Well I’ve turned over a new leaf by showing up early for the first class of Woodworking Level 2.
This course will be about the safe and efficient use of the basic stationary power tools. To this end we will be building a project which allows us to use all of the tools presented as well as some of the skills learned in the first level.
Ryan walked us through the safe use of one of the three jointers, as well as giving us advice on how to properly set up the jointer, do a face joint and of course then square the edge to the flattened face. I didn’t measure the jointers but they must be 12 or 14 inch Generals and a brand I am unfamiliar with (which has also slipped my mind at the moment also :-(
Ryan did an effective presentation on the use of the radial arm saw, probably the first time I’ve used one since the early 80s! Mind you this was an industrial machine compared to the 1950’s vintage Craftsman of my Dad’s that I had used. I don’t think it even felt the wood I was cutting, the blade singing didn’t change note and the motor didn’t skip a beat…a very impressive tool.
I was particularly interested in the tablesaw presentation as this tool has been sort of a preoccupation with me now that I definitely plan on buying a cabinet saw in March. I don’t think I have ever used a cabinet saw before, so this was a great opportunity to compare a ‘real’ saw against my consumer grade contractor Craftsman TS. A world of difference of course, stability, power, table size, fence even the ease of raising and lowering the blade… all were things that confirmed my decision to buy a proper saw. One of the other students mentioned she may be buying the same kind of saw I am looking at so I am hoping to talk with her a little more about it and maybe we can split the cost of shipping our saws from Wpg to Brandon. The College uses two Deltas and two Generals, Ryan spoke quite highly of the ruggedness and durability of the Generals.
The two thickness planers are about 24 inches wide, and again I can’t remember the brands…one was a brand I’d not heard of before. These are very nice machines, with multi-blade tungsten carbide inserts and digital controls to set the thickness of the board. In light of recent discussions here about metric versus imperial I thought it was kind of humourous to note that one machine was calibrated in decimal inches (with a conversion chart of fractional to decimal inches glued just above the controls) and a machine calibrated in SI units. I like working in Metric so I was happy to see the one machine, the fraction/decimal inches machine gave me a mental cramp. I guess I will have to wrap my head around decimal inches for this project but I don’t think I’d want to use them in my shop on a regular basis.
This group is a bit smaller than the last levels group, many of the same folks but I guess a few decided not to continue on.
Ryan sure new how to end the day off with a bang as he was asking us what kinds of wood we wanted to make our projects out of and then opened the gates on the College’s stock…it was like I had died and gone to Karson’s wood storage! Vast quantities of red oak, white oak, ash poplar, maple, walnut and pine. They had to bring out those little orange cones that say AVIS/Caution Wet Floor as I was drooling so heavily. I think I know what I will be dreaming about tonight…yep Jenn and the cornucopia of wood LOL!
I forgot to mention the beautiful pieces of purpleheart and mahogany in the ‘practice’ bins…but it was a great evening!
-- "Checking for square? what madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2