Episode 113 Spoilboard

Episode 101 David and Goliath

Featuring the smallest, and largest Amana Tool router bits from Toolstoday.com (at least those that fit a standard 1/4″ and 1/2″ router).  Surfacing is done on a Torque Workcentre.

Music by Lis Viggers

Burl meet Torque

Another burl found itself being flattened at the hands of the TWC at Ballarat last weekend. This one had quite a curvature, with over 1″ from edge to centre on the cut side.

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For a thicknesser, this would be a nightmare. For the TWC this was a piece of cake.

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You may be able to see the separate passes in the photo- this is because at the time of the photo, I was working on maximum material removal (4-5mm per pass, to the full width of the cutter). This means the grain on adjacent passes got cut in the opposite direction to the previous, resulting in a different reflective surface- you can see the passes, but it still feels flat.

The final pass is done with very little material removed 0.5mm depth of cut, and maximum 1/2 the cutter width max, so all the grain is pushed in the same direction.

Either way, a few passes with the ROS (random orbital sander) removes any minor irregularities.

The problem for the thicknesser is both the tortured grain – in all directions so tearout is likely. The cutter direction on a thicknesser makes this even more likely, with the cutter scooping the material up, out of the surface.

Secondly, stabilising a burl to pass through a thicknesser is also tricky. With drive rollers pushing down before and after the cutter, the chances of the burl shifting and getting a massive kickback from the thicknesser is pretty high.

On the Torque, the cutter direction is horizontal, the amount of material removed each pass can be minimal, and is not over the entire burl width simultaneously, and there are no feed rollers to potentially destabilise the burl during the cut.

Thicknessers obviously perform a very useful role, but when their idiosyncrasies work against you, the Torque Workcentre takes over!

Surfacing a Burl

This video was shot on a low definition phone camera at the recent wood show, so sorry about the quality, but it is hopefully interesting just the same.  This is the burl that I am making the desk clock from.

Episode 57 Surfacing, Sanding, Cyclones and Workgear

Episode 57 Surfacing, Sanding, Cyclones and Workgear

Episode 56 Surfacing on the Torque Workcentre

Episode 56 Surfacing on the Torque Workcentre – overhead router

One of the really impressive features of the TWC, and one of the easiest operations – surfacing.  My TWC can handle a slab up to 2000 x 1300mm (78″ x 51″), and any size down to around 1″ x 1″ (or in other words, no limit on minimum size, unlike a thicknesser, planer (jointer) or drum sander).  Future views will cover a whole range of techniques – keep tuned!

Surfacing Bits

Had an interesting revelation tonight about surfacing bits.  While Ivan was visiting, having a look over the Torque Workcentre, the discussion turned to surfacing bits.  I was thinking the 3 interchangeable flute Carbitool bit had its carbide tips misaligned from use or something – they didn’t sit flat on the table.  But when I got out my Granite reference block and placed each of the bits on top, they all had the same issue – the bottom of the teeth were not flush with the table as I expected.

Surfacing Bits

Now for one (particularly with interchangeable tips) to be out I could understand, but not all three, both Carbitool and Whiteside, and particularly the (fixed) 6 flute.  That one if no other should be the perfect form for a surface cutter, so if it has the same angle on the bottom of each tooth, then that is the way it should obviously be.

So then I was left with working out why it is that way, now my belief that the bottoms where flat had been squashed!

What I am thinking now is the tip of each tooth is the part that does the cutting, the rest is actually superfluous and is primarily chip clearing, rather than cutting/flattening.  If the bottoms were flat, then the tips would scrape, rather than cut.

It is surprising how long I’ve had surfacing bits that I have never realised that!

Surfacing Bits

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