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Bob Blarney

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  1. A blade stiffener is a good idea. I'm surprised that a Powermatic would need that much of a tuneup. By the way, have you ever tried a smaller blade - an 8 or 9 inch? They're less expensive and give more apparent power for cutting. My 1956 Yates American is an 8" saw that cuts 2-3/8" deep. If I use a 7-1/4"blade, there is a very significant monetary savings at the loss of only 3/8" depth of cut. That way I save my expensive high-quality blades for finer work.
  2. I think you'll find that while HSS won't last as long, but it will be sharper than carbide. Down-spiral bits can be useful too. Another tip might be to do what I've done on some guitar soundboards - Put a thin 'wash' coat of shellac on the surface - it can be wiped with ethanol (denatured or drinkable) and sanded off. As always - try it on scrap material first.
  3. I don't know why I didn't remember the Safe-T planer - a drill press accessory. An important tip about using this tool is to set the table so that it is perpendicular to the quill of the drill press (and so parallel to the disc). To do this, bend a coathanger into Z shape and mount it in the chuck. Then turn the chuck by hand and adjust the table so that the other end of the Z just scrapes the table as it rotates. It may be possible to find this at a better price. https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/types-of-tools/planes/stewmac-safe-t-planer.html
  4. The switch issues would be a dealbreakers for me. A bad switch out of the box doesn't bode well, but perhaps that's a fluke and the vendor did the right thing. So far as placement of the switch goes, a good fix would be to use a footswitch. And perhaps a sewing machine pedal could control speed as well. There is one other thing about this whole genre of tools that I don't like - the angle of the bit/cutter when grinding or cutting. It's always necessary to wear eye protection and possibly face protection because fragments are usually/often flung back at the operator. I suppose that a transparent acrylic shield could be placed on the bench to deflect particles, but that's just another thing to have around.
  5. one more thing - avoid 3-wheel bandsaws - most can be very cranky.
  6. Perhaps you might enjoy watching this fellow rebuild a sailing yacht from the early 1900s. He uses a 36" shipsaw to cut new frames.
  7. Yes, it refers to the diameter of the wheels. The actual distance from the blade to the saw's frame is less. On my ancient 1940s Milwaukee-Delta it's about 12", but with forethought that's not usually a problem. A standard 14" saw has ~6 inches depth of cut, but with an optional riser block it will cut 12" thick. The motor's power is not as important as some believe - It's a equally a matter of proper saw adjustment, a suitable blade style, and feed rate.
  8. (Hmm, I have and use a 1/8" x 105" on my 14" saw occasionally. I don't find anything extraordinary about it.) If your need is beyond modeling, then I think you'll definitely need at least a 12" saw, and a 14" saw is generally considered the happy medium for home and small shop use. So far as blades are concerned, understanding the configurations of width, thickness, and tooth styles can be daunting. Generally 3-5 teeth should be engaged in the wood, with the particular tooth style suited to the nature of the material There are very good blades available at reasonable prices (~$35US for a 105" blade), but carbide-toothed blades can be extraordinarily expensive (e.g. $2US >per inch<). In the USA, two common brands that are well regarded are Woodslicer and Timberwolf, but there are also good blades from Lenox, Starrett, Olson, and others. Also, where I'm located, there are local shops that will make blades to any specification. All that said, most of the time I use a 1/4" x 6TPI or 3/8" x 4TPI with regular or hook teeth. Finally blades that are 1/2" or wider may not be suitable for 14" or smaller saws because they require much higher tension than the saw's frame can exert.
  9. If there are machinery dealers in your area where you could try out several models, then I think a visit and discussion might help you to make a decision. I'm biased as the owner of 1940s-50s era American cast iron machines, but I do think that there are smaller modern machines in the 9-12" class that may be entirely suitable to your need. Some scrollsaws are quite good as well, but may be limited if their depth of cut is insufficient for the work you want to do.
  10. I usually use ordinary Titebond, and Titebond makes a "Quick & Thick" PVA glue too. Occasionally I use a CA wood glue or polyurethane. But I still use Behlen's hot hide glue too if something might need to be disassembled, but do not use Franklin Liquid Hide Glue.
  11. Here is the manual for that lathe, with a parts list. By the looks of things, that lathe has a sleeve bearing that is integral to the headstock. It's unclear whether it is replaceable from the manual. It may be better to acquire another used lathe. http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=2873
  12. That sounds like a sintered bronze oil-impregnated bearing. Try a hardware store or McMaster.com Look here: https://www.mcmaster.com/bronze-oil-bearings
  13. As mentioned directly above, cutting speed is very important. Usually I find Dremel tools to be weak, but in this case it may be the best tool available to you. If it can be fitted into mechanism similar to a drill press, then so much the better. I made such a thing using linear bearings and precision drill stock and acrylic blocks (it's really ugly but it works), and I lower it down on to the stock with my fingers to feel how it's drilling.

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