Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The tools inside my boring till, intro

My yard works projects are pretty well completed, time to go back and finish my boring till.

Part of the task ahead is to finalize my holder boards for the tools I intend on putting inside.

You may be wondering, why even bother with these "antiques" while nowadays we are all familiar with drills, corded and cordless (battery power) and Drill press?

Good question, and the answer will come to you the first time you find yourself away from a power source or when your battery pack dies on you. Oh, and not to mention, at times these powered assistants are sometimes way overkill for the job!!??

These old relic will never run out of power, their size and construction details enable them to sneak in pretty well everywhere their powered brethren cannot.

Also a lot easier than trying to balance a top heavy tool while using a small size bit.... without fears of breaking your only bit of that size when the stores are closed.

With minimal care, they will soldier on forever, never becomes obsolete nor wear out after a few years... And do it all in style, quietly...

And let's face it, there's always the satisfaction of seeing emerge curly shavings from the hole being bore. How cool is that ? :-)

While I beaver away at the boring till, I thought I'll give you a preview of the tools I am putting inside (subject to change without warning just because I can :-)

Starting with the braces, I will go over each tool in more details and why they made the cut.

A suivre...

Bob, beavering away with Rudy's help (???)
Rudy! Come back here with that brace.... :-)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Barrel stand completed

I have not been working on it since Monday, it has been raining and I have catched a cold from Jean, who got it from her grand daughter... I was doomed from the start, and sure enough, I now have a $&):?!@ man cold .... With my blood pressure medications, there are not many feel better medicine that I can take for it. The difference between with or without medication for a cold? 7 days with it, one week without, except you just feel more miserable. And before you asked, yes I get my flue shot every year, I am a cancer survivor...

Where I left out, Monday

Should have enough parts left to finished it.
Yes, those are plane shavings on the ground, 
my joinery was a bit tight, by design

Wednesday between runs to the bathroom and rains, I went out to the barrel stand, removed the barrel and marked my pieces for the cross member and the angle piece (brace) by the post corner.
Thursday I cut and installed them.  While I was adding a cross member to support the decking boards, I thought I should play safe and add another footing piece under. There you go, overbuilding is my middle name :-)
But that did not happened yet, I was quickly exhausted and went for a nap...

Since I modified my build as I went, I ran out of lag bolts, so another trip to the store...
Wednesday I also had my car at the garage to investigate my AC leak, turned out its only a line, no major components, phewww. But its a special thermostatic line and yady yada, that would be $500 to fixed it... I don't think I ever had a part replaced on that car that did not cost at least $300.
Putting a Lincoln stamp on a Ford part is apparently costlier, must be because Lincoln has more letters than Ford?? :-)
Parts arrived, the car goes back next Tuesday for repairs.

The corner brace I added at the post corner is to be able to support the end of my decking boards.
I could have done it differently, but I figured this will also strengthen the post connection, since there is a lot of leverage with that long post.  I cut a small flat at the arris of the corner post to be able to move in closer the brace and have a flat surface for the glue and the lag bolt.

In addition, I was planing to used a metal post spike to anchor the post solidly. That would further solidified my post, but it proved way overkill :-)

Saturday, I cut my 4X4 center post, including the open ended mortise at one end.

I had a small 20 inch test piece, that I used to set up the cuts with Radial Arm saw. The cut surface are straight from the saw, I did not touched them otherwise. Only difference I took small careful nibbles with the crosscut blade

The Radial Arm Saw made quick work of squaring the ends at 16 in 

The large Resaw Bandsaw made quick work of cutting most of the waste 

The smaller Bandsaw, quickly removed most of the bottom waste

Its first test fit, bottom not cleaned up yet. need to go a bit deeper

Back at home quick chisel work with Gerhard's Je ne sais quoi Persuader (Tm)
yield a good flat surface, tested flush with crossmember. Coated with a liberal coat of end cuts preservative and let to dry inside garage. 

In between all these I attended a local African Violet show and presented another of Heather's memorial award, I set up. Heather was their past president until she had to step down due to her cancer...

The Annapolis Valley African Violets Show and sale, with tea service.
In the background, the Red Hat Society ladies 

and with a few shopping trips later came back with enough supplies to add the finishing touches on this project.

My growing collection of "Stuff" for the post.

The Scare Owl will be held by drilling a hole to glue in the broken screw stub, on the post cover which would simply be screwed to the top 

Drilled thru, friction fit. Very tight fit, 
I'm putting a lot of pressure along the fibers...

Scary Owl screwed to post cover

The hose holder will be scraped clean of most rust and given a fresh coat of paint. I tried to match it by memory, close but no cigars.
Maybe I had John Deere on the brain :-)

All the stuff going outside (except the hose reel) got a quick coat 
of clear varnish, to make them weather better

Sunday, I finally installed center support leg, glued the pieces and added more glue to my new work pants (they are really ruined now, Oups) then screw.

Detail of my center support

Lag bolt on one side, two long ceramic coated screw on the other side

I cut an open mortise to cradle and support the cross member. That should be more than sufficient to take on the load. That detail should also make that center leg sturdier. Will not twist off.

And finally mark, cut and installed my decking boards.

I left a good spacing between the decking boards to help drain the inevitable water that is going to puddle on top (Snow, rain, leaks, spill etc)
6 ceramic coated screws on each boards

Since the whole thing is resting on the grass, and could potentially sinked in under the load, I added pavers under the feet,
It could be potentially dangerous if my barrel stand shifted on soft ground, hence the added precautions.

Yes, I splitted my fancy PT cover for the post.
Glued and drying

The hose holder installed on one side of the post and the Scare Owl was installed on the top by two screws, no glue.  May want to cut post shorter??

I could not installed the tap on the barrel. There are no removable top for access. Only a small screwed in screen.

I was going to add a spike on the long post corner, 
but it is proving to be overkill. 

The Owl is just sitting on top for the picture, 
its cap is broken and being fixed.

Now remains to find its optimum location, and install the irrigation system, but that would have to wait, I am exhausted... time for a nap...

Bob, working ever so slowly right now. Man cold dragged me down :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Working with a Radial Arm Saw

First a confession:  My first real stationary power tool was a Radial Arm Saw, A 1965 Craftsman model... The kind that got recalled in the early 2000 for a safety hazard with the guard. Apparently you could cut yourself with it... Really!!
This was followed by a bandsaw and later a newer Unisaw.

Circa 90s. Me posing proudly with my first Unisaw, 
the old Craftsman RAS is in the background.

There was a wide range of models affected and the fix was ; Send us the old guard, will send you a new safer one, or in my older model case, send us the complete motor assembly, (the cutting head essentially) and we will send you $100... So you end up with a useless saw carriage and no working tool but with a US $100 check and they pay for the shipping. These carriage would then be destroyed upon receipt by them.
So I thought at the time, Nah, I'll keep risking my life every time I used it instead :-)

But what brought this question forward was one posed by Brian who was wondering how did the RAS worked in my work flow and was it still relevant in today's shop, basically.

My short answer is: Hell Yes!

Radial Arm Saw earned quickly a bad reputation as an unsafe tool, Dewalt forgo the RAS market, Craftsman got brought to court over it, etc.
So what made them so dangerous?? And why would anyone make and use them?

In one word the blade. Yeah really. Because the teeth are riding on top of the board instead of under, like on a tablesaw, it is very good at lurching forward suddenly (a climbing cut); either the saw carriage and blade (crosscut) or throwing out the board and pulling you into it (ripping).

Both aggressive tendencies can be somewhat tamed by using a different tooth geometry on the blade, with should essentially be a crosscut blade.
Similarly on a ripping blade, you would want a chip limiter design for increased safety, but really, RAS are better and safer at crosscutting and cutting dadoes.
The other part of making them safe is to keep control of the saw carriage everytime you turn it on and NEVER put your arms in front of the carriage travel. Yes, sometimes it means using your left hand to control the carriage.

In my power tool shop days, I often left the dado head set up on the RAS while leaving the tablesaw freed up for other cuts. I used a safety dado set with chip limiting tooth geometry.
When I did uses the RAS for initial rough cross cutting my pieces to sizes, I put on a Freud Thin Kerf with anti kickback shoulder design, a TK601 I believed. It made a huge difference in how much easier it was to control, not to mention leaving a nice cut line. Being a Thin Kerf blade it also provided some relief on the motor, which was getting a tad worn out... (slow to come up to speed)

The blade that came with my old RAS, it was a tad frightening to use...
Shown inside the packaging from its replacement, a freud TK

The TK blade from Freud I used in it

I have long been a fan of Freud saw blades, I find them to be high quality, and not too expensive, and besides they go regularly on sale at Canadian Tire and Busy Bee, so.... that is when I buy them :-)

Besides my blade for the RAS, I have both dedicated rip and crosscut blades for the Unisaw, including a special laminate blade, I bought for a previous job in the house.

Work flow using a RAS in the shop

Like I mentioned earlier, having both a tablesaw and a Radial Arm Saw, gives me the opportunity to leave the dado set on the RAS, freeing the hassle to changes blades on the tablesaw during a project.
There are of course limitations to cutting dadoes using such a RAS, up to about 14 in or so in length, but their positions can be on practically any length of work piece, limited only by your available workspace around it. I found that these limitations were never much of an issue in most of my work, and when I required longer dadoes, such as on cabinet sides, then I would switch over to the tablesaw. By being careful to plan ahead my cut sequences, I found that I could go on without the hassle of having to switch often.

Now a days most shops have replaced the RAS by a chop saw or sliding miter saw. In most case you loose some cross cut capacity, but more importantly for me, you loose on the dadoes capability.
In addition, a special class of RAS, with a rotating turret arm can really cross cut long angles, something not possible with a Sliding miter saw.
Delta and General still makes them.

In our base woodshop we have 2 Delta 12 in rotating turret RAS and one new Dewalt sliding compound miter saw. The RAS get used most often as the first tool to cut wood to a more manageable size before being feed thru the planers. As there is really no good reasons trying to managed feeding a 10, 12 ft long board into the planers, we have some capacity to do it, but it is not done very often.

In that shop, I rarely used the sliding compound miter saw, preferring the larger capacity  of the RAS.
In doing the joinery for my barrel stand, it was a lot faster, easier and yes safer, to cut the dadoes and rabbets. I simply used a temporary nailed length stop to cut the initial shoulders on all my pieces, then simply moved the piece in between free hand to make numerous saw kerfs in between.
It took me roughly one hour to sequence my cuts with my temporary stops and the resultant joinery being all lined up properly. Back home I simply used a chisel to clean up the ridges left.

One of the two rotating turret RAS in the wood shop

Resulting joinery. 
Imagine trying to do that on the Tablesaw with an 8 ft piece...

Doing the same on the tablesaw would have been  more problematic, manhandling an 8 ft long piece of 4X4 post. In this case it was a no brainer, the RAS won hands down...

What ever happened to my old RAS?
When I last moved from Greenwood NS to Ottawa Ontario in 2002, I left behind my large stationary power tools with a friend shop, awaiting to buy a place and subsequently moved them about a year later.

The old Gal sitting unused back in NS

Starting to load the machinery for their trip back to their new home in Ontario

All packed and ready to go...
Except I made a big mistake, I did not secured correctly the arm on the RAS.

Having failed to correctly secured or immobilized the arm, its locking pin at the back of the arm broke in transport :-(
It has been sitting idle ever since. I moved it along two more postings, back here intending to get around to it and fixed it .. one day... but that day never happened and it just sat taking up valuable space in my overcrowded garage. So this year it went out with the big Spring clean up garbage pick up. Someone picked it up on the side of the road before garbage day, so it may still live to cut more wood...

Rudy pondering on the loss of the Radial Arm Saw...

So there you have it Brian, hope it answers your questions. Yes RAS are still relevant in today's shop, but strongly recommended to put in a proper chip limiter blade, much much safer that way...

Bob, who still has 10 fingers and two arms despite risking his life with my recalled Craftsman RAS for years :-)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Barrel stand Day 4

Day 4 started with me turning the furnace back on this morning... it's a tad cold.
We were supposed to go back to the nursery this morning, but we waited for the temps to go up a bit.
Apparently I have money burning my pocket so we have to go spend it on flowers... Huh, no tools? :-)
Our flower production won't be enough for this year so we will supplement it for faster results :-)

Well there goes my pocket money for this long week end 
yard sales looking for tools :-)

For various sundries reasons, I could not get to work on it until supper time, for which I was I/C of BBQ. So how long should it take me to slap a couple of side frames together while I wait for the BBQ to warm up? And should I bother to change before working on it, since it could get dirty? Nah!

Good reasoning except that I was kinda rushed and the darn construction glue really oozed out and there was some on the grass, and I leaned over to inspect one of my corner assembly joint, and.... that's how I ruined yet, another pair of pants... Dear, I swear! :-) (Heather would be so pissed at me right now :-)

Assembly was straight forward, just a bunch of dadoes and half lap joinery.
I used construction adhesive and lag bolts with washer, should be plenty strong.
As usual I don't really have any plans to go on, I am just winging it as I go...

First mistake: Fail to ensure correct orientation of joinery in corner post.
Oups, had to disassemble and turn post around after I try to lined up all four before proceeding....

After supper: We had a birthday girl, so Jean bake a cake and Rudy grab the first paw, it was too close to the counter edge and two change of clothes later, this is were I am now... (short version of the afternoon :-)

Once the frame was assembled, time to work on the top of the platform
The top would be done with 5/4 decking boards, should be plenty strong
with an additional cross member in the middle.

Mocking up the top with two planks of decking

My corner post is too long, but I do not know the proper length yet, I have Min-Max height restrictions for the automatic drip system operation. Once my stand is finished and the barrel in place, at the proper location, I would know.

Now, you may be wondering why I set such a rain barrel far away from any gutters, and besides, I did set up a watering point feed from the house nearby... but... There is a reason for my apparent madness, as there is ...usually  :-)
One of the four post is set higher in order to attach the solar powered irrigation unit and to hold a hose hanging fixture she had.

I will have to fill up the barrel with tap water, but perhaps the rains will keep it up?? Well, will see... If not no biggie, I have a water point nearby for refill.
There is a water level sensor with the irrigation kit, so should be no problems

While I was at it, I wanted to install a tap on the barrel, to fill watering cans. There was a bottom drain line with valve, but I prefer to have a tap higher up for filing up water cans.  Even if using tap water in the barrel, said water will still be gentle on the plants, untreated, it is from my private well, and Heather's African Violets loved that water.

I did not got to it, was a tad busy :-)

While I was working on that infamous Rain Barrel Stand, Jean kept on cleaning up flower beds. We should be ready to move some of the bulbs flowers from our gardens to them shortly plus the new flowers we (?) are getting

Should be on track to finish this ONE DAY project in a few days :-)

Next up is the gardening tool station set up on another 4X4 PT post. Another ONE day project ?  Probably.  Heck I got the post already done... :-)

Bob, who is now the proud owner of yet another pair of fancy work pants :-)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Barrel stand Day 3

It was definitely cooler last nite, not sure if we went down below 6C but the house was definitively cooler this AM, down to 67F. Furnace has been off for a few days, bonus.

Started our day early to clean up the front flower bed, we were suppose to go to Valley Raceway opening today with the daughter and grand kids, but that did not happened.

Teamwork :-)

Did a few tulip transplants, found around the yard

We did also managed to transplant a few trees from around my property, one of them a single Silver Birch for Heather, when this tree shows signs that it is going to make it, I would be able to cut the one by the deck at peace with myself,. Probably next year...

By the time noonish rolled around we were both dead tired
We took a good 2 hours nap with Rudy and went back to work: Her with more cleaning of flower gardens , me I went to the base wood shop to start the joinery on the barrel stand..YES, I actually cut some wood today...good progress on day 3 :-)

Setting up my length stop for repetitive saw cuts or kerfs 

Ensuring all pieces were cut at same locations.
I cleaned up the saw kerfs back home

After 1-1/2 hour, including clean up, this is what I got.
some clean up and assembly required and voila...!!!

Back home, after Rudy settled down, he is always so excited when I get home :-) Started to cleaned up the joinery I did with the Radial Arm Saw.

Once that done, I slapped on some end cut preservative on all my cuts.  Should be dry enough for tomorrow to start assembly

And that is about all we got done today.... progress, slow steady progress.
I'm happy, tired and need a cold one... And where is my Voltaren, Babe?

Tomorrow on Day Four I should have a carcasse assembled and who know, maybe even a completed project??
Stay tuned ... :-)

Bob, riding off in the sunset with Rudy, time to go sip a cold one, or two