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Thread: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

  1. #1
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    Default Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    For those who might be inclined to build your own power tools - here is a list of articles from Fine Woodworking to guide and inspire you. You can likely find these issues at your local library. Or order them from Taunton Press --

    Bandsaw -- Issue #65

    Jointer -- Issue #28

    Tablesaw -- Issue #41

    Lathe -- Issue #57

    Mortising Machine -- Issue #60

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Then there's...
    https://www.countryplans.com/vintage_farm/page2.html
    http://www.vintageprojects.com/lathe-milling-plans.html
    and other pages off the menus on those sites.
    Numerous places to find the PDFs of "Popular Mechanics Shop Notes" of years that have passed into the public domain, eg .. https://archive.org/details/popularm...kngoog/page/n9 which are full of similar stuff.
    You also might like to google "Concrete Lathe"
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Great projects if that is what you want but if you actually want to get some work done, good second hand gear seems to be a better way to get on with the job for not too much money. I kinda think that home shop built stuff reflects times gone by when that sort of equipment was hard to come by.
    If you cant make it accurate, make it adjustable.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    True for the base machines, but you could spend years hunting down the right manufacturer jigs, rigs and attachments for your Acme, Smythe and Blenkinsop Patent Cuttograph Lathe, so getting ideas about how to make your own can be valuable. Plus when you break it, you can get some clues about how to remanufacture functional equivalent replacement parts.

    But then again it's also illogical to build a boat when you can buy a decent used one for cheap.

    Also like it or not, many of the tools of the last 30 years got affected by the throwaway mentality and had gimmicky features (5mm wide laser beams promising greater cut accuracy anybody? Digital speed settings?) and the "good old stuff" has limits to it's durability and very long term wear, so you still might need to spend significant money to get the well known as good stuff, or waste all that time you would have otherwise wasted making one in hunting down the elusive bargain, or earning the money for the 4 tanks of gas and motel rates you need to go fetch it from halfway across the country.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    OK.
    If you cant make it accurate, make it adjustable.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    I think I have every one of those FWW issues. In my opinion the first ten years of FWW were their finest, most informative, most influential and with a lower ad to article ratio, although even the ads were a great eye opener to a novice cabinetmaker. I’ve had some of the magazines for over forty years and still find them worthwhile reading, they’re like old friends, comforting and full of memories.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    I don't think that was unique to FWW, through the 80s most magazines took a dive from "how to do this stuff" to "where to buy this stuff" to a greater or lesser extent.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    What you want is Shop Notes (Now Woodsmith Guild). Last issue was part 1 of building your own CNC route. And have had build your own stationary tool articles all along. Up to date on materials for the projects too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    I have built two machines pretty much from scratch as both were machines that just weren't on the market.
    Though at the moment is is usually more cost effective to buy and old machine and give it a thorough rebuild. Some of my rebuilds include almost as much new parts as original parts but reusing a good cast iron frame makes the build a lot easier.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools


    Elected Swedish Yourneyman of the Year 2019

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Great thread.
    Lov,in it.
    basil

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by goodbasil View Post
    Great thread.
    Lov,in it.
    For someone, like me, who needs must account for his time... such contraptions don't pencil out. Makes more sense to buy new. Or to find used equipment in decent condition, spend a smaller bit of time fettling it, and have a quality bit of kit to work with.

    But for the hobbyist, or the young professional woodworker just starting out, who has more time than ready cash... they can be attractive. I worked on such a homebuilt bandsaw once. It wasn't terrible.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by mohsart View Post
    We love that dude. He’s so weird and thinks so differently than do I. I totally stole his belt sander design, including skate wheels...

    Peace,
    Robert

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Here's the one shop-built tool I've done in the last few years. Converting a standard Jet 1236 lathe into a 'spar lathe'. I can now spin abot 21.5' spindles. It included designing and fabricating steadyrests using skateboard wheels --

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/arbord...57633729796156

    The Basic Lathe --




    Ready To Rumble --




    Steadyrests - under construction --


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Nice lathe!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    When I was just out of college and self-medicating the emotional trauma from it, I forged carving tools, built a tredle-powered band saw, and made wooden toys and playground equipment for sale. It served it's purpose in helping me feel self-sufficient. I also decided to only buy tools when I could buy the best, and still use every one I ever bought, though I have since replaced the bandsaw :-)
    Ken

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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    0036EE0C-5C80-485A-A45E-C6E3B241A09F.jpg

    This count? Pole lathe MkI.

    Peace,
    Robert

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    What's on the top end of that? I know the traditional way was to use a springy tree bough.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Plyboy View Post
    .....Numerous places to find the PDFs of "Popular Mechanics Shop Notes" of years that have passed into the public domain, eg .. https://archive.org/details/popularm...kngoog/page/n9 which are full of similar stuff....
    Sometimes those old publications have really creative ideas, such as this one on page 3307 (Google's page 16):

    BLASTING WITH GASOLINE VAPOR

    "That gasoline vapor can be used for dislodging an obstruction in an underground sewer pipe was discovered in an emergency that would otherwise have necessitated exploring underground in about 15 ft. of frozen earth....."

    All you gotta do is rig an apparently inefficient gasoline engine to pump its exhaust -- a mixture of gasoline vapor and air -- into a manhole. Then adjust the engine's ignition timing (a standard feature in 1921, unlike today) so the spark fires while the exhaust valve is open.....

    What could possibly go wrong??
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Plyboy View Post
    What's on the top end of that? I know the traditional way was to use a springy tree bough.
    An old bow. That’s the MkI version, though, and now I use a different setup.

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    "Also like it or not, many of the tools of the last 30 years got affected by the throwaway mentality and had gimmicky features (5mm wide laser beams promising greater cut accuracy anybody? Digital speed settings?"

    Ain't that the truth? And they all started making everything they could out of plastic and pot metal.

    "... and the "good old stuff" has limits to it's durability and very long term wear, so you still might need to spend significant money to get the well known as good stuff, or waste all that time you would have otherwise wasted making one in hunting down the elusive bargain, or earning the money for the 4 tanks of gas and motel rates you need to go fetch it from halfway across the country."

    Not necessarily so. The really decent "old 'arn's" limits of durability are often beyond your own life expectancy and even that of your grandchildren. You just have to know what you are looking for and be willing to accept that like any fine tool, it requires some maintenance and prudent care. I'm running a seventy or eighty year old 12X42 Atlas (Craftsman) metal lathe with zero run-out. I got it with just about all the tooling one could wish for (including a Dumore tool post grinder and Atlas milling attachment) for 750 bucks. An equivalent Grizzly lathe with no tooling made by the Patriotic People's Counterfeit Machine Tool Collective would probably set me back five times that much with no guarantee it wouldn't be clapped out in ten years with only light use. I'm running a seventy year old King Seeley (Craftsman) drill press with zero run-out that is as good as the day it was sold new. You can probably pick them up for less than a hundred bucks on Craigslist. With the exception of cabinet saws (e.g. Delta Unisaw) and quality bandsaws (e.g. Laguna) I know of few stationary power tools being sold new today that are equal to the quality of those sold fifty or seventy-five years ago in terms of fit, finish, and materials. I'm not knocking the new top-of-the-line stuff of today necessarily, particularly if you feel you just have to have CNC and DRO in your home shop for hobby use, but in terms of bang-for-your-bucks, it really pays to lurk in your local Craigslist or equivalents and pounce when you see something good.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by L.A Marche View Post
    I think I have every one of those FWW issues. In my opinion the first ten years of FWW were their finest, most informative, most influential and with a lower ad to article ratio, although even the ads were a great eye opener to a novice cabinetmaker. I’ve had some of the magazines for over forty years and still find them worthwhile reading, they’re like old friends, comforting and full of memories.
    Ah yes... It's not much different with our generous forum sponsor's flagship publication, is it?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Shop-Built Stationary Power Tools

    I built a scalded down model of a scarfing machine that Don Heiser built at Clearwater Bay Marine Ways in the 60’s. They were building commercial fishing and pleasure craft with plywood scarf joints on all sides. These were 60 – 70 foot vessel with ¾” AA fir plywood.
    The machine was built out of heart pine with a jointer head sitting on rollers that fit on a bronze rod track. The Head and track were set at the correct angle to cut an 8:1 and was held down and driver by a 3 hp 3ph motor mounted above the head.
    The plywood would be clamped into place and the motor head assembly was then rolled by hand down the length of the track and could cut a 10’ scarf.
    The photos are of a smaller version I built just for demonstrating that it works. My version will cut a 50" scarf. It is really only worth the effort if you, like they were, looking at hundreds of sheets of plywood. I hope I have explained the set up.
    _MG_3190.jpg

    _MG_3192.jpg

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