Sunday, February 22, 2015

I saw a saw saw, but not until I fixed it up

Table saws.  You could argue the point that it is the centre of most wood working shops.

I brought mine home in 2009.  It was bought new in 1972 from Sears by my dad and he handed it down to me.  It is a direct drive where the blade attaches directly to the motor shaft.  As I have shown, after 37 years the top has a bit of a bow in it.  Most likely from having the weight of the motor hanging off the top.  Since it is winter and I cannot use it, I decided to take it apart and see what I could do to it.  So, let's take a trip out to the shop, shall we.

Yeah, kind of difficult to pull the saw out on the lawn to use it.  Even though I am south of a good portion of the USA, it is still Canada, and we still get a bit of snow in the winter.

Some of the family don't seem to mind the snow.  

Being 120 pounds of Malemute/Shepherd with a double coat of fur gave Aggie a bit of an advantage.  Good for making the house look like tumble weeds were going across the floor too.  A total suck and never got over thinking she was a lap dog.  But, we have a saw to take apart.  So we start stripping off the fence and the wings.

You can make out the machine screws that hold the motor/trunion in place on the top.  Over the machine goes, and disassembly continues.

Until we get the top free.

After we get that done, we clamp it up and start the long process of flattening it.  Not a complicated process.  Just start applying pressure in the opposite direction.  Eventually the middle clamp was replaced with a big C clamp to apply better pressure.

I kept this process up for the rest of the winter.  Slowly flattening it back where it should be.

I also wanted to make sure it would not sag again.  I also wanted to make a few modifications, like a T-square fence.  The square tube that I used for flattening the top is part of the new fence.  Along with some angle iron, attached together with aircraft grade bolts.

This will become the front rail of the fence.  I tapped holes right into the top of the saw and made sure that the middle one was off set just a bit to keep pressure opposite of the sag.  Later, few washers to space the square tube from the angle iron were put in.

For the fence itself, I found a scrap piece of extruded aluminium and had a machinist mill up a piece that keys into the slots of the extrusion on one side, and over hangs another piece of angle to make the T part.

I also tried my hand at making a dove tail guide at this time, which looked OK but was not as accurate as I had hoped.  Oh well, it was just little bits of scrap anyway. 

I had better luck with a trip to the Habitat ReStore where for $25 I found:

The box by itself is worth that.  The kind of deal you can't beat with a stick!  Auger bits, centre bits, and spoon bits all included.  All this made a busy January!  I think this may be a long post. 

February brought the wood show.  I went with my son and bought a set of forstner bits for 1/2 price.

March brought a bit more work on the table saw.  It is always nice when a project starts coming together.  I am not sure why, but developing ideas and creating things gives me a lot of satisfaction.  I spent a whopping $50 for all the steel I used and it was time to attach it to the top.  Again, both sides are attached in a manner that keeps the top in tension, resisting the urge for it to sag.

A bit of paint makes it look better too.

Meanwhile, some cabinets at 80% off came available at the Restore.  Sally and I spent 3 days sorting through them and did all our base cabinets for under $500.  A sink that we bought 2 years previous at a yard sale, and some tile we got about that time too were finally put to use.

Yes, a very busy year indeed.

Getting on to April, it was time to get back to the saw.  Since I was making modifications to the saw, I decided to go all out and build the saw on a cart to make everything more functional.  I was inspired by an amazing wood worker, Nabil Abdo ,I met on the live chat at The Wood Whisperer.  There are some fantastic wood workers there, some cast live feeds from their shops.  Nabil does work that is simply beautiful and I don't mind listing him as a wood working influence at all. 

The first part was to laminate a larger wing for the table saw out of the old counter top of the kitchen (see how the kitchen reno tied in here?)

Then I bolted it between the angle iron pieces that were attached to the TS top.

Take the short piece for the fence itself and make it adjustable for square and level.

some "slippery tape" to make it move nice

assemble the fence

and a check for fit.

a bit of shimming needed

Then it was time to make a base for the cart.  Some 2 x 4's and plywood here.

At this point I had a top and a bottom but no middle.

I got a surface clamp for a method to hold the fence and put all of that together.

Into the scrap pile we go again.  Not all the same thickness of wood throughout, but at least I have a middle now.

That makes the working height much better for me.  I am 6' 3", so I like my machines a bit taller than most.  This table saw cart is far from over, a few mods come in the future.  But for now, it is mobile and functional.

Wow, all this and only April.  I think I am going to cut short here and continue on with 2010 next time.  I will try not to wait a full week for the next issue though.  Before I go, I must say that my favourite time of year here is spring.  Things start to return from the south and other things start to bloom and grow.

So, until next time, thank you so much for dropping by.  We will get into May on the next one!

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