Rebuilding Power Tools Philosophy
from Sawmill Creek
Is it worth it -- in terms of your
time and money -- to do "do-it-yourself" fix-ups of your
power tools? That was the theme of this discussion. - Editor
am starting to change philosophies on rebuilding power tools that
won't be kept forever. After seeing how low Matt [another forum
participant] had to resell his Unisaw he took hours and hours to
rebuild, it doesn't seem worth it to disassemble every part, clean,
and paint them when potential buyers won't even bid high enough to
cover the cost of the paint, let alone the time. Guess my philosophy
hence forward will be to put in new bearings, consumable parts,
lubricate, and give a lick and a promise." - Rich R.
think a lot of it is due to the economy .. and I don't expect it will
improve much for at least 4 years." - Bob W.
it for pure economic reason probably doesn’t make sense, but I
think a lot of folks like to mess with stuff mechanical/electrical
for the fun of it." - Jay R.
people who put a premium on shiny, near-perfect, unworn things will
just buy new. Once you have decided to buy used, you've decided to
trade off condition for price. You have plenty of fellas who do what
Matt did to his saw with cars, knowing that they will be selling at a
loss when they decide on the next project. I would rather put that
creativity, effort and time into my woodworking." - Johnny M.
forum participant whose table saw rehab project was the impetus for
the discussion chimed in with his own opinion. - Editor
did OK on it because I got it at a bargain price, got most of the
pieces I needed at a bargain price, and was able to sell the original
motor and fence. I didn't make money, but I don't think I lost money
either. And regardless, that wasn't my goal when I bought it --
pretty much bought it on a whim because it was cheap and I wanted a
project. I had a week of lunch times and evenings and a snowy weekend
tied up in it work wise and that was fun for me. It ended up being a
nicer saw than I had at the time so I kept it and sold my older
Unisaw. I'll probably do it again, too, if I stumble across the right
machine." - Matt M.
commenters pointed out that they fix up old tools for non-monetary
reasons. - Editor
buy cheap, usually hopeless, cases because my ego tells me I can
bring the dead back to life. I play with them a while, enjoying the
fruits of my labors as a reward and then sell it and begin the
process over, usually having traded up for a slightly better hopeless
case. It can be as addictive as woodworking itself, and in the end
really costs but a pittance, yet you learn so much about what makes a
quality tool. There’s nothing like doing a failure analysis on a
60-year-old saw to teach you what works best in the long run and
what’s just a manufacturer's shortcut to getting the thing shipped
out the door. Funny thing is, the same strategy applies equally as
well to my woodworking skills: doing furniture repair and restoration
in my early years was a college that no one hosts, yet under the hood
you discover masterful touches of craftsmanship that you incorporate
into your own bag of tricks and techniques that work for you, to be
called upon to solve a seemingly unsolvable design problem because
you know, somehow, it can be done." - Hank M.
my opinion, I think the specter of making money in this hobby ruins
it for me. I do this to escape from real life, so I couldn't care
less if a restored tool makes me money when I sell it because the
pleasure of having a restored tool to use is where I put the value in
the equation. Pretty sure my old Oliver band saw that I put pretty
good bucks into is worth no more to somebody else than what I paid
originally, but it is to me." - Steve R.
restore process is a nice break from wood, and I always like to take
stuff apart to see how it works." - Cary F.
I rebuild an old machine I do it because it's a really cool, old
machine and I enjoy bringing it back to life and seeing it function
again. I could never sell it for what I put into it, but that's not
even a consideration for me personally." - Kevin B.
About Using 1/4" Plywood to Make a Box from WoodCentral
woodworker looking to build a storage box for some shop supplies
wanted advice on what kind of joinery to use. - Editor
may be one of those dumb questions: I want to make a simple box to
fit into a shop drawer to hold some parts. I have some leftover
less-than-1/4" ply that I'd like to use. How would you suggest I
join the edges? If there's enough surface area to do butt joints that
will give me reasonable strength, I'd do it, just for simplicity
sake, but I don't know if it would work. What are your suggestions?"
- Derek A.
your boxes can tolerate it, use inside corner blocks for more glue
area -- these are utility boxes, right?" - Henry
a table saw? I'd do a finger joint, fingers the width of the saw
blade. Quite easy once you get the jig set up and it makes a nice
strong joint." - John
joints are a classic and will work well for this. If you don't want
to get that fancy, how about rabbet joints? Rabbet about a third of
the way through and then glue them up. You could also let one side
run past and put glue blocks into the outside of the corners. Or, you
could glue them up with Titebond® or whatever and then 'caulk' the
inside corners with hot-melt glue.Really depends on how much of a
beating the boxes will take in use." - Barry I.
hearing those suggestions, the original poster came back to the forum
and asked if anyone had ever made this kind of box before, and if so,
what kind of joints did they use -- and how did they hold up? -
made dividers for a friend's electrical and plumbing 'parts' drawers.
Box joints at the corners, dadoes on the rims, half-laps at the
crosses. Only the corners were glued so he could remove partitions to
reconfigure the interior spaces." - Mark M.
done it with Baltic birch, so tearout was less of a problem than with
something like fir plywood. But your jig should provide backing for
the plywood and prevent much tearout. I usually make a new jig each
time; that helps keep the jig in good shape to support the wood
around the cut." - John
could also put small glue blocks in the corners, if you don't need
that corner space." - Bruce
made dozens of small utility boxes, some as small as 3/16",
using rabbet joints made on the table saw, the router table or by
hand with a plow plane. Some receive very hard use. Not one has
failed. Fast and easy. Need more durability, go with finger joints."
- Brian G.