Homemade Tools from Women in Woodworking.com
This discussion taps into a couple of things near and dear to woodworkers' hearts: tools and time in the shop. And it manages to combine them! - Editor
"Over the years, I have made several of my own tools. The one which I have used the most is my lathe: it has some features that are hard to find on commercial ones, that are within in my price range. Mine has a long tailstock, a reversing motor and speeds from 93rpm to over 4,500rpm. I have also made several hand planes, specialty cutters (chisel and gouge type) horizontal drum sanders and more. I have tried to keep the process of making my tools as simple as I can. What I would like to know is if anyone else has made their own tools as well, I am sure some of you have, and what did you make. It doesn't matter what type or its use, only that you made it." - Joe M.
"I made a bench grinder in high school using bronze pillow blocks. The grinder was recently given to a friend, so I had 40 years of service out of it. I also made a wood lathe using roller-bearing pillow blocks. The lathe bed was 3" hot rolled angle iron, welded together (a college project at my summer job). I used the lathe for years, then it went when Diann bought a used Rockwell lathe that had a tailstock that could be used for drilling (my tailstock simply had a dead center). Other stuff includes a bunch of mobile bases welded from angle, a 10-ton hydraulic shop press and a hydraulic motorcycle lift table which makes working on vintage bikes much more comfortable as my knees age." - Rod S.
This respondent also shared a picture of one of his homemade tools, which led the original poster to elaborate somewhat on some of his. - Editor
"Attached is a photo of my Hammer B3 Winner going the down the basement stairs on the stair climber I built. The Genie lift is about to be used to lower the end of the climber as the winch allows the entire climber to proceed further down the stairs. This allows the B3 to be lowered to about 120mm above the basement floor." - Rod S.
"Nice job, Rod. When I made my lathe I did have part of an old Delta head stock. I made the bed from 2 pieces of 2" x 2" x1/4"
tubing overcapped with 2" x 2" x 1/4" angle iron for the bed (I wanted a square edge). The tailstock has a base made up 1/4" plate with 1" pillow blocks (salvaged). The shaft was made up from, I think they call it Cosworth tubing; anyway, it was 1" dia. with a 1/2 hole. I stepped drilled to a Morse taper #2. I had a reamer which was close and did what I could with it. I then took a broken drill which had a #2 Morse taper, chucked the drill portion in to the headstock, and along with valve grinding compound and a little time, I had a #2 Morse in the tailstock. I use a live center most of the time, but sometimes I will release the lock so that the entire tailstock can rotate in the bearings. The lathe has 40" between centers; the tailstock has10" of travel. The only thing I wish I had done differently is to make it taller for larger diameters."
So, how about you, eZine readers? Have you ever made any homemade tools? Yes? No? Got pictures? Please share -- if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we'll be able to share your snapshots in places like our Feedback section. - Editor
1/4" Boards from Woodworking.com
The poster who began this discussion is new to woodworking and was wondering where to find 1/4" boards for purchase: Did they really not exist, he pondered, or was it just him? - Editor
"Where do you get 1/4" boards? I don't see anything like that at my local Lowe's®. I am currently planning on buying the 3/4 pine boards and splitting them lengthwise on the table saw- I figure that ought to leave me with about 1/4 pieces. But I feel like I must be missing something." - B.
He heard some advice on resawing. - Editor
"That's called resawing, and I always hated doing it on a table saw. Using the table saw that way is difficult for the small universal motors and not the most safety oriented use of a table saw. You might be much better off to find someone who does woodworking near you to run the boards through a band saw. You'll not only get your two 1/4" boards, but you should have a third piece a bit thinner to put away for another project. Then, once you get them cut, you will still probably need to make them flat and smooth, depending on your project. -Dal
And some advice on possible sources. - Editor
"You can also check with your local lumberyard (not the big box stores); they may provide resaw services there on-site, or perhaps they would order the wood at the dimensions you need. You could try cracking 1 x 4 down the middle, if it's pine or fir perhaps. Get into oak, maple or alder, you're gonna need a good table saw to back you up. Plus additional machining: jointer, planer, sander, etc." - Alex G.
"Rockler sells 1/4" thick hardwood; cherry here, for example." - Frank C.
And, there was a response from a poster who was concerned about safety for ripping thin stock -- and also had some suggestions for sources. - Editor
Please be very, very careful ripping thin stuff like that. I dinged my thumb doing it; I was extremely lucky that it was not very bad. If [the wood] is for general purpose, and you don't care about the appearance, the Home Depot yardsticks are 1/4" and just a tad under 1-1/2" wide. I use them for drawers for my screws and stuff, and for the spacing and hangers for the cleat system I use for organization." - Chris C.
And what did the original poster do with his dilemma? We'll find out. - Editor
"So, I called the fancy lumber store by my house (they have a big millers room, so I figured they would be the place), but they said they don't have a 'resaw machine' and offered to plane the boards down -- that seems liked a silly waste. I wonder if I was being teased? Anyway, I decided to try it on my table saw today and was fairly happy with the results. For the 3.5" wide boards, I had to make two passes. I did several 2" ones as well." - B.