Multiform Router Bit

The router bit for this month is the Carb-i-tool Multiform Router Bit.

Carb-i-tool Multiform Router Bit

Carb-i-tool Multiform Router Bit

As you can see, it is quite a complicated profile, and it almost looks like a combination of a number of different profiles.  That is exactly what this router bit is!  It is designed to produce a number of different profiles based on the height of the router bit in the table, the depth of cut, and even (specifically on spindle moulders) the angle that the router bit is run at.

Cut Profile

Cut Profile

There is a classic profile, a bead, and parts thereof for different effects.

Storage Block

Storage Block

In these photos, I have cut the full profile rather than limiting which parts of the bit came into contact with the workpiece.  This block isn’t intending to be a permanent home for the bit, but it is a copy of the storage blocks used by Triton for their old in-store displays.  It is a good way to display and store the router bits as it provides the profile of the router bit as-cut, making it easy to take measurements etc from it, rather than trying to work out what they are from the bit itseld.

The Open Day

There is another tomorrow (Saturday), so if you missed out today and are in the area (city, state), then it isn’t too late!

There was certainly a good turnout of people, and the atmosphere was much more relaxed than any wood show.  Plenty of things to see, and be tempted by too.  I left with a couple of different pen mechanisms – try my hand at a wooden pen that isn’t a slimline!

Got to see the brand new Incra 1000HD Mitre Gauge for the first time, and a whole stack more besides.

Got to run into a number of readers of this blog too, so gidday to all those I met (and to any I missed!)

Finally got a sausage after all the other woodworkers kept scoffing them (and the great BBQ fire which resulted in fire extinguisher powder covering a good portion of the entrance, and the breaking out of the electric frypans for the remaining bangers!)

Tools, Tools and more Tools (and a few people!)

Tools, Tools and more Tools (and a few people!)

Turning Demonstration

Turning Demonstration

Picked up even more hints about turning, and part duplication. You can never see too many expert presentations.

openday-3

UBeaut

Neil Ellis (in black) bestowing more great finishing wisdom.

PWS

PWS

Professional Woodworkers Supplies, with a large range of all things Incra, Woodpeckers, Wixey, and the rest.

Carrolls

Carrolls

A large range of products (with a significant emphasis on turning), bought along by Carroll’s Woodcraft Supplies

Smile!

Smile!

A rather shy Michelle from Woodworking Warehouse, and I didn’t get introduced to the bloke next to her!  Think he was demonstrating something there, which is a shame – always looking for stuff to show you on here 🙂

Tormek’s importers were there as well, sharpening away.

So all up a good day’s visit and worth a gander (and a shop) if you have half a mind to.

May you live in interesting times

At the Open Day today (separate post to come, with photos), I heard that yet another Managing Director of an Australian tool company had moved on, which would make at least 4, if not 5 that I’ve heard about directly in the past 12 months.

It made me really wonder (and given the recent news highlighting CEO’s of Australian companies in general), just how often this normally happens, and if my recent(ish) contacts made that have since changed is the norm, or just the current state of play.

To quote Terry Prachett: “May you live in interesting times”, which is a saying (and regarded as a curse) from “Interesting Times” (or was it “The Fifth Elephant”?)

Hmm – total aside.  Whenever I think of that book, I can’t help but remember the last person I knew who was reading it. I headed over to Egypt about 10 years ago to have a look around, and dive in the Red Sea (lots of history under those waves – lots of shipwrecks).  To cut a long story short, a girl on that dive boat (we were living onboard) and her fiance were reading that book, and during one fateful dive, she suffered bends from being taken diving in too rough a condition for a beginner/trainee diver.  A number of us were old hands and were off on a different reef, and got back onboard to find her unconscious and getting CPR. (She’d suffered a brain embolism).  We spent 4 hours in very rough conditions doing 2 person CPR as we tried to get the boat back to port. CPR is not as easy as you’d imagine from the movies and training fwiw, let alone in a high sea state.  There wasn’t a happy ending to the story, but I can’t ever even think of the title of that book (or the movie it was a light parady on) without remembering that day (and evening).

Reminder about tomorrow

Open Days

Open Days

The day is finally upon us – this starts tomorrow, and concludes Saturday.  Definitely worth a look if you are looking to purchase any of their product ranges given there will be specials.  Also an opportunity in a less hectic environment than the wood show to pick the brains of some of the industry experts.  So whether you are into wood turning, wood carving, precision woodworking, box making, dovetailing, jig making, woodworking machines, or just like the smell of wood chips in the morning (smells like……victory), then there will be something there for you to see.

Episode 46 MagSwitch

Episode 46 MagSwitch

MagSwitch technology is a revelation in my workshop – changing how I work, the jigs I make, even influencing the decisions on major item acquisition.

Improving Dust Collection Efficiency

When installing a dust collection system, you’ve spent good money on the biggest collector you can afford, and then are trying to get it to maximise its range to collect from as many machines as possible over the longest distance needed to maintain the shop’s machine layout.

One very common aspect of this is to install blast gates so that machines that are not currently being used are not unnecessarily having air drawn from them, decreasing the amount of suction at the tool in use.  There are a number of different blast gates available, with one of the most common ones on the market being the plastic 4″ – 4″ blast gate.  They are a low cost solution that seemingly works well in shops across the country, and world (I guess).

Don’t know who designed the original, that is now so often copied, but all I can say is…. it’s bloody stupid!

The problem: the bottom corners of the gate (in the channel where the gate itself slides) quickly get filled with crap, and once that happens and the shavings / dust etc get packed in there, the gate cannot ever close properly again, leaving a permanent leak through every gate that is (theoretically) closed.

Original, Clogged Blast Gate

Original, Clogged Blast Gate

Here is a very typical blast gate, and in the very typical state of being so blocked in the lower corners that this is as much as it can close.  Looking at the opening this leaves, you can see that it wouldn’t take too many gates in this state that the amount of leakage would add up to being the equivalent of a fully open gate. A complete waste of suction.

One tip I’ve come across in the past, is to cut off those lower two corners, so the gate effectively becomes self-cleaning.  When the gate is closed, the slide blocks the resulting holes.  When it is open, there is a minor additional leakage caused, but nothing like the loss from a single, unmodified closed gate.

Modified, and properly closed again

Modified, and properly closed again

Here you can see the protruding corners of the blast gate slide.

Exposed corner

Exposed corner

And the small hole that now exists in the corners.

I’m not sure if this mod is the best way (or the neatest) – I’m sure I saw (or at least read) about this mod in a mgazine somewhere!

So that is the basic concept to the modification, and it does work.  However, it isn’t the neatest version, and so my amendment to the concept is to drill the corners out, allowing the slide to continue to push dust clear, but better maintaining the overall physical (and visual) integrity of the blast gate.

During the drilling of the corner, the dust that is packed in the corner is immediately apparent.

Dust Packed Corner

Dust Packed Corner

I’m much happier with this second version.  Also because it is my take on the idea, rather than a copy of someone else’s (although I’ll be stunned stupid if I’m the only one to have ever thought of it!!)

Modified Blast Gate (V2)

Modified Blast Gate (V2)

Ending not with a Bang but a Whimper

What is an approximation of the first sentence from the book “Wargames” (of the movie of the same name) seems an appropriate description of the end of Triton in Bunnings.

A local store I visited today had just empty shelves where Triton once proudly occupied an entire isle in the toolshop, and there was no Triton (or GMC for that matter) powertools anywhere on display.

I found the last small stock of Triton in the store, unceremoniously dumped on a pallet amongst other discontinued and end-of-line sale items.

A couple of 1400W routers (not for $99- I checked!) for $250, a router stand, dust bucket, bit of glue, sanding disks and a old-stock 185mm saw.

Don’t know if it is just one store or many, although I suspect it will be widespread. Knew the day would come. Never dreamed it would actually happen.

As I wrote the caption for the following photograph, I am reminded of a different pallet of Triton – back when I was still a Triton demonstrator.  What is left here is such a pale comparison to what was once a product range that was (probably) the envy of many other tool companies, and definitely evoked envy in visitors to sheds equipped with a healthy collection of the range of orange tools.

To quote another movie to end the chapter “Everything that has a beginning, has an end”

A Pallet of Triton

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