You don’t see that every day

A Torque Workcentre Router Master, and some TWC accessories (couple are prototypes) have now been added to the Tool Sale page.

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Continues….

Today was very much more of the same – I broke down the last 2 sheets of 2400×1200 MDF (one 12mm, the other 16mm) using a circular saw and a guide.  I really have a very low opinion of circular saws – dislike using them at the best of times.  The real danger comes with kickback, and unlike a tablesaw where the kickback results in the piece of timber being thrown, when you are using a handheld circular saw, and it tries to kickback, it is the saw that jumps and bucks, and tries to rip out of your hands.  It doesn’t take much to cause that to happen either.  The blade only has to bind just a little in the cut for the blade to stop doing what it is meant to, transferring the power of the motor into the cutting tips of the blade, and instead transferring the motor power into a rotational force that your hands and arms have to resist or risk a runaway saw (and potentially serious damage).  Even if you get away with it, your large sheet can incur some significantly horrendous scars.

I hate circular saws.  It kicked back more than once on me – each time I twisted the blade slightly during the cut.  It was a moderately powered saw – 1800W with a thin kerf blade, so I don’t know what was contributing to the (user caused) problem.  Was it that the blade was thin, so could distort under incorrect loading easier and therefore bind? Was it the saw itself was too powerful vs its weight? Not powerful enough, so it stopped cutting when conditions were less than ideal?  Whatever the cause, there is an underlying cause – I didn’t cut perfectly straight.  I got past that task, but I’ll be happy if I never have to use a circular saw handheld again (and with the imminent arrival of the Torque Workcentre, which has a circular saw mount and can cut a full 1200 wide panel, I’m hoping it means I will never have to).

You might ask why I am using a handheld saw if I dislike them so much, when I have a large tablesaw?  Simple answer – I might have a big saw, but a small shed – I have to break the sheet down smaller to be able to handle it in there.  There is another reason – single-handedly managing a sheet that size through a tablesaw can still result in twisting the sheet (and having the sheet stop contacting the fence), and there is every potential of a kickback in that situation too.  In future, if I have to do it by hand again I am going to take Marc Spagnuolo’s approach, and have the sheet resting on the ground, with a sacrificial board underneath (he uses polystyrene) – it will take more of the variables out of the picture and result in more ability to focus on, and control the saw through the entire cut. (I found I was overreaching near the end, and that is when things were going pear-shaped).

Despite the couple of….issues during the breakdown, things were pretty productive and I got both fridges made, as well as all the doors and tops cut.  Now they are getting close to needing the finer details made and fitted – taps, knobs, handles and the small things that take the build from the ordinary just up to the next level.

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All coming together

Some of the additional details I want to add include the fridge door- adding a shelf (on the inside obviously, like a real fridge), and an egg holder shelf.  It is little, easy details like that which will elevate the overall build to a level I will be happy with giving these to friends.  I still need to cut the stove elements, and the sink cavity, make the stove knobs, door handles etc etc – now that hard work (not necessarily the heavy work) begins.  I’m really looking forward to this part of the project – when it comes to life.

While I was working today, I found myself using one tool (other than the Domino) a number of times – one I find really useful.  It is the Black & Decker PowerFile.  I’ve had it for a number of years, and it is great for getting into areas, minor shaping, quick hinge mortising etc.

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B&D Power File

It is a belt sander, running a finger-wide belt with an exposed end.  Not very clear in the photo, but the notch seen here in the MDF to fit around the cabinet upright was cut on the bandsaw.  I then needed to round the edge, and that is where the power file came into its own.

Amazing Drill Attachments – Can YOUR Drill do This?

Greg, one of the regulars on here came across this advert recently and thought of Stu’s Shed

After spending so much on a drill, wouldn’t you want it to become THE go-to tool in your workshop? In fact, if you get all the accessories I’m sure the marketing boys will have you convinced that your entire workshop revolves around the drill (sorry – couldn’t resist).

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I like the direct attack by them on the other manufacturers too – (No clumsy direct drive with drill sideways) 🙂
It is so much better decreasing performance by directing power through a 90 degree gearbox. (Course it is probably a good thing in the case of the saw, but there is nothing like the marketing community to try to always find a point of difference and make it THE feature!)

I tried to get more info on the “Hycarbon” blade, but I guess it is something that didn’t survive into the Google era.  Of course it can just be taken on the face of it – a high-carbon blade (making it hard, and (potentially) sharp).

It came with a massive 5 day money back guarantee.  Nothing like the modern 2 year replacement warranties from Chinese manufactured modern saws. (Oh wait, that company went bust).

And I LOVE the “Cuts 1 1/8″, 2×4 BY TURNING OVER” Yes – you too can cut a 2×4 with just 2 passes with this little beauty!

Tried to get more info about Arrow Metal Products, but after looking at a number of sites, all I found was a computer virus, and a long court document about a 1950’s attempt by a few unscrupulous individuals cornering the egg market a few days before Christmas by futures trading to get 100% market share. (It is sometimes amazing what Google will provide!) As far as the virus goes – well I guess that is the beauty of being on a Mac.

A Few Quick Photos of Triton 184mm Circular Saw

Photo 4 -5 New model on left, old model on right

With all 3 “A Few Quick Photos of….”, an actual review will be done shortly.  Photos provided because I was being accused of hogging all the tool porn 🙂

New GMC & Triton Tools

A couple of new tools are now being shown on the GMC and Triton websites respectively.

Firstly from the Triton website is an upgraded version of the 184mm Triton Saw.

Now has a cast base similar to the 2300W saw.

Triton 184mm CS

Triton 184mm CS

GMC have a 180mm wide planer with carbon fibre casing and 1500W motor

GMC Wide Planer

GMC Wide Planer

Episode 33 Review of Triton 2300W Circular Saw

Episode 33 Review of Triton 2300W Circular Saw

Main Machinery Operating Noise

As discussed in the previous post, I took a sound meter around the workshop to get an idea of the different machines and the amount of noise they generate.

To qualify these figures, the machine in use was out-of-spec, so the readings should not be taken as gospel.

A reading of 85dB or above means there is a risk of permanent hearing loss.
100dB gives a max allowable exposure of 15 minutes
110dB – hearing damage likely after 60 seconds.

Remember that the time is cumulative. I don’t know over what time period (probably in 24 hours)

A 3dB increase in volume represents a doubling of the sound energy. Because the scale is logarithmic, a 10dB increase in volume represents 10 times the amount of sound energy, which will sound twice as loud.

Shed Ambient Noise: 58dB

Tablesaw: no load 85dB
With a non-noise limiting blade that had a resonance with the TS, 105dB
During a cut: 95 – 100dB

SCMS: no load 110dB
During a cut: 120dB – 125dB

Thicknesser: no load 106dB
During a cut: 110 – 120dB

Lathe: no load 62dB

Jointer/Planer: no load 80dB
During a cut: 100dB
Forcing the cut: 110dB

Drill Press: 85dB

Bandsaw: no load 70dB
During a cut: 100dB

Router: 100dB

Circular Saw: 115dB

Nail Gun: firing 126dB
During disconnect: 124dB

These figures are not as accurate as I would have liked (limitation of the equipment), but it gives a pretty fair idea that thicknessers, brushed motors (SCMS and circular saws) and in general during an actual cut on other machines, hearing protection is mandatory.

The screaming motor of a thicknesser which is often used for quite long jobs, multiple passes will leave you with permanent loss every job.

The sound a nail gun produces may not last more than a fraction of a second, but that instantaneous sound will lead to a hearing loss that is less temporary.

Some interesting findings out of all that: Increasing the pressure during the cut can increase the sound energy ten-fold. This can move a sound from needing 15 minutes to damage your hearing to one that will take 60 seconds to do the job.

Brushed motors are bad news (my thicknesser, SCMS, circular saw)

If something sounds loud, and particularly louder than something else, the amount of sound energy required to achieve that increase in volume is huge. If something sounds loud, be sure that your hearing needs your intervention!!!!

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