New Shed Dust System

I finally, after I can’t remember how long, started to rebuild the shed’s dust extraction system. It was decommissioned so long ago, I don’t even remember at what point it became non-functional. It is pretty academic these days given the whole shed upgrade. ‘Back then’ I bought a number of lengths of 100mm downpipe, being significantly cheaper than the actual flexible dust extraction tubing. So I finally got to start cutting into it, and putting it in place.

The first step though, was finalising (as best I can) the machine positions. Once that was decided (taking into account where possible, the dust extraction needs of each machine), the next step was planning the pipe run(s).

It was a bit of a debate, but I have finally decided to run the tubing at ground level. It means the extractor doesn’t have to work so hard, lifting the dust and shavings the 2.5 meters off the floor, in addition to overcoming the friction from the walls. Given the tool layout, it won’t cause me any undue grievance loosing that small amount of floorspace behind each tool against the wall.

I haven’t gotten very far – balancing shed time with work time and family time (especially when everyone is sick). But at least it feels like a good start.

Here’s a pic of about as far as I’ve gotten (I said I didn’t get far).

What is shown here is the right side of the machinery area (against the front wall). Each machine is connected in via flexible tubing, and a blast gate. The blast gate on each machine is obviously so I can shut off all the other machines to maximise the flowrate from the one currently being operated. The modified T section has 2 advantages. Firstly, it isn’t a straight T section – it is angled to minimise the losses from forcing the dust through a tight 90 degree corner. Secondly, it provides an inlet so any blockages can be cleared relatively easily.

I am planning to add an extra length of flex into that end so I can make a temporary run to the thicknesser when required.

The second one is not ideal, but is only to draw a (relatively) small amount of generated light dust from two sanders (the belt & disk and the spindle sander). The belt & disk also does its own active dust extraction, feeding into the tube, so it ‘should’ help.

Next job – the router table.

Another big day at the office

Spent a lot of today at Mitre 10 Mega, demonstrating (ok, playing with) all the new tools (ok again, toys) from Triton.

Rather tired by the end of it – ended up being from about 8:30 to 5:30 straight-through, by the time we had set up, done the day, packed and cleaned up.  Was good fun though – played a lot with the big thicknesser, and the moulding blades.  Changed my first set, so that was a bit of an experience.  Pretty easy in the end, but you just imagine the whirling dervish inside, and take a lot of extra care while tightening everything down.  I put in the largest blades available, so if it survived me doing that, I guess the smaller ones will be a cake-walk!

Did quite a bit on the 12″ bandsaw as well, giving those new blades a good workout.  Verdict? Very happy – the blades are the right length (that’s a good start!), cut well, and it is a good collection of sizes.  Still haven’t tried the 1/16″, but they are very much a specialty item, so will deal with that one separately.  Tried a little on the 8″, but I have not been (and still are not) a fan of such a small bandsaw.  (Given that fact, I better not ever try a 16″ or a 20″, I may never be able to go back!)

Pity I didn’t take all the rest of the latest dinosaur (scrollsaw pattern) that I am working on – the 1/8″ blade made very short work of the pieces I had still to do – could have had the whole thing cut today in a very short amount of time.  Sanded the pieces up on the spindle sander, which again, it is nice having the right tool for the job.  Not much more to do for the pattern anyway, and soon my Tyrannosaurus will have something to eat…..

Triton BBQ and other stories

Was down at the Triton factory earlier (yeah, ok – I’m obsessed!) getting ready for this weekend. For those that don’t know (and are local(ish), I’m going to be at Chelsea Heights Mitre 10 Mega on Saturday from 10 till 4 with a collection of the new Triton tools.

We will have:

13″ Thicknesser
15″ Thicknesser
12″ Bandsaw
Wet & Dry Sharpener
Belt & Disk Sander
3 in 1 Sander
Spindle Sander

and other bits ‘n’ pieces.

Saw one amusing thing in one of the backroom workshops at Triton – a Workcentre 2000 that has been converted into a gas BBQ.  What every one-eyed Triton supporter needs in their workshop at home 😀

Ordered some new bandsaw blades for the 12″ bandsaw yesterday. A new (and local) supplier for me, so will be interesting to see how the blades compare to my old supplier.  I was able to get a 1/16″ blade so am very interested in seeing just how fine that blade is, and how it performs (and how long it lasts!).  A blade that fine is for light scrollwork only – in the past I’ve been using 1/8″ blades for this sort of work.  I’m partway through making another dinosaur to add to my collection, and such a fine blade will definitely make life easier.  So what is coming is: 1/16″ 24 TPI, 1/8″ 14 TPI, 1/4″ 6 TPI, and 5/8″ 3 TPI.  Will give a more detailed report on the blades, and how they perform when they arrive.

All quiet on the Western Front

It has been quite an intense couple of weeks, what with the Woodworking Show, demands of work (been shooting a few hours of video of Uni Students being interviewed about their first year’s experiences fwiw) and for the past few days, a somewhat under-the-weather 9 month old, which pretty much means no sleep and all the associated fun 🙂

For the past couple of days I have also been running another Introductory Woodworking course at Holmesglen Tafe, which I always enjoy (despite having to get up at 6am on a Saturday, and Sunday morning!) Today could have been better planned – having an early start on the same day that daylight savings kicks in… ouch!

I always really enjoy these courses – moreso than the Woodworking Show, or any demo at a hardware outlet (Bunnings, Mitre 10 etc). You always meet a really interesting, diverse group of people, and this time was no exception. The course was very full (9 out of a max of 10), and we kicked through without any dramas (other than one rookie mistake by me that is – feeding the router from the wrong direction, resulting in a climb cut, and the router trying to make every use of my error, resulting in a mortice joint that was rather wider than it should have been. Oh well – do as I say, not as I do…… “This is how NOT to route a mortice joint….”). I took along the 15″ Triton thicknesser, the spindle sander, and the latest version of the Superjaws, so they all got good workout. The Wixey digital angle gauge got a bit of attention as well.

Anyway, hopefully those that attended the course had a good time, learned plenty, and left with newfound skills and confidence to build upon.

There is meant to be another course in 2 weeks time, so hopefully we get enough bookings for that to proceed.

With my daughter not being 100%, I haven’t had a chance to get down to the shed to shoot any more video, but am hoping to get some done this week. I have a few that really need to get done as soon as poss!

Episode 13 A Footy Trophy

Episode 13 A Footy Trophy.

In this episode, I needed to extend the life of a Footy Tipping Trophy by adding some room for more winner plaques.

We go from sketching the initial shape, to roughing it out on the bandsaw, sanding to final dimensions on the disk sander and spindle sander, and finally round over the edges on the router table.

Episode 10 Triton Spindle Sander

Episode 10 Triton Spindle Sander

Another horse out of the Triton Stables, the Spindle Sander is an excellent addition for the workshop. Taking spindle sizes from 13mm (1/2 inch) to 76mm (3 inch) all those difficult sanding projects can now be easily performed and is an excellent complement to the belt and disk sander.

The sander has a cast iron top, dust port for the all-important dust collection, and onboard storage for all the different sized spindles, and associated surrounds.

Apologies for some sound and lighting issues with this episode – the technical issues have since been resolved (one shorting/dying new battery caused a lot of grief until it was discovered and replaced).

Upcoming articles etc

Sadly, I know I have been a bit slack in posting the last few days, but I have a good excuse: along with the frantic lifestyle that having a 7 month-old entails, I have been working in arranging some interesting new content that you can expect to see in upcoming weeks. So to give you a peek at some of what to expect:

I am in process of producing a video podcast about the new Triton Spindle Sander, hopefully due in the next week or so. I think we are going to get to have a good play with one of the new Triton bandsaws too, in the not too distant future! 😀

Terry Gordon of HNT Gordon & Co Plane Makers is kindly letting me have a couple of his plane blades so I can demonstrate some of the myriad of sharpening techniques that are out there. I will be looking at the “Scary Sharp” system, Japanese waterstones, using the Triton wetstone sharpener, and possibly diamond plates, if I can source some in time.

Preparing raw stock – from rough sawn (and resawn timber) through to square and true stock, ready for your project at hand. It will include using handtools (including some of the HNT Gordon range of handplanes), as well as the modern duo of the planer & thicknesser (or jointer & planer, if that is the terminology you prefer)

Another very exciting development, is that Carb-i-tool are interested in having some of their massive range of router bits highlighted, which is going to be very cool. Some of these I only have an inkling about how they are used, and what to expect from these bits, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about them myself.

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