Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chisel rack

3/4" holes, 7/16" slots in the front, chamfered with a rasp and file. The slotted access is much better than dropping down into the tool rack, especially for the looooooong paring chisels.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Neck reinforcement

Banjo neck #2 hasn't been completely forgotten. A while back I got the neck reinforcement glued in. It's a 3/8" square hollow steel bar set in a routed channel with a thin filler strip on top. Half round dowels fill the round ends left by the spinning router bit. Today I planed the filler strip flush.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dirt cheap and easy shop air cleaner

In order to do a bit of routing and sanding inside without getting lung cancer, I wanted to set up some form of air filtration. I spent a lot of time designing a downdraft sanding table that could double as an air cleaner (plus add tool storage drawers), but cooler head prevailed and I went with the easiest thing that could do anything at all.

This is simply a box fan with a 20" Filtrete filter, hung from the floor joists with three eye screws, eye bolts, and spring snap links. It blows up between the joists by default, or I can release one clip to drop it down if I really want to get the cyclone going.

It runs through a "power saver" outlet, so after a nice afternoon of raising dust, I can hit a button and walk away and the fan will run for 0.5, 3, or 6 hours. In practice I keep it on the three hour setting, turn it on as soon as I start using a power tool, and let the timer run its course after I leave the shop.

Drill press improvements

Having watched craigslist for years for a decent used drill press and never finding anything, I decided to make some changes to help with accuracy and safety while I continue abusing this Craftsman 12" consumer machine. I do like it because it has a good motor for the price, the digital depth gauge is great, the 3-1/4" quill travel is ample, and the horizontal handle is convenient, so why not?

This one was a purchase, plug, and play that turned into a project. I wanted to upgrade to a keyless chuck. I picked up this Shars 1/2" with integral shank on eBay and was pleased to note it was smooth and heavy. What I didn't realize was that I had no good way to tighten it without a shaft lock on the machine. It only has one knurled hand grabber to twist. By the time I realized this of course I had already installed it and perhaps dropped it out of the spindle once after failing to properly degrease it, perhaps even filed out a couple burrs on the shaft and installed it again.

Fortunately there was 1/4" or so of integral shaft showing and I was able to rig up a rosewood collar. It works.

As a bonus, the bit spins noticeably truer with this chuck than with the stock one.

I also added this adjustable handle to lock the quill for drum sanding and safe-t-planing. It locks it tight and does not move .001" in use, way better than using the spinny flimsy depth stop set screw in reverse like I did before. I pretty much followed this awesome video with modifications for my machine. I can almost do it half as fast as him after a bit of practice taking it apart.