Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Old Saw

A couple months back I was working in my garage building cabinets when my mom showed up with a friend of hers, Eileen. My mom gave Eileen a tour of my house renovation and afterwards they wandered over to the garage and the three of us chatted for a few minutes. Eileen looked around at my mess of tools & machines and said 'Bill (her husband) bought this old table saw years ago and he's never done anything with it, it just sits there. You should come get it". I didn't think much of it at the time because, A: I didn't think that Bill would share her enthusiasm at giving his tools away for free, and B: I just figured the table saw would be some old piece of shit. So last weekend my dad happened to be out at Bill and Eileen's place (they live a couple hours away) and he came home with the tablesaw in his trailer. I was delighted to see that it was a 12" Poitras with a sliding table! It is certainly suffering from years of neglect but it's definitely worth the time to rebuild.

I had to borrow my dad's skid steer to move the saw into a storage shed at my place.

Unfortunately the saw has sat out in the weather for a few years so the trunnion is seized up and the table is getting fairly pitted with rust. The sliding table still works well though. It slides smoothly and doesn't have any play in it. I don't think I'll keep the original fence though. I'm pretty sure it outweighs me.

The first order of business is to get the table off and the trunnion out. I'm going to get the motor tested, I'll soak the trunnion in diesel fuel overnight to free it up, and I'll take the table and cabinet to work one day and sand blast it all. I'll probably take the table to a guy I know in Edmonton who has a 48"x64" surface grinder. The table appears to be nice and flat, but sandblasting is fairly abrasive and won't leave a very smooth finish. The motor is 5hp, 3ph, and has a square housing. I hope it's in good enough condition to rebuild, because it appears to be an un-standard frame. Something I find interesting is that it's direct drive, no belt, I'm not sure how I feel about that. Direct drive is nice because there's no belts to slip, and tends to allow more torque, but it's more difficult to deal with runout or vibration. It's much simpler to true and balance an arbor than it is a motor armature. Again, I hope the motor is in decent shape, getting threads cut and a blade flange pressed on an armature will cost some dough!

Another thing I'm not crazy about is that it's right tilting. I've never actually used a right tilt tablesaw, and from what I can tell they're not very common anymore, but they seem wicked dangerous. I guess we'll see!

This is the extension table for the right side. At first I was a bit dissapointed to see it wasn't a solid table, and then I picked it up - and almost pooped my panties. It's plenty heavy and rigid - I'm sure it'll work fine.

It looks like it was purchased at some point from House of Tools, which is a big tool resaler here in Alberta that just recently went into receivership. I called Bill to ask where he bought the saw from and he said, and I quote, 'a retard shop. Y'know, like one of those shops where retard kids build... I dunno, birdhouses or something'. Old Bill, he's not the politically correct type.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mo' Drawers

I finally got a coat of finish on my drawers yesterday and this morning I installed them. Here's the boring details.

These are the clips that hold the front of the undermount slides. Actually, the technical name for them is 'nipples' (teehee) - crazy europeans. At first glance they look pretty chintzy but they actually do their function very well.

The back of the slide has a little tab (that, incidentally, seems much more nipple-like) that needs a corresponding hole in the back of the drawer to engage. Originally I made a much fancier jig to locate and drill the hole accurately but it didn't work as well as this simpler version. Sometimes you just have to nail some scraps together.

Tab A into hole B.

One of the nice things about under-mount slides is their adjustability. This little blue wheel moves that wedge-thingy in and out, which moves the drawer up and down on the slide. So if the drawer front is a bit out of alignment you have about 1/16" of up & down adjustment on each side - allowing some fine tuning of the final fit.

...And it snaps in. Easy-peazy.

It's kinda nice to not have to see the slides.