Author Topic: silk purse from a sow's ear?  (Read 3943 times)

Offline jcs0001

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silk purse from a sow's ear?
« on: August 16, 2015, 11:21:49 PM »
I have a small shop with both metal and woodworking machines.  One machine I've had for a few years is a modern, made in Taiwan, direct drive 6 in. jointer.  The total table length is 36 in.  I've never "bonded" with this machine for a few reasons.  Even though the bed is cast iron, the fence is aluminium and won't keep it's setting.  At best it's somewhere around 90 degrees but can never be trusted to keep a setting.

I made a wooden wheeled stand for it that locks down when stationary and only lifts the jointer about an inch off the ground.  However the metal stand the jointer came with is too high and makes the machine a bit top heavy particularly when jointing heavy boards.  A photo of the offending machine.



I recently decided to replace this jointer with a better 6 in. model - a bit longer if possible and with a better fence.  My old friend was selling a delta however it was 32 in. (shortbed) and I didn't want to go down in length.  Looking at local ads online I found a 42 in. x 6 in. jointer.  The photos were horrible and I couldn't make out what it was.  It took a few days but I eventually got in touch with the owner and was informed that he and his son could not find a make on it.  The description sounded like an older rockwell or delta so I went down to see it.

It seems that the jointer was made in taiwan? and is a direct copy of an older delta 6 in. jointer.  It appeared to be in reasonable shape except that one of the table raising wheels had a bent axle and the rod and knob that locks the fence position and angle was missing.  The owner advised that a pipe wrench worked well as one didn't need the knob. :Doh:

I would much rather have purchased a longbed delta 6 in. jointer but they are few and far between in my area.  The price of this one was pretty reasonable so I dissembled it and brought it home in my car.

I don't have any "before" pictures however here are a couple showing the stage I'm at now:



And the base with an extension of the chip chute almost complete:



I put a mobile base under it as it's the only way I can use machinery in my small shop.

The easiest repair was replacing the switch.  The original had died so the owner wired it direct - to turn it on plug it in and to turn off unplug it.  I wasn't too keen on the safety aspects (or lack) of this so replaced the switch immediately.

The next repair was the bent shaft upon which the handwheel was situated:



I removed the handwheel however could not remove the shaft because of the bend.  I was able to use vice grips and bend it back a bit straighter however when i put the wheel on it it broke.  This was not unexpected as the shaft had a long hole drilled down it's length and then a cross hole for a pin that the wheel sat against - very poor design and not necessary.

After removing the shaft (it's got an acme or similar thread used to raise and lower the table) the broken end was cut off and a 23/64 hole was drilled about 1.5 in. deep in it's end.  A 3/8 in. rod was chucked in the lathe and turned down so that it would be a press fit into the shaft.  Unfortunately I got it to a very nice sliding fit - pulling it out of the hole in the shaft resulted in a nice "pop" sound.  My knurler wouldn't go small enough so I ended up using a centre punch and putting a few dozen punch marks on the rod.  Added a bit of locktite and used my small hydraulic press to press the rod into the hole in the shaft.  (Sorry no photos of this).  After that is was fairly simple to cross drill the rod for a pin and then drill a shallow hole in it's end and thread it for a screw to hold the handwheel in place.

I could not see using a pipe wrench or dedicated vice grips as a handle for the fence adjustment.  Instead I took a long shouldered bolt and drilled the fence adjuster and tapped it.  The existing hole was threaded but the threads were quite messed up and I couldn't tell what they were originally.  The head of the bolt was cut off and a few grooves were made in the end opposite the thread (with the lathe).  It was then epoxied into a fairly large piece of wood and left to harden.  Once the glue was hard I used my metal lathe to cut the wood to rough shape and then used rasps and files to get it close to spherical.  A bit of black paint and a day in the sun and it was done.



The adjuster was left with the original hole so I drilled it out and made a press fit plug in the lathe.  Once again the small hydraulic press (I really like having this) was used to press the plug into the adjuster and it was cut off and then turned down on the lathe.



At this point I figured that everything was ok and all I needed to do was wait till the blades were sharpened and it would be ready to go.  However when I put a straightedge down the length of the tables I noted some droop at the ends.  Also the gib screws didn't seem to make a lot of difference in adjusting the smoothness of travel of the tables.  It was time to take the tables off and clean up the gibs and dovetail surfaces.  Good thing I did that as I found that the manufacturer had used aluminium stips as gibs and they were quite deformed. 

Not having any suitable brass or bronze available to me I decided to use some 1/8 in. steel plate to make two gibs about 7 in. long.  My 4x6 bandsaw was just able to cut the strips and I was able to fine tune them a bit with my taig mill and then a lot of filing and sanding on a plate glass surface.  It took several hours work however then the new gibs were put in place it made a huge difference to how easy it was to make adjustments.  With no effort the two tables are almost perfectly co planar.


I am now awaiting my blades as they are in for sharpening.  Once they arrive it won't be long before I can try out this machine and find out if I've managed to make a silk purse.

John.

Offline Kjelle

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 02:05:37 AM »
Nice! It seems that wood working machines almost always (when going for a bargain price) are horribly abused... Good job so far!

Kjelle

Offline awemawson

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 03:59:56 AM »
Nice fix  :thumbup:

I suppose you can sort of understand why woodworking machines deteriorate and don't get fixed. If you have a metalworking shop you often have the means to repair or re-make things that wear out or break, but if your shop only has wood working machines you're a bit stuck and either 'pass it on' or leave it in a corner gathering dust and get another.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Eugene

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 04:43:33 AM »
John,

That looks very promising; well done.

To further extend the point, most of the Chinese wood working tools are very flimsy and even before they break can't be relied on to produce good work. I've binned a table saw and a mitre / chop saw for just those reasons.

As a by the by, where did you source the locking castors? I could use some of those on a current project.

Eug
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 05:05:03 PM by Eugene »

Offline jcs0001

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 09:55:04 AM »
Thanks for the comments Gents. 

Eugene, I bought the mobile base as a unit.  It comes with several sets of different length rails and thus can be adjusted through a fair range of sizes.  It's a Samona but there are lots of similar units at most tool dealers.  They usually sell for $50 to $100 can. in our area.

One good thing about this unit is that it is a heavy piece of cast iron - lets hope it works well when finished.

John.

Offline jcs0001

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 05:51:50 PM »
I put the machine back on it's base after cleaning it up a bit.  I also replaced the machine pulley with a slightly bigger one as the calculated rpm's of the cutter head were a bit high (in the area of 5200 rpm when it should be more like 4500 rpm).

Got the belt installed and fired it up for a few short periods.  There seemed to be a lot of noise and rather than leave the bearings for later (on the cutter head) I pulled them.  I should say I started to pull them and then realized that I couldn't get in under the bearings with the two pullers I have.  So off to the local Princess Auto and the best part of $40 for a clamshell device to get in under the bearings.  Fortunately it mated well with one of my puller sets and it was a matter of less than 5 min. to pull both bearings.  One was good but the other was very gritty.  I've called a local shop and can replace both for around $30 plus tax.

While it was apart I figured I'd give the head an electrolytic bath.  Photo shows the head before the bath and the puller I invested in today:



I did get the blades back from the sharpening shop today but now need to get the bearings so it will be another couple of days before I can fire it up.

John.

Offline Will_D

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 04:03:56 AM »
As a by the by, where did you source the locking castors? I could use some of those on a current project.

Screwfix in the UK and Ireland has a good selection!
Engineer and Chemist to the NHC.ie
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Offline jcs0001

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 07:38:36 PM »
It's now in working order.  I picked up bearings this morning and it was a matter of a few minutes to install them.  The head was a bit high on the non pulley side so I shimmed the bearing block on the pulley side slightly and that cured it.  This machine has neither jack screws or springs to help adjust the knives however it wasn't onerous to install them and get them adjusted nicely.

I took a few cuts on a short piece of pine and it gave very nice straight smooth results.  There are a few things I can do later if I wish - strip and paint it and add a bit of sheet metal to prevent shavings from getting out at the sides just under the cutter however it's working now and that's all I need.

In it's final state - note the plastic cutter guard - it's functional but not pretty:



The adjustment for the fence is quite simple and elegant.  Both ends of the cylinder with the handle attached form a socket.  Moved towards the machine it mates with the nut that allows one to adjust the fence angle, pulled away from the machine it allows one to loosen the nut that permits the fence to move across the table.  It's likely that Delta or some other old machine tool manufacturer came up with this idea:



Thanks for looking,

John.

Offline Eugene

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2015, 05:55:41 PM »
John, well done, grand job.

Will, thanks I'll have butchers.

Eug

Offline vtsteam

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 08:44:21 AM »
Sorry I missed this thread. Great job on the joiner!  I'm envious. :thumbup: :clap: :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline jcs0001

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Re: silk purse from a sow's ear?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 11:21:58 AM »
I've used the jointer on some hardwood lately and it works very well.  I've got some odds and ends of maple and elm as firewood so picked out a few good looking pieces and used the jointer to get them flat in preparation for the bandsaw or tablesaw.  Very happy with the results.  A wider machine would be nice (always good to have more size) but for my limited space this one is working very well.  Very refreshing to have a fence that stays at 90 deg. when set.  Also having it about waist level is a lot better than having it higher.

John.