A journey into the workshop. #122: Shop projects, tool upgrades in progress...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 12-01-2021 10:46 PM 568 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 121: Should I tell my wife what she got me for Christmas? Part 122 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 123: Continuing the cleanup and redesign. Time in Sketchup... »

This has taken far too many Amazon orders as I am trying to do something new, and use Heat shrink crimp connectors, and found standard crimpers are not up to the duty, and I ended up wasting too many terminals, but back to what I am talking about.

I have over the years, slowly but surely been upgrading certain inexpensive, at least relatively, or at least overly basic tools to upgrade their function. I am approaching the final, I hope, state of at least 2 of those tools.

#1. My Harbor Freight / Central Machinery #32208 14” 4 speed 1HP woodworking bandsaw. This was a sub $300.00 when I bought it new (it’s that old now) saw that to get the features I have swapped in would have easily cost me $1,500.00 for a comparable Grizzly. Now this has come with a cost for sure.

The mods so far, have been.

-A. Central Machinery riser block kit. No longer available, and super happy I got it. VERY good item, huge improvement in fuction.

-B. Accura roller bearing blade guides. This is a full lower replacement assembly, and an upper yoke replacement, so it is not the micro adjustable version.

-C. Craftsman Professional universal bandsaw fence. I have tapped the table itself, and drilled the fence rails to allow permanent mounting eliminating the goofy C clamps. It works okay, not super great. REALLY wish I had spent the funds on a Grizzly resaw fence.

-D. Grizzly G0555 tension release assembly update.

-E. Carter Cobra Coil

-F. Carter wheel brush.

-G. MLCS 9072 safety paddle switch. I was always uncomfortable with the OE switch location. The MLCS switch mounts on the post same as the Grizzly, this is where the switch SHOULD be. Cable routing for the relocation is handled via some leftover Wiremold and some cable loop clips.

-H. Harbor Freight Mobile Base. Needs paint by now as it has been on concrete right next to the water softener for too long.

-I. Upgraded dust collection port from 1.25” worthless at lower blade guide, to 4”. In process to replace 4” with 2 @ 2.5” ports. One at lower blade guide, and 1 at lower left hand corner of lower blade guard, connected via 2.5” hose and 4×2.5×2.5 wye.

-I. My spies at the north pole are telling me that Santa is bringing me Brand unknown, and unimportant, Urethane 14” bandsaw tires. The install will likely be in early January.

My Harbor Freight 2HP green dust collector, which was model #97869, I have done or am doing the following upgrades.

#1. Wynn 35a .5 micron pleated cartridge filter.

#2. Wen 3403-22 Turbofan (Impeller) upgrade.

#3. I had a 55 gallon drum based, side inlet Thien separator that was killing CFM but doing an amazing job at separating chips and fine dust from the DC. After much hand wringing I pulled it completely out, and replaced it with a Bill Pentz recommended Neutral Vane using LCHIEN @ template. This puts collection back into the lower bag, but reportedly from more active users than me, keeps the filter clean enough to only require biannual blowdowns. I can do that…

More elvish spies report that Santa is allegedly bringing admittedly an off brand, but a copy of a Rapiadaire system to hard plumb my shop compressed air. Which is great because the hoses tend to crack and leak toward the plumbing connections and I am doing what I can to stop the leaks!

I am collecting materials needed to do the build / complete the builds for the following.

#1. Lathe ballast / storage bench. My wife wants it pretty. I don’t care on this one. SO 4×4s and 2×4s it is! I will be adding a set of salvaged drawers to hold various lathe tools. Measurements are done, 2×4s for the top butcher block glue up have been planed, and sawn ready for glue.

#2. Complete the build of the drawers for the miter saw bench. This is NOT meant to be pretty either. This will be very basic through doweled butt joints. I am looking at just banging this together quickly, not pretty. Once the workbench and table saw are freed up from the mess that is my shop junk, I will rip and then cross cut the pieces, and get after assembly Once done, I should be able to call the miter saw bench done.

#3. Drill Press rolling storage cabinet. This is a design that will be modded from woodsmithshop designs. I want mine to be wider, but I digress. This will be made “Pretty” using proper face frames, drawer fronts, and doors. I will likely make raised panel drawer front / doors just to get the practice in. I am working on drawing up the design and coming up with a cutlist for the plywood cabinet, and the walnut trim / doors / drawer fronts.

#4. Table saw storage cabinet / mobile base. I have a Ryobi BT3100 table saw with a stock stand, and a shop made VERY basic mobile base, a wide table kit that has a pretty nice router table with Bench Dog router plate. I plan on taking ou the wide table kit, cutting down the shop made top that has the router table built in. A basic cabinet taking the entire space under the saw / height the stock stand tok, with a footprint matching the rails, with drawers, and open shelves. This will be an area to store blades, dadoes, wrenches, throat plates, featherboards, router bits etc… An upper box to enclose the router and facilitate below table dust collection will be added.

The idea behind this all is to buy back effectively wasted space, and improving shop storage and usability.

I have also spent an unusally large amount of time, and am still doing the research, but it looks like 6” duct is what I will be going with for the DC…. I am hoping to be able to use complete 5’ sections to avoid having to cut anything so that hte migration to the new shop building will be, if you don’t mind the pun, seamless…

This is what years of not doing what I need to in my shop as I got my head screwed back on straight looks like. Incompleted projects left undone, combined with neglect. At least I am enjoying this again…

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