Wednesday, December 24, 2014

V5.52 - Merry Christmas and so long

Well, by now I have had my neck surgery and have a pretty good idea how it turned out (it was scheduled for 12-19). No matter how it did, I offer Praise and Thanksgiving to my God in Heaven and to His Son, Jesus.

What this does tho, is knock me out of doing these articles and perhaps now is a good time to just end them. When I started this venture 5 years ago, I had hoped that I would get our local readers a little ‘stirred up’ about power tools and get some good feedback. Sadly, that never happened. Only a couple of people ever wrote me and when I responded to their comments, I never heard from them again. Oh, well.

I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Pete and Kaye Doughtie who took a chance on a complete rookie and allowed me to try this effort.

5 years… a LOT has happened in 5 years, but some things remain the same. The Great God I AM is still on His throne and Jesus is still Lord and King. Barry Soetoro still has not produced a valid birth certificate or Social Security number. Democrats are still the party of choice for the pro-death (at least for the unborn) crowd and more racists than were ever in the South. They have become so skilled at creating a crisis to control the news (aka: Wag the Dog) that the low information voters don’t even notice it anymore. (ex: Gruber’s hearing was bad news, so to distract, they release a report about torture from TEN years ago and get that all stirred up again) Republicans are still the party of spineless “leaders” and the party of last resort for those who oppose the internal destruction of our country.

Muslims still pretend to be offended when someone recites the truth about their ‘perfect man’, mohammed. I find it incredibly interesting how simply stating the facts is so unnerving. I suppose that is just a result of trying to keep the sheeple fooled.

5 years in the future… I hope and pray that all Believers have been snatched away (Raptured, if you will) and that we are at home with our Savior. If we have not been caught up, I can tell you this; Christian persecution will still be increasing, Democrats and RINOs will still be serving their own interests, not ours. Gasoline will be more expensive than ever… and Muslims will still be beheading innocent people. Not a very pleasant picture is it?

I’ll leave you with this final thought. Jesus IS coming back. Maybe today…maybe tomorrow…or maybe in 5 years. It is my hope and prayer that everyone who reads this repents and Believes in the One true Son of the Living God. Please be ready to meet Him face to face.

As always, if I can be of assistance to any of you, I can be found at . God Bless you all -30-  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

V5.51 - Electric motors Part 3

We left off while talking about the voltage sagging on its way to the motor…

As long as the applied load doesn't exceed the torque associated for the rated hp at the rated speed, a continuous rated motor will work fine for continuous operation within the voltage range at the motor leads. The supply wiring can normally deliver the current without suffering excessive voltage sag at the motor leads, but if the run is very long, a bump up in size or two will take care of that. Where the problems start is with voltage that sags too far, causing the current to rise too high, like a refrigerator or air conditioner during a serious brownout (the compressor torque load is fixed), and when manually loading a motor, like with common woodworking machines.

Since you don't know how hard you're working the tool, folks tend to push them pretty hard, easily way past the continuous output rating of the motor. Induction motors can normally output anywhere from 150% to 300% of rated power, with three-phase motors generally able to handle larger overloads, but that's just a generalization. As the load goes beyond rated load, the current also goes beyond rated current, and with the rise in current, the voltage will droop. When the voltage droops, the torque curve becomes more depressed, so the rotor runs slower, causing greater current to flow, and with greater current flow comes greater voltage droop, depressing the torque curve further, slowing the rotor, . . . and so on until equilibrium is reached.

If you don't believe me, do some heavy ripping and get a feel for how it performs, then put your saw on a long extension cord and try again. Add another long extension cord, and so on. With enough cord, you'd have trouble ripping a Popsicle stick. Startups will also get longer as cord is added.** (** Startups are just extreme overloads to the motor - from zero rotor speed up to near rated speed results in 'starting current', usually 5-8 times rated current, which can be calculated from the letter in the "Code" or "kVA Code" box on the nameplate, the rated hp, and the voltage it's configured for.)  Remember that the torque curve sags as the square of the voltage ratio, so small reductions in voltage have a disproportionate effect on current and max torque. To prevent excessive current problems, you need to make sure the voltage drop over the supply wiring isn't excessive. For 'normal' loads, like fans and pumps and whatever, that's not a problem. Just size the conductors to keep the voltage within range. But if you're going to push the motor for all it's worth, like with a contractor saw, where you work it well beyond its continuous power rating, you'll want to think about keeping the supply wiring short and heavy.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

V5.50 - Electric motors Part 2

We left off our discussion by saying that the source voltage is not usually the voltage that makes it to the motor. That's important because induction motors are designed to operate at exactly their nameplate voltage (120 or 240V, in this case), and all of the published parameters are based on exactly that voltage at the motor leads. They also are designed to operate within a range of voltage, above and below that rated voltage, but the current, power factor, efficiency, internal heating, and torque curve will vary (not usually for the better) at voltages other than the nameplate voltage. As the voltage at the motor leads droops, the torque curve also droops, but as the square of the actual voltage to nameplate voltage ratio, meaning voltage at the motor that's 10% lower than the rated voltage will depress the torque curve to 81% of design (.9 squared). A 20% voltage sag results in a torque curve depressed to 64%.

Here's where it gets complicated. Motor current, at least within the normal operating range, depends on rotor speed. The rotor is always trying to spin at the synchronous speed, which is 3600 rpm, or 1800 rpm (and slower, like 1200, 900, etc.), depending on the motor. It can't ever reach that, because the rotor spinning less than synchronous speed is what induces current within the rotor, forming magnetic fields within the rotor which interact with the stator magnetic fields, providing the torque (hence the term 'induction' motor). The slower the rotor goes, the greater the speed difference between the stator fields and the rotor fields, and the greater the current in the stator windings, the greater the strength of the resulting magnetic fields, and the greater the torque. When you put a load on the motor (by cutting wood), you can hear the motor slow slightly. Slightly, because the difference between full-load and no-load is only about 4.2% [(1-(1725/1800)) * 100%].

The slower the motor spins, the greater the current through the windings. BUT, if the torque curve is depressed due to saggy voltage, for a given torque load, the motor will spin slower. Slower rotor means higher current to maintain the output torque. So lower voltage = higher current = greater winding heating.

This isn't a problem for a motor operating within 'normal' conditions, as in torque at or below rated, ambient temperature at or below rated (it's on the nameplate), and voltage at or within tolerance (+/-10%). In fact, the reason your motor is rated 115/230V for operation on a 120/240V system is in recognition of voltage sag over the supply wiring (includes 200V for 208V systems, 460V for 480V, and 575V for 600V, which is common in Canada).

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

V5.49 - Electric motors for woodworking

This week, and for maybe a few more, we are going to talk about electric motors that are used on woodworking machinery. This came about because one of the forums that I frequent had a good discussion going on. A good friend of mine from up in New York is an electrical engineer and he had some fine comments. I’ll change some terminology so that it’s easier to understand. Many woodworking machines are equipped with motors that can be wired for a low and a high voltage. These are called ‘dual-voltage’ motors. Most of the time those voltages are 120volt and 240volt, so that is what we will be discussing. The initial question was: “Will my motor somehow be more efficient if wired for 220v? - but if not, then why would anyone bother to run it 220v, when there are always 120v sockets around?"

Dual-voltage single-phase motors use two main (run) windings that are connected in series for 240V operation, or parallel for 120V use. Connecting two equal impedance windings (impedance means- resistance. In other words, the windings have some resistance) in series results in half the supply voltage being felt across each of the two windings, and the current through one winding is exactly the same as the current through the other winding. Half of 240V is 120V, so each winding 'sees' 120V and some amount of current (depending on the % of rated load, but for consistency, we'll just stick with rated load and rated current at rated voltage).

When one reconnects them for 120V, the two windings are in parallel, so the supply voltage is split off to two windings together, and they both 'see' 120V. But since they're in parallel, and the impedance of each individual winding is still the same, the current in each winding is still the same, but there is twice as much current through the supply wiring. Half the supply voltage equals twice the supply current, as compared to the 240V series-connected arrangement.

So assuming the supply voltage is exactly that of the motor's nameplate voltage for both cases (115V or 230V for NEMA compliant motors), the current at full load will be exactly what the nameplate shows* (* There is a tolerance on this, of course, but that just muddies the water even more.) and for that matter, the efficiency, power factor, and torque curve will be exactly the same. The motor won't know the difference. In theory.
Where the difference shows up in practice is that no circuit has zero impedance, so with any current flow, the voltage at the motor will not be the same as the voltage at the source. The higher the current, the greater the voltage difference between any two points on the circuit, or more importantly, at the motor leads.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been able to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.” – George Washington.
This, my friends, was the first Thanksgiving Proclamation and it serves as a prime example (one among thousands) of our nation’s CHRISTIAN heritage. Godless Democrats (who boo’ed God Himself), liberals and so-called “Progressives” will try to tell you otherwise. But they are lying.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

V5.47 - Collecting dust from all over

I got a question past week that might be good to pass along to my readers. Here’s the issue: “Samples are being cut from defective units. Once the employee rough trims the pieces to approximate sizes with a circular saw they use a tile saw to finish trim them and a belt sander to clean up the edges. The samples are made from Gel-Coat, resin, wood and ½” X 1” metal bar stock. What would be the best dust collection system for this?”

In his email, he gave 3 separate issues. #1-wood, #2- not wood, #3- metal. Each of these need separate consideration. The easiest is wood. Both Delta, Jet and many others make wood dust collectors. Most units are now the single-stage style- meaning the incoming material travels right thru, and impacts, the wheel. Steel is more resistant to the material’s impact and steel wheels are what is found in the single-stage units.

With that in mind, let’s look at each: wood would be fine with single-stage units and standard bags- no issues, however, with ‘not wood’, you’d need to be concerned about the bags themselves. At its most basic, wood is a porous material- meaning if the airflow was hard enough, *some* air could pass thru it. Not so with ‘not wood’. If the inside of the bag was coated with Gel-coat or resin, the airflow would stop and either it just wouldn’t work, or the pressure would build up and cause a bag seam to rupture. Your best bet here is to just collect it in a two-stage system like Cincinnati Fan has. This was the company that Delta used to get their 50-180-series units from. You’d want your dust to just drop into the barrel and not get to the bag to clog it up. Now for metal; metal is a whole different ballgame. If you are collecting wood and metal at the same time and using a single-stage, STEEL wheel, once the wood dust got to the critical ‘lower explosion level’ of 40 grams per cubic meter of air, and a metal spark was injected into the mix, a dust explosion is a real possibility. It would be safer to use the Cincinnati Fan style, two-stage collector as they use cast aluminum radial wheels so sparking is not as much of a concern; however, if you have a pile of wood dust in the bottom of the barrel and a grinding spark of metal made it thru to that pile, you could have a smoldering fire occur. Mixing metal and combustible material is never a good thing. Metal dust collection is best handled by a dedicated unit such as Delta’s old 49-826. (for those who’ve read this far and might need a good ferrous metal dust collector, I happen to have a brand new one- never used- $4000.00 value for only $1500.00) But it will not do the multi-material collecting either. It’s not good for anything but ferrous metals.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

V5.46 - Wrapping up Drill Presses

As promised, this is the wrap up for our review of Drill Presses. My main objective for this year is to give my readers (um, there IS more than just one of you…isn’t there?) a bit more knowledge about the various shop machines that are available.

Who knows, maybe you’ve kind of toyed with the idea of setting up a machine or two in your garage and as we go through the different tools, you might discover one that is something you really need. Hopefully, these articles will help you.

Ok, this week, we run into number 9: A full line of accessories will help you get the most from your Drill Press. Accessories which are supplied by manufacturer of the Drill Press that you choose are designed for that particular tool and it will not be necessary to use ‘workarounds’ to be able to use them to their best advantage.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times, during my 23 years with Delta Technical Service, that I would get a call from someone who had bought an accessory at a bargain store, only to come home and find out that it ‘don’t fit’, or wouldn’t ‘do what it says it will’. Come to find out, that accessory was made by some third party who had nothing to do with Delta. It turned out to be my job to gently explain to the customer that Delta did not design, build or endorse that accessory and that it ‘not working’ was not our fault. Most of the time we had a similar accessory but of course, it wasn’t sold at those rock-bottom prices that the customer had found at ‘Joe’s swap meet’. Sadly, that left Mr. Customer in a bind, unless they were able to get ahold of the manufacturer of the ‘outlaw accessory’, and that was mostly impossible.

On to number 10: It costs very little more at the start and much less in the long run to equip your shop with the best in power tools. Choose a Drill Press produced by a manufacturer who has an established record of reliability and quality. Yes, there are some ‘low-cost’ options, but if you intend to use your tools and actually rely on them, it is always better to buy good stuff on the front end. I’ve heard so many examples of customers who buy the cheapest, smallest tool they can find and then expect it to perform like a machine that costs 3 times as much as they paid.   

Or like this one fellow, he ‘bought cheap’ and got a small bandsaw – a WOODcutting bandsaw mind you – and was trying to cut deer meat with it. Naturally, the blade kept slipping off the wheels from all the meat fat and blood - Duh. Yet, (you saw it coming- right?) he kept fussing with us as if this was a problem with the bandsaw.

Ah, customer stories… I got a million of ‘em.  See you next week.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

V5.45 - Drill Press: Why no Parts?

Last week, we were talking about the way tool companies supply their replacement parts, and we started outlining how Delta got into such a hole with theirs. The thing is that once Delta got taken over by the portable tool folks (first Porter-Cable, then Black & Decker) the idea of supplying parts for decades went down the drain. Truthfully, there is quite a lot of difference in the philosophy behind supplying parts for portable tools and for stationary machines. P-C & B&D just never did ‘get it’.

Sadly, it was about to get worse.

In the grand scheme of parts, once B&D had fully taken Delta over, it was not unheard of for them to discontinue a tool and immediately no longer have any parts for it. No one was doing that ‘long-distance planning’ that I told you about last week. In the portable tool world, one could buy a drill for 40 bucks, use it for a year or two and they’ve pretty much gotten their money’s worth out of it. Not so for someone who bought a lathe for 500 bucks and then, a year later, can’t get a drive belt for it. THAT is what Delta is still dealing with right now. B&D would not get a supply of replacement parts for future support of Delta tools. In fact, I know of several instances where a tool is currently being marketed and sold and a customer has a need for a part and that part is ‘no longer available’. This is NOT what a customer wants to hear… this is one of the reasons that B&D sold off the Delta brand back in 2011. The lack of foresight of B&D has really put those guys in a hole. Eventually, they will climb out of it, but it’s going to be a while. I suppose, being honest again, if I were in the market for a new drill press, and I were considering a Delta, I would make sure that it was made after 2010. I do know the ‘new Delta guys’ and they are committed to supporting their products, but they’ve been left holding an empty bag. I have even done some consulting for them and we’re working thru issues one at a time. If they can hang on, I know it will turn around.

It’s always important to consider the company you’re buying items from, or at least I do. I try my best to support businesses that employ our citizens. Think this means “Buy American”? You’re absolutely correct. Fortunately, even though a tool may be manufactured outside of our country, ‘tool service’ is still a homegrown effort. So, even when a machine is made in China, you can bet that you’ll be talking to someone in the USA if you have questions about it. 

Next week, we’ll wrap up our Drill Press review.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

V5.44 - Drill Press: Parts and Parts

Last week, we left off at item number 8 on our list of things to consider when buying a Drill Press. Item 8 is a very important thing to consider if you intend to keep your Drill Press for a while. It’s also something that is a problem for some companies. We’ll explore the reasons it’s a problem, even though there isn’t a lot that we consumers can do about it, except let the manufacturers know of our displeasure.

Ok, so number 8 says: Be certain you can get proper replacement parts and service, if needed. Now, I could leave it at that and just dump you, but I am just not that way. Any advice I give in these columns has to be impartial and honest, above all. Frankly, there is a company that is near and dear to my heart that is having some serious part delivery issues right now. Truthfully, it wasn’t their fault that they got into this condition, but they have to deal with it now.

Of course, I’m talking about Delta. For those that don’t know, I was a founding member of Delta’s Technical Service Department back in 1985 and I finished my career with them in 2005, as their Technical Service Manager. Had things not been so discombobulated (that’s a southern word meaning: messed up) I’m sure I would still be with them…but that tale was told in this column a couple of years back - so let’s move on.

Anyway, Delta - when its tools were made in the USA (and I mean FULLY made here, not just assembled here) used to be able to supply parts for decades. They stored the patterns and kept the blueprints like, forever. They understood the value of being able to support their tools far into the future. I think some of that mindset might have been due to the efforts that Delta made in the war support and schools markets. Both of those groups would probably require their supplier (Delta or whoever) to be able to support the product for a set amount of time. So let’s step aboard the Wayback machine and take a look at Delta once it started making tools in the far East. That was when Delta discovered the same thing that other manufacturers did. Once a tool that was say, made in China, was discontinued, the Chinese manufacturer destroyed all of the molds and patterns, and probably the actual blueprints. The trick to keep this from biting you was to obtain a decent record of your part purchases and make your best forecast of future part purchases. Then you’d order however many parts you think you’d need for however many years you intend to support the tool.

We need to stop here for this week, but we’ll do it more next time… HAPPY HALLOWEEN- Watch out for the kiddos!

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

V5.43 - Drill Press: How to pick ‘em

Alright, if you’ve followed along for the past 3 weeks, you (hopefully) know more about the workings of Drill Presses. We’ve told you about just how versatile a Drill Press can be. Now, you’ve made the decision that this is one machine your shop could really use… but what to look for? What are the most important features to consider? What will it have that will allow you to fully utilize its capabilities? Well, let’s just take a look at some of those thoughts and give you some ideas.

1: The entire Drill Press should be solidly constructed to allow for long life and the ability to continue precision work over time.

2: The Drill Press table and base should be ribbed for strength and rigidity. They should be slotted. The table should have flats or ledges on the sides, which can be used for clamping the work. (This offers convenience and safety to the user.) The table should have a precision-ground work surface which helps keep the work accurate and the base should also have a flat surface for holding large workpieces. The table should be easily adjustable, up or down – left or right, for adapting to different drilling situations.

3: The Drill Press head should be cast iron since that offers excellent support and protection for the most important parts of the Drill press, the motor, the quill and the spindle.

4: The Drill Press should be equipped with a chuck that is tightened with a key, not by hand. The chuck should have a one-half inch capacity so that it will accommodate the various size bits and accessories. Many drill Presses feature a taper-mounted chuck. By having a taper-mounted chuck, the runout of the chuck/spindle is practically eliminated and the user is assured of accurate drilling. Some chucks feature a self-ejecting chuck key which ensures that the key is not accidentally left in the chuck.

5: The Drill Press should be equipped with a depth-stop. The depth-stop will allow the user to drill many holes at the same depth as the original hole. It eliminates guessing and allows precision accuracy.

6: The Drill Press should have an adjustable motor bracket support. It should be sturdily constructed to support the motor, yet adjustable to allow for ease of setting proper belt tension.

7: The Drill Press should have a selection of speeds for drilling wood, metal, plastic, glass and ceramics. Some Drill Presses feature a triple-pulley arrangement for easy selection of 12 different speeds, ranging from a low of 250rpm to a high of 3000rpm.

We’ll stop here, for this week…

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

V5.42 - Drill Press: Speeds and Capacities

My, my. We’re just moving right along with our information about Drill Presses.

At some point we’re going to get into ‘what to look for when buying a DP’. I’m sure that will help anyone who is contemplating adding a new machine to their shop.

For now, let’s get back to our rundown.

Where’d we leave off? Oh yes, we were at the chuck and the next nearest thing to talk about is the spindle. The ‘spindle’ is usually driven by a stepped-cone pulley or pulleys that are connected by a v-belt to a similar pulley on a motor. The ‘motor’ is bolted to a plate that is located at the rear of the head casting at the rear of the column. The average range of speeds of the typical DP is 250rpm to about 3000rpm. Delta used to manufacturer a ‘super hi-speed’ Drill Press. It was so named because the bit speed was around 10,000rpm. The motor only turned at 3450rpm, but because of the belt ratio, it could really turn ‘n burn. It seems that jewelers loved it. Since the motor shaft stands vertically, a sealed ball bearing motor is best suited for a Drill Press. For average work, a one-quarter or three-quarter horsepower motor usually meets most requirements.

The capacity, or ‘size’ of a Drill Press is determined by the distance from the center of the drill bit to the front of the column - then doubled. For instance, a 12-inch Drill Press can drill to the center of a 12-inch diameter circle, but the distance from the center of the bit to the front of the column is only 6 inches. This is how all Drill Presses are measured. One of the most versatile Drill Presses was the “Ram Radial” Drill Press. This was an industrial Drill Press that was used a lot, during the Second World War, in airplane factories. The head had a long appendage fastened to its back and that casting rolled inside a ball bearing track. What this allowed was that the head could be moved backwards and forwards almost 3 feet. I’m working off memory but as I recall this press could drill to the center of a 72-inch circle, or down to about an 8-inch circle…and any and all points in between. It was such a popular concept, but one that most home shop guys could not afford, that back in the 1970’s, Rockwell International created a home shop version that could drill to the center of a 32-inch circle. It could also slide in and out, just like its bigger brother, which enabled it to be just as versatile. 

Next week we’ll outline a few tips to keep in mind when you’re out shopping for your new Drill Press.     

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you

Saturday, October 11, 2014

V5.41 - Drilling, etc…

Ok, where were we? Lost in Space? In the Twilight Zone? Maybe in a Galaxy Far, Far Away? Nah, we were just playing around in the shop talking about Drill Presses.

Back we go… A conventional DP consists of the following main parts: the base, the column, the table and the head. The ‘base’ supports the machine. Usually it has pre-drilled holes that are for fastening the DP to the floor, a work table or a bench. Some bases have a machined surface that is used to hold a workpiece that might be too large to fit on the regular DP table. The ‘column’, usually made of steel, holds the table and the head and is fastened to the base. Actually the length of this hollow column determines whether the DP is a bench model (it mounts on a work bench) or a floor model (it stands on the floor). Floor DP’s range in height from 66 to 75 inches tall and bench-mounted models range in height from 23 to 48 inches tall. The ‘table’ is clamped to the column approximately midway between the head and the base. It can usually be moved up and down the column, so as to fit odd-sized objects inside the drilling range. The table may have slots and/or clamping ledges in it to aid in clamping and holding fixtures or workpieces. Most tables have a centered locator hole through them and some tables can be tilted, left or right, while some tables have a fixed position only. Some tables have a ready-made “dummy table” which can be easily attached to the table for certain sanding operations.

The term ‘head’ is used to designate the entire working mechanism that is attached to top of the column. The most important part of the head is the spindle. The spindle revolves in a vertical position and has bearings at both ends and is housed inside a moveable sleeve, called the quill. The quill, and therefore the spindle it houses, is moved downward by means of simple rack-and-pinion gearing, worked by the feed lever. When the feed handle is released, the quill is returned to its normal up position by means of a spring. Adjustments are provided for locking the quill and for presetting the depth to which the quill can travel. The quill usually has a stroke (travel length) of 2 to 3 and one-quarter inches on most home shop models. Industrial, or heavy-duty, DP’s usually have a stroke of 6 inches.

An average DP comes equipped with a one-half inch capacity geared chuck with key. This chuck offers the best grip for the most work.

We’ll wrap up this week here and be back with you next week.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

V5.40 - My friend, The Drill Press

So… last year I got to thinking (yes, my wife was shocked at that, too), I write about tools and I’m sure that some readers see what I write and think, “What the dickens is he talking about?”… because they have never heard of a wood shaper or a drill press or a bandsaw. So, I thought that I would introduce you to the tools.

Our next few weeks will be about what’s likely, my favorite shop tool, the Drill Press. I’ve done a few columns about the chuck and stuff, but not any about DP’s in general. I call this my favorite tool because it’s the only one that’s ever tried to seriously maim me…and it was MY fault. The story is that I was getting ready to race my dirt track stock car for the very first time and I needed to make an accelerator bracket. So I had this piece of flat steel that I had bent on one end and I needed to drill a hole in that end. I was “in a hurry” and set the bent end flat on the Drill Press table, which left the other end sticking up at an angle…and I thought  ‘oh, I can just hold it and it will be fine’… yea, right. I held it, started drilling the hole and BAM! before I could move, the bit grabbed the metal and swung it around so fast…and I looked down at my arm and all of a sudden I had this huge slice in it…started bleeding like a stuck pig and all because I was in too big of a hurry to clamp my work or put it in a vise. To this very day, I have a scar on my left wrist that looks like I tried to commit suicide. Seriously.

Anyway, back to our lesson…the Drill Press (hereafter referred to as a DP) was originally designed for the metalworking trades; however, with the availability of woodworking techniques and of cutting tools, jigs and attachments, the DP is now one of the most versatile tools in the shop. It not only drills in metal, it bores in wood and performs other woodworking operations such as mortising and sanding. In fact, after the table saw, the DP can easily become the second most important piece of equipment in the average home shop. Notice one technical distinction: it “DRILLS” in metal and “BORES” in wood. Since I am a tech-guy, such nuances are important. They really are. We’ll talk more about DP’s next time.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

V5,39 - Table Saws: Pick a Fence

I know we kind of got sidetracked (remember, I call them detours) because of our discussion about Sawstop and Flesh-Sensing Brake Technology, but this week, we’re going back to our previous world of Table Saw fences. The table Saw fence is basically just a guide for the stock as you move it thru the blade and cut it. There are really only a couple of time-tested designs of fences. One is called the Jet-Lock fence. This name is not intended to be connected to any brand, but it was what old Delta called their basic fence system, starting back in the 1940’s. Many other saw makers have used the same basic design and they call it other things. I won’t go into the ‘name-calling’ here, but the way to tell what it is, is this: This type of fence does require a rear fence rail because it clamps on both the front AND rear rail. There are usually several adjustments that allow the operator to make it perform correctly. The usual problem with this type fence is that, when the operator pushes down on the front clamp handle (this handle is supposed to clamp the fence tightly against the front rail AND align the fence parallel to the sawblade) the fence clamps fine, but it does not align parallel to the sawblade. This is a most frustrating situation. Well, here’s the ‘trick’ solution: The front of the fence should clamp to the front rail BEFORE the back clamp locks the fence to the rear rail. The way this fence was designed, the very act of clamping to the front rail MAKES the fence align to the sawblade. As you can probably guess, if the back end clamps up first, then the front cannot make it align properly. At its most basic, if one adjusts the fence clamping sequence properly, and has taken the time to adjust the alignment of the fence so that it aligns when the front clamp engages, then this fence locks in and will be one of the best guides for your work.

The other fence style is the T-square fence. One of the most famous of those fences systems is the Biesemeyer brand. There are many other manufacturers that make a t-square style fence, but I think that Biesemeyer is sort of like the grandfather of them all… or maybe he was just the best for a many years. Either way, it is an excellent fence system. The working difference between the T-square fence and the jet-lock style is that the T-square has a much wider front clamp AND does not use a rear rail. It is usually much more heavy-duty and is so stable that it does not need to clamp at the rear. The T-Square fence is much easier to square up to the blade and because it does not have that rear rail, there is no premature clamping on the rear to interfere with fence alignment as it locks down.

Till next time….

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

V5.38 - Table Saws: What’s Kick-Back?

So where does all the talk about FSBT leave us? Right back where we were…simply saying that new technology is good ; however, if one will USE the guards that have been part of table saw equipment since the 1930’s, one will avoid injury. Just as a side note, one of the other things that the engineers noticed with the Sawstop FSBT feature was that they felt it would encourage users to leave their standard guard off the saw. ‘After all, you now have this great flesh-sensing safety device that stops you from cutting your finger off’. Well, it’s my understanding that Sawstop still furnishes a standard guard with its saws AND they intend for you to USE it. Even THEY will acknowledge that use of a standard blade guard will prevent contact with the blade. Amazing how that works isn’t it? Truthfully, the FSBT safety device is merely another layer to help prevent injury. Sort of like seat belts AND airbags. Seat belts DO save lives, if one will USE them. Add airbags to them and you have another layer of safety. But ask yourself, would a car maker sell you a car that ONLY had airbags… and if they did, would you drive it?  I’m thinking… not.

Bottom line: USE the guards and safety devices that are supplied with your unit. Life will go well with you.

Ok, so back we go to our discussion of table saw fences. Some fences have a ‘micro-set’ adjustment knob that allows very small, controlled adjustments. In all cases, it is very important that the fence does not pinch the workpiece between itself and the blade. If that happens, the subject of ‘kick-back’ could become very familiar to you.

But since we’re on that subject, we might as well define it. “Kick-back” is a condition wherein the workpiece is grabbed by the blade and shot forward –TOWARD THE OPERATER- at tremendous speed. When kick-back happens, it is not something you can dodge…well, not unless you are The Flash and are used to moving at supersonic speeds. I knew an engineer in Jackson, TN who did some very in depth studying of kick-back – even to the point of doing some hi-speed video of what happens as the blade grabs the stock and flings it back toward the operator. It was really incredible to see. The stock usually came flying out in a circular motion which produced an arced gouge in the surface of the piece. The blade deflected so far that you would have thought it would shatter, but it didn’t.   

Kick-back is not something to want to see. I’ve seen many a cinder block wall get some wood imbedded into it by kick-back. It isn’t pretty. Just guess how bad it hurts to be hit by it.

Till next time….

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

V5.37 - Table Saws: Done with FSBT

We were talking about the use of FSBT on smaller bench top table saws. Those are the lightweight 150 dollar saws that you see flopping around in pickup truck beds, going from job site to job site. Like I said last week, those saws are very lightly built - there just isn’t a lot of steel or bracing inside them and the force of the FSBT would be very hard for them to handle. Now, of course, the makers of those saws could beef up the guts of their saws to allow it to handle the FSBT. Yes, they could, but it’s very likely that the added weight would make the saw too heavy to be easily portable. Not to mention the added costs of doing so.

So, if FSBT is required by law, it might put those manufacturers out of business. Sadly, that has never seemed to be much of a concern to any Gov.Co agency. Especially nowadays. We, the people, have given them way too much power over our lives.

But I digress, sorry… Anyway, there is talk among the lawyers that handle this sort of thing that the CPSC might just write some new directives and force every saw to have FSBT. On one hand, I’d hate to see it because, as it stands now, the only workable FSBT belongs to Steve Gass. Enacting new regulations that force FSBT to be installed would make Mr. Gass immensely wealthy. Please understand, I have nothing against someone inventing something and the market going crazy over it and them getting very rich from it. (Think: “Pet Rock”) That’s what our country has been about from day one. However, I surely DO have a problem when someone invents something and then does everything within their power to gain the backing of the US Government and have them force manufacturers to buy his product. In my personal opinion, there is something just plain wrong with that. This is not letting the market forces do what they usually do.

Unfortunately, it IS the way our society has become. I’m sure that there are some parts of Mr. Gass’s thoughts that  have him just drooling at the very idea of the companies that turned down his invention, now being forced to pay him for it. Retribution? Payback? Who really knows. One would hope that his integrity would transcend those sorts of schoolyard shenanigans, but with him constantly being in the CPSC’s face and trying to push them in the direction he wants them to go… well, as I’ve said before, it just stinks. The greater good to mankind would be for him to release all claims to the patents of FSBT. THAT would show his true heart.

Too much to ask for?  We shall see.

Till next time….

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

V5.36 - Table Saws: Who Loses?

Continuing our discussion… OK, MY discussion… you’re just listening in on my ranting.

Flesh Sensing Brake Technology (FSBT) is currently available on the product called Sawstop. That’s all well and good. When the brake engages, it utilizes a replaceable cartridge that I believe costs around $80 to replace. So, let’s say that you have a table top saw that costs you $150 and it is mandated that you install FSBT on it. Currently, a FSBT retro-fit package doesn’t exist, so if a law is made that you cannot use your table top saw unless it has FSBT – you’ve just been legislated out of a table saw. So, OK… someone (be it Sawstop or another company) designs and starts selling a new table top saw that has FSBT included. The first thing that happens, the initial cost of this saw goes up to accommodate the new FSBT. But for the discussion’s sake, let’s just say that some REAL - cheap manufacturer out there finds a way to still sell a small saw with FSBT for $150…and then your brake fires…and it costs you $80 to replace the cartridge… that would be over half of the price of a new saw. Now, seriously, how many times are you going to do that before you throw the thing away?

Alright, back on target…So Mr. Gass is ‘helping’ the Consumer Product Safety Commission decide whether to adopt new product rules that require FSBT on some table saws. He hasn’t made a secret of his efforts. This is well-known in the industry. It still smells a bit unseemly, but to each his own, I suppose. Please don’t misunderstand, I believe the FSBT invention is right on par with automotive airbags or seatbelts. It IS a game-changer, but if Mr. Gass’s motives for working with the CPSC were as pure as he would have us believe, it seems to me that he would donate the patents to the open market and anyone could use them…for free. Will we see that from him? Do NOT hold your breath. I believe I’ve read articles that have him saying how this invention was so badly needed and such a great contribution to society and in the next breath refuse to release it so that everyone could be safer. Sadly, the ultimate loser will be the consumer. How? Good question. As already alluded to, if FSBT is required, the cost of ALL saws will go up. Not good. There are some small benchtop saws wherein FSBT is totally impractical. The motor design, or the ‘guts’ of the saw, may very well not be ‘beefy’ enough to handle the sudden explosion of a FSB…and let me tell you, it is fast, loud and hard when it goes off. It has to be in order to bring a saw blade that is turning around 4000RPM to a dead stop in milliseconds. 

Till next time….

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

V5.35 - Table Saws: Suits & Laws

So, where were we? Mr. Gass has started his own company, yet is still participating in hearings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission wherein they are considering forcing every saw maker to incorporate Flesh-Sensing Brake Technology (FSBT) on their products…or they will not be allowed to market their saws. Who holds the particular patents for FSBT? Why Mr. Gass, of course.

I have always thought that the surest way to get filthy rich was to create something that the government said everyone had to have, and one could only get it from ME. Obviously, Mr. Gass thinks the same way.

Now, one follow up part to this is that once the FSBT exists, you KNOW what is coming next. Never mind that FSBT was only designed for, and works on an Industrial Table Saw. Oh, no. Our society has become so enamored with ‘striking it rich’ by suing someone, that there are now court cases in the system wherein the complainant says they got hurt on their table saw…. Because FSBT was not installed on it. What sort of table saw, you ask? I am so glad that occurred to you. The most famous of these lawsuits pertains to a $150.00 bench top table saw….and I have not yet told you the real punch line.

The user REMOVED the factory-supplied guard, used the saw and got cut. Yes, you read that right. The guard was there, the user decided to take it off and got hurt. Not surprisingly, two words come to my mind: “Oh, well”. That this wasn’t just laughed out of the room when they first had a hearing, tells you how stupid some judges are. I wonder… if I decided to remove the brakes from my car and go blasting off down the road and hit a tree and hurt myself…could I then sue the car maker? According to the progression of lawsuits on table saws, I suppose that I could. Seriously tho, back to the idea that because FSBT is available, ALL saws should have it… that is also a bogus idea. There are some autos that have 4 wheel disc brakes. Do they stop better than rear drum brakes? Yes, they do. Should ALL cars be forced to have 4 wheel disc brakes? Probably not. The customer should have the option. Kind of off on another tangent, but I cannot begin to tell you how many times we (at Old Delta) made a change to a product and customers who had bought the previous model were all over us about sending them the new design. I often wondered how many times Ford sent out new parts to upgrade the older models, when they came out with a new model… Yes, laughing out loud - Not on your best day.    

We’ll talk more next time…

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

V5.34 - Table Saw: Sawstop part 2

Continuing with our saga about table saw guards and Sawstop in particular;

The story, as I lived it and heard it play out is this: Mr. Gass spent a lot of time and invented his version of ‘flesh-sensing’ brake technology and he then proceeded to contact various woodworking machine manufacturers in his efforts to get them to add his brake to their saws and pay him royalties. It might be best to mention that Mr. Gass’ profession is as a patent lawyer. At this point the Sawstop story differs. Gass says that ‘someone’ told him “Safety doesn’t sell”. But according to the manufacturers, Gass wanted way too much money for an untested product.

“Untested”..? Yes, because some engineers had some very good points. Such as: no matter how much lab testing is done, there is no ‘test environment’ that will run a product thru the ringer quite like releasing it to the public will. Sawstop was untested technology. Also, before the brake engages, the user gets hurt. Now granted, it is just a scratch, as compared to a possible amputation, but the hurt IS there. That fact scared some folks off. Kind of a side note, but all of the demonstrations I have ever seen of the Sawstop shows the item - be it a weenie or Gass’s finger, moved very s-l-o-w-l-y into the spinning sawblade. In the real world, kickbacks, which probably cause most of the ‘finger into blade situations’, happen in the blink of an eye. What I’d like to see is what the weenie looks like after someone has taken a major-league pitcher’s wind-up and thrown it into the blade as hard as they could. THAT would be a more realistic test, in my opinion.

Anyway, trying to trim a long story, no manufacturer took Gass up on his offers.

So, as inventors are used to doing, Gass started his own company which featured the Sawstop saw as its headline product. This was great…no one wants your product- start your own company and market it yourself…. But then comes the part that has turned a lot of people off.    

At some point in the process, maybe before he started his own company, maybe after… Mr. Gass made an appeal to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to have them require that all table saws MUST have ‘flesh-sensing brake technology’ on them. The CPSC has the power to force companies to comply with this… and since Mr. Gass owns all of the FSBT patents, he could write his own ticket and be wealthier than Midas in the process. If this strikes you as an ‘around the backside’ way of forcing companies to give him what he initially asked for… you’re not alone.

The same thought  has occurred to many…and it just doesn’t seem ‘right’.

More next time…

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

V5.33 - Table Saw: Guards ‘n Sawstop

Last week we mentioned fences, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at one of the Table Saw’s most important safety features - the blade guard. There are several components of a blade guard. When talking about a conventional blade guard, there is the splitter, the housing, the mounting brackets and the anti-kickback fingers. One of the newer guard features that has come on the scene recently is the riving knife. While the riving knife has been featured on European saws for many years, it’s relatively new to the USA.

Pretty much every woodworker will agree that conventional guards get in the way and are generally a pain in the caboose, but the bottom line is – they DO work. If you use them properly and allow them to do their job, they will prevent you from injuring yourself. Sadly, most woodworkers think they are too smart, too experienced, too ‘whatever’ - insert your own descriptive phrase that means ‘Those are for other folks not me’ - to need one. That’s when they get complacent and find themselves missing a finger or worse. Guards are not just for dummys. As we used to say in the Navy, most safety rules are written in someone’s blood. Guards fit this saying very well. One can be sawing along and have a kickback which throws their hand into the blade and poof, all of a sudden, there is a stump where a finger used to be. It’s NOT a pretty sight. Guards WILL prevent that, but one has to be willing to actually USE them.

Nowadays one cannot talk about guarding of saws without mentioning a newfangled invention called “flesh-sensing technology”. The background of this is an invention of one Steve Gass and it is found on saws of his creation that are known as Sawstop. (note: for a video of how this works, just Google “Sawstop hot dog”)

The invention itself, is kinda kool, but the politics surrounding it have left many a woodworker confused and some even a bit hacked at Mr. Gass. Once you see the video, I’m sure you’ll be impressed. You’ll see a hot dog slowly passed across a saw table - directly into a spinning saw blade, then, faster than you can saw ‘wow’, the blade will disappear with a loud BANG! Then you’ll see the side of the wiener and it will have a small cut on it. The hot dog represents a person’s finger, which would normally be cut severely and it will only have a small scratch on it. A truly ingenious device that can, and has, saved many a digit, I am sure.

BUT…the method of how this invention has been presented to the market has soured many a folk. Details next time…

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Friday, August 8, 2014

V5.32 - Table Saw: Drives and Fences

Ok, back to the mission at hand - Mr. Table Saw. We had introduced the Table Saw and left off talking about how the motor is connected to the arbor. One thing I might mention, there are several table saws that use a ‘universal motor’ (this motor has brushes inside it, just like your electric hand drill) and some of those motors have a cogged drive belt inside the motor unit. (most of them have reduction gears, not a belt) This gives some folks the opportunity to claim that the saw is a ‘belt-drive’ saw and cheat unsuspecting buyers. Now, technically, they are correct, but in the world of table saws, a universal motor that uses a drive belt is NOT the same thing as an induction motor, with a v-belt and pulley drive system.

Ok, to continue our saw drive information; the v-belt and pulley drive system has certain advantages over direct-drive systems. For instance: A- the maximum thickness of wood that can be sawed is greater, because it is not necessary to keep the motor down to allow for motor clearance under the table. All that is needed is room for the arbor pulley and that is a lot smaller, so the arbor itself can get closer to the bottom of the table - therefore, the blade can cut deeper. B- It is easier to change from one motor to another in case of motor failure or in case the saw is transferred from one shop to another with a different power supply. C- A belt-drive saw does not coast as long as a direct-drive saw when it is turned off. This adds to the safety of the belt-drive saw. D- Problems with the saw motor or drive system are far easier to troubleshoot on a belt-drive saw. E- If the saw motor is a true ‘direct-drive’, meaning the blade is mounted directly on the motor shaft AND the motor is an induction motor, it will be a quieter running saw. But if the motor is a ‘universal motor’ with a gear reduction drive, it will be much, much louder. The belt-drive saw is almost as quiet as the direct-drive.  

There are two methods of accurately guiding the workpiece past the blade: a rip fence and a miter gauge. The rip fence is usually guided by, and mounted to bars that are fastened to the front and rear edges of the table. On some smaller saws, the rip fence is mounted on the table edge itself. In either case, the front rail or front table edge will have graduated markings that tell how far the rip fence is from the blade. The rip fence is used for all ripping operations and is secured during sawing operations by lock knobs or clamp handles.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

V5.31 - Howdy, Mr. Table Saw

Yes, “Mr. Table Saw”…one of the brightest, shining stars in any wood shop, and one of the most necessary. In fact, most wood shops would be out of business if their table saw vanished.

Table saws have been known be various names such as: bench saws, variety saws or stationary circular saws. The table saw is one of the oldest known stationary power tools used in woodworking. It is estimated that better than 80 percent of all woodworking involves sawing, so the value of a clean-cutting precision tool for this purpose is of great value. Anyone who has used a handsaw making a cut and then used a table saw to do the same job knows the value that a powered table saw brings to the operation. Not only is there an increase in production and a decrease in expended effort, there is also a huge gain in accuracy because the machine is designed to minimize the possibility of human error.

The table saw IS the basic machine in any woodworking shop for performing the fundamental operation of “Straight Line” sawing. It is not a difficult tool to operate. Plain ripping and cross-cutting come naturally to most operators, and other jobs requiring more know-how are easily learned. In fact, there are only six basic saw cut in all of woodworking: rip, bevel rip, crosscut, bevel crosscut, miter and bevel miter. All other cuts, no matter how intricate, are combinations of these basic cuts.

The size of a table saw is determined by the largest diameter saw blade that it will accommodate. Popular sizes for home shops and schools can range from 8 to 12 inches. Table saws for industrial use can range in size from 14, 16 or up to 24 inches. Saw cutting capacity is determined by the blade size. For instance, a 10-inch saw will usually cut thru wood 3 and one-quarter inches thick; a 12-inch saw will cut to 4 and one-eighth thickness, with the blade at 90 degrees. The operation of the modern table saw is simple. The saw blade is mounted on a threaded shaft called an arbor that it turned by a motor. Some smaller saws have the blade mounted directly to the motor shaft. The blade projects through a table on which the work is rested. The arbor must be tilted to cut bevels, chamfers and certain types of miters. There is a handle to raise and lower the blade, a device to lock the blade at any degree of tilt or height and a scale to show the degree of tilt. Saws that have the blade mounted directly to the motor shaft are called ‘direct-drive’ saws. The arbor of most saws is coupled to the motor by means of a belt and pulleys.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

V5.30 - Update on Ms. Rachel

Ok, I feel a ‘detour’ coming on. It’s about time, isn’t it?

A couple of months ago, I told you about my friend, Ms. Rachel. She was the relative of Emanuel . Rachel had sent me a photo of a young child sitting in a stroller. She said that the picture was probably taken in Lithuania in the late 1930’s and she wondered of the stroller could be identified as a 1930’s vintage Taylor-Tot.

As it turned out I have been in recent contact with Rachel and she told me that she has visited her ancestral hometown of Skuodas and even has a website that’s dedicated to it. She said: “By the way,  I don't know if I ever told you I started a website about my dad's hometown of Skuodas, in Lithuania. I've been back there a few times and hope to go back again this summer. Aside from researching my own "roots," I'm interested in fostering a dialogue between present-day Skuodas citizens, who are all Christians, and descendants of the former Jewish community, who now live all over the world. The site is at, if you're interested. It's a big site, so you probably won't want to look at everything, but I can recommend the blog if you want an idea of the kinds of things I've been up to.”

Of course, I’ve been all over the site and it is truly interesting. There is now a nice little video which shows a ride through the area and it is very quaint. One can only imagine the horrors that occurred in that small town.

This passage is from a translation of writings from one of the citizens:

“Once there was a shtetele, Shkud, which is no longer, which will never again rise from blood and ash and smoke. The laughter of Jewish children will never again echo in the marketplace. Respectable people, lost in thought, will never again walk down the Long Street into the synagogue, and summery young people will never again stride through the Vilke Birzhe ["forest of the wolf," possibly the local name of a wooded area between Old and New Skuodas] and through the Old Town to the rivers. Fires have devoured the Long Street’s marketplace. Perhaps red roses will sprout from the Vilke Birzhe, dark with Jewish blood, and the last cries of mothers and fathers will echo in the playful murmur of the rivers. The conflagration has devoured the town together with those who built it. And the place where it stood will not, and should not, dare to refill itself with life. The laughter of Lithuanian peasants must not disturb the rest of our murdered generation”

People, it can happen here…in America- never forget.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

V5.29 - Straightening Warped & Bowed Stock

We were talking about Industrial Planers (IP’s for short) and snipeing, but there is so much more to them than just snipe. Perhaps we had better start at the beginning. Some of this stuff is going to be good info for ALL planers.

So, we’ve discussed that planers are really ‘thicknessers’ and to let them do the best job they can, they need a flat board to start with. Let’s talk about shop setup. I’ve often been asked ‘when I’m putting a shop together, what are the first machines I should buy?’ It does depend on what your shop’s purpose will be, but just for this week, let’s say that the goal is a decent little Woodshop.

Your shop’s heart is the Table Saw. You really can’t get anywhere without one of those and a 10-inch Table Saw will be fine for all but the largest projects. I believe the next purchase is a good Jointer. The bigger, the better if you will be doing larger projects. Naturally, if you intend to build model airplanes, a 4-inch jointer would be fine. After that, it’s the Planer. Again, you’ll need to choose an appropriate size. Follow this up with a good Drill Press and then perhaps a good Bandsaw. Most projects can be done with this group. Sanders, Shapers, Lathes and Hand Power Tools are also part of a complete Woodshop.

Alright, so you now have a basic woodshop and have this board you need to make flat, so you can run it through your planer. First, use your Jointer and surface one side of it. “Surface” is the technique of flattening one of the wide ‘faces’ until it is smooth and flat. Once you’ve done that, place your surfaced face against the fence and make passes until one edge has been jointed. At this point, you will have two parts of the board flat and smooth, and they will be 90degrees to each other.

Now, take your piece to your Table Saw, place the surfaced face on the table, and the jointed edge against your fence. Rip the board to the width you need. Now you have a board with 3 flat and straight surfaces. Now you are ready to place the surfaced face on the Planer’s bed, set your thickness adjustment and run the stock through the Planer.

You now have a straight board, that is flat and the proper thickness. All that remains is to cut it to the proper length. Remember, measure twice, cut once.

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