Tuesday, October 16, 2018

50-MPH Thrills On A Hydro-Kart

A long time popular magazine, that unfortunately did not survive, "Science And Mechanics" magazine, first started out in 1929 as " Everyday Mechanics". Over the years it changed it's name a couple of times and changed ownership even more times. In 1984 it published its last issue. Thats unfortunate, it had a close resemblance to the PM and PS mags., covering the developments in science and technology of the day, but there was an even greater concentration on workshop projects and improvements, home renovation, and many different hobbies and crafts. I have only 5 magazines, they are rare in the used market, you can find them on amazon, e-bay, and abe books, but the price when you include shipping, makes the few you can get expensive. Like PM and PS they published many books, aggregating many projects, tips, and jigs from the magazines. I have found two of those, and one in particular, is full of good tips and workshop ideas, that I will post from, in the next few posts.

So for those 50-mph thrills. This Hydro-Kart project was very popular in the early 60"s. I say that because both Popular Science and Popular Mechanics published similar plans around that time. I think something like this could still be a pretty neat project. Certainly your parts sourcing will be different, but if anything, you will have a greater selection in todays market. Smaller engines and more HP for instance, could eliminate the second engine. If I remember correctly the PM plan used a small outboard, a similar size today, probably puts out twice the HP.

So from the 1962 "Science And Mechanics" magazine is a plan for a 50-mph mini-speed boat.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Woodcraft # 1-Antique Tool Collecting

One of the more recent magazine publications to start up was "Woodcraft" in 2005. As has become a trend, "Woodcraft" is an extension of "Woodcraft Supply Corp.", much like "Today's Woodworker" was an off shoot of Rockler's "The Woodworkers Store", back in 1989. Both are popular suppliers to the renewed interest in woodworking and other workshop interests, among millions of Americans. Canada, and probably the rest of the developed world, has seen a similar surge in interest.

Woodcraft went into publication on three core components Projects, People and Products. To this end the first section is usually a collection of nice medium to advanced projects, followed by a focus on a few craftsman doing beautiful and diverse work around the country and finished off with reviews and articles on the latest tools and products available on the market.

In the following short article Dana M. Batory, an antique tool collector, discusses three popular antique tools that when restored to their former glory, would be the envy of any small home shop hobbyist.

So I will post a couple more magazine firsts over the next week. "So thats all fine and dandy but how do I get access to all these project resources", you may ask. The used book stores, I have found, all have milk crates full of good used magazines, if you are persistent it is not hard to come close to completing whole collections of magazine titles, even more collected titles, like Fine Woodworking. If you like downloads the Internet Archive has a huge collection of woodworking magazines in their "The Magazine Rack" collection.

So I can kiss good by to any hope of an Indian Summer. This is what we got this afternoon and it will continue into tomorrow afternoon. Not much relief in the forecast either, so looks like an early winter. MAN give me a break, LOL.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Scroll Saw On Steroids

It's called a Walking-Beam saw, and if you don't like the cost of a large throat band saw or would rather avoid the more involved task of building one, this is a easier alternative. You can cross cut a infinitely long panel 32" wide on this saw, or rip a panel twice that width down the middle. Try to do that on your band saw. You can even do inside cuts, work your band saw can't do unless you have a blade welder.

It's called the poor mans band saw, probably because it's cheaper and so much easier to build. For blades you can use a band saw blade of a size according to your needs, cut it up into 20" lengths and punch pin holes in the ends, you may have to heat the ends to avoid cracks in the punching process, inexpensive and easy.

It has been said that all the machines a wood turner (spindle or bowl) needs in addition to the lathe is a band saw and drill press. This walking-beam is a perfect and easier alternative to the band saw. It will rough out huge chunks of wood for the bowl turner and do the diagonal center cuts for centering spindle work.

It's not high on my list but I would love to build one of these for my ventilated shop space. It would handle rough construction type work, and do the work of a slew of saws like the band saw, table saw, miter saw, radial arm, and yes, even work that is to large for the regular scroll saw.

The build and plan are by Mark White, back in 1980 he was a teacher of house construction and boat-building at Alaska Community College. This article was published in Fine Woodworking # 24 - 1980.

Does the frame design look familiar to you? Yes, it does to me too. Back in 1943 Popular Mechanics published a plan for a foot powered scroll saw in their Shop Notes, that had a similar frame design. If you would like to check this out, here is the link to that post. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Peek At The Fall Colors

So the fall colors are starting to peak, unfortunately the lack of sun for two weeks now, dulls the enjoyment of the bright colors. It looked like the sun was going to breakout today, I rushed out with the camera and managed to get a couple of pictures, before it retreated back behind those dark clouds. Hopefully I will get another chance later in the week.

Frame And Panel Doors

So continuing with woodworking magazine firsts, here is an excellent article from the premier issue of "Woodwork" first published in 1989. The article "Making Frame & Panel Doors" by Peter Good, is an excellent tutorial on making a popular style of door that finds use in house elements as well as furniture pieces.

 From "Woodwork" # 1 - 1989

3 Phase - Is It Worth Converting

This is a subject that often comes up in discussions and is seldom agreed on, as to efficiencies or DIY methods. The article I post here today, (from Fine Woodworking # 24) is not much different. It starts off with one mans simple set up, that seems to work well for him. However the size of his idler and the single phase starter, don't match up with claims of greater efficiency. However if your machines are 3 phase and you can't afford to convert to single phase or, as is often the case with larger machine shop equipment, the motor is built into the equipment and would require major modification to incorporate a new single phase motor, then this may be the way to go.

That may be the way to go, but I tend to agree with Mike Graetz's comment, in the following issue's comment section. If you must go with 3 phase, the method outlined in the "Editor's Note" below is a better way to go. It eliminates the single phase starter motor in favour of starter capacitors and reduces the size of the idler to more closely match the rest of your 3 phase motors. This increases the efficiency of the conversion, but you still won't be using less power than running a single phase motor. How ever there are still many benefits to three phase. Used three phase machines are often cheaper to purchase, and three phase motors are of simpler construction and easier to reverse, just switch any two leads.

I have lots of articles and plans on 3 phase conversion, but I have ruled it out long time ago. Most woodworking machines are easy to convert to single phase. My General band saw and Delta/Rockwell lathe were three phase so adding single phase motors was just part of the rebuild. I have passed on some three phase machine shop machines, but I think the weight of all that iron had something to do with it too.

"Boom" Workshop Grenade

In the same issue was an article reviewing jointer-planers by James A. Rome. In the article he relates the following mishap that he had in his shop. Fortunately he didn't get hurt, just scared, and I doubt he was easily distracted when working in the shop after this incident. The cutter head guard deflected the pieces of shrapnel, but the comparison to a grenade going off, is not far. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Portable To Table Saw And My Table Saw

Excluding "Popular Mechanics" and "Popular Science", "Workbench" has been around the longest of the modern DIY magazines. Started in 1958 it concentrates on whole house articles from renovations to yard projects and back inside to the workshop.

The article I selected from the first issue is a project that has seen many versions over the years. For the beginner with limited funds who has a circular portable saw and would like a table saw, this solution is a decent alternative, until you can purchase a dedicated table saw or build a more advanced saw of your own.

When it comes to a table saw, lots of iron, with a accurately machined, large, table surface, is the way to go. But that is just me. With the advent of the web many people have advanced and built wood framed fully adjustable table saws. If you want more than just the basic conversion in this article, you might want to check out Mathias Wandel's site at Woodgears.ca or John Heisz's site at Ibuildit.ca., he is currently building a nice fully adjustable wood framed saw. If you look back in my Popular Mechanics plans posts, there are a few wood table saw versions there also.

So from Workbench #1-1958, here is the article "A Table Saw From Your Portable".

So here is a picture of my table saw. A very long time ago (ha, ha) I started out like many with a similar plan to the Workbench plan above. The table I built was smaller but basically the same. I built alot of decent projects with that make-do table saw. In 83 I purchased a Taiwan import from Busy Bee. It was a knock-off of a low end contractor saw and underpowered. You know the type, with the open web, iron, extension tables. I sold it when I sold the workshop in the Ottawa area, mentioned in another post.

So In 2001 I was building my house and shop on my little piece of heaven up here. I made a trip to Toronto, and on my way home stopped at the Canadian Tire in Barrie on a whim. Sure enough they had Delta's top of the line contractor saw on sale reg. $700 for $625. There was a hole in the fence and rail box, on further inspection I found the back rail was missing. I offered $550, after hemming and hawing and a consultation with the manager they agreed. I brought it home and within 3 days the Delta dealer had shipped me a new back rail, free of charge, can't beat service like that.

Love this saw, big, heavy, accurate table, lots of blade head adjustment, the 1 1/2 HP sealed Delta motor has lots of power. I have never stalled or tripped the overload on it. The huge extruded aluminum front rail and fence have adjustment and T slots for accessories.

I don't ever see a need for another saw, however if a used Uni-Saw or even a General, presented itself at the right price, I probably would grab it, if only to rebuild it to it's former glory.

For dust control I built a hopper and attached it to the bottom saw frame. The hopper is built from 1/4" plywood with triangular strips to strengthen the corners. A 4" dust collection gate was installed at the bottom to accept 4" dust collector hose.

For a better seal I cut a foam cover to fit the back and attached it with double sided tape for vertical cuts. For tilted cuts the foam is easily removed. Under the foam is a 1/4" plywood back cover that is shaped to allow a full 45* tilt. It opens up the back a bit but dust collection is still decent.

In the pictures, the blade guard is removed. Don't run a table saw without a blade guard in place.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Capotosto's Woodworking Wisdom"

So in the previous post I featured a tenoning jig by Rosario Capotosto, this jig was also included in one of my favorite books by Mr. Capotosto. Throughout the last 30 years of the last century Mr. Capotosto was a huge asset for many of the woodworking related magazines. Possibly 100's of his articles and plans were published in many magazines, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics being the big standouts. In addition Mr. Capotosto published many good books on the subject.

"Capotosto's Woodworking Wisdom" is probably my favorite of his books. It was published in 1983 by Popular Science Books and Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. This book is full of useful tips and jigs for the workshop, lots of plans to make your shop safer and more productive. In addition there is a nice collection of projects for around the house and yard.

So in addition to the tenoning jig in the previous post here are a couple of more jigs, you will find in this book. I purchased mine new when it went into publication, nowadays the used market is your most likely source, I have never come across it online but people with better online skills than I have, may find a source.

Edit: Want to make a nice jig even better? Here is my suggestion, rout a recess in the base to fit a hard drive magnate and epoxy in place. Everyone has at least one dead hard drive kicking around, ha ha. The magnate will give a solid attachment to the table saw top for consistently accurate adjustments from a small lite jig like this.

Boy it's a good thing I live on a highly porous sand moraine,otherwise I would be sitting in the middle of a swamp right now, lol. It has been heavy, steady rain for two days now and it's not supposed to stop till tomorrow.

American Woodworker # 1 - Tenoning Jig

The year after "WOOD" published it's first issue, "American Woodworker" came out with it's first issue. This was 1985 and in addition to "Woodsmith" in 1979, the publishing industry was just getting started.

American Woodworker started out with a similar format as Fine Woodworking, large oversize format with black and white gray scale, cover to cover. I have always liked that format but with the advancements in computerized digitization they soon started experimenting with different sizes and full brilliant color. I think all that color benefits mostly the huge amounts of advertising necessary to keep these publications alive, although "Woodsmith" and "Shop Notes" seem to be doing quite well without it, (the advertising I mean), they make up for some of it with tool reviews.

So from the premier issue of "American Woodworker" I have selected an article for a tenoning jig, an indispensable jig for the table saw, if you do joinery work. The article is by Rosario Capotosto, a huge asset for many magazines in the last 30 years of the last century. Check out the next post for more on Mr. Capotosto.