Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wenzloff Saw Kit Completed

I finally completed the handle for the Wenzloff tenon saw kit. It's bubinga with some coats of Watco's oil/varnish mixture. I am very pleased with the results. Bob Rozaieski made a great video of making a handle for a Wenzloff kit on his podcast. These kits are a great way to buy quality saws at a great price, provided that you are willing to make the handle.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Man vs. Log

Edit: later I built a better log sled here

With the riser block installed and the bandsaw's height capacity increased to 12", I did what I probably shouldn't: actually use the full capacity. I wanted to take a log and turn it into usable lumber. So I went down to the local log dump and took (stole?) a maple log that was about 3' long and 11" diameter. After I took it home I realized that it was way too heavy to maneuver onto my bandsaw. So I had to cut it in half. The only problem is that since it was too heavy for the bandsaw, I was going to saw it by hand. Did I mention that it is 11" and maple? To add to that, the only saw that was coarse enough is a 12" long saw we use to cut down our Christmas tree with. So after getting shirtless and flexing my muscles for the neighbors, I began to cut. It took a really long time. Eventually I got to a point where all was cut except for a 4" diameter core section. So I bashed it with a rock and broke the core section. Before I started milling I painted the ends with latex paint to reduce moisture loss through the end grain.

To begin milling lumber, there must be one flat face. This can be achieved by a number of ways. I chose to make a jig that rides in the miter slot and is screwed into the log. Once the log is split in half, a high resaw fence can be used to make the slabbing cuts. Make sure your fence is correctly adjusted for drift. My resaw fence is part of my log sled. The blade I used is Highland Woodworking's Woodtrner's Bandsaw Blade, which is specially designed for cutting green lumber.

After the lumber is cut I weigh it and write the date and weight on the end. Every couple of months I will weigh them again. When the weight stops dropping I will move them inside where I will continue to weigh them. One they stop losing weight inside they can be used for some projects. Right now they are stacked and stickered under my porch with a cinder block on top to try to resist warping. This was not a total victory over the log however. Even though the log was reduced to slabs, it got in some good hits. While slabbing the second half one of the bearings in the middle pulley (the bottom one in this photo) seized up. After ordering some replacements from McMaster, the saw was up and running again. Here are some of the boards I cut:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grizzly Riser Block Install

Shortly after I bought my bandsaw I bought and installed a Grizzly riser block. I didn't know if it would fit my saw since my saw is not a grizzly saw. First impressions were not great as the instructions were crumpled, but everything else was packed nicely. It didn't really matter since I had already read the instructions online.

To begin installation I stripped down the saw, and unbolted the bolt that connects the top half to the bottom half of the saw. Then I dropped in the riser block, after drilling out the paint that was in the bottom holes of the riser block with a 1/4" bit. After this slight modification the block fit very well.
Then I placed the top half back on and slipped in the long bolt supplied with the kit. Then I reassembled the saw which included putting in the new blade guard on the left side of the saw. This is well made and fit nicely. The one thing that I knew wouldn't work was the replacement guide post, as the one supplied with the kit was round but the one I needed was a hex shaped post. Other than that the kit worked very well. After this I ordered a blade from Highland Woodworking that is specially designed to cut green wood. Why green wood? Stay tuned.

Video on how to install a riser block:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shop Additions

A while back I bought a bandsaw. Some readers might be surprised because "aren't you the all hand-tools guy?" Well there are certain things best not done by hand, for example resawing. The saw is a small 14" 3/4 HP import that I bought used for $170.

The next thing is a stand for my drill press. This was on my list as I got tired of kneeling down whenever I wanted to use it. It's made of 2" x 4" construction lumber. The drill press base is offset because I realized after I built the stand that the center of the drill press's gravity should be in the middle of the stand.

The third and final project was to make a lumber rack. It too is made of construction lumer as well as leftover wood from a packing crate.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Workbench Improvements

After seeing Christopher Schwarz's post about his latest workbench, I was inspired to make a tool rack on the back of my bench. It's made of poplar with a 3/4" gap. I also added a shelf to my bench which was on my list for a long time. It's made of 1"x 10" pine that I bought at Lowes for about $9. The shelf sits on two pieces that are screwed into the front legs (for the front one) and to the side stretchers (for the back one). Now why didn't I just screw both of them to the legs? Well since I still want my bench to be knockdown, in order to take out the shelf first when breaking down the bench, the shelf will have to rotate and then slide out the side of the bench, so the shelf stretchers cannot be the same size as the interior dimension of the legs. If they were I would have no clearance to rotate the entire shelf. If this sounds confusing to you, don't be worried because it's really not that big of a deal. The individual shelf pieces have a 1/2" wide rabbet so they can be ship lapped. Each shelf piece is nailed in the center with an about 1/16" gap in between each board (use pennies as spacers).