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Profile: tbockman
User Name: tbockman
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Joined: Friday, November 17, 2006
Last Visit: Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:19:30 PM
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 4:40:15 PM
Getting a start on the details...

What a long weekend. I worked on stabilizing the free standing ducts using a little bit of cable, hooking onto the clamps using some shop made clips. The key ring allows for a place to attach while keeping the wires from cutting on sharp edges.

During installation, a piece of tape holds the clip that usually requires two people to hold everything together as the clamp is snapped into place.

Wire is clamped onto the duct and run up to the ceiling to help keep the duct from unnecessary movement.

Then today, I thought I might try my hand at making some 2.5" blast gates for above the lathes and behind the drill presses. The top and bottom are 1/4" MDF. A rabbet holds 1/8" plywood strips in place as the two pieces are glued together. This sandwiches a small blast gate made from sheet metal.

A plywood ring allows the blast gate to install onto 4" duct. Sheet metal also makes up the section that goes into the 2.5" hose on the lathe dust collection fixtures.

Here's another view of the completed blast gate. This end has been crimped so it easily fits the 2.5" hose.

I think the alternative, although more expensive at $12.99 each, may look better... not to mention how much time it takes to make your own. I will need 11 = $142.89. Hmmmm... with money running out too.

And this anti-static plastic one runs about $13.79 each, and when you buy 11 = $159.69.

It sure adds up quick and making my own seems a little more reasonable. I just might have to try painting mine with silver paint, except paint won't stick to the silicone caulk I used to make a tight seal around the sheet metal.

Goodbye weekend.

***UPDATE*** 5-1-18 The students helped continue the progress by making straps to connect and stabilize duct work to an anchor.

This one goes to the floor sweep.

We used a tomato can to connect the old Craftsman planer to the duct. Right now this is connected to a portable dust collector while we finish up the system.

I put the camera lens up to the planer hood to try and show the other side of the can.

More to come.

***UPDATE*** 5-5-18 Another week end... what am I thinking!

I'm visualizing what can be done by modifying an adapter. The adapter doesn't fit into the duct, but if you cut away that part, it does clamp together properly and saves a clamp too. The next issue is how to make this adapter even smaller. Oneida wanted this hose to run 4" all the way to the sander. I don't believe there is room for that.

Using different sizes of circle saws, holes are drilled to make another adapter for the adapter. Two different sizes run from each end make this break out just the way it should, as a cork stopper. The step in the design keeps the stopper from going too far into the adapter. This particular hole being drilled is just a bit small, so it was later enlarged using the oscillating spindle sander.

Using the plywood ring we have created, the really small hose now fits the plastic adapter perfectly. I simply need to decide how permanent I want it to be... tape or silicone caulk... but tape wins because it will allow disassembly in the event of a clog. (Tape not shown yet.)

Although this sander is probably ready to be replaced, the small hose I managed to secure in the duct also fits the machine port perfectly. I could be wrong, but I believe this is a better solution than running 4" all the way to the machine. 4" would take up too much space at the left side of the sander. Maybe I'll find out otherwise and it can always be changed in the future, but for now, I like the way this came together.

Next I tackle the sanding box.

I've been wanting to open this sanding box up for some time now. When I unscrewed and removed it, I fully expected to find a ton of sanding dust that didn't manage to get out of corners. To my complete surprise, it was perfectly clear.

I decided to upgrade it anyway by adding a false curved bottom made from 1/8" plywood. This should streamline the air flow even more.

On to the belt sander...

Some of the machines require a 5"- 4" adapter. I'm shearing off the rivets so I can make these fit the duct using the clamps. Oneida prefers running 5" hose to all these machines, but I believe I will try 4" first. The machines aren't that large and 5" may be over kill... however, if I ever change my mind, I can easily re-rivet the seam and put it in a different way, but for now, I like the way this works.

Here is an example of what I mean. With this donated sander, the dust collection was retrofitted and made of wood. After receiving it, I changed it to fit 4" hose. This is how far out 5" hose would come with the added adapter.

And here it is with 4" and without the added adapter. Big difference!

When it comes to the chop saw, I want to keep the 5" so it has plenty of suction. Before making attachments, it is best to strip a little of the wire and bend it inward where it can get clamped down against metal parts to keep a continuous ground. This minimizes static build up, which can give quite a shock, and with less static, there can be less chances of ignition from a spark.... which also minimizes the chance of an explosion.

If you have a hard time believing that an explosion is possible, try this little experiment next time you wonder how flammable wood dust can be... just throw a handful of dust into a fire and watch what happens. You might lose more than just your eyebrows too.

You can see the stripped wire making metal to metal contact as it gets clamped tightly down, completing a continuous ground.

At the back of the chop saw, a 5" - 4" reducer sticking out this far should not be a problem.

More to come...

5-6-18 I hated to alter this old jointer, but it was necessary to cut the chute off flush in preparation of attaching a dust port that can hook into the dust collection system.

Once the chute was shortened, a sheet metal cover was put into place to concentrate the airflow, and weather stripping was added along the front edge before attaching the dust port.

More to come...

5-9-18 It's hard to tell in this photo, but there are two wires helping keep nonmetallic parts/hoses grounded. One wraps around the outside and one goes through to prevent static.

And another hose to another sander...

Other locations get jump wires bridged across nonmetallic areas such as plastic dust ports.

More to come...


This is the first step of a proof of concept... a trial to see if I can make a three port manifold setup for behind the drill presses which will support the modular hoses that I'm planned to install. It has been a long time since I was in middle school metal shop, but I remember a few of the things I'm about to do.

I'm cutting and shaping these to prepare for soldering. One is a refried beans can and the other is a left over section of 5" duct to use as practice. The angle which makes this more difficult, is in the airflow direction and helps with efficiency.... but will it work?

Once the slightly undersized hole is cut, the metal is bent outward to begin shaping a flange that will physically hold on to the can. The bending will continue until the sides are flared out enough to fit the can.

The 3" can now has a mechanical bond by fitting onto the oval shaped flange. The angle makes it more difficult to construct, but helps with airflow.

The small flange helps hold the can and leaves a place for soldering them together. This is looking down through the 5" duct.

I'm trying to solder this at home using what I have left over from doing stain glass. I have no idea if I'm using the right flux or solder, but even with that, the pieces seal together. One note... I forgot about the plastic coating inside the can, so it was a little more difficult than it had to be.

Far from perfect, it still shows that it can be done with the right materials. Since I'm scaling back on the number of drill presses, only 3 of these will be in the manifold.

More to come...

5-17-18 Without even giving it a thought, I measured a short elbow which would have hugged the wall nicely on the way to the drill presses, and then when I ordered the 90 degree elbows, they gave me the long ones. It made for a perplexing day as I tried to figure out if I could make them work.

Longer 90 degree elbows won't slow down the airflow as much as the short ones, so keeping them and making them fit is a better idea in the long run. With a little maneuvering, I was able to get them in just the right position so the duct is at the right height (just below the outlets) for the anti-static modular hose connections.

Speaking of anti-static, these hoses are great! I have noticed that all the places we have had to use plastic, fine dust clings to it. You can see it in the photos. We are in the process of deep cleaning the wood shop since school is over in four days. The fine dust that gets kicked up gets all over the plastic, but not these anti-static hoses. They stay clean.

As much as I would have liked soldering the drill press ports, it turns out the modular hose is exactly the same size as the cans, and if I want the modular hose to be well-anchored, it has to be secured right to the duct. Cans won't work as well if I have to use the 3" hose to make the port connection as they would be too flexible.

I've decided on using plastic to make this anchor connection. By shaping, sanding and gluing the surfaces, these parts will screw together through the duct and make a much better anchor. This also means I have to make them come straight out instead of at an angle.

After shaping and sanding the parts with help of the lathe. The surface is roughed up and the glue is applied. I'm sticking the connectors to a single link of modular hose. Screws are added for an extra strong bond. We don't want them to come loose as the kids adjust them over and over again.

There is no turning back as the holes are cut with a saber saw and later smoothed with sandpaper.

The test fit shows how well this will work. This ring is cut from a larger fixture. The surface will be coated with silicone caulk to fill the gaps and the underside (shown) will be tightened, pulling the anchor tight to the duct.

The assembly is drying for a few days before the modular hose is linked into place. The center anchor was the most difficult to reach and tighten since it is about 30" from the end. With my arm fully extended, I can barely hold the outside as I grip and turn the inside.

More soon...

5-19-18 Cutting on the lathe... a spacer/reducer for the large drill press.

Using the lathe chuck to adjust the size of the spacer/reducer so it fits into the 4" blast gate behind the large lathe..

The completed spacer fits perfectly and the hose gets attached to the reducer.

The large drill press shows the other end of the hose coming from the reducer. The modular hose gets screw clamped into place. The modular hose adjusts/works perfectly connected to this anchor.

The small drill presses show the duct 3 port manifold that anchors the modular hose exactly as planned. I couldn't be happier at the way the plastic parts locked into place and how well it works. What seemed like the hardest task that kept me awake thinking and planning for weeks... actually turned out to not be as hard or take as long as I expected. The screw together plastic parts really simplified the task.

I was worried that this anchor point wouldn't hold up to constant adjustment, but as I tested it today, it seems like it will last indefinitely.

The floor sweep is a whole story about how Oneida first didn't send it along in the shipment, then when we asked about it, they sent the wrong one. It was the cheaper version that didn't fit the Gorilla duct. It was returned and the right one turned out to be larger. Then what was already in place came up short, so it had to be reworked leaving us shy one clamp.

Oneida already charging me double for missing clamps because we didn't catch it sooner. That was a bad deal, and I should have fought it, but now everyone reading this knows to be more careful in the future.

Make your district receiving department count the project parts so you are not double paying for something missed until near the end when it was needed. Anyway I didn't let them get away with charging me for the extra clamp and 3" hose they they send wrong. It is now suppose to be on it's way at no charge.

I was having a hard time bending the parts I am making out of scrap sheet metal. I noticed an old mail box post in my home scrap heap out behind the shop. I thought if I take a short piece of this pipe, and put a slot in it, I could quickly roll out some of these parts. One end gets a slight bend, then put through the slot, rolled and that's it.

There is some spring back, but it is not a problem... and the idea speeds up the process considerably.

The result are lathe reducers taking 6" down to three 2.5".

More on that... later.

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

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 NOSPAM september_fleming. I've purposely mixed it up, so put the name first and make an e-mail address out of it without using the NOSPAM. I have noticed that this is helping new members get into the site while keeping the spammers out.

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

Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:31:47 PM
Time for SawStop

Now that the ducting is overhead, we can begin connecting the shop equipment to it. I can't believe that we now have a SawStop at Franklin Phonetic School. A dream come true. I'm getting it reassembled right now. The brake, the guard, with an exhaust system that works not only on the bottom side of the blade, but also on the top side through the guard. It's almost too good to be true.

I will post photos, especially of any special set ups, as I get things hooked up. I will say this right now, the system hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be. That's not to say another system would have been better. It's just that working on it while teaching classes, and modifying things as I go, has added extra work and stress.

Any other system would have been much worse. This modular system has easy connections and does create smooth interiors, with larger ducts as you get closer to the vacuum. I'm expecting it to work better than anything I've used before.

The company couldn't have foreseen someone wanting the ducts to line up so perfectly. We don't have so much extra space where we can move things to match up. We needed a system that can be modified as we go so it will be exactly where it is suppose to be.

That means I made three of my own sleeves that shortened lengths that would have been 11", down to as little as 4". Two of those were on the 8" main trunk and one is a 5" under the scroll saws which you will eventually see as I get them hooked up.

More on the way.
Topic: Simple Lamps
Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:22:34 PM
Photobucket doesn't work for this anymore unless you pay their fees. Save photos to pinterest and use that as your link. Choose the photo, right click on it, then choose view image info... and that will be the link. Right click to save the link, then open this site, use the photo icon above and make sure your link falls between the (img) (/img) and the photo will show here.

Example link...
If you click this link, it will go to the photo, but here is the same example with the link placed in between the img /img. I hope this helps.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2018 8:36:57 PM
We're making progress...

4-23-18 With the eighth graders gone on their trip, we have a little breathing room to work on the dust collection during class. I asked the couple of students who were here today if they could help me carry in the remaining items for completing the ducting. This is the remaining small parts, mostly the drop ends.

And this is what ducting is left.... and ready for the drops. Smaller tubes can be inside of these, and there are quite a few left to go. We have three drops completed and two in progress. Once those have been completed, we will be halfway done with the drops.

More on the way.

I'll be posting images of the lathes as we get them finished. Then I will continue by posting images of the drill press area, and also the X-Carve. I have a little work to get the jointer and planer on-line and the sanders and miter saw... then on to the scroll saws.

4-24-18 Here are some of the students who stepped forward to lend a hand. Carson is cutting straps for securing the ducting to walls where appropriate.

Scott wants in on the action and helps sand (de-burr) cut (shortened) ducting.

Drop 1 is almost ready, only needing the hoses to make the final connection to the X-Carve and the sanding box.

This is drop 12 and will be the last one down the line, It will service the drill press area.

We returned a bunch of the green baskets to the kitchen today as they are getting emptied of parts. We are finding enough room to finally get the SawStop put into the shop tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 9:36:34 AM

Dare we start getting our ducts in a row TODAY!

It's my day off, and to move this project along I decided to spend the day working on the dust collection system. It is recommended that you build as much as possible on the floor and then place it onto the system. That works pretty well since I have a helper. I don't always have a helper, but today I am lucky to start out with one.

This branch comes off the main trunk and the drop will be for the X-Carve and the sanding box. As we figure out the suspension system, and try our best to line up the hooks, the first piece easily goes into place.

The top view of this branch end shows places where it appears that Oneida's designer's weren't thinking as they put sleeves possibly the wrong direction on at least three places on this and every other branch. If the sleeves are merely there to lengthen the branch 11", then I'm wrong in my assessment, but as I can see the actual placement, I want to shorten the run by a lot and there is where the plan has to change.

I can't shorten the duct with the sleeve on the furthest end as shown on the plan. According to their own literature, the sleeve has to be placed "with the flow" to eliminate drag. (Think of the shingles on a roof with the wind blowing. The air can sometimes flip unsecured shingles up.) I cut the duct to fit the actual location and placed the sleeve at the other end (down wind) to correct the flow.

My helper only works a half day and I'm finding that the hard part is not working alone, although I have been forced to build smaller pieces to set in place. No, the real issue is to the right and is hopefully our last obstacle but I think we may have at least one more later under the scroll saws.

But for now, I have to get through the beam and under the heater. It took a lot of extra time to do that. From this angle, you can see it was a little more than just the center beam. The center beam was less of an issue since we were right at the end of the beam and just before the steel post. It was the extra bracing... and the fact that I wanted to shorten the trunk at the same time. Changing it from making one to making two cuts on this side... just to shorten the main trunk and make the next branch run closer to the center beam.

The trunk line still has to be raised slightly with suspension hangers so it does not transfer vibrations to the room next door. Here's one way to find out how much vibrations can go through the wall. The classroom aide next door comes over to tell me I was shaking their wall (with the saber saw) and one of the light lens covers was starting to fall out. It's a half day, but classes are going on. I immediately stopped what I was doing and went over to remove the lens until we can get past that point. Friday the 13th horror averted.

In the photo above, the branch to the right will line up for the new SawStop and is also suppose to run over the lathes. It's a good thing I figured out how to make a custom sleeve since this modular system can't go less than 11". I may have to make another custom sleeve if this branch doesn't line up enough. A full sleeve might move it too far, and no sleeve might leave us short.

The other open end will go to the final branch where two sanders, a chop saw, and a band saw are located. The real fun begins when we have to figure out how to include the drill presses. Oneida declined to add that and never quite explained why. There might be enough left in the budget to buy the extra parts.

And that's how I spent my Friday the 13th.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 9:52:46 PM
Eric Lofstrom comes to class

Like everything else that is happening right now, this story is also filled with complications, but well worth the effort. When the Prescott Area Woodturners called to tell me Eric Lofstrom was in town and they wanted to bring him over to the school for demonstrations and photos, I really wanted to make that happen for both of us, but with the testing that is going on, we went round and round to figure out a way to be Eric's host. It came down to being here by 7:30 AM and only presenting until 8 AM.

Eric was wonderful, and as a school teacher himself, he easily related to the kids telling funny things and getting student interaction. It was a marvelously simple presentation that held us spellbound. I tried to keep moving around the room snapping photos, and this one was my favorite.

Would the spinning top be finished in time? Will it work? With suspense mounting... he demonstrated through clever delay tactics that kept the story moving smoothly while making a quick cut here, more personal stories... a quick cut there... when suddenly, I handed him a board to use as a surface and he spins the top on it and it was cool as it would spin top side up or down.

Then as if previously rehearsed, the spinning top on the portable surface becomes an impromptu game that everyone is dying to play. What fun the participants had when they tried to keep the top centered while also balancing on one foot... now close your eyes.

It captured everything necessary to believe that each and everyone of those kids had something to think about and something to talk about during their day, and possibly also at home, and maybe even for many years to come. In fact, entire classes are wanting to make them Here is Caleb's top.

I would like to thank both Eric Lofstrom and the Prescott Area Woodtuners. The Prescott Area Woodturners have been very instrumental in the support of our program through tax credit donations, equipment, grants and demonstrations like this. We wouldn't be this far along in building this program without their help. Sometimes people say things without really meaning them, but I am not one of them. I am completely aware that there is no way our program could get this far without their help.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 10:36:28 AM
Dust control wish list

Supposedly I will have two afternoons free during testing next week when I should be able to lift the unit high enough to add risers and cut through over the door to get into the shop and continue the duct work. So far I have managed to get everything I've wanted for my whole shop dust control system. These are next on my list.

The X-Carve is one of the closest machines to the vacuum system and this dust shoe comes with it's own grounding wire. Actually, this has already been ordered and it should arrive any day now. It will also double as a guard so I should be able to take the machine out of the plywood box.

Removing all the portable dust machines I've placed around the shop is going to be great for removing clutter, adding a lot more work area, and I'm looking forward to the new system keeping everything much cleaner.

X-Carve® dust control from the Inventables website

When I ran across this next item, I had been trying to figure out what to do for the fine dust created when sanding on the wood lathes. I thought that... for our middle school purposes at least, this would do nicely. It is especially made for smaller turnings like we do here. It is currently on sale at Rockler, has good reviews, and even if I have to abandon the blue plastic pieces in the future, I will still be able to put a dust catch/hood on to what is left. This should hopefully be ordered this week.

Dust Right® Lathe Dust Collection System from the Rockler website

Since I won't be using a portable vacuum for this, with 19.5" of flexform hose, I might be able to go directly up to the dust collector and avoid having to clamp it where they show it in the photo. I won't know exactly how far that is until I get my ducts in a row.... pun intended. It is also possible I could give up one or more of my portable wet/dry vacuums which will definitely give us more floor space.

And this is the companion piece, also on sale, which helps direct or keep the chips moving towards the dust hood, while also doubling as a sort of fancy looking guard. Time will tell how well these work together, but it is certainly something to try. The fine dust is the biggest concern and it's bound to leave some chips behind, but isn't that where a broom and dust pan comes in, or if we decide to let the kids use... dare I say this... the floor sweep feature.

Dust Right® Lathe Chip Deflector from the Rockler website

If I let them use the floor sweep, I want to limit what can go through it so we don't end up with all kinds of garbage in the collector. I guess this one statement alone shows how long I have been around kids. They will try to put all kinds of junk into the system and a floor sweep is the perfect setting for that to occur.

I've seen a few good ideas on how to accomplish this. Maybe a small removable ramp with 1/4" slots that sits over the floor sweep. Kids can sweep up onto the small ramp and most of the small dust and debris can go through while the larger junk stays behind and if I design the ramp to be similar to a dust pan, it could be periodically lifted off and dumped.

Since my lathes are three to a stand, I will also need this. Of course that means adding some wire to keep the ground continuity.

3-Way Dust Collection Junction from the Rockler website

Adapt them down to 2.5" and add separate 2.5" blast gates...

Or I might decide to make my own 2.5" blast gates.

And while you might think I make these posts just for you, I don't. I also make these posts for me... so I can go back at any time and find what I need, whether it be scroll saw blades, wood burning replacement tips, or a 2.5" blast gate. As long as the suppliers don't change their websites, I can find whatever I need, and I can also pass this list on the the next teacher who takes over when I finally do leave. I have to say with each passing day that I just might last a few more years longer than I have been saying. All this cool stuff is really making things fun.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 10:26:49 AM
The Fabulous table

I'm always skeptical when a student throws out a random idea of an unscripted project, but with this young woman's determination, I simply had to say... let's give it a try. Now that we are into it, I'm a little late in getting photos started, especially now that it is beginning to look like something more than a pile of rubble.

We had to overcome a lot of issues... what else is new around here. It seems everything I do around this place has a whole new list of issues. I hope this description will help to understand how the structure of this piece of furniture was planned out in this crowded class of motivated students who all wanted to do something quite different, and in a limited time frame.

This class wasn't even on the schedule until our life skills teacher never materialized. Then a few teachers had to divvy up the students and at least in wood shop... they will get a few life skills.

Sammy wanted a round Yin Yang table top with a drawer if possible. OK, a tall order for a beginner based on our limited resources. I say beginner, not because she hasn't performed well on past projects, but beginner in the sense that this is really a high school age project. There is equipment we don't have and machines she won't be able to use.

How do we make a round table apron under these circumstances? Producing our own form for gluing up thin pieces would have been an ideal way to make a curved apron, but time simply was not going to cooperate with getting that done.

We have to use a different approach to make as much of her dream come true as possible. She has earned her way into this spot and we have to make the best of what we have.

I wish I would have known this project was going to turn out this way because I would have started photos earlier. To me, stopping for a few photos now and then isn't conducive to keeping the learning flow in class, if that makes sense.

The Yin Yang alone was quite a proposal as we worked to set up a paper pattern. Veneer... not being a good option here, means finding two contrasting solid woods large enough to fit the size she wanted. I had my doubts, but after coming back from the wood storage, or more like dumpster dive storage, the choices were narrowed down to oak and redwood. The two don't match well in terms of hardness and I had more doubts.

Sammy's Yin Yang table top

These were cut apart on the band saw with the Yin Yang curved cut. When the two pieces were glued together, it looked fantastic, and I could see hope for it even with my misgivings about our hard/soft wood choices.

A circle was cut using a center pin and spinning it on the table saw, slowly raising the blade with each revolution. Everyone always thinks it is so cool when I demonstrate this operation.

The next issue was making the smaller circles. For that I had to bring from home my harbor freight circle saw set. With little fanfare, the pieces fit tightly together and to help out, I did the first sanding with a small belt sander.

Not a bad look either with a light touch as I managed to keep from digging out the softer wood while bringing both into the same plane. However, it is going to take some extra light sanding in order for her cross sanding marks to disappear.

At the same time, with the year's end (about 39 days) fast approaching (but not including the 3 weeks of state mandated testing we just started so it's even shorter than you think..., we were figuring out a simple way to make the apron and the only way I could see accomplishing this was using a solid block salvaged from a construction site. Although a bit top heavy, it is quick, simple and timely.

Sammy was able to make the cuts, but changed her mind about the height of the block. Not to worry as we were able to send it through the planer. She did have to give up the drawer idea. Not only is time not on our side, but the integrity and strength of the project may have been compromised.

Using rubber bands as clamps, Sammy gets the first of three veneers in place as I manage to sneak a photo. These veneers were given to me by someone who saw us on the front page of the news paper. Publicity is always a great way to get community involvement.

After waiting overnight, another side is being made ready to accept a veneer, but we are running out of rubber bands. The darn things have so little shelf life and they will pop during the night. A few extras are always placed to keep pressure long enough for the glue to dry.

We had to come up with some thick material for the legs. 2" X 4"'s would not have been as nice, so I brought a piece from home that should do the job. The boards came from an unusual source with very little background information.

The legs are certainly not a species that I can place a name to and I was told it was cut by an amateur woodworker using a chain saw mill. The man I talked with had been dragging it around the country from house move to house move and now didn't have the room to take it yet again. I know I would have used it sooner or later he tells me. A diamond in the rough, we sent it through the planer and it came out looking beautiful.

Sammy cut the legs, rounded the corners, sanded, drilled, and screwed them to the apron. Calvin is helping Sammy choose plugs (by color) to fill the screws holes... and she installs them.

Overly anxious to completely assemble the table while I have the camera in my hands, Sammy fits the top in preparation of gluing.

Making a big production of removing her hair tie before letting me take this photo, Sammy now has the top glued in position and only has a short wait before she can apply the finish.

***UPDATE*** 4-6-18, It's simply too hard for her not to come to the shop every day to see if she can take it home yet. Sammy, we still have a little ways to go, but if you want to pick out a variety of sandpaper grits, you can take it home to go over the piece, remove router burns, break the sharpness off the lower edge of the veneer, etc.... and she is so happy to walk out the door and hand it off to dad. Don't forget to bring it back for the finishing. Two more weeks of testing to go.

Sammy brought the table in yesterday and put the first coat of finish and the 2nd coat today.

We have a pretty consistent climate for the most part, but I can't help to wonder what the table might do when the summer rains come. Our shop is not air conditioned and it has made it through a little rain this winter. If it is kept in an air conditioned space year round, the humidity might not be drastic enough to affect all these grains going in so many different directions. But if it is anywhere near a swamp cooler... or an open window... cross your fingers... it just might explode.

Look back at Sammy's last project.

Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:01:20 PM
What is Scollnado?

Our old Ryobi scroll saws keep on running even as they have been falling apart. My hope is to replace them with the second grant if we can secure it. New saws will be nice and I want them to also be as dust free as possible. If funding permits, I'd like to purchase the Scrollnado dust control system.

The store manager at Rockler was chuckling at the idea of a product called the Scrollnado and really had no idea what it was. As he was mocking the whole idea, I figured it doesn't matter what he thinks, I am still interested in using this idea, so I thought as an experiment, I would take a little bit of drip hose and see if that might work.

I've been thinking of trying this for a while now... and as I wait for some duct parts to be delivered, today was a good day to begin the experiment. With a simple 1/4" MDF fixture, and by sticking the other end into the vacuum with a piece of cloth to fill the space around it, I couldn't believe how much suction was created.

The best part is the results... it completely collects the dust when you are cutting. It works better than I imagined. No more blowing on the dust to see your lines, and also causing the fine particles to go airborne. On my next version I want to try and move the MDF fixture back a little or even remove it completely. I think that would allow for more height adjustments.

Now I know if enough funding doesn't come through for adding the Scrollnado, I will simply make my own version of it. If only the closet could have been an easier place to stash the dust collector. We would already be experimenting with a dust hood design for over the lathes and a duct design for behind the drill presses. Until that happens, we are at a standstill.
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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 3:03:16 PM
Sometimes you just get lucky.... and sometimes not...

If it's not one thing, it's another. I'm working on two projects at the same time. On one side I have the 2nd grant to get ready for, and on the other, I have to finish out the first grant. While I'm at it, the dust collector's ducting is on hold for a little while as we regroup on the planning and as new quarter classes begin this week.

Side note... Can you guess the name of the person helping me? Of course you can't unless you are on campus enough to know our maintenance man Dusty!

I figured out where our original plan failed... and I knew it all along for the second half of last week, the closet goes 90 degrees opposite to what Oneida thought. It's not their fault, as they only had phone calls and photos over e-mail. They also waved the design fee. At the time we didn't even think it possible to win a grant so I'm mostly concerned with getting the numbers for our proposal.

Then today I thought, what if I'm wrong? What if Oneida wanted to simply go through the wall at any point the duct needed to go through? The problem is this... looking at the closet door from the shop, that "double" door opening is pushed all the way to the right (that means about a six foot wide spot with no wall) and has nothing at the right side but the door frame. Looking down from the top view it is clear what Oneida intended. A straight shot with two 60 degree bends through a wall to efficiently change the direction of airflow. There is no wall anywhere that can be used where it sits, except at the top.

Top View

However, there's more that it not clear from the side view. The wall or in this case, door opening, isn't even marked and the ducting takes up a lot more room than the depth of the closet. Just the 8" X 60 degree elbow alone coming off the unit sticks out a good 20". Add the extra duct and it is really a lot more space needed in the 36" deep closet. That means there wouldn't be enough room if it comes through over the door.

Side View

The filter is also marked wrong as (according to the top view) it would have been on the left side, and we are now facing and are viewing the left side. The filter didn't really have an assigned position when it arrived, according the the literature. I decided if I was putting in a door to empty the barrel, then the filter needed to be on the other side, the right side. But for our purposes that week, it still isn't clear why we can't seem to get this through that space with it turned the way we have it.

If the closet were another 30" deep, it might have worked except for some reason I still can't figure out, there is an extra beam over the shop access doorway and not barely 8" above that runs a piece of conduit. That gave us only one option for where to cut through the wall.

In the end we did the best we could and broke two clamps in the process. I think someone wasn't holding the tubes straight and wasn't watching where the clamp slides into itself and the extra pressure broke the rivet. Never mind that we were working in a very tight spot. I managed to fix the clamps by making rivets out of common nails.

Side stepping for a moment to speak about the quality of the product... it is a good system and is not too hard, especially once we get out of the tight spaces. Everything I've seen and touched so far when handling the duct work, it really is high quality. It is nice to work with and I'm expecting good things when we finally have it in use.

Once we were sure we didn't have enough room to put the unit in the way it was shown on the plans, or rather as I found out, the unit inlet would run into the door opening, we had to stop so we could order another piece or two of duct that will go through the wall and begin the ducting into the shop. So much for thinking it a simple job to use this closet space.

Looking up inside the closet you can see the duct
crosses over the filter and doesn't have enough
room if the unit rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.

If we order new parts, it can either be 2 pieces of 8" X 45 degree angle or simply one piece of 8" X 90 degree. The 2nd choice might not be the most ideal for airflow, but it may be our only answer since money is quickly running out. Or... and I just thought of this over night... what if we... now I'm certainly second guessing here, what if we added one or more short lengths of 8" adjustable sleeves? It could make it long enough to protrude out into the shop where the 60 degree might be coaxed into just the right position.

That could be as little as $30-$35 to replace. It might mean cutting a larger hole through the wall and moving the conduit out of the way. It could also potentially raise the height a small amount since it competes for space with the unmovable heater. Cosmetic things, like cutting a second hole through the wall, wouldn't be hard to fix.

The 90 degree is at least three times that, and the 45 degrees are nearly nine times that amount. There goes money we weren't expecting, but the good news is that whatever it takes... we will be free to continue the duct work into the shop.

***UPDATE*** 4-2-18 Rather then spend another few hundred dollars to add more duct, I took some time this afternoon to take everything apart and changed the inlet toward the door side. Now it runs right into the doors, but rather than cut through the doors so it fits around the duct and leaves both doors inoperable, I am figuring out a way to raise the whole unit in order to get the inlet to fit in the 11" space above the door. It turns out the door doesn't have a header. The beam above must be the header. Anyway, going through that space should be a little easier.

I also spent a little time last week building a low riding cart for the drum. Now it easily glides out from under the dust collector when you are ready to empty it. I'm going to make sides that will have it acting like a drawer, which by the way will double as a riser for the unit.

***UPDATE*** 4-9-18 It took several hours of struggle to accomplish, but we finally got it lifted and through the wall space and barely above the doors. If we hadn't lifted the unit 3 1/2", it wouldn't have worked. The opening we cut had to be altered several times since the beam came into contact with the 60 degree bend and that had to be carved out in order for it to fit. It was tight and a lot of trial and error to make it fit with very little room to spare.

***UPDATE*** 4-10-18 The heater is in the way, so the best course of action would be to avoid it by going under it so it doesn't have to be moved. I'm not even sure where it could go anyway, so I had to cut a nipple down. For the purposes of writing about it I will now call it a sleeve. It makes more sense too since it has a slightly larger interior diameter and slips over all the other duct pieces which allows you to use them to lengthen or reduce ducting. The sleeve in the photo above is the normal 11" length. It had to be cut down to shorten the duct coming out of the closet for the correct height 113". It is 113.5" to the bottom of the heater. Why didn't I purchase a shorter sleeve? Because the Norduct company doesn't make shorter pieces and this one has to be altered to fit the space. Just one more twist in a continuing saga.

It had to come down or be shortened... oddly enough, to the same amount as the unit riser that made it go over the door. When we measured the height of it on the riser, it wouldn't go under the heater without cutting and shortening the sleeve. It took quite a bit of effort to get this piece reconstructed from an extra sleeve. They show needing two sleeves at this point and we don't even need the full length of one sleeve. After assembling it back together, I hammered down the crimping from the inside. That not only flattened it down but also secured the pieces in place.

It will have silicone put around it, with a piece of aluminum tape around it to make sure there are no air leaks. I'm sure this will get easier once we get past this blip... except for our other dilemma....

You see, as part of this grant, we also have to purchase a SawStop. Every school should have one of these PERIOD! Hey, if for no other reason than to save them from a lawsuit. Think twice about NOT updating to a SawStop, especially if the price scares you. I am really glad I put this in the grant. I felt that perhaps they could/would fund both. It is something I couldn't even imagine we could afford since I started working here.

To justify something the students wouldn't even be using is a tough sell... However, the day one of my students started reaching onto the table saw for their cutting board pieces... after I turned off the saw... as the motor was winding down (the blade still spinning), as I'm frantically lowering the blade, and telling them NO... I knew I had my justification. It doesn't even matter if it was a close call or not... the students don't always get it and if they are around it, it is a legitimate safety concern, enough that our superintendent agreed. And having the grant helped too.

But the timing is a little bit off. Being this early for the purchase boxes me in by limiting the remaining budget. However, it's hard to turn down a good deal when it comes along, so we simply had to get this floor model for our shop, even though it meant stopping everything, and going down to the Phoenix Rockler Store on Wednesday to bring it back on a trailer before someone else snapped it up.

The Rockler Store floor model on display.

Rockler wanted to make room for the new SawStop model coming to the store and they thought we could really use this one, and they are right.... but the timing... I hummed and hawed a little trying to decide what to do. I was attempting to secure one of the SawStops from the cabinet shop, but they had invested too much in their saws to let one go now.

Knowing that this opportunity was quickly closing, I needed to decide what to do. Take this "pretty good" deal, or hold out, and possibly be left with a stripped down model because the money just doesn't stretch far enough... and then there is the shipping to consider, plus this saw has to be stored until we get the ducting overhead and also clear the space where it will go.

The final deal breaker for me was not only Rockler's rock bottom price, but lucky for us, the additional upgrades they wanted to have displayed in the store. After checking SawStop on-line pricing, including shipping, and comparing the extras, like the (roller bearing) sliding crosscut table ($1199.00 price tag still on it) on the left, and the extended table on the right, with the full 36" T-glide fence, the integrated mobile base, and the over arm dust collecting guard, it was hard to refuse, and we added in an extra blade and brake and then there is the sales tax.

The other good news is that Phoenix sales tax is slightly less than ours, but it still consumes more than one would like. Still, we saved a lot of money and it will be so much safer cutting in the shop with kids all around. The bad news is that while I love the sliding table, it does take up a lot of room. The good news is that if we decide to remove it, we have the original cast iron table we can put back on... and we can sell the slider if we have to. The bad news is that I don't really want to part with it. Lucky or not, this is how it is...

Now I haven't finished getting the dust collection together, and I don't know exactly what else we will need to purchase since I haven't figured out the ducting behind the drill presses yet. This early purchase reduces what remains of the grant and if anything else goes wrong, I'm not going to have everything the way I hoped it would be. Who ever does get everything they hope for? Certainly I can live with whatever happens and we will still be better off no matter what that is.

Today I'm looking through websites and pricing some of what I know are things I wanted to see as part of this project, and I'm pleasantly surprised that I might end up with most of it. There is the X-Carve dust collection or the half price alternative to consider, the Loc_Line anti-static segmented bendable hose for each drill press, along with a short piece of duct to go behind the drill presses for them to attach to the system, the 5 scroll saws that will need vacuums hooked to the system, and dust hoods over the lathes.

From what I'm seeing, we might make it if our lucky streak holds out. If nothing else gets in the way, I think we might just make it, but it's going to be tight. As usual, I'll keep you posted.

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