Sunday, January 30, 2011

Unisaw Rebuild - Starting the Painting Phase

So this is my latest progress on the 1948 Unisaw rebuild (that I started a few years ago) - OK so there were a few things that got in the way (like building the shop around it, a few bench and furniture restorations, converting the house to a tankless hot water heater, you get the idea) but I'm committing to finishing this build, hopefully in the spring of this year (2011). I won't bore you with the rest of the dissembly - it wasn't too bad except I found a few things that needed replacing, starting with the front Trunnion Bracket - there was a weld done on one of the "ears" that fold over the top and connect the bracket to the case. It's a common area to break - if the cabinet is slammed from the side or tipped over the casting there has a tendency to snap. At first I worked on the weld and was going to paint, when someone on offered one up for sale at a reasonable price. I continued with the dissembly and started media blasting. All of the internal parts are completed and in primer except for the arbor bracket itself - I saved this one for last as I wanted to take some extra care with it. I also started blasting the cabinet (as of today I'm about 5% done on that - multiple coats of paint - why someone would want to lay on red, especially with a brush, I'll never know)).

These photos show the various parts media blasted, cleaned up a bit with a file (anyplace where the casting was a bit rough - I didn't go overboard but figured since I had everything apart I should go ahead and work out what looked really bad), sprayed with primer and in most of these photos, at least half-way painted with Rustoleum Dark Machine Gray (the light gray is the primer). I intend to load up the parts with two coats of Gray. You can't see the tape, but those parts like the gearing that need to be exposed were cleaned and taped off. There's also a wood dowel in the yoke to keep out most of the paint.

In the photos you'll also notice a few new parts that weren't part of the original - Since this is going to be a "user" saw, I wanted the features that I liked best in the Unisaw, starting with the four corner feet instead of the cast iron plinth block (there in the following photos in the back, far right). Besides looking better to me than the plinth, it also provided me with the option of adding a dust shoot from the bottom - I remembered someone on offering up a custom welded plated and contacted him - got this for a very reasonable price (it's in the second photo below, far right). I also found a reproduction goose egg motor cover that will allow me to seal things up better for the DC - that's the big mound.

While media blasting I found another issue - one of the cranks was cracked across a spoke - I put a WTB on and had one on its way in a couple of days. I also spent some time cleaning up the "Delta" door plate - used acetone, rubbing with a lot of patience and it came really clean (surprisingly) but did take some time. The last photo is of the arbor parts (cleaned and polished on a brass wheel) - next step is to blast/prime/paint the arbor bracket and set the bearings.

-- John

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia - January Estate Sale

I managed to hit an estate sale last Friday and picked up a handful of tools. Someone in the family was a hobbyist woodworker - the largest piece of equipment was an older Shopsmith with a full compliment of accessories (bandsaw, etc) - there was also a European bench that was already long gone when I hit the sale (probably a good thing as I wouldn't have room for it anyway and they tend to be very pricey).

Most of the prices were reasonable to high (as usual) - I passed on a later model Disston handsaw at $10 and a few other tools, but did manage to pick up a set of Footprint cabinet maker screwdrivers - these are the flat haft type with oblate handles in beech. I also found a #15 SnapOn Phillips driver, a "Sears" marked grinding wheel dresser (appears unused), a rosewood handled putty knife (partial to those) and a Sargent hole punch (second of this type I've found). Most items were in the $1-2 range with $25 on the screwdriver set. Nothing real special here but all good user tools.

Footprint Bench Screwdriver Set

Made in England

Snap-on SSDP102

Sears Grinding Wheel Dresser

Super Hyde Putty Knife

Sargent Hole Punch

Not too bad for a brief stop. In particular I've been thinking about a set of cabinet drivers so those are very welcome.

-- John

Saturday, January 15, 2011

GWA Field Trip to Makita Plant in Buford GA

On January 8, 2011 the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association made a field trip to the Makita plant in Buford, GA. We arrived about 8:00 AM to a brisk morning (this was before the snow/ice that hit Atlanta and locked up the city for a week).

I knew that the plant existed and I believe the club may have visited it many years in the past, however this was my first trip so I wasn't sure what to expect. There's an interesting "Makita Workshop" room where all their current hand tool line is on display - I was especially impressed by their "beam saw" - basically a circular saw with a blade large enough to cut timbers for timber framing (wish I had gotten a good photo of it - I want one!).

Our hosts were very cordial and offered up donuts and coffee (you can see the empty box in the photo above). There was a separate table with many of their more common hand tools in "cut-away" form (love stuff like that):

The main demonstration and classroom is in an adjoining room - there were so many in attendance that we filled that room and over-flowed back into their Workshop (I took these snaps through the door):

The talks centered around some of Makita's award winning technology (batteries and their most recent brushless motors). In the next room we got to try out many of the tools (driving screws, etc into wood) - I think they gained many converts to battery tools from our group:

One of the things I really like about the GWA are these field trips as they allow us to view and experience woodworking related subjects that we would normally only see in photos (like these) or in video. I think everyone had a great time.

-- John