Friday, June 29, 2012

New and Old Goodies

After a long day at the office I was pleasantly surprised by a large pile of boxes down in the workshop!  I’m fortunate to have a buddy here in Colorado with a brother who works for Bosch…I know!  How do I get one of those gigs?  Of course half of my paycheck would probably be spent on tools.  College fund, schmollege fund…I need another router!

I was able to score quite a haul for about a third of the sales prices on Amazon.  I may have even out-shopped my lovely, expert bargain hunting bride this time around!  I bet she still won’t let me go grocery shopping by myself though.

The deal was so great that I even picked up some mini-router bits for the new Dremel Trio.  With the rest of the family tucked in and sleeping soundly, I was able to sneak in a little project.  I picked out a small, scrap piece of Walnut and fired up the drill press.

These mini-bits designed for the Trio have a 3/16 inch shank, so they wouldn’t fit very nicely into any of the other router bit blocks and trays I have.   Just a few quick minutes at the drill press and we’re in business!  Just look at how cute these little guys are.

Just yesterday I was also turned onto another great tool acquisition opportunity by the guys over at  Woodcraft has their Groz hand planes on clearance right now for a real steal.  They’re not top-of-the-line Veritas or Lie-Nielsens, but based on all the feedback I’ve read, they’re pretty serviceable planes.  I went ahead and ordered the three on clearance for Danger Boy.  I’m sure I’ll need to spend some time tuning and sharpening them properly, but these will be great starters for him to learn with.  How many other six year olds have a block plane and #3 and #4 smoothers?

I was glad to see they had the #3 on sale.  The #4 might be a bit big for him yet…of course he is Batman…or is it a Ninja this week?  Either way, he’s going to flip when they arrive and I surprise him.  I just have to keep myself from spilling the beans in the meantime.

While it’s not exactly an upgrade, per say, I did install a 1/2 inch, 4 TPI blade on the band saw a couple nights ago.

I need to get those Padauk boards resawn and surfaced so that I can keep the cabinet project moving.  After installing the new blade I made a few test cuts in some scrap Poplar.

At first I tried using the stock fence and didn’t get as vertical a cut as I would have liked.  I rarely use this fence and it’s been knocked around a few times over the years so it didn’t help at all with eliminating the drift.  I made a second cut freehand, following a scribed line, and got great results.  Looks like I’ll be cutting that Padauk sans fence this weekend…maybe after a couple more warm-up cuts.

I’ll also need to make time to (finally!) upgrade the band saw with the set of Carter guides and stabilizer that I bought at the woodworking show almost two years ago, back in Minnesota.
I’ve got plans to use the band saw in a lot more of my work, so it’s time to bite the bullet and lock down some time to install and tune these great add-ons.  Hopefully I’ll be able to replicate the results Alex gets in his demos.  I got a special deal that included a Mag-Fence as well.  Alex was able to use this same fence in his demo to whip out perfect resawn panels like it was child’s play.  I may have just talked myself into upgrading and tuning up the band saw before tearing into those Padauk boards!


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