Saturday, August 31, 2013

Circle Sander

So I have been making several wheels from a hole saw on a drill press.  This leaves a ragged edge that has to be sanded. The technique that I usually use is a bolt chucked into the drill press with the wheel on it.  This makes the drill press like a lathe in some aspects.  There is still some play between the bolt and the axle hole which does not allow for an consistent sanding.  I have been wanting to make a circle cutter for my band saw.  So this became the prototype.  It works well and is not that hard to make.  It took me about 4 hours.
Back end view of the sanding jig
Side view

Peg acts as stop so the there are no flat spots on the wheel
The adjustment on the glide allows for the wheel to just touch the paper so I only sand about a 1/16" and the base to be close to the belt for support.

The Body
I took a 3/4" piece of scrap plywood and grooved it in the center about 3/8" deep.  The depth of the groove is the thickness of the glide minus the thickness of the top piece.  The width of the groove depends on the width of the glide.  I then took the glide and put a rabit on either side so the bottom of the rabit sat just below the surface.  I then took a 1/4" piece of plywood and nailed it to the top of the piece of 3/4" plywood.  I then cut a groove through the 1/4" piece of plywood for the glide to fit in.  I made sure it was a tight fit.  I then sanded the glide so it was a smooth tight fit.

The Glide
To finish off the glide I drilled a 1/4" hole at one end.  Most hole saws have a 1/4" starter bit.  After that I marked on the bottom of the glide two lines.  I then marked a 1/2" scale starting at the hole all the way to the end.  I marked on the other line a 1/2" scale starting 1/4" from the hole.  At each of these marks I drilled a 7/32 hole.  This fits an axle peg.  This is used as a positive stop.  I now have a positive stop every 1/4".

Things to Note
The table for a belt sander is not always centered on the belt.  This is usually the case when there is a disk sander that is all with the machine.  This is not a huge problem because any part of the belt will work.  It is probably better to be on one side anyway.  Sanding circles does wear a groove in the belt about 3/8" wide.  I would not change the the fact the groove was centered.  Right now the jig is clamped to the table.  I will put a stop on the jig that will square it up with the table and make sure that it is not touching the belt during setup.  It will also allow me to attach it from the bottom so the table is completely free.

Wheels with a Hole Saw
If you are wondering how to cut wheels on a hole saw here are a few tips.  Buy a hole saw 1/4" larger than the wheel is needed.  Hole saws are measured by the outer diameter and the wheel will be the inside of the diameter of the hole saw.  When cutting the wheel out there are two things to consider. First, the hole saw makes a lot of dust.  You can get a much cleaner cut if there is a hole or edge that is open to expel the dust.  Just make sure the hole or edge does not create a flat spot on the wheel.  Second is that this is a two step process.  Cut about 90% through the board then flip it and cut the rest of the way.  This also makes it easier to pull the wheel out of the hole saw.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Construction Equipment

I am now caught up on all the construction equipment from the Wood Magazine series.  I just found out in the next edition of Wood Magazine there is a new front end loader coming out.  I have to say this is my favorite series.  It looks good, the parts move well, the toys look professional and best of all my kids love them.  Here they are in no particular order:

The Skip Loader:

The hands down favorite of my wife and two kids.  So popular it has been broken once already.  It is the smallest of the construction series.  The hardest part was drilling the holes through the chassis and the counter weight.

The Dump Truck:

Much more solid construction than the other two that I have built.  I like the threaded rod construction of these.  It does make the set an older kids set unless the kids are being closely watched. The tail gate does not swing open easily but that is because it does not have the wear and tear as the other toys do.  One thing that I did realize is the skip loader fits exactly into the dump truck.  I don't know if this was planned or not.

The Scraper:

It looks really neat and does what it is supposed to do.  I thought it looked really flimsy and then I saw one and it functions about the same as the toy.  The actual ones have a lot more hydraulics to them which make them a little sturdier.  This is the only toy that is not intuitive to work.  The kids still love it and it does it's job on the construction sight: scraping the ground so that it is level and then using that dirt to fill in the low spots.

These sets used a lot of 1/4" material so I was grateful to have a band saw and planer.  It saved a lot on wood.  The scraper had a fair amount of angles in it which took a little more set up time than I was used to.  All of these are made out of walnut and maple and stained in shellac. 

I also finished several tugboats (I was out) and a tone drum.  There were a lot of things that I had been working one and it feels good to have some of them finished.

On with the discovery of the sandpaper.  Uneeda gave me a couple of their sampler pads.  I am pretty sure that they were 220 grit but they were not identified.  The abrasive was white because when the abrasive wears it does not leave a colored dust on the project.  There were several things that I noticed that were different with this abrasive pad.
  • It was a softer pad than the store bought ones. This made it easier to form around curves and get a consistent sanding in small places.
  • It dusted the sealer and top coat instead of making worms (I don't know what else to call them).  I always thought the finish was suppose to clog the sand paper and form these threads of finish.  This pad actually created a fine dust.  It also did not clog.
  • The pad lasted longer.  The pad lasted though two coats of top coat for all the construction equipment, eight tug boats and a tone drum.  The pad still feels like it did before I used it.
  • I have never put on a smoother finish on pine before.
I am very pleased with how these turned out and the things I have learned.  A big thinks to Uneeda for showing me that all abrasives are not the same.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

AWFS and Other Things

It has been a long time since I have posted. It is not because I have not been doing wood work, although that is part of the reason.  The main reason is that I have been busy.  Work has kept me pretty busy and I have moved.  I finally have a garage to put most of my tools.  Yes, there are some still at my parents but the majority are now in my possession. I am not going to lie, it is nice to walk out in the garage and see my tools ready to be used.  I did just finish several things.  The last three pieces of the construction set are now complete.  I will post about them later after I take pictures of them.  My kids were so excited about one they all ready broke it.  However, it is now fixed.
Last year around this time I wrote about going to IWF in Atalanta. This is the west coast version.  I usually go to the Woodworking Show put on by Wood magazine.  It is a show that is becoming smaller in southern California.  I believe the main reason is the internet and online purchases.  It is a hobbyist and small business show.  Lots of retail and gimmicky items to put a neat touch on your work.  If this show took steroids it becomes AWFS. This is for the larger businesses and people who make their living in the woodworking industry.  There are hardware vendors and larger machinery vendors.  The paper and vinyl vendors are there along with the lumber mills.  The power tool companies and retail venders are not there.  Rockler only had a small booth.  This was a time to meet with vendors, talk about new ideas and see how the industry is changing.  Here are some things I noticed walking around the show.
  • Super glue is becoming more popular.  I am not sold on it yet.  I use it for repairs but that is it.  It is not water based so there is no grain raise and faster drying.  I can still buy a gallon of wood glue for the same cost of 12 oz of super glue.
  • Printing and engraving capabilities are on the rise.  I saw a fair amount of laser cutters and etching machines.  These are fasinating to watch.  They had a couple that could handle an eight foot wide board.  Printing has come a long way.  It has also come a long way on paper and vinyl laminates.  There are some really nice looking papers that look just like wood.
  • CNC machining.  There are a lot more vendors and the price is coming down on these machines.  They do nice work and allow for personal touches to make pieces stand out.  It is always fun to see what new design these companies come up with to showcase their product.  Last year I fell in love with a knock down rocking chair.  It was back and no, they still would not let me have the pattern.  This year there was a kids picnic table. These machines have come a long way and I hope to learn how to use them. It will be through work; they are still out of my price range.
It is always fun to pick our vendors brains about their expertise.  They are experts in the field and know more than I will ever know about their industry.  It was getting to the close of the show and I started talking to our sandpaper vendor.  The company is called Uneeda Enterprises.  I have sandpaper that was passed down to me from my grandfather.  It is called garnet paper and I wanted to know what was a good abrasive.  I knew aluminum oxide was good from a class I took in college but I was wondering what I should use for woodworking and finishing.  It was interesting to hear some of the science that goes into the abrasives.  Aluminum oxide is still a very good abrasive but they are not all the same.  An abrasive should break and remain sharp instead of wear down.  I will talk more about this on my next post.  I used the samples they gave me for finishing today.  I am just going to say that I was more than impressed.
I am going to end on this tidbit of understanding I learned from the show.  There are two groups of people that come to these shows.  The business people and the wood chuckers.  I get to play in both groups.  The business people are not looking to see how many pens, tape measures, candy, and weird and unusual things they can collect at the show.  The wood chuckers are trying to get all their supplies for free.  The vendors really do not want to take anything home with them.  It costs shipping and it is a pain.  The last day of the show is for all the wood chuckers.  I was not there for the last day of the show, however I was looking for deals.  Some of the tools were interesting but nothing that I wanted to buy.  I did get some weird silly putty stuff and a picnic paper goods holder.  It was a good show and I'm glad I work for a company that also does woodworking.