Episode 88 Pneumatics in the Workshop

Episode 88 Pneumatics in the Workshop

A brief discussion of compressed air in the workshop, and a look at a very flexible option!

Finishing the Glueless Stool

I finally got a chance to finish off the glueless stool I started at the recent NTX show (components cut on the Torque Workcentre)

Working Together

After rounding over the edge of the seat on the router table, it was time for a little sanding.  Still very impressed with how easy, relatively low noise, low vibration and minimal dust that results from the Festool system.  In this case I used 180 grit on the random orbital sander (ETS150/5) and it took a very little amount of time to get the necessary finish.  I’m not doing anything else as far as finish is concerned – this stool is specifically designed for the shower, and also designed to be disposable once it is no longer useful.  In saying that, the one I made 3 years ago is still going strong.

Edges of the straight sections were rounded over with the Fastcap 1/16″ Radius plane from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.  Without meaning to sound like a commercial, I keep finding myself turning to this plane to break (round over) an edge, where in the past I would have turned to the router table.  It is a brilliant little tool – surprisingly useful and very effective.

You can’t see it in the photo, but I’m using the double-sided vac clamp here which works perfectly on the cast iron tablesaw – holding the workpiece very securely, but releasing immediately the air supply is switched off.

Pocketholing

The original glueless stool was made with wedged tenons, but this time I decided to go with the simpler pockethole, using the external grade Kreg Blue-Kote Robinson screws.

Glueless Shower Stool

The finished stool.  In this case I haven’t created a foot at the bottom of each ‘leg’, but instead I will probably use the pinned plastic anti-slip feet (those 1/2 domed 10mm diameter things).

Feet

SSYTC28 Small Torque Surfacing w Vac Clamp

Bringing it all together – the Torque Workcentre, Triton Router, Whiteside Surfacing Bit, Vac Clamp

Tools for February

Each of these will be looked at in more detail shortly, and put through their paces.

For Tool of the Month, I’m going for the Vac Clamp – another Aussie product.  It uses a very simple method for achieving a vacuum – using the venturi effect to draw down a vacuum from between the clamp and the item being held, resulting in a clamp that is strong, and releases immediately that the air is switched off.

V-Clamps

Seen pictured here are both the single-sided clamp (is screwed to the workbench etc), and the double-sided, which uses a vacuum on one side to secure itself to the workbench (non-porous), and the other side for the workpiece.

There are no moving parts to achieve the vacuum. Nothing to wear out (the rubber seal itself will need replacement in time), nothing moving, wearing.  You do need a source of compressed air.  The compressor does not draw air from the clamp, unlike many other designs.  Air is blown into the unit, which ejects from the nozzle, creating the venturi which pulls additional out of the clamp void resulting in the vacuum.

Vacuum creating venturi effect nozzle

Air passes in through the fitting on the side, and blows through the brass nozzle you can see in the hole, which is then ejected out the side.

Closeup of Nozzle

The other item to mention is a new router bit received from Whiteside / Professional Woodworkers Supplies.

Whiteside 2 Flute Replaceable Surfacing Bit

This is a significant bit, with a larger diameter than either of the others I have tried – at 65mm diameter it is going to be fascinating when I get a chance to feed it.  Of course, the rule is never feed a router bit after midnight – not that it will turn into a gremlin, but your neighbours will!

Replaceable Tip

The carbide tips are replaceable, and also revolvable, meaning you get to use all 4 sides before needing to resharpen or replace the TCT.

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