Tidbits

Some other pieces of news from around the place:

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Organoil is reported to have gone into receivership.  Given that the now discontinued Triton Oil was Organoil Hard Burnishing Oil, it seems that sometime in the near future, even this won’t be available.

Organoil

Organoil

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Triton have reformulated the honing compound that comes with their wetstone sharpener.  No longer is it a baggie inside a (rusting) metal container, or the second iteration was the same inside a plastic one.  It is now a much better, thicker paste which makes it easy to apply to the wheel, and doesn’t end up spilling over everything!

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Triton’s MOF001 (the 1400W router) has won all three awards in the 2009 Taunton’s Tool Guide results, taking out Editors’ Best Overall Choice, Editors’ Best Value Choice and Readers’ Choice.

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A Night at the Opera

Or more like, a night in the shed 🙂  Got a number of things done out there which was very refreshing, and actually felt like real woodworking for once. I even got to make some sawdust!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had some trouble with my current inadequate power supply to allow me to use dado blades on my tablesaw. As a bit of a test, I purchased a tradesman’s extension cord yesterday which has a 1.5 mm core rather than the standard 1.0 mm (or even smaller) in typical household extension cords.  I plugged this feed directly into the tablesaw, and gave that a try and the difference was quite remarkable. Even running a standard blade, the saw sounded somehow different.

I then fitted a dado blade, and this time I was successful. The saw easily managed to bring the dado set up to speed. I must admit, that it has been a while since I’ve been that nervous around woodworking equipment- the first time you use a dado set is scary!  When a typical blade has lots of whirling teeth looking for something to eat, like a circling shark, a dado set looks like a whole school of sharks, and they know what they want.

On the other hand, it sure makes cutting a trench or a dado easy! (Funny that).  This dado test is going to be very interesting, and I’m now in a position to start testing the various blade sets that I have.  There have already been some irregularities come to light, so that is what this battle of the dado blades is all about.  One set appears to have the wrong outside blades, as the tooth count is incorrect to match with the chipper blades so that they cannot stack correctly (and I’m getting some feedback from the relevant company about that), and the set I used last night (CMT) had a very poor trench, because one of the chipper blades is over 1mm oversized which I was very surprised about with a set costing over $400.  Anyway, all this will be revealed in full Cinecolor in the reviews in the near future.

Next, a very rusty demonstrator got to shoot the raw footage for Episode 41 of Stu’s Shed TV which briefly covers some of the jigs that can be used on a wetstone sharpener.  I did get a very respectable edge on my carving knife, so the next tomato will pay the price in the kitchen!  I’ve said it before – the Triton sharpener should come with a knife jig – it is the best excuse to justify buying a tool ever!

Then finally, and inspired by my article about the Chris Vesper Joinery Knife, I had a further play with that laying out some rudimentary dovetails, and that inspired me to (finally) assemble the Dovetail Master I got from the Australian Wood Review over a year ago.  I had put it into the “too hard to think about now” basket, but last night everything just clicked.

Dovetail Master

Dovetail Master

It comes disassembled, but it isn’t actually that hard to put together.  Of course the proof will be if I actually can use it to produce a handcut dovetail, but it looks like I managed to assemble it without too much drama.

Disassembled Dovetail Master

Disassembled Dovetail Master

It is currently on special for all of $35 from Australian Wood Review (direct link to the product) fwiw.

So it was a good night – some sawdust made, some video shot, some old jobs completed.  Good times 🙂

Planer Blade Sharpening Jig

I happen to glance at the sales table in Carbatec today, and completely forgot what I had actually gone in to get (scrollsaw blades).

On the table were (and are still there as of closing time), a small pile of Scheppach Planer Blade Attachments for the TiGer 2000 and 2500 wet stone grinders.  Of course this means they also fit the Triton, and Tormek.

Scheppach 380

Scheppach 380

What really caught my eye was that they were down from $306 to $100.  I never thought I’d actually have one of these, but at that price, I couldn’t refuse.

Initially it looked like they were all the Scheppach 320, but then I noticed some were the 380.  So I took one of those!  There are still about 2 of the 380s left, and about 4 or so of the 320s, all for $100 each.  (FWIW, the 380 is currently listed on another suppliers site at $350)

The Model 380 actually means it can handle a blade 380mm long (although in fact it is closer to 400mm), so a 15″ thicknesser blade is no problem.  It is not just planer blades it can take either – (narrow) chisels, hand plane blades etc all can fit.

The Model 320 can handle a 320mm blade (12.5″)

At that price, I don’t think they will be there very long, so if you want one, I’d be heading down to Carbatec (Melbourne) PDQ.

To prove the point, I’ve documented fitting it to the Triton:

Scheppach 380 Rods

Scheppach 380 Rods

The first time you set this up you need to assemble the unit.  Shown here is fitting the height adjustments and main supports for the jig.  They are in about 60% of the way , with the flat front face towards the screw.  They have a threaded height adjustment which is pretty cool.  Now I know they are upside down here (the adjustment knobs), but that is deliberate on my part.  This way, the adjustment knob pushes firmly on the top of the unit, rather than the thin shaft portion of the knob kind of half going down the hole.  That isn’t a problem on the TiGer 2500, but here I thought it better just to turn the knob over.

Scheppach 380 Bed

Scheppach 380 Bed

Next, the main track is added….

Scheppach 380 Support

Scheppach 380 Support

….and then an upright to provide a bit of extra stability (this isn’t part of the 320)

Scheppach 380 Blade Holder

Scheppach 380 Blade Holder

The tool holder then slips on, and it is a very smooth setup indeed.  This glides back and forth over the wheel, and because of the length of the track, easily covers the entire width required for the large thicknesser blades.

Scheppach 380 Stops

Scheppach 380 Stops

One very cool aspect of this tool are the stops (one as shown).

Scheppach 380 Complete

Scheppach 380 Complete

Here is the competed unit, ready for its first victi………uh….blade.

Scheppach 380 Unit

Scheppach 380 Unit

The ‘arm’ raised up for inspection, maintenance, fitting a new blade (and posing for the photo!)  Note the number of hold-down knobs, so a very even pressure can be applied along the entire length of a blade.

Scheppach 380 Toolrest

Scheppach 380 Toolrest

Here you can see just how close you can get the portion of the jig that actually holds the blade to the grinding stone. It doesn’t appear to be close enough to take those tiny planer blades from something like a handheld power planer, but it would easily cope with something like the blade from a Triton thicknesser.

Scheppach 380 Tools

Scheppach 380 Tools

Here you can see the jig being used to hold a standard chisel.  It can’t cope with one that is particularly thick, I could get away with this one for example.  I am going to be interested in finding out just what else can fit this jig!

Sunday Ramblings

Had a pretty good woodworking weekend (by my standards anyway).  As mentioned before I made some sawdust yesterday for another video – again not a how to (yes, I really do want to do some how-to’s again!), but a review of the GMC Unlimited Rebate Planer.

While talking of reviews, the one on the Full Width Planer has been quite popular with our regulars, and with a couple of our younger readers / watchers – gidday Jack and Tom 🙂

Northwood’s latest email newsletter has been sent out, with an interesting dig at Carbatec (not that they actually say Carbatec, so I’m reading between the lines and there isn’t anyone else I can think of that fits the specific bill).  Like other smaller independent suppliers, they have had some results from the deranging of Triton and GMC from Bunnings.

I’m sure it has a huge impact on GMC, but I can’t help but think that (to drag out an old cliche) it (the deranging from Bunnings) could be a blessing in disguise. They have already been bringing out a range of tools that continues the product improvement directions they have been heading for a long time (and for those that doubt that, you should see the GMC Tablesaw I have in my shed, purchased in 2001).  There are also a lot of developments in the retail sector as mentioned. I’m sure there will be a lot more news over the coming months on that account.

Had the Triton club meeting today – a massive 10 people turned up which is a real contrast to its heyday (which coincidentally was when I was President of the club) when membership was well over 70. It is disappointing, and I think it really does spell the end of the club realistically.  As numbers keep dropping, it becomes very difficult to invite new members along, as there isn’t a sufficient core of regular members there to meet. It’s almost to the point that a (potential) new member walks in the door, is welcomed, and you could next offer one of the committee positions (of course that doesn’t happen, but you know what I mean!)  The dropping commitment is particularly noticable, as I have to be there, so there is a long term, ongoing commitment there that I have to fill each and every month, so it is a shame when others don’t have the same commitment (and no, I’m not meaning any specific individual here, it is a generalised observation).  I have to be there, because for OHS and liability reasons (for Holmesglen) a member of staff MUST be present for the facilities to be used, and of course I am that person because of the short courses I run for Holmesglen.  FWIW, I have been a member of the club for over 6 years now, 2 as president.

So that’s enough rambling at this stage – more to come when I discuss today’s activities (post -club meeting).

Episode 25 Sharpening Series Watercooled Grinding Stone

This episode looks at watercooled grinding stones, such as the Triton, Scheppach and Tormek. In this instance, a $A199 Triton Wetstone Sharpener is used to produce an edge on a plane blade of HSS.

It also happens to be the last video shot in the old shed, so a bit of nostalgia there!

 

Sharpening demo at Carbatec

Carbatec are going to be running a sharpening demonstration morning on Saturday April 5 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM.

They’ll be demonstrating a a number of different sharpening products and methods, including

Tormek, Veritas, Japanese waterstones , DMT diamond sharpening tools to name a few.  The demo morning is free btw.

If I have a chance, I’ll definitely be heading along.

Upgraded Tool Rest for Triton Sharpener

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Triton have upgraded the tool rest on the Triton Sharpener with a fully welded version, rather than the bent and welded version they were originally.

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The new design results in a much straighter horizontal bar, rather than one curved with heat stress. It also looks to be made out of a better grade of steel (although I have nothing to base that on).

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Closeup of the 2 designs – the lower left one is the new version.

Unfortunately, I still think there is a missed opportunity here, and the centre bar should have been threaded so a nut riding the thread could accurately set the bar height (Tormek style).

New Triton Tools

I don’t have any prices, expected delivery dates or images, but this is a (reasonably) comprehensive list of new Triton tools that are on their way:

There’s a number of sharpening jigs about to arrive for the sharpener, including a dressing tool, gouge jig, knife jig (and I’m not sure what else – about 5 in total, made by Sheppach, badged Triton.)

2400W SCMS, w left & right tilt
1200W Belt Sander
500W Dual Orbital Sander (orbital and random orbital)
850W Dowelling Machine
Uni Clamp
1500W Powered Router Table
Inifinite Depth Rebate Planer
235mm 2300W Circular Saw (as recently mentioned).

Photos and details as they come to hand.

Some Triton Info

Had a meeting with Triton and the Victorian Triton Demonstrators tonight and lots of really interesting info came out of it. Unfortunately I can’t talk about much of it yet – but will bring what I can when I can.

So, what I think is safe to say: Saw the new (2008) Triton catalogue. Over 50 pages or so, lots of interesting stuff in there, including about 7 or 8 new Triton tools (pause for the censor beep).

Got to have a first hands-on look at the new Triton 2300W Saw. Designed by the Triton engineers a couple of years or so ago, it is about to hit the market shortly. The Triton Demonstrators will be getting it pretty early, so I’ll be able to bring you a good close look then. What I did see is a magnesium chassis, laser guide (240V transformed, not batteries), geared height winder with a much better access to the locking lever, a well functioning dust extraction port that will fit directly to the Triton duct bucket hose. There won’t be any additional cutting height achieved with this saw – the TSA001 already pretty maximised the achievable cutting height with a 9 1/4″ saw.

Other product info centred around the Triton Wet & Dry Sharpener. Where it comes to tightening the nut on the grinding wheel, don’t be squeamish about it (ok, don’t go nuts 🙂 to the point that the nut shears the threads), but tighten it well – the wheel can take it, and the last thing you want is to dress the wheel and have it move on the shaft at all, wrecking all that work. For those who think the Triton is a bit of an aftermarket rip-off of the Scheppach, sorry, but these are actually made by Scheppach for Triton, using the same German standards. For some reason they didn’t look at ensuring the support rail was straight, but that is now history, and they are now making the support arm by welding both uprights, rather than welding one and bending the other. Irrespective, I have one of the original sharpeners, and if you are prepared to spend just a little bit of time setting it up (and I mean a little), you can get some remarkably sharp tools straight off the machine (including the honing wheel of course), and for under $200, that is hard to beat.

Wish I could talk more about the new tools that are coming – will see what I can get permission to talk about!

Workshop Layout Planning

When planning the layout of a workshop, it is one thing to move the actual items around the space you have until the layout looks functional, but often the items are bulky and cumbersome, and trying different layouts becomes arduous.

In the past, I have found making a scale model a very useful tool (cardboard boxes representing each machine). Another tool that is useful is this one from Grizzly. It is an online, free workshop layout tool. It only has available the actual machines that Grizzly sells, but using a little bit of creative licence, and you can very quickly try different layouts to see how it all could come together.

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Looking at a quick mock-up of my place, and I can see something I forgot that I needed…….. floor space!

Working from top to bottom, there are 2 tool chests, a 14″ bandsaw, 15″ thicknesser, and a stereo in the top-right corner. Next is the router table, with the Jet Mini Lathe overlapping, and a drill press beside the door. Then there is the 6″ longbed planer (jointer), the tablesaw and 2 shelf units. Finally, a grinder, a second lathe, and a bench with an SCMS, slow grinder, and sander.

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