Homeland Security

Amazing what technology is now available, and at such cheap prices.  Camera surveillance systems, recording up to 30 days of footage at a reasonable resolution.  Able to operate day and night (infrared), indoor and out.

Not only recording any motion, but able to stream the camera footage to the web, and send email alerts (to multiple addresses), with images attached.

With one (and multiple cameras) connected up, with the DVR and router connected up to UPS (particularly one working on the 4G network), the system can provide a surprisingly high degree of security, for a minimal price (under $200 for the surveillance system).

DVK414252_a1_mainNo need to purchase those fake cameras, the real deal hardly costs any more, and has significant functionality.

At that price, not only can you afford to have surveillance of your workshop, but the house, and approaches as well.

Upgradeable technology- the DVR advantage

Normally when you buy a lathe (or drill press), you look at the features, make your choice and that is it- they are the features your tool will have for the remainder of its life.

You normally would expect those features to be static, ‘locked in’ as it were. Fundamental things like torque, but also the operator interface as well, preset speeds, how you can change speeds, safety features (such as chisel dig-in detection) etc.

Not so with a DVR lathe from Teknatool. I was not aware of it, but there was an older version of the DVR lathe that didn’t have some features of the current machines, and an owner of an older one could be left wishing their machine had more of the features of the current machine. Instead of replacing the lathe with a newer model, a DVR owner can simply upgrade the control board to get the higher torque, the safety features and the variable speed selection by replacing the “plug’n’play” computer control board.

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Not that I need to at the moment, as my DVR lathe has all the current features, but it is great to know that if (or rather when), Teknatool come up with smarter ways to implement the onboard DVR technology, and add software improvements (as well), that existing owners are not left behind. They can choose to purchase the upgraded control board.

That is a pretty cool concept!
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DVR Drillpress is getting closer

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The 2nd gen DVR drillpress is in NZ at the Teknatool laboratory, being put through its paces.

Must be getting closer to a release candidate. Can’t wait!

Think some Australasian testing might be required (hint hint!)

Setting up the SawStop

It has been a while coming (sure I could say that about a number of things at the moment!), but I finally had an opportunity to put the SawStop together.

Shot some video of that at the same time, so hopefully that will go into the details more.

First impressions are good, very similar to the TS10L in a lot of ways.

Once it was up, I tweaked the layout a little more.  Still plenty of room for the few machines yet to be moved in (bandsaw, drill press, DVR lathe).  Some things are still not quite in their right place, but as has been observed, lots of room around each machine.

Starting to feel like a workshop out there, especially now with the tablesaw set up.  After I get the current video of the assembly done, there will be more to follow, including finetuning the setup.  One little surprise – despite being a 15A machine (technically 13A), I was surprised it came with a 10A plug  Not that it will make a difference – I still have a 15A circuit available for it.

Dust Circles

It is a little known fact that although crop circles have all but been proven as hoaxes by the scientific community, dust circles also exist. Unlike the crop circles in wheat and other agricultural produce, dust circles are created, not in the dust as the name implies, but in solid wood, which in turn creates a lot of dust. (Perhaps better called dust-creation circles).

Some still suspect the hand of man is involved in these creations, but overwhelmingly, the dust circles have been subsequently used in furniture making and period details, disguising their true origins.  They then go by another name, one you may be more familiar with: rosettes, as they also are representative of flowers and this second term is the French diminutive of rose.

In modern times, companies have provided woodworkers with the tools to make their own rosettes that they can use to add period details to their creations, and it is one of these tools that we are looking at today.

Today being the operative word, as this rosette cutter comes from Toolstoday.com

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Unlike many other rosette cutters I have seen in the past, the one from Toolstoday.com has some unique features that are particularly interesting.

For one, the cutter has replaceable/exchangeable carbide edged knives.  Rather than spending money on the shaft and body of the cutter each time, you can buy the much more affordable cutters of different profiles and insert the style you want for a particular job.

Being carbide edged, these are sharp with an enduring edge. There are 15 different rosette profiles to choose from, as well as blank knives that you can have made to a specific custom design.

The cutter may look like a router bit, but it is far from it (and would be incredibly dangerous if mounted in a high speed router).  The shaft has flats on it, which is an excellent feature as these allow the teeth of a drill chuck to grip it firmly and prevent slippage.

They are designed to be used in a drill press, lathe, mill or similar, running around 800 RPM or so.  However, as I found as well, the drill press has to be heavy duty.  My floor pedestal drill may be ok for basic drilling operations, but it was not up to the task of a rosette cutting operation.  Too much runout in the shaft, too much slack in the components, and the rosette cutter had a tendency to whirl offcentre, and the subsequent vibration was not able to be resisted by clamps, table or drill head, and the chuck kept falling out.

However, I may not have the best drill press (yet – as in that one will get sold once I have a replacement lined up at some stage (hopefully the Teknatool DVR drill press won’t take forever to come to market)), but my lathe is well up for the challenge.

With the chuck (and MT2) secured in the tailstock (with the rosette cutter), and the workpiece held in the lathe chuck, the workpiece was spun up to 1000 RPM, and the non-rotating tailstock wound in.  The net result is the same effect, and the whole system a lot more stable than my drill press.

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In this case I was looking more for a test, so grabbed a scrap of timber that the jaws could grip easily.  It was prone to tearout, so the rosette wasn’t as pristine as is possible, but still it confirmed the proof-of-concept.

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(For those playing at home, that happens to be the Titan chuck with Powerjaws – that puppy wasn’t going ANYWHERE!)

Back to the rosette cutter, and just to reiterate those points – tungsten carbide blade edges, interchangeable knives, and solid body – it is a serious rosette cutter.  I was thinking that it would make for an interesting wheel cutter if the particular knives were made, and being interchangeable, you could have a much wide range of sizes, and wheel types without the cost of a full wheel cutter each time.

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You can get this particular rosette cutter here, knives here, and start making your own dust circles!

The Story Continues

The DVR XP was just the start of the story (and more recently, the DVR 2024) – a lathe with a direct drive motor.  But not just any motor – a fully computer-controlled compact, powerful, state-of-the-art digital variable reluctance motor.  This provided a significant number of benefits, including a motor that can both sense load and immediately react to load changes to maintain a constant speed. Happens to provide significant power savings as well, seeing as when there isn’t any load, the power consumption of the motor drops right away.  So power is consumed only when needed, and only the amount that is required for the load applied.

The computer can also detect other adverse conditions, such as if the shaft is locked, if the tool is digging in etc, and immediately cuts power to the shaft.  Given the spindle of the motor is the drive for the machine, there is no loss in belts slipping, loss in gearing or other methods to transfer the motor power to the chuck. There is a significant decrease in the amount of noise produced compared to a traditional motor and belt (or gear) solution.

DVR XP

DVR XP

The lathe obviously benefits greatly from having a DVR motor as its power source, but it isn’t the only machine that could.

The next chapter in the story was the introduction of a DVR motor to the ShopSmith PowerPro- the first use of the DVR in an independent manufacture’s product.  (Yes, I know there is a Record branded DVR lathe, but a rebranding doesn’t count!)

ShopSmith PowerPro

ShopSmith PowerPro

Then of course is the DVR Drillpress.  But that is not the only tool that will have the DVR motor added to it. For one, if you own a Nova 1624, there will soon be a DVR package drive that can be retrofitted to this, and other machines so they gain the advantages of the DVR motor.  (Don’t forget remote control, such as the upgrade I did to my XP).  For the 1624, it won’t be a direct drive, but will only use a single belt position, and all the speed changes will be done with the DVR motor alone.  You will still have chisel dig-in sensing, the ability to upgrade to remote control, and the power saving benefits of the DVR motor. Oh, and of course digital speed control through the full RPM range.

1624 Retro Upgrade

1624 Retro Upgrade

Now to the drill press – more info!

Drill Press Sensors

Drill Press Sensors

The extra information makes the drill press even more amazing – and making a drill press amazing is a feat in itself!

The load sensing function allows:

1. Slow Start – The slow start function detects the load on the drill bit. The motor will initially run at a slow speed (to make a small hole) and when a load is detected past a certain threshold the speed will then increase to the predetermined running speed.

2. Breakthrough Detection – Detects at a micro-second level if a breakthrough in material has occurred or not, if it has, then the speed will be increased to reduce the amount of burr/tear out.

3. Tool Analysis – indicates dull or damaged drill bits.

4. Proximity Sensors – detects chuck keys left in drill, proximity of hands and sleeves to the moving tool.

In addition, the DVR smarts means that there is intelligence available with its onboard computer;

Intelligent Speed Selection – no belts to change, you can digitally select your speed or choose your project and materials and drill bit, and allow the DVR Drill Press to do it for you.

Wide speed range – from 100 to 5500 rpm

Drill Depth/Tapping/Reverse Cycle – The tapping cycle uses sophisticated depth sensors to drill until a user defined depth is reached, and when the user lifts the drill press handle, the drill then runs in reverse

Speed Wheel – Activating the handle allows the motor to speed or slow down accordingly

Dull tool indicator

Wireless Remote Enabled – Can take optional accessory wireless wrist remote

USB ready for software updates

On board memory – allows user to store favorite programs and settings – useful in production environment or in returning to set/favorite projects.

Low maintanence – no belts to replace, and mechanically a very simple design with industrial grade electronics.

Full smartphone device integration – software upgrades could be available to allow integration with smartphones for control of panel and integration with project Apps.

Hang on – what was that last point?

Smartphone Integration

Smartphone Integration

With Eager Anticipation

This is something I have really been looking forward to ever since I heard it was being developed.

As mentioned a ways back, Teknatool (inventors of the 4 jaw self-centreing chuck for wood turning, and the DVR lathe) have turned their attention to other products that could benefit from the significant ease of operation, power and easy variable speed of the DVR motor.

One such product is the drill press, and Teknatool have chosen the Wood show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the prototype.

It is a perfect synergy.

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The drill press is constantly assessing the drilling operation. If the computer detects anything abnormal, such as a catch (happens often as the drill bit is just exiting the workpiece on the far side, which sometimes results in it simulating a helicopter!), a slipping bit etc, the motor will cut out surprisingly quickly. They use this same feature on the lathe for when the chisel takes too big a bite and catches.

It can detect if your bit is blunt or damaged, or if you’ve gone and caught some clothing around the bit. This is going to be an awesome drillpress!

Complete control over the variable speed, digital speed readout, constant speed with the DVR motor ramping up the power as needed to maintain the speed under load.

Expect around 9-12 months before products start hitting the shelves.

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The display at AWFS is also very interesting – if you look closely at the picture of the chuck on the right, it looks like a SuperNova2, but I suspect this is actually the new interchageable jaw chuck (it doesn’t use twin bolts to hold each jaw on – one set can be slid out, and the next set slid in – toollessly (is that a word?))

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Interesting to see the accurate digital readout of depth, load set speed etc.  The ability to zero off your drill bit (very important for accurate drilling, given they are all different lengths!)

Given that the motor is direct-drive to the shaft, I was surprised to see that the head is fixed, and cannot tilt, and the table is such a traditional design with a coarse thread height adjustment.  Wasn’t expecting that – it still leaves a margin for inaccuracy if the operator doesn’t level the table properly.

It may be that this is an example of the head-only model (will seek clarification) – they are first releasing the drillpress head, so you can upgrade your existing drill press, and then down track releasing a full drillpress model.  Upgrading an existing drill press will obviously be cheaper, but you have to wonder what innovations Teknatool will bring to the lower half of the drill press!

***Update*** I can confirm that this specific example was a DVR drill press head mounted on an existing base, and is not an example of the full Teknatool/Nova Drillpress solution.

Irrespective, the addition of DVR technology into the drill press is a massive step forward, and I am certainly looking forward to the next tool to receive the DVR treatment – the tablesaw is certainly in their sights. Will this become a serious contender to the SawStop?  The DVR motor may be capable of providing that sort of capability, and without the blade destruction of an aluminium brake slamming into the blade teeth.  Of course I am speculating wildly!

In any case, I can’t wait to see the new drillpress on the market!

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