Saturday, February 22, 2014

February Meeting --- 5 Years in the Making

 Wow, check out this panoramic shot that Lupe took --- she's getting pretty darn professional!  This meeting marks the 5th. year anniversary of the first ever meeting that was held at a library.  This month we had about 33 people in attendance and of those, 6 were at that original meeting.  I keep hearing that old saying:  "….and they said it couldn't be done!" but thanks to Jamie's leadership and all of us that are interested in woodworking we're doing it!
     We've decided to change things up a little bit with the meeting format.  As usual we had our round robin introductions and then the business session.  In the past we would have our featured presentation after the business session and then do the show and tell.  What tends to happen is that by the time the featured person is done, it's gotten late and the show and tell is sparsely attended and kind of an after thought.  This time, the show and tell was held before the featured presenter and it seemed as if it got a little long winded!!  I suppose it's going to take self-discipline from all of us and we should try to limit the show and tell to no more than 5 minutes each to ensure the featured presenter has ample time to cover their topic in detail.  I know that's tough because many times the show and tell stuff is interesting and generates a lot of discussion.  Maybe we need a time keeper, you know like a Sergeant at Arms or something like that!  I'd just ask that we keep this in mind so the featured presenter will have ample time to cover what they prepared for the meeting.

Business Portion:

  •      Started off with a reminder of the voluntary, $20.00 yearly dues.  We'll probably collect these for another 2-3 months.
  • After the discussion we had in January regarding our local lumber suppliers and their customer service (or lack thereof) I shared my recent experience with Woodworkers Source who is located in Phoenix.  They do mail order using UPS, I'm not the only one in the club that has used them.  I recommend them highly for exotics as well as domestic woods.  If you go there, they are on the north side of Phoenix, right off the I-17 so you won't have too much traffic.  Here's a LINK to them.
  • Pete will be teaching a class at Jamie's school beginning on March 25th.  It will meet in the evenings from 6-9 and he will be teaching how to make that table he showed at January's meeting.  It's not on Jamie's class list yet but here's a LINK to that, check back to see when it's listed.  You will need to have taken Jamie's basic class to enroll in this one.
  • Woodworker's Emporium will be having their parking lot swap meet on Saturday, March 15.  Time is from 9-12am, it'd probably be wise to contact them (871-0722) if you have things you'd like to sell.

Show & Tell

John brought in two items to show tonight.  He (along with many others of you) has taken Jamie's very popular cutting board class.  this example is from a design he found on the internet and is made of Walnut, Maple, and Cherry.  His other cutting board is based on a leaf design.  It's frustrating to give these as gifts since most people tell him they're too nice to use!

Our presenter for the evening, Joe brought in this really nice example of an antique plane:

It is a find from his father-in-laws shop and at least 100 years old.  Since there are no brand name on the tool it was more than likely made by a craftsman.  It's hard for us to imagine how it was "back in the day"; you didn't go on-line and find what you needed, you made it yourself!  Joe also brought in this 1/2 scale model of a blanket chest he plans to make:

This one is stained Poplar with Alder for the legs.  What makes it unique is the coopered top which was achieved by cutting the edges of the boards at about 4 degrees and then glueing them up.  He then used a hand plane to form the curve.  Nice looking piece.

Ken brought in a new product from FastCap called 2P-10.  It's a super fast adhesive and accelerator that joins your stuff in 10 seconds.  If you want to see more of it than you were able to during the meeting, here's a LINK to it that includes several videos.

Joe's Bandsaw Demonstration:

Bandsaws are a tool that many of you may have in your shop. They can be used for scroll work, cutting joinery, re-sawing,  cutting circles, etc.  Being one of the safer woodworking tools is a plus too.  Since all of the force is aimed down, towards the table there is very little chance of a piece of wood being thrown out at you.  About the only area of danger with this machine is to the side of it.  Extremely rare but if a blade breaks there is a possibility of it snaking out on that side.
Like any other tool, it will only work work well if it's properly set up, cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted according to the owner's manual.

There was a general discussion about blade sizes and the bottom line is it will depend on what you plan to use the saw for.  A 3/8" wide, 3-4 teeth per inch is a good all around size to keep on the saw.  It's important that there is a fairly deep gullet (space between teeth) to clear out the created sawdust.  It's wise to keep the blade clean the same as you would any other blade.  Simple Green, Easy-off, or any other available cleaner is a good choice.  A clean blade runs cooler, requires less effort, and will yield a better cut.  When ever you change the blade, there are a number of things Joe suggested you do.  He made a list which I sent out to everyone in an earlier email and that list is much more complete than what I'm going to write here so check it out.
  Once you've opened up the saw and removed the blade it's a good time to do some preventative maintenance items.  Some that Joe suggested are to clean the wheels and check the condition of the rubber on them.  You can use a scrap of wood or a nylon brush to accomplish that.  Be careful that you don't nick or cut the tire and, just like your car tires, check the over-all condition of the rubber.
It wouldn't hurt to lubricate, wax, and otherwise clean the top of the saw too.  Bandsaws are driven by a belt on a couple of pulley's so check the condition of that rubber as well.  Our desert climate is pretty hard on these things.

Alignment of the wheels and pulleys rarely goes out but it wouldn't hurt to check these from time to time too -- maybe yearly.  After everything is clean, lubricated, and adjusted it's time to re-install the blade.  These are usually stored in a coiled up manner and Joe showed a trick that makes handling them a bit easier.  Instead of doing it up in the air, he uses a bench or stool to anchor one end.  Lupe made this video of him in action, here is a LINK to it on YouTube.

When you replace the blade there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  First off, the teeth must point down, towards the table.  If needed, the blade can be flipped inside out to change the direction of the teeth.  It's a good practice to move the blade guiding mechanism (cool blocks, wheels, etc.) so you can get the blade tracking as it should without any interference from them.  We had a pretty good discussion on how to set the blade tension and I sent out a link for a hi-tech and pricey gauge you could get to check that.  The gauges on bandsaws are notoriously inaccurate so experience with your machine will be to your advantage.  You don't want to crank the tension up so high that you put undue stress on the bearings and blade.  On the other hand, you don't want it so low that the blade jumps off the wheel and out of the guides.  As with everything else these days it is possible to find video's on the internet showing you how to go about setting the machine but if you follow the owners manual and do a bit of experimenting on your own with your machine you should be able to achieve success.
As for setting the guide blocks or rollers, again check your manual.  As a general rule you want them to be as close to the blade for maximum support but not touching.  Some say to use a dollar bill as a shim to place between the blade and the guide.  In any case, Joe demonstrated turning the blade through by hand several revolutions and listening for any sounds that would tell you things aren't quite right.  Last of all, it's very important that the blade and table are 90 degrees to one and other unless, of course, you're cutting bevels!  This can be checked with a reliable try square as Joe is doing here or you can use an electronic gauge.

Joe covered all of the major items needed to keep your bandsaw running true and safely.  Like all of the tools you use, regular maintenance and cleaning will keep them running true.  If you're typical though we tend to put off that maintenance work until something goes wrong.  Hopefully his presentation inspired you to clean and adjust your own bandsaw --- Thanks Joe!


Not sure of the outcome of the raffle at this meeting but there was an interesting array of items on the table.   Keep in mind that the money generated from your donations will go to bring speakers, presenters, and possibly workshops from outside sources.  We have a wealth of information among the members of the group but sometimes it's nice to bring a "expert" in from elsewhere.

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