Torquing it up

Took the old man out (visiting from NZ) out to the shed last night to have a bit of a closer look at the Torque Workcentre.  Had a bit of an overview of the machine, which was interesting from my perspective because it would not be that much different an approach to talking about one of these machines at a wood show.

We went through setting up for a planing/thicknessing function, and went as far as doing some initial surfacing of some timber I had which was significantly twisted and bowed.  It really is a brilliant tool for this – capable of surfacing (in my case) up to 1300mm x 2200mm.

We talked about a number of the other functions (radial arm saw and drill), as well as some ideas I have for it, such as mounting a belt sander and being able to replicate a massive drum sander.

I’m also just about to use the radial arm drill press function to punch a matrix of 20mm holes through for the soon-to-arrive WALKO surface clamps from Ideal Tools.  Can’t wait for them to arrive – as I have mentioned before I used a set a ways back as part of the WALKO Workbench, and found them to be a brilliant tool, and see them as being an ideal complement to the TWC.  More on this when they arrive!

With the recent rush to Christmas, I didn’t get to really document/video some of the uses of the new tools – using the Domino, routing circles on the TWC, cutting the grill for the toy stoves etc, so now as things settle down for the start of the new year, I will look at getting those done (just not on 35C+ days!)

2 Responses

  1. Hi Stu,

    I didn’t realise the TWC could be so versatile… I really like the belt sander idea and look forward to seeing you try that some time! I guess you might have to feed it ‘backwards’, against the rotation of the belt? Or, perhaps set the sander at a slight angle? Well, you know, belt sanders can be quite violent…! 😉

    What router cutter do you use when surfacing/planing/thicknessing?

    Over here, we can get 50mm dia. cutters specifically for this purpose. The finish is also excellent on tenon shoulders as each edge is angled for an alternate upward/downward shear cut.

    • If used with a belt sander, because the sander will be bought down to the workpiece, rather than being supported by it. This means the cut can be set extremely fine (a similar concept to the Festool Belt Sander in its support frame, floating the sander above the workpiece).

      Because of this, the aggressiveness of the belt sander can be tamed into a machine with a degree of finesse. I would expect in use, it would be operated with a similar technique to the Festool – slowly moving backwards against the direction the belt is feeding, then returning it to the start position quicker then drifting back again.

      I’ll definitely look at how the belt sander can be fitted – probably with the circular saw mount. Unfortunately I only have a very ordinary GMC belt sander to try in it. I guess if the concept can make a GMC sander work well, then it will further prove my idea is valid!

      For surface planing, I have both a 3 flute Carb-i-tool surface cutter with replaceable TCT as well as a 6 flute (non replaceable TCT).

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