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Profile: tbockman
User Name: tbockman
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Joined: Friday, November 17, 2006
Last Visit: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:40:50 AM
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:52:27 PM


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.

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.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:14:51 PM
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!
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:52:58 PM
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.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:51:47 PM
Getting a start on the details... 14

5-20-18 I started working on the X-Carve today and it consumed most of my time too. This is a link to their X-Carve installation instructions. I had to begin with a reducer for the hose in the X-Carve dust control kit we purchased. My photo was taken before I shortened the screw clamp.

Some of the little parts that are spread all over on the table.

Some parts are test fitted on the table.

The scale helps the user to level out the brush. You can see how much dust the machine has from not having this previously installed. My hope is that it will keep this area clean.

The brush has a set of inserts that help concentrate the vacuum. The 2nd one will be for later if the 1st gets chewed up. The brush also has a gap to allow for the brush removal without first removing the blade.

The anti-static hose (which actually threads into the end piece) has a wire to help dissipate possible static build up. The other strap you see that goes around both the hose and the router is my own addition, knowing several things in advance. First, students won't be able to resist repeatedly pulling on the hose since it is the closest to the operator. This stress may cause problems with the hose to brush connection down the road.

Next, I have the hose running to the back corner of the machine instead of the front. This is due to the location of our blast gate. That makes the hose fall a little forward and this tilts the brush forward causing it to ride on the front bristles. With the amount of space they have allowed for the shoe to fit into, I can't imagine that changing the hose mount to the front wouldn't cause the tilt towards the back.

Lastly, It seems to not be affecting the router movement as it has the room to move quite a bit before rocking the clamp a little. I don't want these younger students to remove the hose or the brush. With the way we have it set up, and it's minimal movement up and down, it would be rare for them to need to remove it, and that is better for everyone concerned.

My quick opinion of the product without having used it first... a little over priced. This coming from a guy who rarely buys stuff but instead dumpster dives for our materials. That said, we will see how it holds up.

(We did a test run later as you will read, and the whole area stayed clean. That is a big improvement over the plywood box. The box worked, but it did get messy inside and needed to be cleaned after a few projects. Now it will stay clean on every project.)

Now that the big plywood box is gone, it is a bit noisier when we run the X-Carve, but the amount of space freed up gives me enough room to install a vice on the corner of the table. This one was given to me by a former colleague who has long since retired and thinks I'm absolutely crazy for not doing the same. I know it's not the best vise for a wood shop, but it is a vise that will be put to good use just the same.

You don't know how much you would miss work tables with proper vises until you are forced to go without. It will probably always be a problem here as the space is inadequate and there is never enough money or room to do everything we really need to have done around here either.

There have been several mentions about a new building, but I'm not sure how far down the road that is and if I'll still be around when it happens, but there is a chance for a larger space in the future. Can you imagine having to move this dust collection. At least it is the snap together modular ducting that will make that job easier, and I wanted that because I can easily see this happening. It's not a matter of if, but when.

While I have had some excellent news about the second grant we applied for, until I actually see a check, I consider it not newsworthy enough to be mentioning it yet, but can you imagine adding a new full sized band saw, and scroll saws that actually work without falling apart, or having a helix head planer that will be connected to a dust collector, and a belt disc sander that will not have a make shift dust shroud or a belt that tends to move over when you least expect it.

5-21-18 This really SUCKS.... and I mean really! The vacuum is amazing and we tested it today with the X-Carve. It worked perfectly. Not a crumb left behind. Of course we didn't do anything too elaborate, but all signs point to clean in our future.

Skip all the way back to the first X-Carve post from January 4, 2016.

Go to page 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5... 6 ... 7... 8... 9...11
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:39:15 PM
Getting a start on the details... 13

I was having a hard time bending the cylindrical parts I am making out of scrap sheet metal. I noticed an old mail box post in my home scrap heap out back. 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".

The lathes have a 6" main duct split into three 4" reduced down to 2.5". I'm not sure I will make or purchase 2.5" blast gates. It doesn't seem to make a difference if they are all open... just like the drill presses. I'll have to live with it for a while before I decide since leaving too many blast gates open changes the way it picks up the dust.

5-27-18 I took a couple of old clean socks and stuffed them into another sock, tied a knot and it makes the perfect plug to close off unused lathes scoops.

Now, if I could just get maintenance to finish fixing the lathes that need attention... after all, it has been a year since I put in the written request for it. Hurry up Dusty!!! Once we have them all fixed and in place, I can button up the final stages of dust collection on the lathes.

Although there is a ton of air moving when opening the blast gate, I'm positive there will be no way to completely contain the chips coming off these lathes... especially larger projects, but then, the floor sweep is not far away. If I can keep the students from putting junk through the system, I will allow them to use the floor sweep. I just wasn't expecting the floor sweep with a trapdoor on the front. That will make it more difficult to screen junk.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:37:12 PM
Getting a start on the details... 12

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 put up more of a fuss, 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 that they send wrong. It is now suppose to be on it's way at no charge.

You know... the trapdoor on this floor sweep thwarts my plan to make a wedge shaped screening devise to keep kids from putting all manner of crap through the dust collector. I am going to have to be strict about it's use. I can imagine rags, sand paper, nails, screws, broken scroll saw blades, small blocks of wood, larger blocks of wood... all ending up rattling there way through the duct work. OK kids, pick out the junk before you send that sawdust pile through the trapdoor. In a perfect world!

***UPDATE*** 5-27-18... OK... Oneida sent the wrong hose and a different part came instead of a 5" clamp... not to mention the part that came was suppose to go to Oregon. After a quick phone call, the right stuff should be on the way now, and also Oneida tells me this stuff happens all the time (people missing parts near the end of a project, so they may be refunding some money after-all. Still, it's a good idea to check all the parts and report missing stuff before even beginning. It will make things easier in the long run.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:30:42 PM
Getting a start on the details... 11

5-17-18 Without even giving it a thought, I measured a short 90 degree elbow which would have hugged the wall nicely on the way to the drill presses, and then when I actually ordered the elbows, they gave me the long ones. At first I was ready to call them and return them, but as I think back, I very well may have let the sales person decide. The worst part is they probably also told me they were choosing the long ones. It made for a perplexing day as I tried to figure out if I could make them work. The last thing I wanted to do that day was eat crow!

Here's my thinking. 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 smarter idea in the long run. That in fact is why they chose these over the short ones. It took some deep thought. They kept lining up and covering the electrical outlets. With a little maneuvering, I was able to finally 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, and I didn't have to switch out to the only one 5" short elbow I had already used on another drop location.

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 are staying clean.

5-18-18 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. If I want the modular hose to be well-anchored, it has to be secured right to the duct. This won't work as well if I have to use the 3" hose to make the port connection as they would be too flexible and I would have to make another anchor location like I was forced to do on the larger drill press. The modular hose wouldn't have a way to stay where you want it to vacuum on the drill press without a secure anchor.

I've decided on using plastic plumbing parts to make this anchor connection. I noticed this when I was talking the Dusty (maintenance) and we both saw a piece of plastic plumbing in his shop that looked like it would fit. He went out and bought a set of three along with another threaded part the fit the other end. 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, which as it turns out, also makes them an easier run to the machines.

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 plumbing fixtures to a single link of the modular hose. Screws are added for an extra strong bond. I ended up running six around the outside that had been modified so they didn't stick out on the inside. I didn't want drilling chips to get stuck on screw tips and clog up the system. We also don't want these connections to come loose. We want them to stay steady 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. I think there might be one section of 5" duct left if this doesn't work.

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

The assembly is drying for a few days before the rest of the modular hose is linked into place. The center anchor was the most difficult to reach and tighten since it is about 28" from the end. With my arm fully extended, I can barely hold the outside as I can barely grip and turn the inside.

5-19-18 Moving on to the larger and most used drill press, I'm cutting and shaping a spacer/reducer on the lathe that will fit the duct end. This duct doesn't line up as well to the machine, so another anchor has to be added, unless I have enough modular hose to go the distance, and I don't.

I'm adjusting the size of the spacer/reducer so one end fits into the 4" blast gate behind the large lathe. Made the same as all the other spacer/reducers on this system, the other end is the same size as the duct connection point, so a clamp can go around and seal it tight. And, it really does look nice... at least to me.

The completed spacer fits perfectly and on this one, 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. I haven't yet shortened the screw clamp in this photo.

The small drill presses show the 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. It also looks as if the adjustments might work for the entire length of quill travel on every machine.

5-27-18 After we had the dust collector working, students had fun drilling holes on the drill press and watching the dust and chips disappear. It's like magic. I'm positive that this new dust collector is going to make a huge difference.

I planned on having enough left over for me to take a little home and use on my own drill press. I'm happy to say that it looks as if there is just enough left for that, so I need to pay for the parts. By combining these together, it saves on shipping. It also was a safe guard against not having enough to reach all the remaining drill presses. So... since there was more than enough, "note to self", don't forget to pay the office before you install the left over at home.

After splitting these posts up, I've lost my place and know I've probably mentioned this a couple of times already, but after filling an old clean sock with two other socks, I made the perfect plug to place near the nozzle to stop airflow on any unused machines without spending extra for smaller blast gates. It should be easy for everyone to get used to using.

Here is one of my worries... the after school program. 4th and 5th graders come into the wood shop after school and we have to feed them snacks before we begin. It is part of the 21st Century grant. The kids are all good kids, but I still find food wrappers all over the shop. It's kids after all... and I can easily see them thinking it is fun to send those wrappers through the dust collector. That is something I will have to address before hand.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:28:13 PM
Getting a start on the details... 10

5-12-18... 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.

Although I had to trim the size again, the 3" can now has a mechanical bond by fitting onto the oval shaped flange. The angle makes it more difficult to construct.

The now smaller 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 projects. 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.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:25:00 PM
Getting a start on the details... 9

5-9-18 We live in one of the driest climates in the country. When we were kids, we didn't have carpet in our house, but when we went to someones house that had carpet, you would get a shock whenever you touched someone or some thing metal. This was no ordinary shock, but one where you could see a blue spark, sometimes as long a 1/4".

This happens all the time when I'm getting out of the car too. That shock has sometimes caused fires at gas stations. You should always touch a metal ground before you unscrew the gas cap. Then don't sit back down in your vehicle while the gas is pumping... without touching the door frame before you touch the gas nozzle again.

This also happens when you vacuum. The other day I was using the vacuum and kept feeling the static shocks. The drier it gets, the more often and the bigger the shocks. There is static everywhere around you that you only find out about when you touch ground.

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 the inside to prevent static build up.

And another hose to another sander.

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

Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:20:42 PM
Getting a start on the details... 8

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. The gravity feed was simply going into a bucket where we emptied it as it filled up.

Once the chute was shortened, a sheet metal cover was put into place over the chute to enclose it and concentrate the airflow. Weather stripping was added along the front edge before attaching the dust port. Now instead of simply having a gravity feed to a bucket, there is now a long square enclosed duct running right up to the blades. Add some suction and this machine should never get clogged or allow dust and chips into the shop.


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