10
Feb 21

Could things just stop breaking please?

So immediately after buying it a nice new jig and making it a new backing board, the lidl grinder gave up on the grinding life. There’s something about noticing that your bowl gouge is bouncing on the stone and then realising that that’s happening because the stone is wobbling while doing around four thousand rpm in front of your face that will trigger both a sharp step to the right out of the line of fire, and will bump up the schedule for buying kit for the shed.

I probably shouldn’t be so annoyed, I got a good five years out of that and I paid about €35 for it from Lidl, so I definitely got my money’s worth. And I’ve since taken it apart and the problem seems small enough that it can do light duty with a wire wheel or a buffing wheel later on, but for now it’s gone into storage along with the wheels (which were grand, they’re axminster wheels and are sound).

But I’m not a fan of the idea of exploding stone wheels in the shed given that there’s so little room that I’d get hit from all directions at once with the ricochets. So the plan to buy a slow-speed grinder was brought forward by a few months, and the plan was to buy a Creusen 7500TS because I’d used one in the woodturning course last year and they’re solid little beasties. But right now between covid and brexit, they’re out of stock all over the EU and the UK. So, plan B was the Dictum own-brand low-speed grinder, the DS150L. Placed an order and a bit over a week later, the large box shows up at the door along with Dictum catalogs to drool over.

It’s an absolute unit of a thing. Initial assembly took a little while and the sparkguards are a no-go because the bolts that attach them are so long they impinge on the wheels. Granted, I could grind them down, but honestly, given that I never use these things without a full faceshield, I’m not sure they’d give me anything. The spark arresters are a welcome addition and I left off the right hand table because that’s where the Tormek jig will go.

This thing is very very solidly built. Cast iron base, what looks to be a mild steel body. The tray thing on the bottom is thin plastic but you can’t just discard it as it’s the main cover over the inside and the electrics.

I did have to dissassemble it to put it on the backboard because it comes with heavy rubber feet so it can just sit on a bench and there are slots in the cast iron base to bolt it to a benchtop that way; but I wasn’t comfortable with that while it hangs on the wall. Maybe in a future shed πŸ˜€

Did I mention that it’s very very big? I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to reuse the backing board, but it just squeaked in there.

Okay, the entirety of the left wheel is now hovering out in free space while the right wheel has almost three millimetres of spare board left once everything is mounted, but it does fit.

You might also notice that the BGM-100 stand for the Tormek jig bar is now at full extension where as it was as short as I could make it with the Lidl grinder. Everything works, but it feels comically large compared to the old machine. And there’s a huge surface area to work on when sharpening, which is a nice bonus.

And it runs just so sweetly. Quiet, fast to get up to speed, and so solid and vibration free. If it lasts as long as the Lidl special, I’ll be very happy with it. I might even buy a CBN for it later this year if it works out (and if they come back into stock – again, covid and brexit is making a dogs breakfast out of a lot of companies’ stock levels).

With tools sharpened again, I made my first pen and a nice little box as birthday gifts for Claire, and now I have nothing in the must-do-first list in the shed so I’m thinking about the next thing I want to tackle, and well timed, this finally arrived as well…

China’s cheapest, but now I have an airbrush for every chestnut stain in the shed, and a gravity-fed cup for the iridescents and other paints and a second one for in the house because if they’re seven quid each, why not, and I do actually use them for fun outside of the shed anyway πŸ˜€

(3D printed models, not complete yet, much more work needed on painting and details)

‘Course, I’m also back to the Lidl air compressor because my little Draper 6L compressor gave up the ghost and now dumps the entire tank out through an internal valve somewhere inside the mechanism after pressurising. It should still be under warranty but I’ll give you three guesses how fast the company I bought it from is replying to my emails…

I did manage to make something from all the offcuts from the new baseboard for the old grinder though, so it took a full year, but I finally made something from offcuts that would otherwise have been burned πŸ˜€


16
Feb 20

First chips!

Storm Denis, schwarm denis.

Simple 19mm pine footing for the lathe stand. Lap joints and glue at the corners. Got the feet as centered as I wanted them, then pencil around them and since the front two could overhang the bench safely, I could drill, countersink and screw up from beneath into the legs.

Then flipped it over onto the floor, and drilled, countersunk and screwed the other two. And that’s the stand complete, so at that point I stuck it outside for a few minutes during a break in the rain and moved stuff around and then wrestled it back inside.

And it fits! I mean, yes, it’s built to fit but still, nice to see πŸ˜€

The back corner is a tad close to the drills and such, but it turns out it’s just far enough away to be usable.

Yeah, that’s gonna take a while. I went through it today and anything that looked like I was hoarding wood got bandsawed into small pieces for the folks to burn. The 2×4 chunks are for turning practice, they’re going to go away in a hurry. The sheet stuff is getting hard to store, but the biggest challenge are those 12×30 ash and oak boards. I cut those to size to make some more of Richard Maguire’s coffee table designs and only ever made the one.

Could always make a few more I guess πŸ˜€

The pillar drill’s new storage spot works, which gives me that piece of the bench back at least.

And yes, the lathe does fit on the stand πŸ™‚

It was a fair amount of fun getting that from the front of the house to the shed, and then Denis opened up with hail and rain right as I was unboxing it outside the shed to move it inside and onto the stand. That was fun.

I know it looks tight on the tailstock end there and it definitely is, but it does fit, you can get the tailstock off without smashing the window and you can wind the tailstock even without the handle sticking out the back (the record and coronet lathes we’re using in the course all just have a wheel with no handle, it’s grand, works fine).

And there’s enough space there to work with. Removing that tumbledrier has made a major difference πŸ˜€

And it fits! I bought this chuck off Rutlands in a black friday sale and it was demo kit, so it can stick winding it in and out – must take it apart later and see if that can be fixed – but it fits nicely on the spindle nose and I was half-afraid I’d have gotten some weird TPI and would need an adapter.

And it came with a screw center in case I want to be lazy πŸ˜€
Think I’m going to want to get a slightly longer tool rest at some stage mind.

Live center fits as well. I mean, that came with it, but I figured I’d check just in case πŸ˜€ It’d be just my luck for the 1MT and 2MT live centers to get mixed up in the box and me get stuck with the wrong size πŸ˜€

That back wall will need a bit more work. I want to put up some dust collection there (gonna need to run some more 4″ pipe for that and also sort out the power cabling better). I don’t think that wall is going to get hit with a lot of chips in normal use, so it might be safe to leave small tools up there or a small shelf for chucks and faceplates and the like, though reaching across the lathe isn’t exactly the best of ideas. But, 8×12 shed, so I could stand on the far side and still be in a hazard area anyway πŸ˜€

And there’s now just enough room between door and lathe stand to put up two of these, stick a 9″ wide board on top and embed the diamond stones in there so I’ll finally have a dedicated (albeit fold-down) sharpening station for the chisels and stuff πŸ˜€

Ironically, sharpening the lathe tools will need something completely different that will probably have to live on a french cleat most of the time and on the bench when in use. Oh well.

Anyway, couldn’t put the lathe in and not test it…

It works! πŸ˜€ First chips! And soooooo many of them….


Had a small offcut of oak so it was this or burn it. And as tests go, it was useful because I learned a few things. It showed where most of the chips go…

Everywhere, basically. Though not much against the back wall, which is useful. That’s not where the tool tote is going to live btw, I just had to stash it somewhere temporarily. Also, the extractor can just about reach to the lathe at the moment so cleanup was fairly painless.

The other thing, and this was odd, was that there wasn’t any vibration. The lathe didn’t vibrate on the stand and the stand didn’t vibrate around the place.Β  I mean, it’s a mini-lathe and it was spindle turning, but still, it was kiln-dried oak, not green lime. I expected some vibration, but it was solid as a rock. I need to mount the lathe to the stand for certain, and I need to find some hard rubber washers to go between lathe and stand, but I’m going to hold off on screwing the stand to the floor for now. May need to do this when turning bowls, but for now it looks like we’re okay.

Another thing I need to do is to start printing off some fittings for the extractor – I’ve been having issues with the extruder nozzle on the 3D printer completely jamming up and splooging everywhere this week. It looks like it was a mix of too low a hot end temperature (so the filament wasn’t as fully plasticised as you’d like causing more back pressure) and the PTFE tube on the printer being a bit damaged…

And the end wasn’t square-cut either. So I upped the temperature in the slicer settings and got a replacement tube and fitted that.

And that worked reasonably well.

No spaghetti, just parts. But now I need to look to the dimensioning because those parts all came out the wrong size…

That should sit down more over the bearing but nope. I have a few things to print off for the printer for things like stabilising that Z-axis screw and a better filament guide and so on, but they’ll have ball bearings as component parts (I’ve a bag of those sitting there at the moment) and if they’re not coming out at the right dimension, then the bearings won’t fit and it’ll just be a waste of plastic, like the dial indicator stand which left the dial indicator swivel freely instead of holding it.


09
Feb 20

Almost ready to start turning

Two more nights in the woodturning class since last time. And I’m still not dead, which has surprised everyone.

Lay off the jokes, it’s a dibber. You stick it in the ground, wiggle it about to make a hole, drop in a daffodil bulb. The burn lines indicate how far down you’ve gone becuase that matters for some bulbs (specifically, the ones you want to not rot in the ground). Sanding on a lathe btw, is immensely fun, because you just hold the sandpaper and the lathe does the work. Holy hell is that better than sanding a resin&walnut desk….

And then this week….

Yes, that thing was a branch in Marley Park the morning before. Green wood. Fantastic to work with, like cutting cheddar cheese. Woodcarving videos of green wood are now ruined for me, those lads are just cheating πŸ˜€

Tapered head…

Turn a handle and put in some burn lines for fun…

Check the fit, refine it a bit…

And that’s it done. And I needed a new carvers’ mallet because I only have two of those and three other mallets (and a few hammers).

And then of course, the part woodturners don’t tell you about…

I’m going to have to figure out how to cope with this in the shed πŸ˜€

Meanwhile, the lathe stand progresses. I got the compound cuts in the legs and crossbar done.

Then once that had cured, out of the clamps and out of the shed to get levelled.

First level the MDF on the sawhorses, then level the legs with shims so that the spirit level says flat on both the MDF and the crossbar of the stand.

That’s a wee bit tall to check the spirit level btw, so mirror-on-a-stick came in useful…

So with the legs marked, out with the ryoba and cut to the line and a bit of chisel-paring for the bits where I missed the line, and…

And built up the webs (which were already 3/4″ beech) with offcuts and glue and screws to make that whole area into a solid block for stability.

And it’ll have stretchers under the feet to lock them at the bottom and I can optionally screw the stretchers to the floor if I have to. I might have to, lathes vibrate a lot…

And while it’s still not done (cheers Storm Ciara and having to go vote), I do get to take my new toys to turning class tomorrow night…

Cheap and cheerful set from Rutlands. Now I need to finish the lathe.

Β 

And maybe get some stuff printed for the shed on the 3D printer, but I’m having issues with that at the moment.

That took almost an hour to clear. Jaysus. And it did it again on the next print so I obviously didn’t get it right either. Le sigh. And that was *after* I’d bought it a new tempered glass bed.

And a new aluminum thingy for the extruder feeder yoke.

It can be a tempermental little bugger, so it can. And it might just be the filament, I’ve heard that some people found this stuff to be a bear but if you bought decent filament all the issues went away. Well, I guess we’ll see…