Mike M

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Everything posted by Mike M

  1. I disagree with the suggestion of 1/2" shank bits. True, 1/2" shanks are stiffer and should be used on heavier bits, but small roundover bits don't meet enough resistance to flex under normal useage. The advantage of 1/4" shank bits is that they fit in the smaller routers (ie Bosch Colt) and laminate trimmers. These machines don't support 1/2" shanks. I find that I rarely use a full size router for doing small roundovers and prefer the ability to control the smaller machines with one hand. In fact, I keep one trimmer permanently setup with a 3/16" roundover bit. Larger roundover bits require more power and should only be used in a full size router. I agree that 1/2" shanks would be appropriate for roundover bits over 3/8" radius. Mike
  2. I too have had both types of jointers. My first was a Woodtek 8" with dovetail ways. I spent hours trying to get it set up and found that it was only properly aligned at one depth of cut. If I changed the depth, I got tapered edges. I finally got it set properly and locked it at one depth of cut for the 8 years I owned it. I now have a Grizzly 8" parallelogram machine. It took about an hour to get it set up and I have no problem changing the depth of cut. I agree with Marc - spend the little extra and get the parallelogram system. Also, I strongly recommend the spiral carbide cutting heads. Mike PS - Toolanddieguy - The issue is not one of stability, once a jointer is aligned in the shop it should stay that way. The problem is when the machine is shipped and manhandled during unpacking, there is a good chance things can shift a little. Whether the tables are iron or granite won't make a difference. They will still need to be checked and tweaked before the machine will perform its best.
  3. Lee Valley has two models that come in left and right hand versions. Check their web site or page 11 of their catalog. The SKU's are 05K16.02 and 06K15.02.
  4. I'd use a good straight board or a good shelf as a straightedge to guide my router. I prefer to use a trim bit (like a pattern bit but the bearing is at the end). The good board goes below the board being cut and keeps you above your bench top. Also, if you tip the router, you leave a bump that you can go back over. A pattern bit will also work but you have to be more careful. The board being cut goes below the good board and the bit hangs down risking a groove in your bench top. Also, if you tip the router, you cut a divot which can't be repaired. I also noticed that you said you laminated the tops of the shelves. Normal practice is to laminate both sides of the boards to prevent changes in moisture from bowing and cupping the boards. You can either use the same laminate on both sides or you can buy "backer" laminate for the underside. The "Backer" doesn't have the finish surface, is usually some ugly solid color like S Brown, and costs half as much as the good stuff. Mike
  5. First of all, why are you keeping the pedastals fixed? The normal approach for this type of table is to fasten the pedastals to the two main sections of the top and have them pull apart so you can add the leaf (leaves) in the center. This solves the long overhang (30") at the ends when the top is opened. You could then use normal glides (not equalizers) to connect the top halves and support the leaves. Next issue is the tops of the pedastals. I'm guessing that you are making the tops wide enough to support the slides. Again, if you used the conventional approach, the pedastals are fastened to the centers of the tops and the glides are fastened to the tops about 8-12 inches from the edges. The size of the pedastal tops adds little in stability as long as they are a reasonable size. In the classic tables, the pedastal tops are only about a foot square. As far as the tippiness of the table, I would expand the bottoms and shrink the tops of the pedastals to give it a more grounded appearance. As far as safety is concerned, if you know the weight of the table you can calculate the force in each direction that it would take to tip the table. Think back to the levers you learned about in your high school physics class. Mike
  6. It's hard to tell dimensions from your sketch, but the pedastals look a little small for the top. I have a double pedastal DR table (factory made) that is 46x72 when closed. The legs at the bottoms of the pedastals form a 27 inch square. If the base is too small, the table could tip if someone leans on it too hard. This could occur if someone uses the edge to help himself in standing up. The pedastals on my table are connected to the halves of the top and move when the table expands. There are a pair of slides in the middle to support the leaves. There is no problem with the lack of stretchers since each pedastal is self supporting. Stretchers are only necessary when the pedastals are 'T' shaped.
  7. I use that bit when I template route a curved part. The two bearings allow me to flip the work (and attached template) so I am always cutting with the grain and avoiding tearout. I have a shorter version of this bit for thin work (up to 1") and this bit when I go to thicker stock. I haven't used the multiple bearings for trimming yet but it seems like a nice feature.
  8. There are riving knives and guard supports available for use with thin kerf blades. See the Powermatic web site for part numbers then google for a source selling them. You will also find the part number for the standard thickness riving knife on the site Personally, I use the standard riving knife with .125" kerf blades on my 2000. I don't use stabilizers and am very satisfied with the performance. Like many of us, the blade guard and splitter assembly sits on the shelf. The riving knife only comes out for dado blades or when I embed the top of the blade in a sacrificial fence for special cuts. Enjoy your new machine, it's a beauty. Mike
  9. How about making the top out of two layers of the scrap boards. As long as the grain all goes in the same direction it will grow and shrink at the same rate. As long as the top and bottom joints are staggered you should end up with a heavy, solid top.
  10. Just make a straight cut along the bottom then glue a piece of wood on the heel.
  11. I used sheetrock painted with a semigloss enamel. The big advantage is the smooth surface doesn't hold the dust as much as the rough surface of OSB. I hang stuff on french cleats that are screwed to the studs so I don't need the strength of OSB. A swipe with the spackling knife and a daub of paint and the dings and holes are gone.
  12. How about making the top horizontal piece of the FF 1/32" thinner than the other pieces?
  13. I typically make one or two fixed shelves in tall bookcases. I would then run a screw through each board into the fixed shelves as well as the top and bottom. This will prevent the boards from bowing out if you shove the books in too energetically.
  14. I have been making my own tracks out of hardwood for years. I usually use maple and cut a dado 1/64" larger than the bolts I plan to use and about 1/2" deep. I have a 1/2" dado cleanout bit on a 1/4" shaft. http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_dado.html If I remove the bearing, it cuts a 3/16" high by 1/8" deep groove. I set it below the router base and run the shaft against the sides of the dado to undercut the 'T'. My table saw sled and the fence on my miter saw both have had these wooden tracks in use for several years. I usually use 'T' bolts but have also used regular or carriage bolts as convenient. Mike
  15. MDF makes a good bench top as long as you fully support it and surface it with something hard enough to hold up. My bench has rails supporting the top of 4 sides. The top is three layers of 3/4" MDF and is surfaced with tempered masonite. It is dead flat and is heavy enough not to bounce under a mallet and chisel. Mike
  16. McFeely's is the place for me. I started out investing in 100 each of a couple of dozen sizes so I always have the right size screw handy. The 1$ shipping policy makes it reasonable to order replacements as I need them. I have yet to shear a head, even when I use an impact driver in hardwood.
  17. Flipping the template is the way to go if you want the curves to be symetric. Marc had a tip on one of his videos for fairing curves. He stuck sandpaper to a thin strip of wood (or maybe plywood) to make a bendable sanding block. I've used this on a couple of projects and it does a great job of getting the little bumps out. I use it first on the template and then after I do the trim pass with the router. That way the profile cuts will start off with a smooth guide. Double sided turners tape does a good job of holding the template in place without making holes in the finished work. Mike
  18. The disadvantage of outside exhaust is that the air in the shop is sucked out and gets replaced with outside air. In winter, this means that any energy spent heating your shop is wasted. Likewise in summer, the A/C energy is blown away. In my case, it also means that I would be sucking very humid air into my shop resulting in serious rust problems. A good filter lets me keep my shop temp/humidity stable. Mike in North Carolina
  19. I don't like shelves on the doors of my cabinets. The first time you are too energetic closing them, you'll see what I mean. You could add retainer bars (think refridgerator door) but that takes up space and limits flexibility. I utilize the insides of tool cabinet doors for small tools and bits. Drill and driver bits go in strips of with rows of holes part way thru. Screwdrivers and chisels in strips with through holes and pliers and wrenches on 'L' hooks. They may rattle, but they don't come loose.
  20. Freud had a custom plate for that router in their parts catalog about a year ago. It is 1/4" aluminum with plastic inserts and has all the holes needed for above the table access to the controls. I have one and it works well in my table. Mike
  21. The only way to keep the top from moving is to keep it in a constant humidity situation. As the humidity changes the center panel will expand/contract across the grain and try to move relative to the frame. This will eventually cause problems. If the humidity drops, the center panel will either separate from the frame or split. If it goes up, it will expand and push the frame corners open. Splines won't solve the problem. One workable design is to float the center panel in a grove in the frame. Think raised panel doors. This gives the panel room to expand and shrink within the frame.
  22. I agree that the Benchdogs are the best push blocks I ever found, but I can't figure out what I would do with 8 of them since I only have 2 hands. Mike
  23. Check out page 18 of the manual on the web site. There is also an exploded parts diagram in the back. The manual is at http://content.power...92000K_man.pdf. Its a PITA to get it perfect, but once I got is set up it hasn't moved in 2 years. Also note that there are replacement riving knives available for thin kerf blades. Mike
  24. Mike M

    Wood Vise

    I installed the Grizzly vise referenced above and have been happy with it. I added a pair of 1 1/4" maple jaws. Be sure to taper the jaws vertically so they make contact on top first.
  25. I have the Grizzly 490X with parallelogram tables and helical head. I'm happy with my purchase. It took me about 2 hours to get it set up and it has kept its alignment for the 2+ years since. Fit and finish is good, but not as good as the Powermatic. Its not going in my livingroom, so I opted for $1000 less beauty as long as it was functional. The helical heads, even though they are not the Byrds, give me a clean surface. BTW I also have the G0513X2 planer, also with helical head. It plays well with my jointer.