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  • This post is of the creation of a measuring device for setting that "fence" we all often use when using a skillsaw. The trick of course is working out how far the fence should be from the cut line and to ensure the cut will be on the correct side of the line.

    I started with a bit of scrap wood and g-clamped a short fence to it.


    Then I carefully cut a short section into the scrap; one cut from each side. That is, a cut using each side of the saws table against the fence.


    Then it was time for the measure. Some may say I went a little overboard in using jo-blocks to accurately calculate the width of the slot and the distance the slot was from the fence; but for me it gave measurements I was comfortable would give a good result.


    Using a couple of pieces of 80mm x 3mm aluminium plate I then wittled away at them (as a pair) with the mill and a 6mm milling cutter. I had to cut some of the surplus away with a hacksaw as the milling cutter would not push into the long cut without clogging. Also for the finish cuts as the stock was really really gummy I had to climb mill this phase.

    Once the base shape was in place a bit of a cleanup with a fine file and it was time for a test fit. I now no longer need to do those "calculations" for where the fence needs to be. Of course, two of these tools are needed so that you can use one at each end of the fence for those long cuts.

    For good measure I drilled a hole in each so that they can be hung up someplace so they will be found when needed.
    Last edited by Norman Bain; 11-03-2019, 12:53 AM.

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    • Originally posted by bborr01 View Post

      I've never really heard of a worn out shaper. The last thing that I would worry about is wearing the shaper out.
      Just looking at it, I would bet the saw would fail before anything on that shaper.
      Tom - Spotsylvania, VA

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      • Originally posted by bborr01 View Post

        I've never really heard of a worn out shaper. The last thing that I would worry about is wearing the shaper out.
        I can give you pictures of a ram totally destroyed on one side due to a overtighted guide, more than 5/10mm. damaged in depth.
        Or it was eventually a false lubrication, not easy to be certain but through the time I've seen some out of order shapers due to bad use principally or not enough lubrication.

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        • Eventually all our machines will wear out. Some will wear out due to neglect and not enough oil and others will wear out due to abrasive particles lapping away at the ways.

          As for damage to a shaper from using it as a saw? Simply not an issue. And I daresay that there's far less loads on the ram and other parts from sawing than there would be from most other tooling and use of it. As someone posted above when we use a hand power hacksaw if we feel the teeth at all it's only on the start of the cut when only two or three are in contact with the work. After that it's smooth sailing.

          Norman, I see a nice bit of work in the last picture. But I'm not sure how you are using it. Can you show an overall picture please?

          For my own skill saw use a trick I learned some time ago was to quickly cobble together a "T" square of 1/2" plywood. Then the trick is to cut one of the ears off shorter using the saw. The length of the cut arm of the "T" now being the proper offset for the saw's shoe. To use this the end of the short arm is just lined up with the mark for the cut, the long leg clamped for longer parts or held for shorter and the cut is made. That way the offset and saw blade kerf were automatically compensated without a any fancy measuring or math. The only restriction was to use the saw in the same direction each time. Or if that wasn't practical make up another such "T" square and cut off one of the arms of the "T" for the other side of the saw's shoe.

          The "T" square idea but on an angle is also great if you need to cut a whole lot of angled ends too.

          I've also butted a block of scrap plywood up against a firm edge and cut into it with the saw then cross cut it to produce a cut block with the same offset as the shoe and used that as a spacer block(s) for setting a long cutting guide for running across or along full sheets. Sort of like the poor man's wood saw track made from a 12" piece of plywood that was and still is very commonly seen on construction sites.

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          • Originally posted by BCRider View Post
            Eventually all our machines will wear out. Some will wear out due to neglect and not enough oil and others will wear out due to abrasive particles lapping away at the ways.
            Just an indicative question, and after that it's closed for me, how many hours have you work on a shaper during this year(I've seen you have one and are working with it), and how many shapers have you sold or repair last 10 years, you're explaining wear as a normal consequence of use but it's not, in normal use, a quality mechanical machine has no damage during the time without a bad use, abrasive particles are coming from a bad working environment, not enough oil from bad workers, but it's not for all machines, just for bad use or bad users.
            Actually I'm finishing to work on a rare Aciera F12, older than me but in perfect condition outside old technology in electric parts and bearing wheels, after a normal revision it is good for another 50 years of work, but if you use it for cutting/milling plywood, I give it less than 5 years before ending, a shaper is not a saw, and a saw cannot be use as a shaper and it's what I've said in my opinion's explanation. ;-)

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            • Well, "eventually" with good care should mean many, many years and thousands of hours. In that I would say that we're thinking the same way. I was hoping that my "eventually" indicated a suitably long time.

              As hobbyists that presumably care enough to correctly care for our machines we won't live long enough to wear any of them out. But be honest, look at the ways of your lathe or mill table or shaper after a few years of use. Even on a well loved machine those rarely touched parts of the ways are going to look a lot more pristine than the ways in the most frequently used portions. Or the crests of the threads on any exposed lead screws will look a little more rounded than in the mainly used areas.

              My own lathe has such bed wear in the zone under the chuck. And primarily on the prismatic way for the carriage. The rear flat way is only very lightly marked. I've had it for around 25 years now and it was like new when I got it although technically used. I was worried about the noticeable wear about a year or so back when I set up to have a go at making a cylinder square. I checked the worn area for any signs of a dip or curve down using my feeler gauges and a good Mitutoyo 24 inch rule. Turned out that the wear marks were ALMOST purely cosmetic. The .001" feeler did try to start under the rule but wedged. But that "almost" is very much the beginning of "eventually" for my lathe.

              I blame such wear on very fine swarf that manages to get in under the carriage. Small enough particles can wedge between the bed and the edge of the advancing slide and roll in between the two. Then the risk is they become embedded and wear at the other side like a lapping setup.

              I clean and oil frequently to try to flood such stuff away and float the carriage on a film of oil but clearly some has gotten in done the minor damage over the years. And the frequent description of others suggest that given enough time that this is quite typical. We are, after all, creating the swarf that is doing the damage while making the part which is producing the swarf.

              I don't have a lot of time on my shaper. And most of it has been over the past year. It had very little use during its previous lives so it's in very nice but not totally mark free condition. The ways and lead screws did show minimal marking of wear when I got it. So far all the work I've done on it resulted in larger curly shavings that are not going to wedge into any openings along the box ways or lead screws. If I'm worried about anything it's airborne dust or possibly high speed grinding swarf from the opposite corner of the shop. I really should toss an old bedsheet or similar over it when not being used since a shaper really does have a lot of open access to the ways and ram slide.

              But the time will come when I do something on it which results in dust like swarf. It might be some cast iron or it might be something else. I'll try to take care to control the spread of it but likely as not some will get into the exposed ways, lead screws and advancing gear which is all open to swarf ingress. And thus it'll start.

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              • Nothing new about using a shaper as a power hacksaw...https://www.nevilshute.org/Engineeri...ingshaper1.php

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                • Originally posted by davidwdyer View Post

                  He is saying that he made a new piece to which the saw is welded and so he can take it off and use the shaper again when he wishes.
                  sim isso mesmo

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                  • Originally posted by zago View Post

                    sim isso mesmo
                    Zago is saying: "Yes, that right."
                    Vitَria, Brazil

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                    • the outer ring from a discarded engine vibration damper from a diesel or gas engine works great for a shop built lathe steady rest.

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                      • Small lathe, or big diesel?
                        “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                        Lewis Grizzard

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