Here is a list of all the postings Off to my shed... has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: Budget Planer Thicknesser|
I think it might be a good idea to jot down the things you most need from your machine and use that as the basis for your search – there are lots available and it will help to narrow down the choice. I went through the same head scratching process before finding what suited my needs and it did take a while to get there.
Some of the things to consider are frequency and type of use – will it generally be used for light softwoods, or dense hardwoods. Feed rates and motor power are also important, particularly if at some point you intend machining long wide lengths, such as dense rough cut oak, for instance. When everything is brand new and pristine any machine will cope with any wood you care to put through it. In surprisingly short time, however, hardwoods take their toll and dull the blades; feed rate slows and impacts on the motor and then quality markedly drops off.
The second-hand market is quite tricky and you need to differentiate between genuine low use machines and those that have had a hard life – remember these machines are workhorses, but cosmetic appearance should offer some clues. A battered case is one thing, but if the main chassis is bent it will never produce square timber. Check the bed is square to the blades. Make sure the head stock moves freely, evenly and squarely between extremes of travel without snagging – the threads are prone to clogging with sawdust so check they’re clean. Check the blades are in good order and without chips. Run the machine for a while without putting anything through and listen to the motor – most are quite loud, but any metallic graunching could simply be a sign the brushes need changing, or that it’s had a hard life. Run some wood through and check it for evenness and quality.
It is also worth checking the availability of consumable parts, such as belts, motor brushes and blades before choosing any particular machine – some imports appear under different names so you would need to do some research.
Having said all that; take a look at Axminster tools and Yandles they may just have something brand new to suit your requirements and your budget – the more powerful the better - and they both carry spares.
|Thread: cutting an accurate curve in MFC|
Your best bet is to spend time making an accurate template from half inch ply or MDF; clamp it to the kitchen worktop then use a router fitted with a bearing pattern follower to cut it right first time.
If it's a straight forward cross cut and you don't have the use of a circular saw; clamp a straight edge to the worktop and use your jigsaw to give a rough cut about half an inch longer than required. Reset the straight edge then use the router to remove the last half inch leaving the worktop cut with a neat straight edge to the required length.
Hope that helps.
|Thread: Budget Planer Thicknesser|
I would recommend you buy quality, even if it means stretching your budget beyond what you originally anticipated - it will pay dividends.
As a cautionary tale; several years ago, for my first machine, I bought a fairly inexpensive portable planer-thicknesser principally because I'm just a hobbyist. I considered any machine would only be used occasionally so wouldn't need to be robust enough to deal with large-scale production. I soon discovered, however, that the outlaws had designs on confining me to the workshop (I made a mistake telling them I'd retired!) making all-sorts (usually from hard oak) such that the poor little machine was soon overwhelmed and suddenly gave up in a shower of sparks and flying shrapnel.
One consideration you might wish to note is that my replacement machine has subsequently become the workhorse of my shed, second only to my table saw. Had I known this would be the case I would have spent more and bought a better machine in the first place. My current machine is a SIP 13" portable, which I've owned for about seven or eight years and apart from it being by far the noisiest piece of kit I own and requiring ear defenders when in use, it works like a Trojan. Incidentally, I think the designer was having a laugh; 'portable' in this instance is out of place, as my undercarriage would be if I dared try to carry it on my own - it is very heavy indeed, which is probably why it is no longer available from SIP.
I hope that gives you food for thought.
Footnote: What's the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws ARE wanted!
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