Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pull up a chair!.. it's our October meeting re-cap!

We had a cozy meeting this past month - an intimate gathering where there was good discussions on a wide variety of topics. 

And even better - a few new faces in the crowd!

Longtime member - Neal brought in a few projects he's been working on. He's been bitten by the carving bug, and constructed a carving bench to raise the height of his work when carving on a traditional-height bench. You can get a PDF plan for it by clicking here. 

This Bench on Bench plan has been copied and re-engineerd a zillion times, but its original design by Jeff Miller is a true masterpiece in functionality.  Neal added a Veritas clamping system that works well with 3/4" bench dog holes that came from Rockler, and says this bench perfectly suits his needs. He designed it to sit at elbow height, for comfortable ergonomic use.  

He also brought in this wall cabinet, made of oak with handmade molding. It features adjustable shelves, a

 raised panel door,

and a drawer below. He's been dabbling and practice a lot of techniques in his retirement, and those talents are certainly reflected in these pieces. He deserves an "attaboy" for these!

Next up, Beth brought in yet another one of her complex chairs, this time a two-board chair inspired from a 1600-1700 design. As she explained what went into this piece, we marveled at her tapered sliding-dovetailed seat, 

and the ability for this chair to break down via dovetails and removable tusk tenons.  

The legs were splays out at an 11 1/2 degree angle, and slide into place. 

On top of that, she darkened them with her torch and scorch method, providing some fabulous contrast to the rest of the chair. 

 The through-tenons really added some visual interest, and

the double-heart design cut into the back provided a whimsical touch to this traditional-styled chair,

 As always - great job Beth! 

Her enthusiasm and sheer determination to become a better woodworker should inspire all of us! The chair was finished with her favorite - Tried and True oil, and glowed with rich color.  This was one very sweet chair. 

On to the main presentation - changing jointer blades. As I explained - when I first started changing jointer blades, it was an all-afternoon ordeal, often taking hours to get the knives set at the correct height. There a countless methods for installing knives, and just about that many jigs that you can buy or make, to hasten the process. But it really doesn't have to be that complicated! Just these simple tools and a straight block of wood will allow you to switch out your blades with a fairly high degree of accuracy.  

In this case, I needed an allen wrench and a box wrench. 

When I first learned to switch out the blades, I'd follow the tool manual's advice and remove the guard and back fence. I've learned that's not really necessary - both slide out of the way to give full access to the cutterhead.

But first, I like to check the indeed and outfield table with a straightedge, to ensure that both are parallel.  

If they're not parallel, it's a pretty simple adjustment to get them into alignment.  But there is one HUGE thing to know... when adjusting that bushing (the round thing on the left of that handle) there are TWO set screws locking it into place. The first time I tried to get the table planes into adjustment, I couldn't figure out what loosening the set screw didn't allow for adjustment. Imagine my surprise when I found a second set screw underneath the first one! 

So - remove the top one, and then loosen the second and you'll be able to adjust your two tables into perfect alignment by rotating that bushing. The manual recommends using a spanner wrench, but I just use Channel-locks and they work fine. 

Onto the blade replacement -  I've learned to take each blade out and replace it immediately, lest I run the risk of dropping the small parts into the jointer black hole of death.  

Loosen four small bolts that apply pressure to the gib and the blade pops out easily.

 I usually blow out the sawdust and debris, and re-insert a blade. All that's left is adjusting it to the proper height, and for that, I use a straight piece of wood, which is kinder to the newly sharpened knife than using a metal or magnetic jig.  

Here's a little video to show this technique much better than I could write about it! (As always - thanks to Lupe for being our staff photographer and videographer!)

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