Having been out of action over the last month due to a nasty flare up of dermatitis/eczema in both my legs I'm now clear of this and raring to get stuck into a project once again. Hopefully when I see the nurse tomorrow my blood pressure will be OK but I feel a project coming on.
Last year whilst Bron and I still owned the Fabia Monte Carlo this was always garaged so I was limited to the size of kit I could buy. I sold my big heavy cast iron Startrite combination woodworking machine and bought an American Shopsmith combination woodworking machine this being much lighter than the Startrite and only occupying the space of a cycle. I intended to keep the SS so I fully refurbished the headstock replacing the bearings including the motor bearings so it's now running very sweetly indeed.
Shortly after this we exchanged the Monte and bought the new Yeti but now I let the Yeti sleep out freeing up the entire garage which I've been remodelling into a full time workshop until the dermatitis kicked in. I also bought a very nice DeWalt radial arm saw model DW8001 which I've had in bits and replaced the bearings; this RAS is now centre piece in the new layout allowing me to cross cut timber up to 20' in length which is truly delightful.
I already have an industrial floor standing drill press and two nice woodturning lathes so all I now use the SS for is ripping and this is proving troublesome. Because the SS saw table is mounted above the lathe the table is proving too high for comfort; yes the saw is OK and a big bonus is that it can handle full sized sheet material but all I now need is a decent circular saw bench then I can sell the SS.
I plan to design and make my own circular saw/moulding bench to suit my needs; I don't want a toy; I want a saw bench capable of some serious work and I intend to install a single phase 3kw (4hp) 2 pole motor; cap start/cap run to power a 12" dia blade. I very seldom do any angle ripping so my new saw bench will only have rise and fall; if ever I do need to do any angled cuts I can easily rig up a false table as a guide. I've owned a suitable heavy duty saw spindle for many years in fact years ago I used this when I made a moulding machine; at the moment I'm unable to find the outer flange but I will turn a new cast iron flange on the lathe as a last resort. The spindle is 1.25" dia for the blade. I still have the moulding head so I can have two machines in one; the moulding head running at around 2,850rpm is a bit slow but previously at this speed it's produced excellent work for me simply by putting the timber through a bit slower. A DOL (Direct on line) starter will be added to afford motor overload protection and no volt release also for my personal safety I'll have a look to see if I have a spare emergency stop station which I'll include. Double SPZ pulleys and belts will provide the drive in fact I might increase the pulley size dia on the motor because I think the tipped saw blades can be run up to 4,500 rpm; this would then give a better speed for the moulding head.
So far all this is just floating around in my head as to general design but yesterday I took the first step and ordered plenty of black MS angle iron and flat bar from K Steels here in Huddersfield. As usual though for me I have to fight tooth and nail to make positive progress in anything I attempt to do. I emailed K Steels for a quote and received a quick reply which was acceptable; then my computer died having no Internet access so I couldn't reply to the email; no problem because Bron and I drove over to K Steels; ordered the steel and paid for it; sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best. I was amazed when the steel arrived at 8:30 this morning; excellent price with top class service; well done K Steels. Over the years I've tended to use lots of offcuts whether steel or timber obtaining these from a number of places but unfortunately lots of these places no longer exist and the last sheet metal place I used to obtain my black steel from has disappeared and the building is no longer there so I'm using mostly new steel on this project but even so the price of the new steel is very reasonable because I'm buying directly from where local industry buys; the prices might surprise you and I don't mind sharing the information; the steel I've just bought is;
2 off 6.0 m-6.3 m Black angle MS 40 x 40 x 3mm £20.
1 off 4.0 m-4.3 m Black MS flat 50 x 3mm £6.00
1 off 6.6 m-6.3 m Black MS flat 50 x 5mm. £10.00
Total cost of order a very reasonable £43.20.
My background is mechanical engineering so a project like this won't tax me too much and I don't need a dimensioned drawing to work from just making it up as I go along to suit whatever I have to hand. So far only a few dimensions are known; the total height is to be 31.5" this then allows the bench to double up as an out-feed table; the motor 4hp. the blade bore 1.25" dia and the blade dia 12". This is enough for me to work from. It will make a change having long lengths of steel to play with; obtaining the motor is rather a joke; I must be one of very few guys to have physically handled hundreds of thousands of electric motors of all sizes from ones I could lift easily with one hand up to the giants where an overhead crane or fork truck was needed to move them around; whilst at work all I had to do was to ask for a motor and I would be given one on the understanding I wouldn't sell it. I also had access to the scrap bins and any size of metal also absolutely any motor spare but now 16 years after retiring I'm chasing a motor; I would prefer second hand but I'll buy new through eBay if I get stuck. I don't mind spending around £250 in order to get a 4hp saw bench plus I find such projects to be worth much more than mere money because they keep me active and interested.
I'm not in a hurry to complete this project; fingers crossed I'll be clear of the surgery and doctors tomorrow then I can get stuck in. I'm so used to this kind of work I take it for granted but I must stress that I'm only adding my story for interest and anyone attempting to copy in part or whole does so entirely at their own risk because these kinds of project can inflict serious injuries or even be fatal when it comes to the electrical work.
A few pictures just to get started and I'll add to the story as the work progresses. I made an hinged stand for my 9" angle grinder and this grinder will be used to cut most of the metal saving tiring my arms out using an hack-saw. I'll be welding but set screws/washers/nuts could be used if welding isn't available these only requiring holes to be drilled. lets se how it progresses?
Kind regards, Col.
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