Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wood Screw Fail

Probably three nights of trying to get a usable wood screw turned. Spent some time sharpening the bit, and still no luck. Finished almost 2 ft of wood screw, and when I tested it in the vise, it binds an 1" or so in. Not happy. Pics of the failure that is turning a wood screw in the next day or so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Half Double Screw

Finished tapping the holes on the backside of my Moxon Double Screw. Few things, even with a sacrificial backing, the ash is prone to blowing out the back when drilling through. I suppose if my marking was good enough, I'd have the confidence to drill part way through and finish from the opposite side; I don't. The drill press is an interesting machine. It doesn't really seem to come equipped capable of any sort of repeatable or accurate drilling, which is ironic. It definitely needs an aftermarket or homebrew table to permit consistent placement and repeatable results piece to piece. Lastly, tapping a 1 1/2" wood thread through 8/4 ash is a decent workout. Those skinny woodworkers must be a wiry bunch.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Moxon is Approaching

So a few things learned already. There seems to be a very generous definition of flat coming out of a machine. The planer leaves an undulating surface, and the jointer is prone to imparting a bow on edges. I think the latter is due in part to two things 1) bad technique on my part, and 2) the shortness of the in-feed table. Easier to work on 1 than 2, so that's another skill to put on the list of "skills to practice/learn".

So I finally milled, and cut my ash to finish the Moxon Double Screw. All that's left now is drilling a few holes, tapping and threading, and we're off to some real projects.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


With the dust collector ready to go, the only thing left was to adjust the tables on the jointer/planer. Despite my annoyance with having to fiddle again to get a machine working properly, the exercise turned out to be relatively painless. Basically one side of the tables are adjusted for height, and establish an "origin". The other side adjusts for tilt. This allows a relatively easy method of getting the table to co-linear with the cutterhead. Given that there's no adjustment for the planing table, I guess I just assume/hope that it is reasonably parallel to the cutterhead.

After all is said and done, I finished milling my first piece of lumber. Surfaced four sides, and all square to boot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Ash

Here are the partly milled pieces of 8/4 white ash. The edge has yet to be completely squared to the faces. I postponed aligning the cutterhead to the outfeed table on the jointer while I worked on getting the dust collector set up. The dust collector has its own 240V/20A circuit, so I don't expect it will be tripping out. The guy I bought it from was tripping out a 120V/20A circuit despite it only being a 2HP unit, so it definitely has a hefty inrush current draw when it first starts up.

By the way, I am really beginning to despise the amount of money spent on electrical odds/ends and wire.

Tablesaw Burning

So there's still a bit of burning with the tablesaw. The fence has a bit of play at the far end when it's not locked down, and I'm not convinced at this point that it aligns itself consistently at the far end when I do lock it down. I guess that's another thing that I'll have to fumble through. The burning the last time though was on the leading edge, not the trailing like previously. At least what I recall previously, which may or may not be the case.

Checked and Stickered

So Mr. Schwarz opined that the timbers were potentially quite wet since there was no checking perpendicular to the rings outward from the pith. Well a few weeks in the basement and the checks have started to show up. The question now being, how much checking is too much checking before I have myself a pile of oak firewood?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Milling, Spouse and More Setup

So the pile of woodchips is reaching epic proportions. Not quite, but I suppose that's what you get trying to mill a couple 8" wide 8/4 boards. Of course, I am now forbidden by order of the spouse from milling until I get the dust collector up and running. Minor dilemma of whether to put it on a separate circuit or not. I wouldn't think the circuit would trip with one of the machines and the dust collector running, but I guess better safe than sorry.

Back to milling. I'm not able to get the board edge jointed at 90° to the face. It's off by maybe 0.5°. The fence and the feed/outfeed tables are definitely at 90° so that leaves the cutter head as the only suspect in the misaligned cuts. Well, the cutter head and my technique.

Woodchuck Chuck

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Redemption, Chips & Dust

In the end everything worked out, but not without some frustration along the way. Everyone (the manufacturer, distributor and tech) said the right thing, but only one party ended up doing the right thing. I have to say I am reassured by the service tech, but don't expect I'll be buying too much from either Laguna or the local distributor any time soon.

All that said, the jointer/planer is up and running. There are a few small annoyances already with it, but I don't think they're game breakers. The fact that it's a single machine definitely mitigates the annoyance. My basement is looking pretty crowded already. I'm not really sure how all the wood and equipment is going to fit into half the space when the basement gets finished someday. When the unit runs purely as a jointer, it's mostly good. I'm not really happy with the quality of the fence, but I think I can live with or replace it relatively easily. The problem is in using it as a planer. The planer bed needs to be lowered nearly all the way in order to switch back to jointing. That fact combined with the questionable scale for the thickness setting means that repeatability for different batches pretty much turns into a crapshoot. Lastly, there's a stop switch accessible from the feed side of the planer, but no start switch. Seems like an odd exclusion.

I managed to pick up a used 2HP dust collector yesterday. I had originally hoped to use my Festool CT22 with the jointer/planer and tablesaw. Given the rather copious amount of chips and dust generated, the 2HP collector looks like a stroke of genius... or common sense.

Have the ash for the Moxon Double-Screw vise nearly milled. Couple more passes through the planer, jointing the edges and cut to length remain. So really, I've only started. The aforementioned piles of chips and dust stopped the operation a bit short.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tablesaw is a Go

Finished setting up and wiring the tablesaw. Finally. Ran a few test pieces with some scrap. I'm a little bit dismayed that I'm getting a bit of burning on the few pieces of maple. I double checked the alignment of the blade and miter slot and it stays within a couple thou over the entire rotation of the blade. It's late now, so I'll double check the alignment of the fence tomorrow. I know maple is a bit prone to scorching, but I was hoping for better.


After a bunch of calls, I'm now left waiting. We'll see if the three parties involved manage to resolve the issue. Not a great start though. Doesn't seem as though anyone particularly likes speaking to each other anymore.