This is funny, moderately informative, and overall very well done (no pun intended). Check it out.

posted November 30, 2003 – 12:34 pm

Check it out: it’s bridge-building-tastic!

posted November 19, 2003 – 1:03 pm

I’ve been working on making a mallet to use with chisels, etc. in the shop the past couple days, and have noted a few things:

  • I had some leftover hard maple stock from putting together the mobile base I got for the tablesaw. Hard maple is hard!
  • A well-tuned handplane leaves one of the nicest surfaces ever. No sanding necessary.
  • Woodturning on a metal lathe is iffy, at best.

The price on the Rockler mobile base is somewhat deceptive, as it doesn’t include the hardwood stretchers used to attach the metal brackets to one another. That said, I had enough left over to make my mallet, and it is quite nice to have an easy way to move the heavy table saw around the garage without requiring two or three people. It came in quite handy when I was rearranging the shop. Check out the results:

New workshop setup

posted November 19, 2003 – 12:35 pm

I finally had a chance to put together a page on the construction details of the coffee table. Check it out here.

The Return of Craft Day was a good thing indeed – ten or fifteen people showed up Sunday afternoon to draw, sew, make buttons or otherwise craft. My craft was making a cross-cut sled for the table saw. It came out well, and will eventually be used to aid in the completion of the piano bench.

posted November 17, 2003 – 12:59 pm

NYC was a good time. We saw a nice design exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt and enjoyed a relaxing Sunday wandering the galleries of SoHo.

I got the table saw up and running last night with some lifting help from my brother. I put some grease on the various moving parts inside the table and reattached the motor. I discovered, among other things, that I can’t run the saw and my portable heater at the same time (it trips the circuit breaker), but other than that, it seems to be in fine shape. I made a few test cuts and was very happy with the results: the surfaces were very smooth and it wasn’t too loud. I do need to build some kind of base for it, though, ’cause it’s very low as it sits now.

Craft Day is Sunday! It’s been quite a while, but I’m hoping we’ll have them more regularly throughout the winter.

posted November 11, 2003 – 9:31 am

I haven’t had much time to spend with the table saw, but I found a half hour last night to clean up the mechanism that raises and tilts the blade. I also discovered the location of set screws that let you adjust the positive stops at 0 and 45°, but they were so coated in grime and gunk that it took about 15 minutes to unearth them. Once I got them all cleaned out, I used my combination square to set the blade angles and then locked the set screws in place.

I haven’t decided how serious to get with restoring the machine, but these guys have a good guide to restoring old machinery (as well as good advice for buying it).

Today, I called up Delta in the hopes of getting a manual for the saw. They happily took my name and address and are sending out the manual and parts list (neither of which seem to be available on their website) free of charge. Not bad customer service…

I’m off to NYC for the weekend.

posted November 7, 2003 – 11:21 am

It’d already been a big week in the shop for me as I finished the coffee table and found a toolchest, but to add to the excitement, I bought a table saw last night! Don’t worry mom, I’m probably more scared of it than you are.

Table saw in my garage

I’d been look in the Want Advertiser for the past few weeks, watching prices and looking at the variety that came through. Finally, this was the week. The saw I found was listed as being “very heavy”, but when I went to pick it up, found that it was mostly due to it being bolted to a huge (bigger than the table) metal & oak skid with casters. Which is not to say it’s not still heavy – the tabletop is all cast iron – but it was way more manageable. I happily left the monstrous skid behind, disassembled the saw, and managed to fit it in the back seat of my car. Good car.

With a little help from Gabe & Tova (thanks, guys!), I got it into the garage. The only thing I’ve had a chance to do is put a coat of wax on the tabletop to prevent rust, and sadly I won’t have time to play until next week. I’m giddy like a schoolboy, though…

posted November 6, 2003 – 8:25 am

Last week, I was lucky enough to find this gem out on the street for trash day:

Mechanic's toolbox

It took quite a lot of cleaning up, but I got most of the grease out from the drawers and managed to bend out-of-shape parts back into line. It’s quite serviceable, really, especially since I bought some foam drawer liner that protect tools in the drawers from both dings from the metal and also from any remaining grease. Saved me $250!

I also finished the coffee table this weekend! It’s been about a year coming, but here it is:

Oak coffee table

I’m very happy with how it came out, and it looks great in the living room. Look for more details soon (as well as a picture of it in situ).

posted November 4, 2003 – 7:07 am
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