Archive | June, 2014

Boom.

7 Jun

Yup, it’s finally done.

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I’m too boggled to festoon this post with much of my usual literary flare, so if that’s why you read my blog for, sorry.  This is just a pile of random observations.  Starting with the most random of all…

My 6-year-old son selected the color.  His decision was based on the safety lectures I give him when he’s in the shop.  It’s just as well that he picked out the color.  If it was up to me I’d probably have picked battleship grey or something boring like that.

I decided to make my youtube debut with this movie I mashed up with Windows Live Movie Maker.  Cool app, so long as you don’t mind staying within the lines.  I’d never done anything with movie editing and hardly done any photo editing, and it came out alright.

 

Working By The Numbers

Peter Passuello (CNCnutz) built one of these bandsaws too, and in his project wrap-up video he says that he made a few “improvements” to the design, then later figured out that he was screwing things up, not making things better, and reverted back to the design for greater happiness.

I took that to heart, in spite of my natural proclivities to the contrary.  I did make one addition to the plan that’s solid.  Here it is:

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It’s the little blue-gray block butted up against the lower guide block assembly.  Without it, my lower blade guide assembly has a fair bit of play in it.  Of course, I should say that with the zero-clearance insert recommended in the design, the play in the lower guide blocks hardly matters at all.  But this is what I got.  Yup.

Sure I did a few other things differently, but it’s really just different, not better.

Loosen Up

One other thing I saw in other videos was something I deemed silly from the beginning – a fixation with making things perfectly square, flat and plumb.  Now, I’m pretty tight with my tolerances, don’t get me wrong, but wood is a natural product.  If you have seasons where you live, it’s going to move some.

If you look at the design, you’ll see that there’s a way to shim out every axis.  Sure, I worked at making things square and flat and all, but I didn’t kill myself over it.  As it is right now, there are a few bits of blue-tape and cardboard here and there.  I’ve varnished and painted all the parts, but I’m sure that next spring things will have moved.  I’m not tense.  There’s plenty more cardboard and tape.

Dumpster Diving

I said I wasn’t going to work hard at scavenging parts, but I’m really a cheapskate at heart.  I spent way too many times finding the perfect piece of scrap wood for each bit.  As a result, we’ve got a mix of pine, oak, walnut, bubinga, maple, poplar, one piece of cedar and assorted pieces of plywood including some that’s been laying around against the side of the house for who knows how many years and some bits of laminated MDF from an ancient dresser I bashed up a year ago.

There’s also a fancy drawer pull I made as an experiment a long time ago and never incorporated into anything.  The chest for the blades is a little overdone, but it’s a technique I was thinking of applying in some real project sometime.  It worked out pretty well, I think.  With a little more care in grain matching and finishing, it’d be a nice piece.

The mobile base I put it on is kinda spendy, but it counts as scrounged too, as I bought it a long time ago with a particular project in mind, but once I got it, I did something else with that equipment.  It’s been sitting in the box for a few years now.  I’m glad it has a home.

I built a blade storage cabinet, as that’s something I need right now.  I fancied it up a bit, mostly because I was using some left-over cherry-veneer plywood, and that seemed the right thing to do.

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It looks good and it’s well-proportioned, at least from the perspective of getting blades in and out.  The brass piano hinge needs a little tarnishing to really look right, I think.  It’s a drawer as well as a cabinet, but most of the blades come out without moving the drawer out.  Once again, I claim that wooden drawer slides are just better.  Sanded poly and wax makes it glide smoothly.

I Can Still Sink More Time Into This…

I plunked my saw on a mobile base and made it level with the rest of my tools.  Maybe I’ll decide I want it higher later.  We’ll see.  Anyway, in the base there’s room for stuff.  Matthias built a drawer for passive dust collection.  I reserved space for that, but I really think passive doesn’t really get it done.  Fine dust is what matters and for that, you need to get the air out of the cabinet and blow it through a filter or clear out of the shop.  That’ll take a vacuum port pulling across the blade right after it cuts.  Totally doable with this design.

More likely I’ll be using that space as a place to put my jigsaw and related accessories.  The band saw and the jigsaw are the go-to tools in my shop for breaking down rough lumber.  Might as well have them in one place.