors did, I found myself thinking about, and wanting better lubricants.
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Jun 27 2008

Building the 5-Gallon Thien Separator for your Shop Vacuum.

Adapting the Thien Separator Baffle to a 5-gallon bucket isn’t hard, and overall; it is going to reduce a lot of the suction clogging dust that gets to the filter of any shop vac. I feel it is a worthy addition to the shop vac portion of your dust collection system, so here is what you need to know.

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This may seem a little over detailed for some readers and I apologize, but there was some engineering involved regarding the measuring and layout, so I will detail my approach, and leave you to decide your own approach. You are welcome to blaze your own trail or follow mine. For my part, I am very happy I did it, and feel it can benefit anyone who is inclined to make one, so I am sharing how to with you.

I am glad you are interested in Shop Vacuum dust collection and cleaning. I am too! I have continued to pursue the improvement of dust collection and general cleaning with the Shop Vacuum. Please have a look at a recent article I’ve written about this by following this link right here.

First you will need to obtain a 5-gallon bucket, which is available from most any hardware store, and the Woodcraft Mini Dust Collection Separator Lid. (part# 143868), which is of course available from Woodcraft. Once you have those; please take not of the following critical measurements, and double check them for yourself.

The bucket will not be perfectly round, but on average, at the rim, it will be 11-1/16th in diameter, at the least if the bucket is held to nominal roundness. If you find the bucket is deformed beyond this roundness, I would reject it, and get a different one. This is easy to check with something like a telescopic pointer, or magnet, if you have one. Those handle inside measurements really well, and then simply compare them to a steel ruler or tape measure.

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May 17 2008

Improving Shop Vac Dust Collection

Like most of us in woodworking, the shop vac is generally a rather central figure, and pulls the short straw on helping keep dust and waste collected in the workspace. The shop vac’s primary design is based around vacuuming smallish sized particulates, usually dirt into a canister, with a motor drawing air through a filter while trying to evacuate that air from the canister. Overall, the design works pretty well for most of the uses asked of it. They will even vacuum up liquids.

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When I think about it, I have made it possible, directly or indirectly to be able to use a number of my power tools with my shop vac. Specifically, I have a 1/4 sheet palm sander adapted, 5 inch Random Orbital Sander, PC Saw Boss circular saw, DeWalt 621 plunge routers with a no longer available Leigh RVA1 router vacuum attachment, Hitachi chop saw with vac port in the hood, router table fence, 10 inch band saw, even the drill press, all with the ability to utilize the shop vac for dust and chip collection.

I am glad you are interested in Shop Vacuum dust collection and cleaning. I am too! I have continued to pursue the improvement of dust collection and general cleaning with the Shop Vacuum. Please have a look at a recent article I’ve written about this by following this link right here.

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For maintaining your shop, it’s tools, Dust Control and improved quality workmanship. These will help make any brand of Shop Vacuum far more useful and versatile in any shop!

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Then, there is the general clean up from all the woodworking activities that do not have the direct ability to collect dust. Drilling, jig saws, all the various hand tools and since I consider all the power tools to be efficient with shop vac DC in the 85-90% chip and dust collection range, there is all the waste that escapes that needs to be cleaned up there as well, So you see, without even discussing the high volume uses on the full sized dust collection system, The shop vac is really carrying a lot of the load here.

Woodworking materials present a different challenge to the shop vac. The woodworking tool industry has adapted many tools complete with proprietary adapters to operate with a shop vac hooked to them directly. Sanders, in my opinion, should not be operated without a vacuum attached to them or some form of DC in operation during the sanding process. The atmosphere in your shop will become very unhealthy if you don’t, to say nothing of the mess. Sanders are the generator of some of the finest particulate sizes you deal with in the shop, but the saws and routers create particles in many sizes at a relatively high volume. All dust collection is doable, but there are trade offs that occur and decrease some efficiency.

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Mar 10 2008

Tooling up with Hand Tools? The Big List.

Back in early February 2008, an interesting thread was started on Woodnet.net. Bob Feeser, rfeeser to those who may look for his writings, was asked by a friend to ”provide a list of what tools a well-equipped small, machine-free shop might have”. So he consulted some texts he had on hand and “enhanced” it.

Turned out, the list is quite good. On Internet forums, one good turn deserves another, and so the feedback began. …And the list grew. People came up with some great additions for the list. Continue Reading »

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