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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #60: The Past Four Months

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 01-29-2016 06:55 PM 752 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 59: Blanket Rack (Repurposed VHS Rack) Part 60 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 61: Tuning a barely usable trimming plane »

Last autumn we decided to remodel the kitchen. One failed major appliance started the notion. It was a cascading effect and the main reason behind all the extra work and time consumed. We won’t do that again. At any rate, I have been busy acquiring new tools and accessories, most of them coming to me because of an unexpected windfall around the holidays. I’m hoping to express this in a way that doesn’t come across as gloating, bragging or ego-tripping. Right now, I can’t afford what most of my peers deem nominal in woodworking. I am very, very lucky to have acquired these goodies and rest assured I am grateful to have the help.

Back in early fall I invested in a new grinder. I wanted one that had a variable speed control. Our one and only box store had a Delta that I could afford.

Sometimes the wife surprises me with her commitment and support. For Christmas, with no promoting or foreknowledge from me, she got me an apron, over-bucket tool caddy and carry tool satchel. She knows my true weakness is organization.

When she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I was at the time looking (once again) at the Work Sharp WS-3000 sharpening system. She told me to order it. Awesome. So that was my ‘known’ Christmas gift.

Behind the WS-3000 is a new 10” Diablo ripping blade for the Hitachi. I’m finding it hard to rip oak without burning using the Diablo 50t combo. This should solve that problem for me. The blade was a post-Christmas purchase with some of the money I received.

Shaft runout on my Harbor Freight drill press was getting so bad that all I could make were oval holes. No amount of tightening up the side adjustment bolt could resolve this at the full range of the shaft. I was skeptical in the beginning about getting a benchtop SKil from the box store. My luck with Skil tools has been hit or miss. What a difference between theirs and the HF model. I’m happy with it. And now my holes are round.

After Christmas I took the very generous money and store card gifts to good use. I picked up a Porter Cable 6” benchtop jointer at the box store. I haven’t used the jointer yet. It took some time to get the fence perpendicular the bed, which is a known issue with this model. There isn’t anything else like it (size and price) in my area, so let’s hope this works well.

And a 10” x 18” midi-lathe from HF.

I have fired-up the lathe…quiet and smooth running. The live and tail centers line up. I forgot to mention that I bought the better of the two sets of woodturning tools from HF when I bought the lathe. My expectations are in line. I’ll sharpen them before using and take my time learning how to use them properly and safely. I have high hopes I will be able to use the lathe for many things. Before I do, I need to make a base for it this weekend that will give me the correct working height.

I finally got around to dealing with a problem I have had since the day I bought it: a grossly inaccurate fence on the Blue Hawk router table. I used leftover melamine from the kitchen remodeling. This is a lot better than before.

Around late September of last year the OEM blade on my HF bandsaw broke. I decided to try the Timberwolf line of blades from PS Wood Machines. Wow. What a difference! That little saw cuts through hardwood like a dream. I highly recommend their blades. The one in the picture is their 4tpi blade.

And last but hardly least, today I acquired from one of my clients a Stanley No. 6 roughing plane. It needs some obvious clean-up and tuning. This is my first hand plane larger than a No. 4.

Now, all I need is a bunch of minions to help me clean up the mess I made in the dungeon from the kitchen remodeling.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



5 comments so far

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#1 posted 01-29-2016 07:18 PM

Nice! I have that exact Skill drillpress and it is a jewel. Two years of steady use & its a trooper. Show us you 1st project for each tool!

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 826 days


#2 posted 01-30-2016 02:53 AM


Nice! I have that exact Skill drillpress and it is a jewel. Two years of steady use & its a trooper. Show us you 1st project for each tool!

M

- MadMark

Good to know, Mark. As I have mentioned, I haven’t had consistent luck with Skil tools. The drill head is solid, the shaft smooth running up and down. No runout. The chuck also doesn’t have any play once secured. I like it. The depth stop is different. I can see where this will be more precise than the traditional method once I get used to it.

I have projects in the works. I’m sure all of them will meet these tools. I will post my creations as they come to be.

Thanks for giving me your experience on the drill press.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2466 posts in 1770 days


#3 posted 01-30-2016 05:43 PM

Wow Paul with all those new toys in hand can we expect the projects to be flying out of the dungeon this year?
:-)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#4 posted 01-30-2016 09:56 PM

Good stuff!

Your grinder looks like a clone of my Porter Cable, or vise versa. I have no complaints about it, but I did rewire the light so that it can be on even when the grinder is off, instead of only when it’s running.

I have the same drill press. I think you’ll like it as long as you don’t try to overpower it. The length of travel is probably its only weak point.

I well know what it’s like woodworking on a small budget. Enjoy!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 826 days


#5 posted 04-06-2016 01:38 PM


Good stuff!

Your grinder looks like a clone of my Porter Cable, or vise versa. I have no complaints about it, but I did rewire the light so that it can be on even when the grinder is off, instead of only when it s running.

I have the same drill press. I think you ll like it as long as you don t try to overpower it. The length of travel is probably its only weak point.

I well know what it s like woodworking on a small budget. Enjoy!

- Dave Rutan

Thanks for the helpful info, Dave. On the Delta I have, power to the light is independent of operation. I, too, would have done something about it if it wasn’t.

If you think the travel length of is a weak point on the Skil, consider its predecessor, the HF bench model. Of course, in time I will wish this could do even more. Nature of the beast. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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