Wednesday, July 14, 2010

World Scroll Saw Expo Venders

One of the nice things about going to a woodworking show is that it gives you a chance to meet some the companies behind the tools that we see advertised in all the magazines and in most case they have demos set up to try. Like when Popular Woodworking Magazine held their tool event and Lie Nielsen came to Cincinnati with all their great hand tools.

The World Scroll Saw Expo was the no different, and it brought with them companies like Hawk Woodworking Tools, PS Wood Machines, Sand-flee, and Seyco's who sells the Excalibur scroll saws and General tools. Every one of these venders had some of their tools set up so you could give them a test drive, and thats just what I did.

 My first stop was Hawk Woodworking Tools to talk to the new owners of Hawk Woodworking Tools Nilus Orth. Nilus and his brother took over Hawk about a year ago and have been making some changes to the company including designing a completely new saw the JuniorHawk which is a portable light weight direct drive saw that cuts like a dream. 
This was one of the first saws I tried and to tell you the truth it was my favorite out of all the saw there, and if you are like me and need a saw you have to carry around or put away and get out often then this is a great saw, the price is steep at $850, but it is a high end cutting machine.
They carry some larger saws that was already in Hawks line before they purchaced the company, but have been upgrading motors and other parts. Saws are not the only tools Hawk carries they have a rather neat panel clamping system that lets you use pipe clamps on a track and then they can hang out of the way while they dry. They seem like a company that have their customers needs in mind and are willing to stand behind what they sell.

The next I spoke with Barbara Peters who is the president of PS Wood Machines, now for those who don't know PS Wood Machines are the people who developed the Timber wolf band saw and scroll saw blades. Barbara and I talked for a long time and I told her about the trouble I have had finding Timber wolf blades in the configuration that I wanted, so she gave me a catalog and told me just to give her a call and she would take care of me. she also help find some carter parts for my band-saw which I could never seem to get help with anywhere else. Barbara was a great help and if you are looking for Timber Wold Blades and can't find what you want then go to her web site and order direct. thats how I will be buying mine from now on.

Next I stopped by Sand-Flee  and played with their sander. I wasn't sure about it at first, but the more I played with it the more I became impressed with it. I could start to see plenty of uses for it especially if you where in the craft business, and after talking to Stephen Raffo and having him show me all it can do, I can say it is a well build machine, with a sturdy Baldor motor. I am still not convinced it would do what a belt driven surface sander would do as far as dimensioning veneer, but I could be wrong. however you can joint a board with the fence on this sander, and if your a scroll sawer or you make crafts or other small small items that need sanding this is a heck of a machine. it was easy to use. and it lets you change the sand paper very easily. What sets this machine apart is the accessories that you can get for it to make sanding them difficult part not only easier but fun, and you can get one that will work with a Shop Smith which is a big plus for all us Shop Smith owners.

Seyco's was the next booth I stopped at and they carry the Excalibur scroll saw including the EX-30 which is the biggest scroll saw on the market and it's a great running machine, not only do the carry scroll saws, but Seyco's also carries General Tools plus many smaller accessory's for scroll saws and woodworkers including a interesting filter for a standard box fan that you can clean off with a garden hose then recharge it with a formula that attracts dust to it. I use a box fan sometimes on my bench when I sand just to catch dust so this product interested me. I might get one of these just to do a review on it one of theses days
but from the dust it was collecting at the show it looked like it was working fine.

There was many other smaller products there like saw blades, sanders, and a sanding wheel that you put on a 8" grinder called a wonder wheel that was like compressed 3m pad that did a good job carving grooves, you could dress it in any shape you wanted with a diamond dressing stone. There was lots of intarsia patterns from small ornaments to almost life-size animals, but there will be more on the intarsia artist in part 3, until then have a great day. 


Monday, July 12, 2010

World Scroll Saw Expo

I wanted to share some of the picture I took at the Scroll Saw Expo Sunday. The work was beautiful and the people where very friendly, and I will post more on that later along with the vender's I talk to, but for now just enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Design Of The Week

This week's design of the week is a hutch that I designed for a desk, a computer desk to be exact. There are places for files and a cradle to hold cell phones and I-pods while they charge.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Surfacing End-grain Cutting Broards on a Router Table

Surfacing a end-grain cutting board on a router table, or with a router is fairly easy and quick. Using a hand held router is the same as surfacing any other board so I won't go into that, there is plenty of good information on that technique all ready. One note if you have a small router table you may need to clamp some boards to your table for the rails to ride on.

As you can see in the first picture the surface is pretty uneven.

First you will need two rails to attach to the sides of the cutting board. I used 1x4s little longer than the cutting board, and a couple of gage blocks normally I use 1/4 or 1/2 inch just nothing to thick unless you have a tall bit.

I set the cutting board on the gage blocks and place the rail along the sides on their ends, then I pin nail them to the board, and then I like to put a couple of #6 screws in the center of each rails to be sure they don't move. it is important that the rails don't rock. because they are your referenced surface.

I use a 3/4 Straight bit, but a 1/2" mortise bit gives a better finish or one of them flat bottom pattern bit that are designed for routing bowls would do a great job I am betting. 

Then all you do is set the bit a little higher that the gage block you used to set your rails, I started about 1/32nd and then slowly, with your hands on the top part of the rails, slide the cutting board back and forth across your table letting the bit do the work. 

Don't try to remove to much at one time because the bit can grab and the board can get away from you, it is better to take light cut and be safe. Stop and check your progress, you will more than like miss some sections just keep going over it. Just a note the first few times you get in to the rail it will make a lot of noise and grab the piece to be mindful of that, and it is a good idea to mark on your table a line where your cutter is you that way you will know where you are cutting.

The end product is fairly smooth and flat, but it still needs a little attention if you missed any little spots they come off quickly with a sharp chisel and then you can clean up the lines with a sander or a card scraper to get it smooth
make sure you tighten your router wing nut down tight or the bit can change hight like it need on me... duh

This bring to another point I used my small router table that I keep set up with a 1/4 round over bit. I did this to show that even with a small table you can still use this technique I know a lot of woodworkers own these type of router table and I didn't want them to think they needed a big fancy table to do it. all I did was clamp a couple of straight boards to the front and back and I used a spring clamps to hold them while I lined them up with my table then clamped them down with a couple of bar clamps. This gave the rails something to ride on while the bit surfaced the board.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Web Site of the Month

This months my Web Site of the Month is a little gem of a woodworking site I found while I was using Stumble!, it is Mike Henderson's site. He features his work on this site and his work is worth a look let me tell you! he does some first rate woodwork. Mike has every thing from tables, chairs, to some really nice carved pieces on his site, plus some nice tools he has made, like a small brass hammer and a cool tote for his plane that will have you drooling. Mike has a tutorials page also that he shows his techniques on carving shells, veneering compass rose and sand shaded fans. If like most woodworkers you like to eat as much as you do working with wood then great! he has a couple of good recipes for gumbo and creole jambalaya to boot "I am going to have to give both of them a try"  Stop by Mikes site and enjoy some of Mikes work its worth the time.