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Posts posted by mikem

  1. I want to echo what Minnesota Steve said about Ryobi.  I moved from a similar grade sander to a Bosch 5" ROS.  The difference between the two is night and day.  The old sander's vibration was awful, which definitely meant it wasn't good for extended use.  The Bosch sander has very minimal vibration to the hand, allowing for many hours of comfortable use.  The thing I noticed is that the final finish of my projects very noticeably improved, simply because the ergonomics of the tool allowed me to properly work up the grits.

    And I also want to second the idea of cordless vs. corded tools.  Unless you have a specific need for a cordless tool, go corded.  The only cordless tools I use in my shop are my drills.  Think through your work area on how you will work around a cord and a hose.  Make modifications to the work area if it doesn't work for you today.  I made some changes to my bench to allow for easy hookups of the electric and the hose for my sander, and I can tell you, it makes a BIG difference.

  2. That reminds me of a similar story that I read recently.  A couple, on nearly a daily basis, was receiving random items being shipped to them from Amazon.  They didn't order them, and weren't being charged for the items.  What is thought to be happening is it is a fake review company buying these items, enabling to put positive "I bought this" reviews on the item, to get them to show higher in Amazon's product listings.

  3. I remember watching Tommy Mac's first season of Rough Cut, and it was, well, rough.  The problem with any new host/woodworking show, is it is instantly going to be compared to Norm.  Most likely the new host will need a few episodes in season 1 to figure out his methodology to make the show work for him.  I am betting it will get better as it moves along, much like it did with Tommy Mac.

  4. On 2/7/2018 at 11:05 AM, gee-dub said:

    My personal thanks to all who 'dis' the Woodworking Shows on the forums.  Talking them down over the years has successfully reduced attendance to the point where they don't even come to the left coast anymore.  Here we are given a cornucopia of products all under one roof brought to a reachable venue and all people can do is complain about the cost of parking or the number of vendors (btw, they don't spend to money to come to events that you don't go to) or the fact that a certain tool wasn't 50% off.  Thanks a bunch :angry:.

    -- Tantrum over ;)

    In the last 7-8 years that I have been going to them, I have never seen a strong presence on the west coast, but to your point, this year especially, I have notice that the number of shows has declined.  The educational sessions have gotten to the point that they are very repetitive and basic, so that is no longer my driving reason to go as it once was.  Many of the prices on the products I see at the show actually are on-par with what I have seen at my local Woodcraft.  Frankly my local Woodcraft is a much better resource on products and education.  My rule of thumb is when I go to a show, I won't buy products that I can get for about the same price at the local store, as I would rather continue to support them who are there year round, rather than a once a year show.   The cost of parking is a factor.  Between that and the drive time, it is the main reason I now only go to one day of the show, rather than go all three days as I have in the past.  In otherwords, if I don't feel like I am getting a good value on attending, I am not going to go.  And yes, if someone asks my opinion on a forum, such as this, I will happily give my impressions.

    When you compare other shows like WIA (Hoping they start these again), Fine Woodworking Live, Handworks, the runners of these shows have folks who reach out to the community and get the feedback they need to keep their shows fresh and new each year.  And many of these shows have vendors that sell products that you can't readily find at Woodcraft or Rockler.  Frankly, I don't see the guys who run the woodworking shows doing that.  The woodworking shows have gotten themselves into a rut of doing the same thing every year.  

    You can blame the forum members/consumers all you want for the decline of these shows, but as with any other business they need to know what keeps customers coming, and to make changes as they go.  Business who don't make these changes, like the woodworking shows, start to decline.

    What I would like to see, to keep me coming back:

    More and varied presenters.  When of my favorite presentations at one of these shows was by Paul Sellers.  Would love to see him back.  I don't always agree with some of his opinions, but his sessions are engaging and thought provoking.  The last few years its been the same guys, doing the similar presentations.  In fact as I walked past the presentation areas this year, I noticed more open chairs than usual, though the show overall was packed with attendees.

    More and varied vendors.  A small number of booths have local businesses and clubs, which is nice.  However the bulk of the show is one company, Peachtree.  Also, they tend to have some vendors that aren't woodworking at all.  Would rather see some of the boutique tool makers their rather than gutter guard.  If the products are unique, the prices don't have to be discounted, sometimes getting my hands on new tools is more than enough to get me spend multiple days at a show.  However, if the tools you are selling are mostly what you can get at Woodcraft, Rocker, or even Amazon, yes, I am expecting a better price on them.


    -Counter Tantrum Over

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  5. The last few years the show hasn't been that great.  The only reason I go is to get the deal on their Bessey Revo clamps.  There were a couple other companies besides Peachtree (which really covers 85% of the show) that used to have booths there that I would buy from yearly.  Unfortunately they haven't been going the last couple years.  I probably will go one more time next year to complete my Revo Clamp collection.  Since the venue for Columbus is about 1.5 hours from me, so the cost of gas, ticket, and parking makes it harder to justify going.

  6. Hey Mick, alas, I haven't gotten much shop time since the end of November.  My shop is an unheated garage (except for a kero-heater that the outside temp needs to be over 30 to be usable).  Between the busy holidays and the VERY cold temperatures we have had, I haven't been able to work on it.  Hopefully will get a chance to work on it again soon! 

  7. I will second the video series that higtron posted.  I have worked closely with Jason with the design and build of my machine.   He is actually working on building his second machine right now.

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  8. I don't really think of my machine as being that big.  The cutting area on my machine is approximately 27.5x20.5x8, with a footprint of 32x39.5  I would consider it more mid-range.

    There were three factors in determining size for my build.  1) Room in my shop.  2) The size of the work pieces I will be putting on the machine.  3) Finally, the cost. 

    That said, size doesn't necessarily make the machine better, it really comes down to what you use it for.  I know someone building a machine that he is going to be cutting brass parts.  He needed rigidity more than anything.  This machine has a very small working area, but it is super rigid being made from aluminum plate.  

    • Thanks 1
  9. I am now current with the posts.   I have been working on the Z Axis, and will get an update and pics posted once I have made sufficient progress.  I am moving a little slower on it right now, as my only heat in the shop is a kerosene heater.  This unfortunately means I don't get as much time to work out in the shop since I am limited to weekends only now.  (Takes too long to heat up to make the shop usable during the week)

  10. Original Post Date: 11/28/2017

    I was able to take advantage of the long weekend, and got more work done on the CNC. I fabricated a nut adapter so that I could attach the X Axis plate to its lead screw. This was a bit of fussy work so I could get a perfect fit, requiring me to take a bunch of pieces apart every time I tested the fit. I was finally able to get it. After I got that fitted, I spent some time getting everything buttoned up and solid. If you notice the adapter I made extends back a bit. This is so I have something that will make contact with the stops I put in. Once I get the limit switches, these will mount to the stops. The last pic shows the CNC in its current state, ready for me to start working on building out the Z Axis.

    After I got to that stopping point, I did a MASSIVE shop cleaning, as it was an absolute DISASTER. 

    Link to the X Plate moving under drill power: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb0dawol...ken-by=mamader






    • Like 2
  11. Original Post Date: 11/20/2017

    Since my last update, I got all my aluminum plate in that I will need to finish out the X axis and to build the Z axis. The biggest piece I ordered was 8”x 36”x ½”. That piece was heavy. I got it cut down to the pieces I needed a couple weeks ago, and last weekend started working on the plate that will move along the X axis. This is where I ran into some issues. If you recall, I made an MDF prototype of this piece. It turns out the MDF was not flat, and threw off my measurements for the real piece. So the first attempt at drilling holes ended in failure. I couldn’t get all the screws in, and the plate was way out of square. Attempt #2, I didn’t use the prototype for drilling as I did on the first one. However, I discovered that when I cut that plate, I must have had some blade deflection as the ends were out of square. Unfortunately, I did not discover this after I drilled the holes the second time. After widening the holes, I did get all the screws in, but the plate was out of square, and did not move well.

    Attempt #3…. This weekend, I FINALLY got it right. After shortening the piece by an inch to get it squared up, and to make an offset to have room to drill more holes. I did the layout completely fresh directly on the work piece, double and triple checking everything for square, as well as checking alignment on the machine. I did my drilling in phases so that I could make sure I was staying in alignment. The result was all the screw holes were 100% right on! This resulted in a very square alignment of the plate, and very smooth travel. Once all that was verified, I counter-bored all the screw holes so that the heads were below the level of the plate, leaving room for the rails for the Z Axis.

    Next step is to work on the nut adapter so that I can get the plate attached to the lead screw, and then start working on the Z Axis.

    Link to video of me moving the X Axis: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbshV-rF...ken-by=mamader




    • Like 1
  12. Original Post Date: 10/30/2017

    A quick update on my build, as I am still waiting on my aluminum order to come in. This weekend I milled and cleaned up the 2x4s I used to make a level surface for the torsion box bed, and used that to make a shelf that the control box will set on once it is build. I started getting ready to draw up the design for the enclosure, but after some discussions with a friend, decided I was better off waiting on that phase until I have all the electronics that will go in it in hand. I have all the aluminum for the machine ordered, so I can provide a more complete materials list that have gone into this machine, not including the electronic components. Once I get those ordered, I will provide a complete list of those.

    1 sheet of 3/4" MDF - Torsion box bed
    2 rails 8020 30-Series 6060 39.5" for side rails. Full machine is supported on these rails
    2 rails 8020 30-Series 6060 25" for gantry upright
    4 rails 8020 30-Series 3060 27" for gantry rails
    2 lengths of 12"X2.5"x2.5"x3/16" angle aluminum
    4 pieces of 6061 Aluminum plate 14"x3"x3/8" for various adapters and brackets
    2 pieces of 6061 Aluminum plate 8"x4"x1/4" for router hanger gussets
    1 piece of 6061 Aluminum plate 36"x8"x1/2" for Z axis and router hanger
    1 Sheet of 3/4" Plywood for stand
    4 2x4s for level surface for bed construction, then for shelf
    2 SBR20-L300mm Linear rail guide
    2 SBR20-L700mm Linear rail guide
    2 SBR20-L1000mm Linear rail guide
    1 SFU/RM 1605- L350mm-C7 ballscrew with end machined
    1 SFU/RM 1605- L650mm-C7 ballscrew with end machined
    1 SFU/RM 1605- L1050mm-C7 ballscrew with end machined
    12 SBR20UU Linear blocks
    3 BK & BF 12 support for ballscrew
    3 6.35x10mm Flexible Couplings
    1/4 Sheet if MDF for scratch surface
    1/4 sheet of Plywood for retractable casters (not made yet)


    • Like 2
  13. Original post date: 10/23/2017

    Made some more progress on the CNC this weekend. First the longer rails for the gantry I ordered arrived. I decided to get the longer rails after taking some measurements of the bed, gantry, and lead screw, and found that I would definitely benefit from a little large capacity. (About 2-3 inches mores) After getting those installed, I worked on making prototypes of the parts I will be making out of aluminum plate with MDF. Next steps, I need to source the ½” aluminum plate and fabricate the actual parts. Also, I need to finish the stand the CNC is on. I need to put the bottom shelf in place, and build a rack for the PC and control panel.






    • Like 1
  14. Original Post Date: 10/13/2017

    A quick progress update. I worked on attaching the lead screw for the X Axis on the gantry. The 8020 bar that holds the screw is set back on the gantry for two reasons. First, if it was lined up to the other two bars, I wasn't able to get the anchor fasteners tightened, and two, it does add it the overall rigidity of the gantry. So I ended up fabricating L brackets to extend up high enough so that the screw will be centered to the stepper, once it is mounted, but also so that the nut was below the level of the bearing guides. It took some tweaking to get it where I wanted it.

    My next step is to start making a prototype of the Z Axis, out of MDF. This will help me work out any issues that I wasn't able to identify in my drawings, as well as allow me to order the exact amount of aluminum plate I will need.






    • Like 1
  15. Original Post Date: 10/2/2017

    I have made a little more progress on my build. I completed installing the lead screw for the bed axis. I made and glued brackets to the bottom of the bed to hold the mounting blocks for the screw. I drilled a hole in the center of the 8020 bar on the bottom of the gantry so that the screw can pass through it. I also fabricated a nut adapter out of aluminum plate so I could get the screw nut attached securely to the 8020. There were a few first for me on this, as I have never worked with a blank of any metal to make it into something useful. I have also never tapped screw threads either. I was able to get everything assembled, and tested it by attaching a battery powered drill to the screw, and was able to move the gantry back and forth with it.









    • Like 2
  16. To help get the new CNC sub-forum going, I am posting the progress report I posted on another forum.  I am including the original post dates as a frame of reference on these.

    Original Post date: 9/14/2017

    So as I have alluded to in some other posts, I am in the process of build my own CNC. I started the process earlier in the year, and have spent much time planning and procure (as the budget allowed) the various components for the machine. I worked with a friend who designed and built his own CNC a number of years ago to design my machine.

    The build got started in July when I assembled the frame for the gantry. From there I built the stand. So far the most time spent was making the bed. Which is a torsion box design made out of MDF. I went this route as the torsion box design is very strong, flat and stable, with the added benefit of the MDF being heavy, which makes a solid foundation for the machine, and to help dampen vibration.

    Last night I reached the milestone where I successfully attached the gantry to the bed, and was able to (With ease!) move it back and forth. I posted a couple pics, and here is a link to a quick video of me moving it: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZAPFd_F4bv/

    Materials used so far:
    Plywood for the stand
    MDF for the bed
    8020 (30 series) extruded metal (size 6060 for the side rails, and the uprights for the gantry, 6030 for the rails of the gantry)
    Linear Bearing Rails are SBR20
    Lead screws are C7 Ballscrews





    • Like 1
  17. 1 hour ago, Minnesota Steve said:

    What's a good resource to look at in terms of build it yourself?


    When I first got started thinking about building mine, I started doing some research on the Internet.  The best resource was when I started working with a friend who had designed and built his own machine.  He helped me avoid some pitfalls like looking at supported vs. unsupported rails, what materials to use, and so on. 

    Before you start designing a build, the 2 questions you want answer is, how big of a cutting surface you want, and what materials you want to cut.  For my machine, the size was dictated by the space available for it in my shop, so I will have cutting surface of 27.5"x20.5"x8", with the footprint of the machine at 39.5"x28".  I plan on mainly using it for wood, but do see potential uses for aluminum and brass, so that is why much of the structure is aluminum, with using supported linear rails for all 3 axises.

    I have attached the most recent picture of my CNC build.  I am currently working on building the Z axis right now, and hope to have more progress pics soon.  I have been posting progress updates on another forum, when I get sometime over the next day or two, I will post that thread here as well.


    • Like 1
  18. Agreed!  Thank you!  I am just starting my journey into CNC with building my own machine.  I am looking forward to learning from others' experiences as well as sharing my own.  

  19. I have an old craftsman saw that is easily 30+ years old.  I put a modern fence on it, and a few other upgrades.  It will last until I decide to make the move to a cabinet saw.  At that time, it will likely go to someone else who will use it for years as well.  I got the saw used from Craigslist for $100 about 7-8 years ago.

    I will echo minorhero, since your budget is limited, there maybe other tool options you can look into for your dad.  If you can get us some background as to the type of woodworking your dad does we can give you some more options.