Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics..........

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Blog series by Jim Bertelson updated 02-08-2013 10:03 PM 31 parts 102492 reads 607 comments total

Part 1: My antic plans for the weekend........

10-31-2009 03:52 AM by Jim Bertelson | 3 comments »

I am into “shop antics” this weekend, or at least I think thats what Mike Stefang from Norway would call it. One of Mike’s comments gave me that part of the title for this series. I decided I was not going to use my TS (nearly 20 year old Delta contractor’s saw) any more until I fixed the on-off switch and position. You can’t find it half the time, and to look, puts your face in front of the blade. Bad deal. So I have pretty well designed my new switch…...

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Part 2: Running late, but the switch mechanics look good......I hope

11-01-2009 04:53 AM by Jim Bertelson | 2 comments »

Lots of thing goin’ on Saturday…....exercise, lunch with my true love, errands…..... Well I lengthened the cord from the motor to the switch, got the mount figured out to the Vega Fence…....even made it adjustable. Had to revamp some materials usage, some of the aluminum tubing I had was bent. Switched to dowels, thats OK, use aluminum bearings. Please understand, I am making this from scrap and the junk box….....that’s one of the premises….make a ...

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Part 3: Nearly done with the table saw switch..........

11-02-2009 05:10 AM by Jim Bertelson | 4 comments »

I am nearly done with building my table saw switch mechanism using the original toggle switch. CHEAP, fun, and interesting. My rules are…. no new purchases allowed. Scrap box and odds-and-ends. Not done enough for pictures, lost a lot of time today for a variety of reasons, but did get some of the Sketchup stuff done, and got the mechanism to the point that a couple of hours will have it on the saw. The concept has been established in wood and a tiny bit of metal and works well. Mind yo...

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Part 4: A little progress on the table saw switch

11-05-2009 05:22 AM by Jim Bertelson | 7 comments »

Work has been interfering with my life again….rats. Got enuf time in the shop today to finish the bearings on the switch. They provide the sliding surface for the dowel that flips the switch. The bearings, and stops now eliminate unwanted rotation, over depression, or over extension of the switch. Meaning, it you can’t push it in too far, pull it out too far or somehow turn it…....all to avoid stressing the toggle switch. So just a little bit of plywood, the actual face t...

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Part 5: THE SWITCH - functionally complete, outstanding performance

11-07-2009 03:52 AM by Jim Bertelson | 15 comments »

DELTA CONTRACTOR SAW ON-OFF SWITCH REPLACEMENT – PRECISION SCRAPBOX REPLACEMENT PURPOSE: Replace my current table saw (TS) switch with a safer, more convenient switch mechanism. BACKGROUND: My saw has (had) the stock toggle switch mounted on the cabinet that was hard to find, occasionally required a look, right behing the saw blade, and definitely dangerous. I almost bought a couple of switches I saw at Rockler, Woodcraft, etc on the internet. But they didn’t grab me. They all see...

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Part 6: Switch Done - all dressed up for the dance

11-09-2009 12:27 AM by Jim Bertelson | 2 comments »

I put the dust shield sides on yesterday and I used two tone Watco to finish the switch. This is a picture of the switch on the saw, completely done and in use. I think this is the most successful shop addition I have made. Performance is optimum, and the safety added by the switch alone makes it worthwhile.

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Part 7: Using the improved table saw, and making zero clearance inserts

11-09-2009 04:13 AM by Jim Bertelson | 2 comments »

Got 4 blanks cut for the zero clearance inserts (ZCI). Using MDF. Drew out 4 blanks on a 48×40 sheet of left over MDF, cut the section out with table saw, then split that section in two length wise so I had two pieces with two rough blanks. Then split it into 4 with the RAS. I had cut some plywood earlier today, and some fiber board. Why the detail in the description? Since I put those machined pulleys on, and the twist link belt (along with my Forrest WWII thin kerf blade with stabil...

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Part 8: An ELECTRIFYING WEEKEND, When Peter Power Pillar Got More Power, & Tammy Table Saw Got More Whine

11-17-2009 10:56 PM by Jim Bertelson | 4 comments »

What follows is a true story,……Tammy arrived without a motor……..and we found it…..and the rest is true also, so help me SAWDUST ………… Of all the joyous sounds of the shop, there is none more beloved than Tammy TableSaw’s wonderful whine. She is a proud Contractor’s Saw, born to serve, born to create, born from love. When Tammy starts a whining, all the other tools become alert, knowing that they too will soon join in the song. The whine of the saw is the herald of creation, the shop will b...

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Part 9: Yankee Push Drill

12-06-2009 04:34 AM by Jim Bertelson | 18 comments »

I saw Timbo’s blog entry about an old Miller Falls hand drill, I have used those. And I thought of my Stanley Yankee Push Drill, and thought it was worth a thought, especially, since it is still in active use…...... I have an old Stanley Yankee push drill, anybody remember those? Still in use, and sits in my home made tool tote. My Dad had one, and so I bought one in the 70’s…..use it to this day. No cords, no batteries, bits are in the handle. Quick for electrical,...

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Part 10: Do you have a gift list, things people can get for you? I do, and it says I am a......LJ

12-10-2009 03:13 AM by Jim Bertelson | 14 comments »

This is the first year, perhaps ever, that I made a gift list. Meaning what I would like, meaning stuff for me. Not what I am going to give to others, the loved and needy souls in my life….. What’s with this….......?! This is a list for Sherie, my wife, who agonizes about this…..things she can buy for me, and get a true, genuine, smile out of me. But I think it probably says a lot about someone… know…...the items on a gift list…......wha...

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Part 11: Case for a digital oven thermometer

12-27-2009 10:51 PM by Jim Bertelson | 8 comments »

My digital oven thermometer, with remote, needed a case. I decided to make it from wood. Since the now infamous thermometer had been the subject of some humerous bantering between NBeener and I, Neil wanted to see the case. I had used it to cook the prime rib for Christmas dinner. It is a small project, not of much note, made from 1/4” birch ply mostly, with a 1/2” birch ply bottom, and a 1/8” acrylic cover. Construction is nails and glue. Medium Walnut WATCO danish oil i...

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Part 12: The Panel Trolley Antic................gonna lighten my load.........

02-01-2010 12:57 AM by Jim Bertelson | 27 comments »

I saw this panel handler trolley in a magazine, except made out of metal, and therefore a much different looking base where the panel rests. I thought the physics were doable in wood, and I had a bunch of scrap wood. I needed a little warmup before tackling my super sled. The main pieces of the sled are cut out by the way, and the fences are gluing up. I decided I had enough shop time this weekend, now I need to vegetate before starting another week of work. This project is classified a...

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Part 13: Lumberjocks Mentored Projects

03-01-2010 04:01 AM by Jim Bertelson | 11 comments »

My Super Sled is the demo item for this discussion: This continues to be a technically interesting thing to build. Of course, I started out with a simple design more like Neil’s, but everyone has urged me to add all the gizmos…........and every gizmo prolongs the build. So LJ’s has slowed me down, but I will end up with a more versatile device. I don’t know if LJ’s is gonna be a help or a hindrance in whatever the final product is like…......but I am ...

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Part 14: What's the oldest thing in your shop you bought new............?

03-09-2010 03:17 AM by Jim Bertelson | 21 comments »

There is no contest in my shop, and I have alluded to it before….......the oldest thing in my shop is a study lamp I went to college with, in 1959. Bought new. Now here is a picture of that lamp….......... ......and I have said this before too, that was my study lamp, used throughout college, medical school, and beyond…....... still has the original bulbs. Either those are the best bulbs in the world….....or I didn’t spend much time study...

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Part 15: I Cannot do Quick and Dirty a melody?

03-15-2010 03:17 AM by Jim Bertelson | 8 comments »

I did my best, I tried to control myself… no avail…....this was a miserable failure. I cannot do QUICK AND DIRTY ANYMORE…... ......I claim complete rights to the country and western song title…........(-: So how was it that my attempt to do something just minimal, unfinished, no amenities, just blast it out, who cares what people think, I am going to replace it anyway…........was a fiasco…...a flop…....... I am a total screwup. Now...

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Part 16: A case of LackaNewTool Lament.....................

03-27-2010 06:51 PM by Jim Bertelson | 21 comments »

Recently….....I was talking about the new sandpaper, and my ancient Hitachi sander in a recent blog entry. And I got this yearning for a new sander… know, nothing like a new tool to make you upbeat. You know…....... the average American equates buying a new car or truck as nirvana .......soaking up the hype….certain that he will be the envy of the neighbors, revelling in the scent of newness…as they just sit in the vehicle…...... caressi...

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Part 17: FLASH: The Petrified Poets Society Selected to Judge.......The Great Sanding Block Beauty Show......

04-12-2010 01:42 AM by Jim Bertelson | 26 comments »

PETRIFIED POETS SOCIETY Well, I couldn’t call a bunch of LJ’s dead, could I? This endeavour is a real LJ family affair. Many LJ’s contributed to the impetus to make this, well, extravagent and over engineered sanding block. Just so you all know I am really not THAT ‘kooky’ (PATRON has labeled my sense of humor thus and I will spend the rest of my days on LJ’s living it down) I WILL TRY TO SPREAD AROUND THE BLAME NORTON is a real block head, and...

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Part 18: Quality Tools - LJ's Can Make a Difference!

05-02-2010 08:29 PM by Jim Bertelson | 5 comments »

AllI was replying to lilredweldrinrod's Rigid service review and realized I was rambling on, so I converted it into a blog…......currently I am in Chicago at the start of a vacation consisting of family vistis and a random road trip. LJ’s are undoubtedly partially responsible for some the changes we see in the service policies of tool companies…........... In the old days, quality seemed a matter of pride, and most woodworking machines were commercial. Commercial prod...

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Part 19: I HATE POSTS MADE OF's not etiquette, it's about marketing...........

05-21-2010 06:17 PM by Jim Bertelson | 48 comments »

In some sense, we are all in the business of attracting attention, everyone wants their posts to be read. If you attract attention to your post, and then get people to read it, then you maximize your impact. That is, you satisfy yourself, and you satisfy your readers. A win/win situation. So here is why I don’t read posts that depend mostly upon links. Here is why I prefer, and push, for the whole post to be in one place, whether it is a review, blog, or whatever. If you want a lo...

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Part 20: Hallucinations from the Beach, on a Theme from a 'Project from the Past'

10-04-2010 01:07 AM by Jim Bertelson | 28 comments »

Knowing that I was under the gun.......fresh from vacation…....didn’t have any excuses, I thought I would immediately post a blog entry…......... BAMMMMM…................ Only 5 hours after arriving and waking up late, recovering from the dreaded red eye special, just back from Hawaii, ...TA DAHHHH….....a post. Now, you should realize, that my mind is still in vacation mode. Today is recovery, tomorrow is an adjustment day off, to get in the mood for ...

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Part 21: The LumberJock Syndrome, also known as the Dick Cain Syndrome

01-12-2011 06:13 PM by Jim Bertelson | 36 comments »

I dedicate this post to Dick Cain, and DennisGrosen. Dick, because like me, he has confessed to having the syndrome, and Dennis, who has spent considerable time investigating the cause, his latest focus being the devices at the entrance of the stores which may be much more than they seem. Keep up the good work Dennis, you may become famous in the arcane field of mind control. Aha….....that’s it, mind control…......that’s what they are up to. Indeed it must be the ca...

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Part 22: Don't clean up those old tools, you are removing their value! It's all about...PATINA!

02-15-2011 05:41 PM by Jim Bertelson | 28 comments »

Making a comment on one of nbeener’s posts, I got to thinking about my tools. Many of them are, well, veritable antiques. And I bought them new! That is not possible, unless you are an antique….....and unfortunately I qualify. One of the most important things about antiques is the patina. Refinishing removes much of the value. I learned that…, not at a Holiday Inn Express…....I learned that on Antiques Roadshow! So just to help you understand the concept, ...

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Part 23: House without a soul. …or how I brought purpose, and creativity to a lifeless home.

05-08-2011 06:36 PM by Jim Bertelson | 20 comments »

I don’t know about the rest of you LJ’s, but I walk into my shop and it’s like putting on an old pair of slippers…….a real old pair, 26 years old to be exact. I know where everything is, and probably could literally find anything I need in the dark. Don’t want to be in the dark……..although sometimes I really am clueless…..but, you know what I mean. Sure, my shop is changing from its plebian DIYer origins, and mutating into a woodworking shop. But that redefinition isn’t a far stretch, most...

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Part 24: in simple things.......drivin' steel.....feelin' like John Henry!

05-21-2011 03:55 AM by Jim Bertelson | 27 comments »

The big door on the minibench, to access the compressor, the next step. I am going to make it lift up, so that the weight of the door will keep it in place, along with a bullet catch. So I had to make a place for the hinge, since this is an on-the-fly plan change. Chisel, to make room for the hinge mount. Glue chip-out chisel first, the one I had sharpened. Had to finish with a small new chisel…..the old glue chipper is better…...the WorkSharp has some work to do. Fit the...

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Part 25: The Secret Lumberjocks Auxillary ASSEMBLY MISADVENTURE

06-29-2011 03:17 AM by Jim Bertelson | 47 comments »

APOLOGY…….. OK, for you of the politically correct persuasion, I believe either sex can be in the Auxiliary in LJ’s, how could it be otherwise? That is the last homage to ‘politically correct’ you will get in this blog……….so savor it….... ………..this is the last smiley because, this whole thing is a smiley………(-: So…I know, an apology is due here, because this is not strictly woodworking. But I used my new little vacation home minishop here in La Conner WA. It will soon gain real ...

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Part 26: Preview…Minibench Makes Minibench…is this Self Propagation?

06-30-2011 11:42 PM by Jim Bertelson | 32 comments »

…Progress on the TarBall Quartet INTRODUCTION The TarBall is a quartet of interconnected projects, one leading to the other. I will review this, since the Minibench only makes sense in context. The four items: 1. Super Sled2. Project Table top (with slots for hold downs, pedestals on the other side, it is reversible)3. Minibench Base (a more robust base for the heavy Project Table top)4. Robust dust collection and outfeed table for my TS. The first 3 are basically ...

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Part 27: The Unproject...Destruction with a Purpose...Shop Space............

08-22-2011 03:18 AM by Jim Bertelson | 25 comments »

Well, this is an UnProject, so I really couldn’t call it a project now, could I???? But it is important, because it’s about MY SPACE. The Freezer, you know the d…. freezer is about to leave MY SPACE. Sherie has been diligently shredding documents from centuries ago, that took up space, much better suited…to the Freezer. It’s a new freezer. The last one, a Gibson small chest freezer, bought in 1983, lasted until last year…27 years. Back in those days, ...

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Part 29: Sawdust is a big part of our lives...or... What goes around, comes around.

01-19-2012 01:30 AM by Jim Bertelson | 15 comments »

Dropped this into one of Roger’s posts this afternoon, but thought it merited a blog post…........ OK, so the furnace goes out this morning, probably about 0200hrs, and I wake up at 0400hrs and notice it is a little cold…...check the electronic thermostat, yup there is a problem. Ain’t electronics wonderful? Go down to the shop… the furnace is a squatter there... and take the top off of the furnace. Lot’s ...

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Part 30: Woodworking Vise – Upside Down Mount, Shrouded Mechanics – What’s with that?

02-12-2012 11:31 PM by Jim Bertelson | 47 comments »

PREFACE.I just had to have a woodworking vise on my multipurpose bench..So, if you want to see how a lot of work, some off the wall design, and worrying about the details solved a tough problem, read on. And as usual, we will have a little fun along the way…….I have another ancient one on my 40 year old work bench, so what’s the need? The old bench is no longer the focus of my woodworking, and in fact in recent years my flimsy folding project tables shouldered the lion’s share of my efforts…u...

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Part 31: Function, only Function

02-08-2013 10:03 PM by Jim Bertelson | 28 comments »

.. Function, only Function…..another episode of….Sherie and Bubba Jim. Pounding sense into your man, one nail at a time... Now you are thinking that picture is a gag. Sheer fantasy….”How silly could anyone be?”, you say. Well, believe it or not, that comical looking construct (using the term loosely) has been working for over a year. OVER A YEAR, MIND YOU. This is actually the working internet connectivity cabinet, up until today. Yup, something to be pr...

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