Thursday, November 30, 2017

Broken Hinge Pin Replaced

So If you are following, you will recall one of the door hinge pins was broken on the Startrite saw, and you are probably aware by now that I am a bit of a pack rat. I keep a can of broken drill bits never knowing when I will need a bit of tough steel for some application. In this case I selected one the same size as the broken hinge pin, cut the shank to the required length and ground a dip in the end of it. After installing in the hinge eye I peened the end of the hinge eye into the dip ground in the pin to solidly retain it. The old pin had been spot welded in and required that I grind the end to remove it. Here's a picture of the completed job.

I tried the door on it and it works perfectly. Got the doors cleaned up and painted but I got a late start so I will let them dry overnight, post some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pulleys And Guard Installed

Cleaned and painted belt guard this morning. Cleaned the pulleys and hardware this evening and installed on the saw.

No skimping here, pulleys are top quality, machined from solid steel. Snug keyed fit to both shafts. The belt guard feels more like an after thought as far as design goes, but it does the job.

There are four speeds, 60 fpm at the low end to 225 fpm at the high end. Changing speeds is super easy just open guard, push motor down against spring compression, change the pulley step, and release the motor. Spring compression is adjustable for proper belt tension.

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1967

In this installment of shop notes highlights we start off with a plan for a nice heavy duty looking abrasive cutoff machine. Next a lathe flex shaft adapter followed by a nice article with 4 projects on working with mild steel pipe. There is a nice precision grinding jig and a nice plan for an inclinometer for measuring angles.

For the woodworker there is a great plan for a butterfly trestle table and a neat tiltable router jig that produces some interesting work.

Finally a long 3 part article on " How to Get Started With Metal Turning" containing all the basics to begin enjoying metal turning on a small lathe.

To download click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1967. 3 MB - pdf

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Startrite Saw Motor Installed

So I cleaned and painted the motor mount this morning and set aside to dry. Spent the afternoon paralleling the wheels, installed the old blade and made a few tilt adjustments for the initial tracking. It will probably require a little more adjustment under power with a new blade. Tightened everything down.

Here is the cleaned and painted motor mount and parts.

The motor mount weldment  is very stiff and solid for it's weight. I have always been bothered by the stamped and inadequate motor mount on my table saw. Something like this looks like a future plan.

On the subject of weldments. With the advances in welding technology after WWII weldments became more popular, they are lighter and stronger, in many applications, over cast iron. This saw is a perfect example. The whole frame is a well planned weldment of 1/8" steel very strong and much lighter than a cast iron import of comparable size. This also allows for many adjustments that are normally built in on a cast iron machine and can't be adjusted.

The motor mount, mounted on the worm drive.

And the motor mounted on the motor mount.

Perfect fit, you'd think they were made for each other, ha ha.

Another view.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Idler Wheel And Tension Adjustment Installed

So I puttered away at the idler wheel and tension adjustment today, got the wheel cleaned and painted and set aside to dry while I worked on the tension adjustment. Gave all the parts a lite grinding on my 12" disc sander to remove burrs, bumps and scrapes. I then wire brushed everything reasonably clean. I could have ground everything to a bright finish but this would have introduced to much play in the assembly.

The tension and tracking assembly installed.

And the top wheel installed.

The old blade that came with the saw is to dull and damaged to use but it will do to adjust the tracking, so I could tighten everything down. I have 5 blades on order with different tooth configurations but they are not due for delivery till end of next week.

Morning Chuckle

Here's a few pictures some may have seen before from the "Metalworking" drop box. Hilarious if you don't consider the possible results.

Must be loading a block of lead ha, ha.

Most have had a good chuckle seeing something like this before, this picture looks staged though.

"Finally got a good jack stand"

This guys lack of personal safety is hilarious and scary at the same time. Unfortunately its not about him, it's about the kid on the bike going by on the sidewalk, when a hot piece of slag blows a tire and the truck goes over. Is that the fuel tank he's welding on aahh?? 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Startrite Saw Drive Installed

So I got into the shop for a couple of hrs this morning. Cleaned up the saw worm drive, drive wheel and hardware. Drained and flushed the gear box, refilled with extreme pressure gear oil, painted and set aside to dry.

Dry enough to handle this evening. Installed the drive and drive wheel on the saw.

Did not tighten anything down yet, waiting till the tension assembly and idler wheel are installed. I can then adjust for tracking and tighten everything down. Lots of built in adjustment, each wheel can be adjusted at four points to align the wheels accurately.

Hopefully do that tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


So I didn't manage to get into the workshop today, but here is another file I made up years ago (I have over 200 GB of them, I thought I reached the end of the web one day, but it was just a diy'er with a great site playing a joke on me, ha, ha, ha)  of some workbench eye candy.

Workbench World is an Australian site that builds and sells workbenches of all types for schools and industry. They use a Australian wood called Jarrah with ideal characteristics for workbench construction. I imagine its rare and expensive in North America but their beautifully designed benches, and great ideas, can of course be made from the wood type of your choice.

So click Workbenches to download a 41 page, 1.2 MB, pdf file of workbench eye candy.

Below is a picture of their latest design, a Roubo bench version that has a few of the ideas I incorporated in my bench build. You can see more details and benches on there site at this link Workbench World.

Beeeeautifull, Gives me inspiration to build another bench. Ha, ha.

Mother's Waste Oil Heater

As the saying goes "there's nothing new under the sun". Back in the 1942 Popular Mechanics shop notes highlights I included a plan for a waste oil heater. Mother Earth News developed a similar heater outlined in their magazine. "The Journey to Forever" project built a similar heater and Roger Sanders advanced the project plan by making some improvements that make it efficient and easy to use.

The information compiled in the pdf below all can be found on the site This is a great and inspirational site for the socially and environmentally conscious. You will find lots of hands on projects and ideas for energy alternatives. To quote from the site "The focus is on appropriate technology, sustainable energy, sustainable farming, family nutrition and local self-reliance."

While looking through my "Alternative Energy" file this morning I came across the above mentioned file that I put together many years ago when I first found the "Journey to Forever" site. The Shop Notes heater came to mind and it crossed my mind that anyone interested in that file would like all this additional information. 

To download "Mother's Waste Oil Heater" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 34 -  2.2 MB - pdf

Friday, November 24, 2017

Startrite Counterweight Spring Assembly

This years fall to winter transition is about as crazy as it gets, -14* C and 3" of snow yesterday, +6* C and rain today yeesh.

Squeezed in a couple of hrs. in the shop this afternoon and got the drive end oil coolant return screen cleaned painted and installed.

Next I cleaned all the parts for the spring counterweight and installed.

Here the spring installed. Adjusted the spring so the tension came off with the head in the raised position and slowly increased as the head was lowered. This makes it very easy to raise the head and keeps the load on the hydraulic feed relatively constant.

So we'll try to get the worm drive, tension adjustment, and wheels installed this weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Startrite Hydraulic Feed Installed

Another late post today, completed the saw hydraulic feed today. I started by draining and flushing the old oil out of the cylinder and blowing out the control tubing. I then cleaned up the cylinder, painted it, and set it near the wood stove to dry. Meanwhile I cleaned up the control valve and tubing and installed on the head. The valve handle had been broken and they replaced it with a plastic disk that looked awful. I dug through my stores and found a suitable handle and installed.

When the cylinder was dry enough to handle I installed it on the saw and connected the fittings except for the fill screws at the top of the cylinder. I filled the system with fresh hydraulic oil and closed it up. With the control valve open I raised the head, I then closed the valve, the head remained locked in the raised position. Checked for leaks, everything good, cracked the valve open and the head slowly started to lower onto the vise base, open the valve wider, feed speeds up, cut the valve back, feed slows down. Great, the feed works perfectly. Here are a few pictures.

Raised position.

The control valve.

Lowered position.

I will install the counterweight spring next to make the head easier to raise and take some load off the hydraulic system and continue from there.

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1966

Another week has melted away. Is time speeding up or is it just my age? Ha ha. The Popular Mechanics magazine in 1966 is starting to change, there are less plans for DIY shop machines. Advertisements for all the new shop machines and tools being built are taking up more and more magazine space. There are more woodworking projects to build with all those new tools and electronics projects ( which are obsolete today, with the advent of digital tech.) are much more popular. There are some very interesting projects like a table top printing press. but it too has become obsolete with the advent of computer printing.

I did manage to come up with 34 pages of projects that may still garner some interest. The first is a nice little sheet metal former (slip roll), it requires some machining, but if you incorporate some of Vincent Gingery's methods in his slip roll build, you may be able to get away without it (message me for more info). There is a plan for a nibbler attachment for your jig saw. For the wood turner a beautiful antique reproduction of a vertical spinning wheel, a very useful shrink plate for the shop and a self reading O.D. shop gauge. There is a double duty sander setup for your drill press., a plan for chip shields for milling machines, and a versatile lathe brake that can be operated from 3 positions.

Xmas is coming and for the artist in your life, there is a plan that will make any artist very happy. I have seen many plans for easels but this "Ultimate Easel" tops the list.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1966 to download. 2.4 MB - pdf 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Startrite Head Installed

No snow today, just rain ha ha. Didn't let that slow me down, I finished the last coat of paint on the saw head, fired up the wood stove and moved the head close for a quick dry. Dry enough to handle this evening and installed it on the saw base. I will let it harden up for another day and start installing some of the assemblies. Here are a few pictures.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Startrite Saw Head Paint

So I completed cleaning and preparing the head for paint this afternoon and managed to get the first coat of paint on one side. When it is dry enough I will flip it over and do the other side. The second coat will go on quicker. When all good and dry I can mount it on the base and start installing the assemblies. Here are a few pictures.

On another note while digging through a drawer of seldom used tools this morning I came across a Makita 5" grinder, I had thrown in there a couple of summers ago. It ran erratically and I thought I had killed it. I plugged it in and tried it. It ran but would not come up to full speed and if I flipped it on its side it stopped altogether. On a hunch I removed the brushes, sure enough the spring on one brush was mostly destroyed. I had a spring and clip that I had saved from a brush change out on one of my abrasive cut-off saws, the wire and clip spring retainer had separated from the brush. As luck would have it the spring was identical to the Makita springs. Reassembled the Makita brush and install in the grinder. Tried it out, awesome ran like new, no sparking, brush was well seated. Thats great the way I kill the imports, it will hurt a little more at $150 a pop if I start killing the Makitas.
Here are a couple of pictures. The broken spring is what was left when I opened up the Makita. The clip and wire is whats left of the brush I salvaged the new spring from. On the right is the repaired assembled brush for the Makita. Second picture back together and running great.

Travis Larson's Ultimate Cross-Cut Sled

So it has been a busy couple of days, though little of it spent in the shop. Went out to clean the driveway and lane way Friday morning and got a surprise I hadn't noticed, at the lane way entrance. The frozen snow and ice storm we had got the previous two days had fully blocked off the exit to the township road. I didn't get a picture, but picture this picture of one of my trails only 3 times worse.

I spent a good part of the day cutting down the smaller stuff and hammering on the larger trees to shake off the frozen snow and ice. I then cleared the lane way of 6" of snow. It was dark by the time I finished and of course it then started to snow. The extra weight of snow on the trees along the hydro grid overcame the already stressed trees and knocked the power out. Hydro sent a crew out and the power was back on after midnight but they were in a hurry to get back to there Friday night and the power was off again shorty after. Hydro was in no rush and power didn't come back on till middle of afternoon Saturday. The power was out for a total of 18 hrs. and between my wood stove for heating and cooking and my small battery/inverter back-up for lights and electronics, I did not have to start my back-up generator. I',m sure the new LED lighting contributed a lot to it.

So I can't offer much on my rebuild project but here is a project plan that some may not have seen before.

Travis Larson published this plan in a magazine that I found on the web, sorry can't remember which one.Travis's main aims in designing this sled were safety, accuracy, and uncomplicated large capacity. I think he hit the bullseye on all counts. The 18 pages of the build is well detailed, and will provide good guidance for a successful build. I need one for some cabinet work and this one is at the top of my list.

To download click The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled. 1.2 MB - pdf

So I got another 4" of snow to clean up out there, ha, ha, tomorrow I think. I am going to try to get to a coat of paint on one side of the saw head today. Maybe post some pics. tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Odds And Ends - 2

So I spent most of yesterday cleaning up the driveway and packing down the lane-way. In true form, just as I finished it started with freezing rain, by nightfall it had turned to wet snow. I was woke up this morning by a couple of power bumps, looked outside, everything was covered with a couple of inches of frozen snow and ice, no doubt the cause of the power bumps. Lots of small trees and vegetation bent over ready to crack. There will be lots of clean-up this spring, I could here trees snapping in the woods.

Got in the occasional hr. on the Startrite saw head clean up. Got the head all scraped down and started with the wire brushes. I will leave the snow clean-up till tomorrow (another storm is due to blow in tomorrow night, ha ha) and see if I can get the saw head ready for paint today.

So enough about the weather, here is a nice little file of just PM model engines, that the modeler may find interesting. There are 6 engine plans, 4 have been previously uploaded in the shop notes files and 2 new ones. The first, a Tesla turbine, never achieved it's inventors claims, (the navy is still running bladed turbines, as is industry, though not from lack of trying.) but it remains an interesting modelers project. The second, a walking beam engine, that will take you back to the early days of steam power.

To download the file click PM Model Engine Plans. 2.3 MB - pdf

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1965

The worst part of global weather changes up here is the transition from fall to winter conditions. It used to happen relatively quickly, nowadays it lingers for a couple of months. When I worked in the south that is what I hated the most about the weather, now its followed me up here. lol. The problem is the constant and quick changes from rain to freezing rain, sleet and snow that can happen. 6" of wet snow that suddenly freezes into crusty snow and ice is a pain in the rear to clean up, right after you clean it up, it warms up and melts, so you can do it all over again. lol.

Anyway here is this weeks PM shop notes. At this point PM is not calling them "Shop Notes" anymore, that ended back in 1962.

This weeks distillation starts off with an easy "nutcracker" style knurler, followed by a grinding set-up for gemstones. This is followed by a kit based model makers lathe. You can't get the castings kit anymore, but the small simple castings are easy inspiration for the small home caster.

There are plans for two interesting model engines, an elbow and a solonoid engine. For someone in need of small amounts of low press. compressed air, there is an interesting little saber saw compressor and many plans for small jigs and fixtures, like a band saw brazing fixture and a filling roller guide.

For the woodworker there are router jigs for easy dovetailing, and a plan for making your own hand screw clamps.

There is a large article on binding your own damaged books. A bit of a lost art, but very useful, if like me, you collect old books. I have paid an old timer, set up in Madoc Ont., for rebinding many of my older books.

And lastly there is a plan for building a nice easy 2" X 48" belt sander/grinder.

Please click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1965 to download. 4.4 MB - pdf

Monday, November 13, 2017

Startrite Vise Complete

Late post today, some days you couldn't pay me to get out of the shop, ha ha. So I completed the back jaw on the saw vice and did the installation. Rather than take a chance on cracking the casting trying to get a good bond building up the notch cut into the back jaw or having it crack in use, I decided to clean it up and leave it. It will not effect the operation of the saw.

You can arc weld cast iron with lots of preheat, nickel rod and bondo if you want it to look good but where strength is important the bond is always questionable. I got my General 20" band saw cheap at auction mainly because a chunk was broken out of the corner of the table. Someone must have tipped it over with a fork lift in a move sometime. I fabricated a piece of steel to match the gap in the corner of the table. I didn't use any preheat so I spot welded the steel in the gap, in a stitching fashion to prevent to much heat build up and possibly cracking. It is quite strong enough for its purpose but I wouldn't trust it under heavy stress. It didn't look pretty but the bondo cleans it up ok. That was a couple of years ago and I still haven't got around to painting it yet, ha ha.

The broken chunk cut across the middle of the fence mounting hole, to a little more than a 1/4" from the top and extended around the corner.

So back to the vise, the angle scale was surprisingly in perfect shape, after cleaning up. Here all assembled and set to 90* cuts.

Here 11 1/4" between jaws at full capacity.

Here with 3" square tubing clamped between the jaws.