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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:52:58 PM
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Joined: 11/17/2006
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Getting a start on the details...15

I took the SawStop off the old dust collector and onto the new system. A 5" duct reduced down to 4" at the machine.

The switch over also made a big difference in keeping dust and chips to a minimum. The 2nd hose goes to the blade guard which in my opinion doesn't work as well as expected. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but when you have a vacuum within the blade guard, you would think that there would be nothing left on the table after a cut. So far, the little bit of cutting that I have done hasn't been as clean as I thought it would be.

The old Harbor Freight dust collector had to have it's screen removed to keep up with the saw dust. I didn't attempt to use the blade guard with that collector since it was barely keeping up with just what comes out from SawStops measly dust under blade hood contraption in the cabinet below.

SawStop has always been that way, on every machine I've used anyway... a less than stellar performance and this is no exception. I've had to vacuum out that cabinet several times before removing the screen in the HF bag collector... but the Oneida seems to get it all, until you make a cut with the blade guard dust collector in place. That's when you expect more from SawStop and again... get less.

I will say one thing about this newer SawStop design... it's easier to get under the cabinet with the door now on the left. The one piece plastic trapdoor seems to be a better fit than the old steel wobbly door on the right that wouldn't stay closed. When it was on the right side, it was much harder to get in and work on the underside.

In those days the cabinet would completely fill up with sawdust no matter what you did. We had a better dust control motor outside, but where it fell short was the 4" steel pipes running under the floor that frequently got clogged. I don't know if they were rusted out or not, they just didn't work as well as this Oneida system with it's ducts getting larger the closer it gets to the main collector.

I'm sending the old dust collectors to the Sunnyslope campus as Mr. Franklin plans to start a wood shop class down there too. Although the bag style dust collectors allow fine dust through which settles everywhere in the room, it is still a good starter for setting up another wood shop.
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:14:51 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Getting a start on the details... 16

The router table has two blast gates so it can work from two directions, one below and one above. With a quick test, it works really well, but I only made three cuts, so the best way to see will be when someone uses it more. I might try reshaping the can to spread/fan out and speed up the suction, but I'll have to have another can to put it back if I don't like the way it works.

***UPDATE*** 5-28-18 I had a chance to work at the school this morning and took another tomato can with me. I made a rectangular wedge from a 2x4 which served as a starting point for reshaping one end of the can, flatten out the circle into a rectangular shape that better fits where it is located. Having two shapes will allow this to change back if necessary.

With all other blast gates closed, the two open gates on the router table should provide enough vacuum to keep the area spotless... I hope. Of course as more blast gates get opened, that air movement will be lessened but hopefully it will still work the same.

Very little left to go now. Can you tell that I'm sick of breathing dust and cleaning up the mess around the machines? It's not that my students don't help clean up, but it is all the stuff that gets missed over time which slowly piles up in corners and under machines. I'm a realist. I know there is no perfect system and there will still be some cleaning up... just not as much... I hope.

5-22-18 Something came from Oneida by UPS... well actually two things and they were both wrong. I'm disappointed because I want to wrap this up and someone mixed up the order. One package was for someone in Oregon and the other had 5" hose when it was suppose to be 3" hose. Now when I called, I suggested that their mistakes had also cost me when I had to buy 3" clamps again, to which they responded by telling me they would work on getting a refund for that and the UPS package for 3" hose came over my e-mail, so hopefully after school is out I will get a call from the school that it arrived. But as it turns out, when it gets here I may not be in a hurry to cut it up for the scroll saws. More to the story coming up!

I forgot to mention... School's Out for Summer!
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:52:27 PM
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Joined: 11/17/2006
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We got the 2nd grant!

I saved this news for until the check arrived. Now I am re-establishing the quotes since this took longer than 30 days to complete. Once that is finished, I can begin purchasing a new band saw, now upgrading to the one with the brake and the 220v motor.

In addition, there is five Jet scroll saws, a Jet belt disc sander, a helix head planer, and since the competitors have a few lower prices here, and few there, I'm divulging bits and pieces here and there to my possible dealer choice... trying to drive the costs down. A call to their JET representative will let us know who is willing to play ball.

I don't think I will end up dealing with my 2nd choice dealer. If I start asking questions, I'm betting they will not be as easy to work with. For one thing, when I go to their website, it is refurbished equipment. It's a few more miles out of the way too. My 3rd choice is actually the closest to us, a mere 90 miles away.

Whom ever it ends up being, the shop.... will be forever transformed... by these private anonymous (not state or federal government) grants... and that is a very... very good thing.
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 3:06:24 PM
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Joined: 11/17/2006
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While waiting for deliveries...

I know... who does this during their summer break? But I am trying to get stuff done before surgery tomorrow. After that, I won't be allowed to lift anything for up to 8 weeks. Yikes! 8 weeks of not being able to do anything and my equipment has still not arrived except for a few small pieces that came directly from the Phoenix Rockler store.

When the rest finally gets here I will be out of commission and will have to rely on volunteers to carry in boxes, open and assemble machines, install 220v power across the room in two different directions, and modify the scroll saw mounts so they can be attached to the existing mounts that were custom made for the old Ryobi saws.

Then there is the hooking up of dust control. The Laguna band saw needs two 4" hoses, one upper and one lower. That's a first for me and I'm looking forward to seeing how well two hoses keep the machine and surrounding areas clean.

In the mean time while I can still be pretty active, I'm riding bike a lot, but I'm also spending a ton of time at the school manufacturing safety signs, and cleaning and organizing our wood storage which has now grown to two locations.

I have also stayed busy by updating my home dust control on the drill press...

Without thinking too much about it, I managed to simplify the system by securing the modular hose adapter under the left side of the table. This is not something I had originally intended. The post mount idea came from seeing Peachtree's on-line photo and the videos on You Tube. The mount just wasn't working the way I wanted for this machine.

Peachtree's photo

For one thing, as Peachtree confirmed in their e-mail and you can clearly see from their photo that to reach it's target, the hose has to bend further than the design allows, so the mount has to be further from the machine or otherwise rotated in some way to get that ultimate angle. Most of the time the nozzle will stay in the same position, but for those few times when it needs to be changed, the table mount is actually superior.

With the stronger table mount, the nozzle reaches where you want it every time all the time and the adjustments are easier. Loosening a single wing nut to slide the adapter closer, or further, or rotate it outward to the left or inward to the right. It quite literally can be made to fit just about any configuration, including getting it completely out of the way, all without ever removing it from the machine.

The plastic adapter/mount is costly and inferior in every way. Anyone who can think up the modular snap together hose should also have been able to design a better adapter and mount. For almost every situation, the table needs to be raised or lowered, and the under table mount automatically stays adjusted even when switching to the longest bits. I can't think of too many times when this won't be beneficial.

***Side note*** Try not to let the modular hose drop to the floor. It looks sturdy enough, but one of the 12" pieces slid off where we were working and it broke in one link. Of course only the broken link had to be thrown out, but even though the plastic seems sturdy and looks like it will bounce, we found out the hard way that it is not flexible enough for that kind of blunt force trauma. Hopefully it will not snap as kids move it around. The holes I drilled through the bottom modular links to keep them in place glued on to the PVC is another potential breaking point. I will be disappointed if they don't hold up but I'm reasonably sure they will. I will make sure the kids know this during my presentations and keep you posted.

It's a good thing there were plenty more links to complete the job without coming up short. I purchased three 24" sections which come in packages containing two 12" pieces you snap together. I also got six nozzles so there is a back up if one gets damaged. I did not buy any other parts from them. I did get three PVC fittings from Home Depot for the connection to the 5" duct running behind the drill presses.

I know... I know. Now I have to look into revising the large drill press at school to work the same way. But before I make any changes, I will have to observe how well it is working for the kids. In this different situation, it may or may not have to change.

I'd have to pull the machine a little further out to make more room for it. At least that would bring the table crank out to an easier to reach spot. If I lengthen the hose, it will be at a much better angle too. There is definitely some things to consider, especially since the modular hose with the table mount is much better than what I had previously tried to do on my home drill press.

***Side note*** The small individual 4" dust control units like I had been using are weak compared to the Oneida system. For example, this home suction unit is probably half the suction I have been getting from the larger unit at school and that is with a few other blast gates open.

If the kids will be good about opening and closing the blast gates as they need them, it will keep great suction everywhere in the shop. Come to think of it, I need to try running it with every blast gate open for them to see what happens. That would be a good way to show the students first hand what a difference they can make by closing any unused blast gates.

I have also been working on a Scrollnado for my home scroll saw in preparation for doing this to the new scroll saws that should be arriving any day now. ...

This robust system I'm working on is made from a 3" food can that has been modified to fit completely around the saw blade... filling the space between the machine and the table. I successfully used hot glue to block any unwanted suction leaks. Some suction has to get through for the system to work properly, so there is room mostly around the bottom of the can.

The hose I used to have on the drill press is now the hose for this. I modified the black plastic to tightly fit around the 3" can. This very short piece of 3" flex hose fits snugly over the top of the 3" can...

...effectively filling the space between the can and the table top. This focusing of the suction keeps the chamber clear of dust. Previously, the dust would fall through to the floor coating everything in it's path, landing in a wide area... including on my shoes.

Looking down into the scroll saw after the can is installed. I rarely have need to tilt the table and the saw direction is actually suppose to come from the side, but in my small shop, there is only room to have it in this direction. I decided not to rotate the entire mechanism and table as you can see by the throat plate. I was worried about dust getting into the crank case if I loosened the bolts to make the change.

If I changed it to make it tilt, that would require more room then a 3" can allows. In that case I am sure that I could come up with a wooden adapter and use more 3" flex... literally hot gluing it both to the adapter and the underside of the table. That should keep enough focused suction with the table at odd angles. Hot glue stays even when my summer shop temperatures rise in the afternoon sun when the heat drives me out if I don't close the doors soon enough.

The wooden block you see attached to the lower blade makes blade changes easier. The small thumb screws were hard to turn... especially as I get older.

The end of this 1/2" drip line hose has been modified with a heat gun. Warm it up, put a small scrap of wood into it, and clamp it until it is cool.

It can be raised and lowered so it sits on top of the wood as it is being cut.... providing enough suction to keep the pencil line visible and keep the table top dust free. The photo was taken after 4 or 5 cuts. A few small specks will sometimes be left on the table, but it surprisingly works well and keeps the table really clean. Between this top part and the lower part, there isn't much dust left to clean up afterwards.

You can't believe how much dust the scroll saws were creating. The windows behind them were loaded with dust. That is where the kids were blowing it off so they could see their pencil lines. With a much better dust system, I'm sure this will work even better at school and that will be a lot less dust floating around the room. I'm betting that I can adapt this idea to the band saw too.

At about the time school is starting, I will be feverishly working to have the dust control in place. That doesn't even include the lathes that are waiting to be repaired. I will have to complete their dust control requirements too.

So much to do and so little time to get it done. That's been the story of my life. You would think one would consider this before taking another job beyond retirement and then applying for grants. The extra work is something I didn't think much about. But in the end.... I'm always up for a challenge. That is what is the most fun... the challenge. At least to me anyway.

***UPDATE*** 7-2-18 I went to the school this morning to check on what might have been delivered. There are a few items in boxes like the belt disc sander, the scroll saws, and a few parts for the band saw. Now I have to round up someone who can help me get them out of the box. 9 lbs... 9 is the limit and all I'm allowed to lift... for the next 4-8 weeks. Now how am I suppose to do that without help.

***UPDATE*** 7-3-18 I put out a couple of calls and e-mails to see if I could round up some help. One never returned my call. One hasn't replied to my e-mail, and one said they would come in on Thursday and help me get them unboxed at least. That's good because I guess the other items aren't far off and will also be here soon. Seriously, if I can't get this done before school starts, I'll have to rely on the kids to pitch in. While there is nothing wrong with that, I still have to get the 220V and dust control hooked up.

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 6:08:21 PM
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Joined: 11/17/2006
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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

The Good...

Can you believe I'm about 200 posts into this thread!

And it was a wonderful day as our new equipment has started arriving and I have help from a the (PAW) Prescott Area Woodturners. This is the belt disc sander being assembled by one team who as you can see are hard at work.

Does this go on the inside?

What do the directions say...

Another team is working on the scroll saws. I previously made a template for some transition plates, and actually got three finished and installed before today. This member is making the last two plywood transition plates. Now the scroll saws can fit our existing stands.

Who can help me move this to the stand?

One more tweak to get it lined up...

Tightening the last bolt...

The Bad...

This comes at a time when I can't lift any more than 9 lbs. so I am not able to help too much. Now I am someone who tries to do everything by myself whenever I can. I never ask for help unless I really need it. Today I REALLY need it and I seem to only be here to unlock the door, simply watch, and tell everyone where I want things and how I want them to look. But it's not all bad. I feel very lucky and very thankful for the help and it was a very fun for me too. Thank you PAW!

& the Ugly...

The dust control suddenly quit last week and I have been losing sleep over it. It was working perfectly. What the heck happened?

And the Good again...

PAW comes to the rescue yet again as one member from Flagstaff (with an electrical engineering degree) comes to the rescue. He isolates the problem in the complicated remote switch system. Now we know to get a new switch. Thank you... thank you... my students, the school, and I thank you.

Stay tuned. We are waiting for the Powermatic helix head planer and the Laguna band saw with the micro switch brake.

It's kind of funny that this thread started as a way to share project ideas only to end up being a running log of activity on building a school wood shop at a school that doesn't really have the money to do what we are doing. I hope you are enjoying seeing what we have been working towards, even as I begin to think it's almost time for me to retire again. Physical things as you get older can really bog you down and that's what is happening to me.

If you haven't taken the time to look back at some of the updates I have been making to each post, then you are missing out on some really great stuff. I figured out how to make links within this site, that will go directly to each post. Slow connections or Internet speeds might require a little patience to load, but using the back browser arrow brings you directly back to where you left off reading. For example.... here is a direct link to the crankyman automata post and the back arrow brings you back here.

These links help clarify or point out ideas without a lot of fumbling around on your part. Now this makes me wish I would have made the posts smaller, concentrating on a single concept/issue/project, but doing that creates more pages. However, I could further direct teachers to these concepts in greater detail... so maybe some day I will be able to break it up into smaller sections. Doing this as an after thought would not keep them in chronological order. That order is part of what I think makes it more fascinating.... to watch a budding program thrive from day to day, week to week, etc... and work within the constraints of the times.

It's also too bad that DivShare has messed up their site. If any of you have been trying to get material on the broken links, let me know. I found my stash of material on one of my external hard drives, so I should be able to send them over e-mail. As I have time in the future, I would have uploaded this material to photobucket and remake the links, however, photobucket changed the free user agreement and I'm unsure as to what will work and what won't. Contact me so I can send material directly over e-mail.

Here are some general page short cuts for you...

Go to page 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5... 6 ... 7... 8... 9...10

A message to new wood shop teachers who may have stumbled onto this site!

Because of spam... this site has been closed for quite some time now, but if you would like to join, we could use some new blood. The older guys have been retiring and thinning out the ranks. I didn't ask permission to post this, but I found out from a new member that he did this to gain access.... Send an e-mail to I have noticed that this is helping new members get into the site while keeping the spammers out.

I've seen at least twelve new members have signed up since making this notice.
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