Thursday, February 11, 2010

Toolsmartz -Column #3- motor voltage and planer tips

What to write about this week? Maybe ‘ramble’ some more...or maybe not.

Let’s do this: “Tips and Techniques”. Once upon a time, I was in charge of reviewing Tips & Techniques that were submitted to our (Delta’s) website by people who visited our website and signed up to submit them. I’m here to tell you that there were some very good items sent in to us - there is a wealth of knowledge out there on things woodworking. Believe it or not, I’m not a woodworker. People often find that hard to believe but I explain it this way: Artists paint some absolutely beautiful pictures, but they may have no idea how to make a paint brush or an easel, or the paint. That’s where I come in. The woodworkers are ‘artists’ and I (and guys like me) make sure their tools work properly and will do what they need them to do.

Anyway, I digress…here are a couple of Tips for you to ponder:
1: If you have a shop machine that has a motor that can be wired for 2 different voltages (for example; 120volt or 240volt) AND you have the proper electrical circuit, it is better to wire your motor for, and run it on, the higher voltage. This one of the ‘black holes’ that tool guys can get caught up in. There are some who would say that it makes no difference which voltage a motor uses and yes, electrically, I can agree with them; however, I have talked to far too many ‘real world’ woodworkers who know it has made a difference, to go along with them. I know the theory-I have a degree in Electronics- but I also have experience that ‘theory only’, will not explain. Tools and stuff seem to be odd that way.
2: If your stationary wood planer has seemed to be planing wood just fine and then you begin to notice that the wood is getting harder and harder to get through the machine; the first thing to do is clean the planer’s bed and make sure it’s not caked up with pitch. If it’s good and clean, change your planer knives. The knives you’re using may be beating the boards instead of cutting them.

Tune in next week for more rambling thoughts or hopefully, some answers for readers. Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you.
Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this newspaper. Neither the author, nor this newspaper, accepts any liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

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