|Project by ToddHolmDotCom||posted 07-17-2012 05:49 AM||3399 views||22 times favorited||8 comments|
Like much of the US I have been sweltering in high temperatures for the last few weeks. My garage is not air conditioned and by noon it is in the 80s and stays well over 90 until about midnight. So I have been missing out on a lot of woodworking opportunities during the summer. So I decided I needed to either be able to do woodworking in an air conditioned environment, or in the middle of the night, or work in the shop without actually being in the shop. Surprisingly, I found a way to do all three. I had seen posts about wooden beads/balls and how to make a machine that would make them with various grits of sanding pads (Check out these projects/blogs http://lumberjocks.com/Filinvested/blog/18675 and http://lumberjocks.com/projects/58429 and http://lumberjocks.com/projects/56488 and http://lumberjocks.com/dakremer/blog/27003 and this is an interesting and much simpler design that I hadn’t seen before using a drill press http://lumberjocks.com/489tad/blog/28278) . So I did some table saw work in the wee hours of the morning to make the carcass, rounded up a few supplies (ever-bolt, a 1/6 HP motor, pulleys, a drive belt, U-bolts, etc) and built it in my living room.
It does a pretty good job. I cut a bunch of scraps (like those in the first picture but scraps of lots of different kinds of wood, Osage Orange, Paduak, Walnut, Maple, Black Palm, Cedar and even a couple of little chunks of plywood) to 3/4 or 1 inch squares (or roughly square). Then put them in the canister on top and put the lid on. When I have the vacuum on it doesn’t need to be tied down. But when that’s not running I use a bungee cord to hold the lid on. I start with a 36 grit sanding disk I picked up at Harbor Freight Tools and work my way up to 220. I initially over stocked it and had to pull a few out until they were spinning well. I also found I could run it at a higher speed than I initially thought. I think with the speed at about 900 RPM I can run the 36 grit for about an hour (while I am sitting in an air-conditioned house) then they should be pretty rounded, then each of the other grits for 20-30 minutes (again, in the AC) and then I put a wool bonnet (clear in one of the pics) on it, add a little Linseed Oil and spin it for about 10 minutes and I am done. They look cool. They are kind of like a wooden river rock.
I picked up a few tips from others along the way. Several of the posts on previous designs talk about how loud they were so I lined the inside of the container with an 1/8 inch foam pad I got from Wal-Mart. I added a 2.5 inch Vacuum connection for $5 and built the frame out of 3/4 plywood so it would have plenty of weight to it so it would walk around while spinning. I am going to add a light switch to it so I don’t have to stop and start by unplugging/plugging.
All in all a good time and a good use for small shop scraps of expensive woods. I think I will display them in a tall narrow glass vase like the last picture but with a smaller diameter.
-- Todd "I am just a teacher and a carpenter, that doesn't mean I have a God complex. But I am complex."