Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The power tools side of my shop

As much as I have been slowly converting to a predominantly hand tools only type of woodworking, I still have a complement of power tools I kept from my earlier days, when all I knew of woodworking was: You need such and such power tools.

Years ago, when I started to get serious about woodworking, I did not knew much and there wasn't many places to turn for advice's, most mags were predominantly power tools everything, so I bought what I thought was good stuff: Sears Craftsman Best everything power tools.  Later I was renovating a century old farm house, and built what was supposed to becomes my retirement shop.  At that time, the Cold War was over, and Canada's Armed forces were drastically reduced. It did not took long for the government to realized that all those annual leave's days we accumulated over the years was a big fiscal burden on them, so they came up with the new reg that we could no longer accumulated leave, unless of a serious operational commitment, signed by the CO and staff up for exemption and they allowed us to sell back our accumulated leave. Bonus, I sold off a bunch of leave and that paid for part of my garage and the tools to put in it :-) Mind you, I sold all those days at a Sgt salary, they would have been worth a lot more today on a MWO's salary when I recently retired, but...

2X6 construction, R20 10 ft walls, R10 in the slab, Low-E Argon filled windows, I was toasty warm :-)

That so called retirement shop, was left behind when we moved to Ottawa. At the same time, now knowing a lot more and having discovered the hard way, that Craftsman tools were not what they once were, I sold all my portable power tools. Vouching if I ever need them again, I would buy better tools. I kept the stationary tools with me, when I bought them, I knew what I wanted.

My first serious saw was an old 1965 Sears Radial Arm Saw. It served me well for many years, I usually left the dado blade in it to complement my table saw, saved me from switching blades back and forth. Incidentally it's the model years that was recalled years ago, because apparently the guard assembly was not up to snuff and you could cut yourselves, well Dah! The fix depending on the model No, was they would send you a new guard or, in my case, you send them the whole motor assembly and they give you back $200.  But you then ended up with a useless piece of kit, making it very safe!
In insight, should have done that. In its move from Greenwood to Ottawa, I did not secured the arm good enough, it moved and snapped the locking pin, it has been sitting unused ever since and rusting away. Repair, retire or reuse??

In the shop pic above, is my first Unisaw with a Biesemeyer fence on it, love, love it.
My second one, which I will keep forever, is also another Rockwell Unisaw, but it came with the original Jet lock P.O.S. fence. Replaced it by a General T-Square fence (Canadian version of  the Biesemeyer fence)

All decked out with surplus cabinets around. Guard removed for clarity :-)

The bandsaw came when I got serious in woodcarving. Its a 1989 King 14 in "Delta clone". I souped it up by rewiring the whole saw, it used 16 gauge wiring, upgraded to 14 gauge, motor run cooler under load when I resaw. Also bought the co planar kit, upgraded the steel blocks to cool blocks, bought a serious resaw fence for it, Sweedish steel blades, etc. It normally runs on 220V (run cooler) but right now it is switched back to 110V, as I do not have presently 220V in my garage.

As much as I love using my handplanes, I will keep my small bench top 12-1/2 in planer. It is currently sitting on a metal cabinet which used to be a 10 Mb HP disk drive. Yes, that hulking cabinet only contained 10Mb of storage (ouch, I'm dating myself :-) I made an extension bed for it, it greatly reduced snipes.

Best gizmo ever invented to replace your knife in a bench top planer.
Makes it too easy.

Never owned nor needed a jointer, whenever I need to flatten on side quickly first, I take out my No 5 handplane with a 8 in cambered blade in it.

When in use I hook it up to my Shop Vac in tandem with my chip collector. A Veritas cyclone cover on top of an old Aircraft soap barrel. Works great!

The Shop vac is also upgraded with a micron filter from LV. Highly recommended.

Bought this vacuum hose kit from LV, very flexible hose, big improvement over semi rigid black hose.

My shop made ceiling filter unit, made with a surplus 220V blower. Will clear your bench in no time :-) The replacement filters (3) cost me more than to built the whole thing. 

The drill press is currently back on its mobile base, bolted on it because the big table makes it tipsy.

I got 2 of these.  Why 2? I got plans for these, for when I set up my sharpening area.

A recent addition, a bench top Oscillating Drum Sander. It does not see much work, but comes in handy at time.  Last used to sand the round cut out in my plane till's dividers.

My latest power tool addition, a vintage Rockwell-Beaver No 3400  37 in, gap bed lathe

Picture when bought. I have yet to set it up, but started to buy tools and accessory for it.
About 2 years ago, I started turning pens at the woodshop on base, and want to set up at home to do it. I also need to built a big harvest table, with turned legs for my wife.

Except for the Radial Arm Saw, which I'm still undecided about what to do about it, these are the stationary tools I will keep. Like I said, I love handplanes, but rip sawing and flattening big boards are not my idea of fun. I would then use my tablesaw, bandsaw, planer to get it done quickly, then back in my hand tool shop for finishing touches with my handplanes.

That's my current line up of stationary power tools, I also replaced those awful Craftsman portable power tool thru the years as I needed them back.

BTW all these pics were taken in my various shops thru the years, none current.
My next reorganization project would be the garage where all these tools live currently.
Bob, with no shortage of work ahead.


  1. I don't recognize the make of the lunchbox planer? Master Mechanic? A lathe is the only tool that I don't have. I go back and forth about getting one. I don't have the room for one so it's easy to talk myself out of it.

  2. The planer is a King, same brand as the bandsaw. King are a line of machinery made in Taiwan distributed exclusively in Canada, I think? http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm

  3. Just about everything coming out of Taiwan looks the same but the color is one I haven't seen before.

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  5. من خلال دليل تجهيزات محلات اعلن لديينا وانضم الى اكبر سلاسل شركات فى مصر فقط تواصل معنا من خلال زياره موقعنا الان

  6. تواصل الان معنا في صيانة ال جي حتي تحصل علي افضل قطع غيار وافضل صيانة في جميع انحاء جمهورية مصر العربية والعالم العربي من خلالنا في جميع انحاء جمهورية مصر العربية حيث تستطيع ان تحصل علي افضل خدمات رقم صيانة ال جي من خلال افضل مهندسين صيانة فقط.

  7. الان من خلال صيانة ال جي احصل علي افضل قطع غيار اصلية مجانية علي اعلي مستوي ممكن من خلالنا في جميع انحاء جمهورية مص العربية والعالم العربي حيث لدينا افضل خدمة صيانة يونيفرسال في جميع محافظات جمهورية مصر.