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Wood shop tips and tricks

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#26 roscoe

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 07:33 PM

Well, you're right...modern sliding mitre saws can do a lot.... but there are several things a radial arm can do easily that a  miter saw can't.... or can't easily.  F'r instance, you can put a dado blade in a radial arm, and set the cutting depth above the table, and zip out bookcase sides or housed stair stringers  or make tenons on cabinet parts fast and easy.  Ripping's a bit spooky, but if you tilt the guard down so it almost touches the wood, there's no place for your fingers to get in there....

 

Back in the day, every house carpenter around here had one, it was always set up in a long specially-built bench-top so there was plenty of support for wood being cut, and got used for everything ...... making piles of identical blocking or window framing parts, cutting mitered trim ends, even following a chalk line to straighten a crooked piece of wood.  They were the one tool that did it all.  They had a reputation for being 'almost' accurate, but that's because nobody bothered to spend the hour it takes to tune one up, or put a decent blade in them.... they can be dead on if set up correctly.

They are also much quieter than a mitre saw, the induction motors just hum along.....

 

I have a late 40's/early 50/s center-pivot Delta radial arm, that I was given...and restored and tuned up.  I use my fancy mitre-saw way less now that the r/a saw has come to live in my shop.....

 

Which leads to today's shop tip:

 

How to save money on quality tools:

 

watch your local Craigslist for vintage power tools being sold...often by widows or children of the deceased..... old iron tools of a quality almost not available nowadays can often be bought for $100-200... if they still run and don't sound like the bearings are lubricated with rocks, they are likely still in fine shape.  (just stay away from mid-vintage Craftsman stuff.... once cast iron got replaced with stamped steel, they became definitely homeowner quality.)

 

F'r instance, a quick look showed me this saw:

https://westernmass....6938906364.html

new, a unisaw is close to $2K

 

And, a Delta radial arm saw...for a whole $50!

https://westernmass....6915201406.html


Edited by roscoe, 21 July 2019 - 07:39 PM.

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#27 don clement

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 08:54 PM

https://www.mrsawdust.com/

 

your link has extra characters...

https://www.mrsawdust.com/%C2%A0

 

is there a trick to using a radial arm saw? the few times i did, it did not feel safe (and i have a high tolerance for not safe)

I can do everything my  table saw does only better with the RAS. Rip a 4' x 8' plywood sheet to rip a 45* bevel on a 12' long trim strip for my home to making precise  compound cross-cuts. The trick with the RAS is that it be properly aligned. The RAS is not safe when out of alignment. Also for some rip cuts one must use an anti-kick pawl. IMO the table saw is way more dangerous.FYI http://www.asiteabou...l-arm-saw.html

 

Don

 

I am going to use the RAS to frame  inside trim of the new skylights if doing this in wood.  Surrounding walls (roof) are tongue and groove knotty pine wood.  Also thinking of steampunking using a sheet of 0.025" brass to frame then I would use the combination roll, brake, shear instead of the RAS. Here is the view through the upstairs skylight I woke up to yesterday.

 

SkylightIMG_0151Web.jpg


Edited by don clement, 22 July 2019 - 07:35 AM.

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#28 roscoe

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 09:49 AM

Well.... I still think a good, well-set up table saw will cut ply and rip stuff better than a radial arm, but that doesn't include the portable table saws or smaller contractor saws, unless they are set up with side and rear tables.  Good support for bigger stock is critical to safety and accuracy....

 

Another thing a center-pivot radial arm saw will do, that no sort of sliding cutoff saw will even come close, is that a center-pivot will cut any angle from zero to 90 degrees, horizontally, vertically, or both at once.  Some even came with shaft adapters to hold router bits, making them overarm routers (I haven't found one for mine, yet...)



#29 totvos

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

Which leads to today's shop tip:

 

How to save money on quality tools:

 

watch your local Craigslist for vintage power tools being sold...often by widows or children of the deceased..... old iron tools of a quality almost not available nowadays can often be bought for $100-200... if they still run and don't sound like the bearings are lubricated with rocks, they are likely still in fine shape.  (just stay away from mid-vintage Craftsman stuff.... once cast iron got replaced with stamped steel, they became definitely homeowner quality.)

 

F'r instance, a quick look showed me this saw:

https://westernmass....6938906364.html

new, a unisaw is close to $2K

 

And, a Delta radial arm saw...for a whole $50!

https://westernmass....6915201406.html

+1 on this. I got an awesome drill press for $40.


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#30 roscoe

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:22 AM


 

I am going to use the RAS to frame  inside trim of the new skylights if doing this in wood.  Surrounding walls (roof) are tongue and groove knotty pine wood.  Also thinking of steampunking using a sheet of 0.025" brass to frame then I would use the combination roll, brake, shear instead of the RAS. Here is the view through the upstairs skylight I woke up to yesterday.

 

 

I recognize the white stuff, but what the heck is the blue stuff you could see??



#31 don clement

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 12:07 PM

I recognize the white stuff, but what the heck is the blue stuff you could see??

Blue sky in the daytime.  Lying in bed last night around midnight Lyra drifted across the skylight followed by Cygnus. Got me to get out my 3 volume Burnham's Celestial Handbook. "On the seventh night of the seventh moon Vega glows in radiant splendor on the edge of the River of Stars..."

 

Don


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#32 JohnH

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:32 PM

I got myself about $700 worth of tools for 5675 including tax at a garage sale that I almost didn't go into. What I found was a Starrett 4-Piece combination Square set for $8 which normally retails for 301 brand new, which I've always wanted but couldn't justify it's a high price for possibly limited utility, and to leave Valley Steel top router table with the bunch of inserts and the all assembled for I think that was $12 and that normally retails for about 302 and it included the Crosscut fence.
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#33 daviddecristoforo

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:02 PM

Wait a minute... you paid 5675 for 700 worth of tools? And you think you got a good deal? Ok... I’ve got some stuff for sale...


Edited by daviddecristoforo, 22 July 2019 - 07:04 PM.

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#34 don clement

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:07 PM

I got myself about $700 worth of tools for 5675 including tax at a garage sale that I almost didn't go into. What I found was a Starrett 4-Piece combination Square set for $8 which normally retails for 301 brand new, which I've always wanted but couldn't justify it's a high price for possibly limited utility, and to leave Valley Steel top router table with the bunch of inserts and the all assembled for I think that was $12 and that normally retails for about 302 and it included the Crosscut fence.

 You got a good deal on the Starrett combo square. I bought my 12" combo square with protractor head new back in the '90s with the center and square head being forged steel. One of the most useful tools I have in both the wood shop and metal shop. Recently I  bought a 24" scale with 16R rulings. Also just got a Starrett 4" double square but wish it had the satin chrome finish on the scales like the combo square. FYI https://www.highland...tion-video.html

 

Don


Edited by don clement, 22 July 2019 - 11:10 PM.


#35 don clement

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:25 PM

Don,

Do you do all of your ripping with this, too?

That would scare me.

 

dan k.

Yep do all the ripping with the DeWalt RAS. When ripping the 135* on the 12'  trim strip to fit my 135* wall to floor I used two DIY feather boards one on top and one on the side to hold the trim strip against the fence. Worked great. The image below shows the trim strip against the wall and floor that are at an angle of 135* with the 135* rip cut not seen on the underside of the trim strip. 

 

Don

 

IMG_0203web.jpg



#36 tomykay12

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:05 PM

crazy talk, lol



#37 don clement

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:07 AM

Here is a feather board that is easily made on the RAS or table saw that is useful for holding wood against a fence. I typically use two feather boards one clamped to the table and one clamped to a right angle plate to hold boards against both  the fence and table. Note that using a feather board acts the same as an anti-kickback pawl on a RAS  when ripping.

 

Don

 

IMG_0372web.jpg


Edited by don clement, 24 July 2019 - 12:11 AM.


#38 jtsenghas

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:31 AM

Here is a feather board that is easily made on the RAS or table saw that is useful for holding wood against a fence. 

Note, however, that a featherboard should be used ONLY on the infeed side of the blade. If it squeezes the cutting gap, or saw kerf, it can bind the material against the blade, adding friction to bog down the cut and possibly damaging the workpiece, or actually CAUSING kickback of the freed piece as the cut is completed. 



#39 don clement

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:36 AM

Note, however, that a featherboard should be used ONLY on the infeed side of the blade. If it squeezes the cutting gap, or saw kerf, it can bind the material against the blade, adding friction to bog down the cut and possibly damaging the workpiece, or actually CAUSING kickback of the freed piece as the cut is completed. 

Yep note the 45* angle at the end of the compliant fingers for use on the infeed side. 

 

Don


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#40 JohnH

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 05:40 PM

Wait a minute... you paid 5675 for 700 worth of tools? And you think you got a good deal? Ok... I’ve got some stuff for sale...

That should read $56.75. There were also a number of panel raising bits, square clamps a few nail sets, punches, a very large set of dies/taps



#41 jtsenghas

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:14 AM

Come on guys, the temptation to tease a bit is understandable, but I'd really like to get this thread going the direction that Tom proposed. With that said...

 

How to mark precise triangles, hexagons, or "bolt circles" with 60 or 120 degree angles:

 

Read here


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#42 don clement

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 01:40 AM

Got a Rotozip tool with case and 1/8"  & 1/4" collets, circle cutting jig,  and many 1/8" & 1/4" drywall zip bits  at a thrift store in Big Bear. With the 20% locals discount it was ~$15. Today bought some 1/8" multi-purpose zip bits for wood, fiberglass,CSB, plasic and vinyl/aluminum siding. There was a thread not too long ago about cutting circles in plywood using a router and trouble burning the router bits. I think the  multi-purpose zip bits that can cut through 1-1/8" thick plywood may work better than a router  with router bits at cutting circles in plywood because that's what the zip bits were designed to do. When I get time I want to try out the Rotozip tool with circle  cutting jig on some plywood and test that idea

.

 

Don


Edited by don clement, 25 July 2019 - 01:42 AM.

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#43 roscoe

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 09:06 AM

a small caution:  The hexagon-in-a-circle method above is almost but not quite totally accurate..... the 6 radii applied to the circumference come out a bit long.  in smaller stuff, it doesn't matter, but bigger, it shows up.

 

As a test, I just drew a 4" radius circle, and very carefully marked the six radii on the circle. in the end, the last mark overlapped the first by about 1/32"  - or .03"

 

at 8" dia, that's not much, a bigger circle, it shows up more.

 

the simple cure:  reset your compass just very slightly smaller before striking off the hexagon.



#44 BGRE

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 09:10 AM

????????

Trigonometry says otherwise.

I've never encountered that issue.



#45 roscoe

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 09:12 AM

OK, I'm confused..... I just retyped and reposted the above, (which i'm pretty sure I actually posted) and left off the whole second verse about another trick, and seems like a whole nother set of posts about the hexagon/triangle also vaporized.

 

A thread I had started in another forum also disappeared...... have I angered the goddesses this morning, or are other people noticing things?



#46 roscoe

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 09:15 AM

????????

Trigonometry says otherwise.

I've never encountered that issue.

 

 

I'll dig out my vintage beam compass, and draw a big one, and get back to you on that......


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#47 dmcnally

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 11:12 AM

a small caution:  The hexagon-in-a-circle method above is almost but not quite totally accurate..... the 6 radii applied to the circumference come out a bit long.  in smaller stuff, it doesn't matter, but bigger, it shows up.

 

As a test, I just drew a 4" radius circle, and very carefully marked the six radii on the circle. in the end, the last mark overlapped the first by about 1/32"  - or .03"

 

at 8" dia, that's not much, a bigger circle, it shows up more.

 

the simple cure:  reset your compass just very slightly smaller before striking off the hexagon.

 

 

????????

Trigonometry says otherwise.

I've never encountered that issue.

r*sin(30) = r*sin(pi/6) = r*0.5.

 

the chord length for a hexagon inscribed in a circle is 2*r*sin(angle) = 2*r*0.5 = r

 

Looks like the dividers should work if you're careful.

 

Clear Skies,

Dave



#48 jtsenghas

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:36 PM

Yes , it's easy to confuse the circumference with the perimeter of a regular hexagon. Imagine pushing six equilateral triangles together to make a hexagon. The distance from the center to one corner is the length of one triangle side. The distance around is, obviously, six triangle sides.

 

You can use this same method with a circle compass. Draw a circle. Then, without resetting your compass, step off the hexagon. That's in fact how I made the Tardiscope hexagonal rings to an odd dimension without computation. 



#49 jtsenghas

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:39 PM

One more point about precision. A very light touch with very sharp points helps. Blunt tips tend to roll slightly on the rotation. Error accumulates. You can minimize it by stepping in both directions from the starting point. 


Edited by jtsenghas, 25 July 2019 - 12:43 PM.


#50 roscoe

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:55 PM

Yep, all that understood..... I was one of those kids who got all A's in college mechanical drawing......  still, it has happened too many times to me to not mention it.  Couldn't tell you why.....  I haven't gotten to my (1930's K&E) compass yet..... so a circle about 3' dia will be the test here......




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