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Blog series by DylanC updated 931 days ago 9 parts 14234 reads 15 comments total

Part 1: 3 Phase Power in a Home Workshop

1266 days ago by DylanC | 0 comments »

I just replaced a PoS Craftsman benchtop/portable table saw with a Delta 34-806 Unisaw. The problem? The unisaw has a 5 HP, 3 Phase motor. My shop has only 220V, 50A electrical service. I know all of this before I bought the saw. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll get a static phase converter, which will de-rate the motor by 30% and I’ll have the equivalent of a 3 HP Unisaw…Perfect.” I had already done alot of the gound work evaluating the cost and...

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Part 2: Three Phase Power...My Way

1264 days ago by DylanC | 0 comments »

After considerable research and input from from some helpful LumberJocks, I’ve decided on a static phase converter as my best option for powering my 5 HP Unisaw. The main reason is obvious…at ~$200 its the cheapest option available. The alternatives were to buy a new single phase motor for $280, buy an oversized VFD (7-10 HP range) for $600 or more, or buy a rotary phase converter for $750. But, I didn’t decide on the static convert just because it was the cheapest op...

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Part 3: Resurrecting a Dead Air Compressor

1261 days ago by DylanC | 2 comments »

A friend of mine is a salesman for commercial-industrial air compressors and often, when he sells a new compressor to a shop, they have an older one that is being replaced. Sometimes the units being replaced actually work, so I asked him to keep an eye open for a decent compressor for my shop. One day late last fall he called me up and told me he found an older 60 gallon vertical compressor in a local shop that wanted to get rid of it. Fifty bucks later it was mine. It was a bit of a gamb...

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Part 4: The difference between static phase converters

1251 days ago by DylanC | 3 comments »

Just a quick post to share what I learned about static phase converters while setting up my 3-phase Unisaw. First off, there are two basic types. Each of them uses some type of capacitor circuit to energize the third phase of the motor just long enough to get the motor up to speed. After the motor is spinning the starting circuit is taken out of the loop and your three-phase motor is running on two phases of power. This was the first type of converter I looked at buying, but after speak...

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Part 5: Shop Built Router Table for under $30

1234 days ago by DylanC | 5 comments »

In the short time I’ve been a member of LJs, I’ve learned 2 very important things. First, it really is amazing what a person can do with a shop full of fancy tools and a little know-how. Second, all you really need are a few key tools, some basic skills and plenty of patience to achieve satisfactory results. Sure, I’d like to have a $900 router table with a $300 lift in it, but it’s not going to happen. So I built my own for under $30. I’ll post some picture...

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Part 6: I Can Do That, Chapters 1 and 2

1003 days ago by DylanC | 3 comments »

So, I’m (slowly) working on building up an arsenal of tools to begin my woodworking, and more often than I care to admit, I find myself browsing through the Grizzly catalog or some website, making a mental wish-list. Most of my time is spent contemplating how much I am willing to spend for a jointer/planer/bandsaw/etc. That’s when it hit me. I’ve started a few hobbies in my life that I never really pursued. Spent a lot of money with no results. For example, freshman y...

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Part 7: I Can Do That, Chapter 3

1000 days ago by DylanC | 0 comments »

A comment from William on my previous blog entry mentioned that his advice to beginning woodworkers usually involved investing in tools that would be useful to any type of handy-person, not just woodworkers. Things like circular saws, drills, and hammers that are essential to almost any type or DIY work around the house. William’s advice reads like a page from the I Can Do That (ICDT) Manual. Chapter 3 is titled Saws – Jigsaw, Miter Saw, Circular Saw. This was music to my ea...

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Part 8: I Can Do That, Chapter 4

989 days ago by DylanC | 1 comment »

Chapter 4 of the I Can Do That Manual deals with boring tools: Drills and Awls. As with the chapter on saws, I found I’ve already got what I need to get started, but upgrades/additions to my current toolset wouldn’t be a bad idea. Ok, basically everyone should already own a drill of some sort. For me, its a corded 1/2” reconditioned Makita with a hammer drill functions. I know, its not the ideal woodworking tool. First, its too big, too heavy, and too overpowered to ...

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Part 9: I Can Do That Wrap-Up

931 days ago by DylanC | 1 comment »

Been a bit busy ‘round my place…my wife and I had our first child on October 29th. His name is William (Billy) and he’s pretty much kept me out of the shop since the day he arrived. But with a few days of vacation around the holidays, and Billy settling into a routine, I’ve gotten a few hours here and there to assess my tool inventory and make some sawdust My slow-and-steady acquisition of tools has gotten me to the point where I am just about ready to start my fi...

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