Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pimping out an imported Woodplane

I figured it was about time I tried to tweak a new plane. These planes were made in India, under the award brand, but they look very similar to those made by "GrozIndustries":"
and"Anant tools":

I purchased these three planes at a local store here for from $15.00 to $40 each.
Having attempted to restore several old Bailey's and Sargents and Stanley's I found that
lately the prices on E-bay for vintage tools has been tarnished by extremely high shipping costs and the inevitible "padding" of the price by shady merchants. And to be quite honest, in my opinion, they were not made all that well in the first place. (Your milage may vary)

Right out of the box, these all performed much better than my expectations and required no adjustment of the plane bases and or blade fittings. The castings, seem of very high quality, and did not require any adjustment.

I sharpened the blade in the No.6 plane (18" long), and used it on several different species of wood and was impressed with how well it cut.
I was curious to find out what improvement a *high end blade* would make with this plane so I ordered a new blade from Lee Valley made from A2 steel.
As you may know, A2 steel is much harder than 01 carbon steel and although more difficult to sharpen it keeps an edge longer. I have a "Worksharp, sharpening system ": so I was not too concerned about the extra work in sharpening this type of blade. As shown in the picture the Lee Valley blade is considerably thicker than the original. Lee Valley claims this extra thickness helps prevent chatter from the blade.

Next I removed the blade and chip breaker and gently filed the frog so that it was continuous with the angle formed in the sole of the plane. It went fairly quickly, as there was negligible material that needed to be removed.

Next, I set out my sharpening station and set the blade angle to 25° using the wixey gauge to get an accurate angle.

The next shot shows the blade, as it comes off the Worksharp system.

I reassembled my plane and tested it out with a handy stick on the shooting board. The new blade got noticeably smoother than the original and the additional thickness narrowed the mouth of the plane leaving just enough room for those fine shavings to exit.

I'm very satisfied with this modification to the original plane and hope to modify the other two in the weeks to come. I will admit that the new blades actually cost more than the original plane. But all in all, it turns out to be very good value.

I am the first to admit that they are not the same quality as a Lee Valley or a Lie Neilson but they will certianly do until I win the next lotto.

The making of a chess set

I built this a while back but never got around to posting it .
The chess board is made from maple and walnut and finished with poly.
From New Album 12/23/08 9:29 AM

From chess set
The chess pieces are made from holly and cocobolo and finished with turners polish.
Each piece is drilled a lead weighted with old lead from tire balancers.
The base were then felted to prevent scratches.
From New Album 12/23/08 9:29 AM
Each piece was turned and then hand finished for detail.

From New Album 12/23/08 9:29 AM

From New Album 12/23/08 9:29 AM

I estimate I put about 40- 45 hours into this project.

Box joint jigs for the router table -part one

I don't know wether I should be praising the merits of the Grr-ripper today or explaining the build of my new box joint jig.
This picture shows how useful the Grr-ripper can be when working with small stock and needing dead on accuracy.
The part cut is oak and will be the guide bar for my 1/4" box joint template.
I cut it in a matter of seconds in complete safety and it measures 1/4" on both ends of the stick. That's first for me as the saw usually creeps up on the loose end of a piece like this. I would not attempt this without a grr-ripper on a table saw.

With the gripper I was able to cut 3 keys for the jig in less than 3 minutes including set up time.
I set the saw gap with metal lathe cutting tools that just happen to come in fractions so I have a range of them from 3/16" to 1/2" and use them instead of measuring. (look for them at any tool shop that sells metal lathes.
The Grr-ripper allows one leg to sit on top of the wood while the other leg can be adjusted to balance the rig when passing over the blade.

I left the keys full length for the glue up so they would rest on the base of the jig and be parallel to the sliding table
I'll cut them off long enough to hold a series of boards for gang cutting the box joints. Incidently, that is why I abandoned my other style of jig. This seems like it will give me more control over the cuts.

The way I positioned the keyway is shown here.
I cut the first a slot in the jig dead center and just slightly higher than 1/4".
I want the ends of the joints to be just proud of the sides for finishing.
The method for getting the keyway position is simple now.
Just put the first keyway in the first slot and and a suitable key spacer next to it. ( in this case the 1/4" measuring bar stock.
Lock the jig at the back and run the lslot.

What I have now is a "carriage" with the keyed jigs mounted on the front.
The carriage follows the outside of my router guide bushing allowing me complete freedom to push and or pull the stock past the cutter.
I don't have to line up the router bit anymore as the brass bushing takes care of it as long as the router dosen't move in the table. ***** a caution for those of you that pull your router out for other tasks.*

Here's a shot of the bushing I used. I used a fairly large one - (3/4") in anticipation of also using this jig to cut my pins for dovetails. ( more on that later)

Today I had time to run some 5/16" stock and test the jig for spacing and accuracy.
It took a bit of getting used to so I ended up cutting about 5 joints before I got the hang of it but here's what you should be able to get with this jig:

I will now make notes in my log book for future reference. This generally shortens my setup time next time I use the jig.
This is the jig I made first , then realized it used a lot of materials up for each size change.

A pic showng the front of this jig:

My woodlathe longworth chuck

I have been meaning to make one of these adjustable reverse jawed chucks for some time.
I had been using the metal jaw extensions that fit my Oneway stronghold but find that it ties up the chuck too frequently.
This system is very simplle in design and works well _only if you follow directions to a T_ which I am wont to do sometimes.
As a result I now own a completely useless Longworth chuck body that is not close enough to operate smoothly.

From wood stuff 2010
The second one went much better and apart from a few cosmetic blemishes seems to work just fine.
I made this one with slots for 8 rubber stoppers instead of just 4 and it seems to snug the bowl down better.
From wood stuff 2010

I like to turn my work with a tenon on the base to conseve materail for the bowls so this chuck gives me more surface to remove and finish the tenon area.
From wood stuff 2010
Here I have trimmed off the tenon with a parting tool and smoothed the foot with a bowl gouge.
From wood stuff 2010
A bit of writing to help remember when I did it and the wood used.
From wood stuff 2010
The base is taped off to help prevent over spray from the lacquer used to sel up the base.
From wood stuff 2010

The unit is about 15-1/2" in diameter and will take a 14" rim.
The rubber stoppers are cane tips and should be avalible wherever geriatric supplies are sold.
Inside each cane tip is a wood dowel cut about 1/16" shorter than the tip height to give the tips some compression.
The back is 1" MDF and the front is 1/4" fir plywood.
The pan head bolts are 2-1/2" long and secure with jig handles.

Here's the test bowl removed fromthe chuck after polishing.
From wood stuff 2010

From wood stuff 2010


Restoring an old 6" jointer - Delta Milwaukee 37-207

A couple of weeks ago I rescued a an old 6" Delta/Milwaukee jointer from a Garage sale. ( Circa 1940's)
The fellow I bought it from was mostly into old cars and had no use for this iron and it sat rusting in his way. We made a decent deal and I lugged it homeward.
The surfaces of the in and out feed table were rusted and pitted and I did think about having them re honed at a machine shop but first I felt it better to run it to see what else was wrong.
About and hour with some rust remover from Lee Valley and I had the vital parts soaking overnight in dampened paper toweling or immersed where practical.
With a bit of elbow grease and some metal finishing pads on the electric drill I was able to get an acceptable surface on the tables.
From delta 37 207 jointer

At this stage I was confident that it could be put back in service. bearings good, tables flat, belt not so good,
pulleys, out of round and too small for the 3/4 HP motor.
After some help from the guys here I figured out the ratios for the upper and lower pulleys and swapped the drive system over to "Vee" belts which are wider and tend to run smoother.
I have a 2-3/4" pulley on top and a 6-3/4" pulley on the motor which should give me around 4000 RPM . With the 3 blade cutter head I will be getting close to 12,000 cuts per minute.
To get the motor to hang properly off the belt I had to rig up a hinge plate for the motor to sit on attached to the frame and on the unhinged end I made an adjustable rubber covered motor mount that I can set to take tension off the bearings and still drive the cutter head.
From delta 37 207 jointer

The next thing I wanted to address was the short bed length and fortunately the out feed casting came with a hole in the end allowing me to put a tenon in the space .
It was a bit of a trial and error as the inside of the casting was neither smooth or parallel.

At any rate, I came up with this:
From delta 37 207 jointer

Today I worked on putting a removable stabilizer leg under the extension and am fitting the sweep under the carriage to attach a dust collection hose.
From delta 37 207 jointer
From delta 37 207 jointer

From delta 37 207 jointer
For what it's worth the old iron seems to cut extremely well and will serve me for what I need.

Router bit cradle for easier bit changes

I got tired of chasing my big router around the bench when changing bits or setting depth of cut so today I grabbed a piece of 1 x 4" and a chunk of 1/4" mdf and made a cradle.
I traced around the router and cut the MDF out in a rough pattern on the bandsaw then tuned it a bit with the spindle sander.
From wood stuff 2009
Next I put a brace inside to support the router top and covered it with a bit of foam to prevent scratching.

Heres the finished cradle held on the bench with a couple of clamps.

From wood stuff 2009

I can reef on the change wrench without having to embrace the tool each time I change the bit.

From wood stuff 2009

Could have been fancier but it works.


A landing apron for your miter jig.( extension for your table saw)

I have trouble with my tablesaw not having enough room back of the blade to allow me to pull my miter sled back to cut panels.
I have a dedicated sled but sometimes I just need an inch or two without setting up another jig.
I made this apron from scrap that fits in the fence slot and lets the miter travel off the table and still slide forward for the cut.

From shop pics 2009

There is nothing much to say as it just pops into the slot and away I go.

From shop pics 2009

This shot shows about 22" behind the blade - plenty of room for most cabinet doors.

From shop pics 2009

A Vacuum System for My D4R Dovetail jig

I have had this Leigh dovetail jig for more than a year and have yet to tune it so I can use it.
From wood stuff 2010
When I first got it it was an old D4R so I upgraded the clamp mechanism and added a bit of adhesive sandpaper to the clamp bars.
The first couple times that I tried this machine I found that the wood wanted to slide under the clamp bars so I put sandpaper strips to control that .
I also had difficulty the 1/4 inch shank bits that I had on hand wsliding out of the collet adapter and spoiling the joints.
I replaced the collet with a new one from Lee Valley and purchased *8mm shank* bits as well as an *8mm adapter*.
I'm surprised how much better this combination seems to work in my router.
It makes me wonder why the industry ever produced quarter inch bits as they have been a pain in the ass since I started woodworking.
My "go to" router has become a Triton three and a quarter horsepower machine which has all the right features but of course, with a large motor, becomes a bit of a behemoth to move back and forth on the job.
From wood stuff 2010
"So I decided to treat myself and purchased sliding vacuum system and extension table from Lee industries.":
From wood stuff 2010
Essentially, it's a long smooth sheet of aluminum fixed in place by 4 rare earth magnets. On the underside they have attached a vacuum that slides along as you route. The end result is no more sawdust in my socks a convenient table to rest my router on and keep it level during the machining process. the two wire arms adjust to fit any router and the entire mechanism slides like silk with the addition of a bit of wax to the surfaces.

While setting the jig up to do a few test pieces I noticed that the fingers had several small imperfections from the casting process that made my router stall and catch in places in places making movements back-and-forth a bit jerky. I put a fresh piece of 180 grit sandpaper in my palm sander and gave all the mating surfaces a light buff. Just enough to remove imperfections.
I then gave the entire mating surfaces a light coat of Johnson paste wax to the base of my router.
The router slides on the table with one hand now!
From future projects 2010
Next I cut some pieces pine 1 x 4 and ran a couple of test joints shown here.
From wood stuff 2010
From wood stuff 2010
These joints are not perfect but they do show me that I'm on the right track.
The attached vacuum makes it extremely simple to rest the router between passes. I used to have to lift it over top of the jig and set it down between each pass.
From wood stuff 2010
From wood stuff 2010
Rather than try to hook up the Vacuum line to my central dust collection system from a 1 inch intake line I chose to use a small shop shopvac located on my storage shelf and operate the on/off switch with this auto switch so that each time I turn the router on the vacuum automatically goes on and runs for an a additional 10 seconds after I switch it off
From wood stuff 2010