Showing posts with label woodwork machines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woodwork machines. Show all posts

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Old Becomes New Again

There are many who pass off the old PM plans as being obsolete, but for being obsolete, it is surprising how often they show up again as new ideas or as new versions of an old idea. In many cases you are not aware of the previous versions in the old PM or PS magazines. I have been victim to this a few times and it's both, a boost, and a let down, that someone else thought of the idea first.

Following is an example of this conundrum. Back in the late thirties PM published a plan for a useful horizontal disc sander, it's easy to see how this could be very useful, especially for sharpening edge tools, with a few jigs to control the angles.

Below is the plan for the disc sander along with a plan for a beast of a belt sander. I got this from a Popular Mechanics Press book titled "Forty Power Tools You Can Make". It was published in 1941 and the plans are all taken from previous PM magazines. I have posted most of the plans before, in the Shop Notes posts.

Dave Gingery does a recreation of this disc sander in his first book in the "Metal Working Shop From Scrap" series, "The Charcoal Foundry". Dave recognized the versatility of this disc sander for pattern making and tool sharpening and built one almost exactly the same as the old plan in PM. This may have been a product of Dave's very creative mind, but as I like to say "Their's nothing new under the sun" old becomes new again, just a little different.

Don't forget to read Dave's nice little write up on the disc sander and it's uses.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

"Getting The Most Out Of Your Circular Saw And Jointer"

Over the years Delta published many"Getting The Most Out Of Your ....." manuals covering most of the shop equipment found in a typical workshop. I posted one a while back on abrasive equipment, grinders, sanders, etc. This edition comes from 1937 and covers table saws and jointers. They are not large, this one is 52 pages, but they are packed with info. cover to cover. I have a few more titles and editions, hopefully get them up in the future.

To download "Getting The Most Out Of Your Circular Saw And Jointer", go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 73 - 5 MB - pdf.

Get'n so thick out there, I can't see out the windows ha,ha. Oh well back to the football game, no sign of a single snow flake there ha, ha.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Treadle Lathe Plans

So I realize there is limited interest in a item such as a treadle lathe in todays environment. My interest lies with Roy Underhill's colonial style reproduction. If you practice your hobby in a small space this is probably not an option, but if space is not a problem, one of these would be a great conversation piece, and if the power goes out, you can always spend your time turning up beautiful shapes, in the shop. No power, not a problem, ha, ha.

The first plan is a nice reproduction of Roy Underhill's lathe by Mike Adams. I found the plan of Mikes lathe on the web many years ago. Mike did a nice job of building Roy's lathe, and wrote and assembled an excellent 19 page pdf manual on the process.

To download the 590 KB pdf click  Treadle Lathe Plans

I found the second plan on the web, also many years ago. Nowhere in this 14 page pdf is the source identified. It is clearly from an older magazine, I suspect it was an older Popular Science plan. It looks like an efficient solid construction and the heavy cast concrete flywheel should do a nice job of storing energy, to even out the power output.

To download the 14 page 389 KB pdf plan click Treadle Lathe.

I have a number of other plans for treadle type lathes. The examples I have posted are a good start, I may revisit this at a later date.

So going to take a little break here, check back end of the week for more blood pumping, excitement inducing, project plans. Insert tongue-in-cheek imoji.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

"WOOD's" 1986 Multi-Machine

In WOOD's 1986, issue # 9 magazine, a very useful grinding and sanding machine was featured. At 8 speeds it allowed for slow enough speeds to do wet grinding, for putting very sharp edges on your cutting tools, without overheating. It also included a 8" sanding disk and the ability to run sanding drums and pneumatic spindle sanders. I built a similar sander without the speed changes and featuring two 8" sanding discs. I have taken it apart since I purchases my three 12" sanders, but I still have the shaft and bearings. Still waiting for me to find a new use for it, lol.

This would be a very convenient machine for a small shop, with it's ability to handle a variety of operations, weather your a woodworker, metalworker or other small shop hobbyist.

So the "Workshop Equipment" series plan that I posted a couple of posts ago, seems to have garnered lots of interest. In the next few weeks look for me to post the other two paper copies, I have. I will consider repackaging the other 6 poorly scanned downloads, that I have. I can't do anything about the first 2 or 3 missing pages, but they don't effect the actual build instructions.

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. 

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 or John Heisz's site at, 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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Shopbuilt Lathes 2 (Continued)

Here is the rest of that great "Back-To-Basics" lathe plan. This plan was popular with the "WOOD" staff as well as at least 300 readers who built it, back when it was first published. I have noticed in recent years, in Canada anyway, that prices have increased dramatically on a decent lathe. And many people have learned that making your own, is a better option than some of the cheap imports available.

Reviving this older series of plans will hopefully provide ideas and energy, to those who want a decent lathe, but can't justify the funds required to purchase a decent one, at this time.

"WOOD" provides sources for a parts kit. These may no longer be available. Their are phone numbers, if the supplier still exists, they may still be available. Failing that, the trend is to order replacement parts from a preferred lathe dealer, and fit them to your shopbuilt lathe. If you can turn your own, or have a friend, or shop, turn them for you, even better.

"WOOD" contends that this lathe holds it's own against much higher priced commercial models, and that is saying alot, since it was before the cheap imports started flooding the market.

Hope there is lots of useful material here, for potential builders, and interested shop hermits, like myself.

Shopbuilt Lathes 2

I will be away from my computer for a period of time, so I figured I better get the rest of these lathe plans uploaded as promised.

"WOOD" magazine's "Back-To-Basics" shop lathe is a more complete plan than most, so I will upload it in two posts. I could have just uploaded it as a pdf, but Google drive can be a slow process, for my slow connection. All of you young folks out there can convert it to the format of your choice, faster than this old dinosaur.

Of the many plans for lathes I have seen over the years, this has always been the most appealing for me. I have no need for another lathe, but I may try my own version, possibly with a longer bed adopting some of Carlyle Lynch's ideas in the previous plan, just so I could play with some extra large turnings.

The plan was first published in "WOOD's" April 1987 magazine issue, and later included in WOOD's "Woodworking Tools You Can Make" published by Meredith Books.

The fellow posing with the lathe must be very tall. Proper lathe height puts the top of the tool rest at elbow height. My Rockwell/Delta is just right for me at 43". This lathe is also exactly 43".

Thats the first five pages. Five more in the next post.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Shopbuilt Lathes

So here are a couple of posts on shopbuilt lathes to go with all the turning articles and the few books I have posted. In my opinion one of the woodworking machines most suited for "shopbuilt" is the lathe. The design is pretty consistent across many different sizes. A mini-lathe is not much different from a lathe that can turn a 12' column between centers. As an example, Carlyle Lynches design for a large 8' between center lathe, (below) could just as easily be a 4' between center lathe, simply by shortening the bed.

Lathes tend to be top heavy, and since raw work is seldom perfectly centered, produce vibration. For these reasons its important for a solid  base mounting. Bolting the lathe to the floor or adding extra weight to the base helps.

Going through that "Shopbuilt Machines" Word doc. yesterday I came across David Doman's huge shopbuilt lathe. He got his ideas from two magazine articles, that have caught my attention as well, in the past. David B Doman's site is still active, so I only included the first page of his lathe below. If you would like to see more pictures and the build documentation, here is the link to his site.

So the two designs David refers to in has build have been widely distributed around the net. They were both published in the 80's in "Fine Woodworking" magazine and "Wood" magazine. They have also both appeared in their, post magazine, book publishings as well.

So to begin here is Carlyle Lynch's lathe design, published in Fine Woodworking in March 1986.

And now for something different. If your a welder or have a friend who is a welder and have access to some heavy steel sections, you can build this massive lathe. It might also help if you can turn, or have a friend turn up the massive 2 3/8" spindle. When you look at it, it doesn't look that massive, a credit to it's well designed dimensions. You can turn a 2' diameter hunk of raw hardwood into your hearts desire, with this beast. On the other hand if you want to do metal spinning, as in the small book I recently uploaded, this is just the lathe to do it on. Built by Jerry Blanchard, awesome beast.

As stated in the safety warning, don't take chances with your design, all adjustables should have positive locks, a lock that can vibrate loose, is not a lock at all. Like most machines, there is more than one way to get hurt operating a lathe, if it comes spinning out from between the centers the right way, it only takes once.

So I will upload the "Wood" magazine lathe design named, "Back-To-Basics" shop lathe, hopefully on Sunday, stay tuned. This is the lathe I would have built, if I hadn't found my top of the line (in the 60's) Rockwell/Delta.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Operating A Jointer

So here are a couple of articles on operating shop equipment, one for the woodworker and one for the metalworker.

The first is on operation of the jointer. The jointer and planer compliment each other in producing straight and accurate 4 sided boards. This is very important in furniture construction and laminated glue-ups. In my opinion, if your finances require you choose between the two, the jointer is preferred by a stretch. You can do all four sides on a jointer (though the two wide sides may not be perfectly parallel). The planer will only do the wide side parallel to the side done on the jointer. You can do both wide sides on the planer, but it will not take wind out of the board without first doing one side on the jointer.

This comparison aside the jointer can do many other operations, as described in the following article from the Winter 1954 PM Shop Notes.

Safety is very important in the operation of a jointer. Check that the guard is working properly and never pass your hands over the cutter head while pushing a board over the cutter head. For shorter boards, make and USE a work hold down like the one illustrated in fig. 7.