Technical - Workshop Notes
(Large print version)
Woodies CAN HELP each other!
Note: this is a perpetually evolving webpage with improved Youtube demos added as experts advise
There's always an answer, but sometimes it's hard to know where to find it. Sure, Eric Butterfield and more recently, John Freshney have kept the Club well documented on the safety side of things with tools and equipment.
ie: this is what you do before turning it "ON" so that you know how to turn it "OFF" and what PPE to wear and distancing from other other equipment users.
It is onerous of all Members to reciprocate their experiences / knowledge to fellow Members.
In the words of a great former President, Hughie Gaynor, Pg 1 November 2015 of "Ingrained" at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17iGkyeo2ZsOQXlYyX9FJLYDmkzUR7Ulv/view?usp=sharing of all his 8 points, No. 1 stands out: ".....freely ask for advice"
And also, there is no better illustration than the words of the Club's Founder, when settinmng out the three AIMS of the Club in 1988, particularly point (2):
..."To foster communication amongst woodworkers and assist them in achieving excellence in design and craftsmanship."
So, now you have your precious piece of wood you want to tool up into a project, and have no idea where to start. Who do you call? No, not the ghost busters. There are other people who might know. Let's see now.
1. Keyholders of the day. Well, the Club is open for 9 sessions a week, mornings evenings, even Saturday morning. These generous Members, with their contact details on the last page of the newsletter, have all the keys to open the Club up, including access to some of the really complex equipment. Are they experts in the use of those machines, or just custodians of the tools, ensuring they don't get abused or stolen? Well predominantly they are caretakers, and not experts in everything.
2. Maintenance Team. Sadly our once strong 5-member group has taken a bit of a toll since Dec 2019 when COVID hit us all. And those that remain, are pretty busy Committee people. They are flat out not only trying to maintain machines, but also remedy some brutal abuse when equipment is used the wrong way.
3. Activity leaders. Yes, these are possibly the best resource. Those in charge of particular activities in the Club, tend to use certain machinery for a lot of repetitive work, and have become fairly proficient in 'their' way of using machines. The Kidz Korner and Xmas Toy/Gift Groups that meet of a Tuesday or Thursday morning, make items that use a whole bunch of machines. They turn up chimney stacks, bandsaw frames of models, scroll saw fiddly parts, table saw lengths of base planks to size, use routers to dress up the edges, and finally sand all these parts to perfection. So, joining in to help on various production aspects of making toys, is one way to become accustomed to a variety of machinery at the Club.
4. Past BE-IN-IT competition winners. Now if you want to find out who is really good at making things similar to what you want to build, check out who else has made one before. This competition unfortunately had to cease for the 3 years, from 2019, returning in Sept 2022. Traditionally held in August and reported in the following September editions of "Ingrained", it has been decided that conflict with parking next door at the Football Club during footy finals, would best be solved by moving the event forward to September (and reporting results in October). Research past editions appropriately from the https://knowwoodies.org.au/archives and check out who took the leading prizes. Then enquire of the Committee, how to contact such members.
Remember, they may be bashful, busy or if you are lucky, quite keen to share their experiences and techniques. But be ready for the fact they will have adapted THEIR way of doing things.
Recollections [Gary Pope] .....
'When I joined the Club back in 1991, I wanted to start woodturning and make a pedestal port/glass stand and thought a three-legged job would look nice. Being a total 'newbie' at turning, the best advice I was given, was to make a single spindle stand. Members said: "You reckon you can make three identical legs?" They were right, best to make just one. Such advice comes from people that have been there, done that, but you need to know who to ask.'
Sadly during COVID19, three years has seen the Club forced to shutdown the traditional monthly Wednesday Members' nights, where Committee shared all the news, plans and events happening. The "General Business" section of the meeting often brought up maintenance and abuse matters, highlighting the need for greater awareness of correct ways to use machinery. This often lead to more signs being placed on machinery like: "No round logs to be cut on Band Saws". Sometimes you have to wonder if the Club needs to ask Members to go to Spec-Savers! But that's a human nature issue that just needs some member-to-member co-operation. Keyholders can't be in all 7 workshop rooms at once, keeping an eye on everybody. Make sure your fellow Woodies are following the SIGNS, and help out!
What was great about those Meeting nights, is the banter that occurred at pie/coffee interval, allowing Members to review the news just learned from Committee, and thrash out the impact of such news on their personal usage of Club resources. It allowed Members to share tips and tricks on a number of different techniques and approaches to a project. After interval, there would be a speaker, invited guest or simply a "Show-n-Tell" by fellow members illustrating how they tackled a project. Members gained some insight and knowledge, reported in the newsletters of the time.
In the three years up to EOFY Aug 2022, there have been approximately 80 new faces join the ranks of the Club. Given that there are 181 members, with only about 80% attending, that means over 50% of the current attending members have never attended a Wednesday night monthly meeting and enjoyed that way of communicating ideas. Then there are Members who work and only attend night time or Saturday sessions. The opposite is the case with the Club having 16 Members aged over 85, who prefer not to drive on dark cold nights, so they come on morning sessions only. So the whole mixing/meeting aspect of Member-to-Member opportunities to gain knowledge, has been significantly handicapped.
So what's the next best thing?
1. Be mindful KDWC is a Volunteer Hobby Club, not-for-profit, and not permitted to engage in commercial training. Clubs are not authorised to provide certification or training like TAFES and similar. But Members can share/demonstrate their approaches.
2. If an item of equipment is broken or in need of maintenance, be sure a "DO NOT USE" sign is placed on the machine, keyholder told, and an explanation written into the MAINTENANCE BOOK in the Committee Room (just inside the door).
3. Join in the morning/evening coffee session where everybody is relaxed around the table, and 'pose your question for technical help.' Seek out the name of another member, who people are aware that may have an answer to your question. BUT most importantly remember, that all Members joined the Club to do their projects and not yours. Best that you seek permission to sit alongside and observe a proficient member doing their project, and take notes from that exercise. Your smartphone camera can be a real friend for recalling what you saw!
4. Seek out internet based videos, Youtubes or manufacturer 'HOW-TO' video clips on the use of a tool FOR THE TYPE OF PROJECT YOU WANT. That last bit is important - same tool, different techniques, for different timbers, sizes, outcomes.
5. Consider some introductory courses with professionals. The first one that comes to mind, is POP's Shed in Chirnside Park (VIC), who have been supporting the KDWC for decades! Check their website, and their recently built 2nd training room in the acquired next-door factory. https://www.popsshed.com.au/Sub_Categories.aspx?cid=32
Taking this pro-active approach, it is hoped that better care will be taken of the Club's limited resources, unnecessary maintenance can be reduced and Members gain greater satisfaction from enjoying building their projects.
A quick walk through the Club recently, illustrated that "KNOW-HOW" is still needed. Appropriate YOUTUBE clips will be added, when people with the best knowledge offer a suggestion, to avoid more bad habits being mentioned! DISCUSS!
Sherwood 24" Drum Sander
1. Don't put green, sap, glue, painted material through a machine that is intended for absolute final sanding. That should be a no brainer. Sanding is the 'last machine phase of every project, before oil/finishing - yet some members go there first (DOH!).
2. spread the load across the whole 24" so that the belts are worn evenly.
Fortunately word is spreading about how to properly roll and re-fit sandpaper to the 24" sanding machine. But it is quite a big job to do. More help by other members would be appreciated. But great to see members like Peter Fern recently ask for tuition and do it. Follow his lead!
Powermatic 201HH 24" Thicknesser
1. Most importantly be sure there is no contaminting nails, stones or foreign materials in your wood. Use the metal detector wand that is hanging above the thicknesser, and take your project out to the stairway where there is a 100% plastic tubular support frame, permitting the metal-detector to just check your wood.
2. spread the load across the whole 24" so that the expensive spiral cutters are worn evenly.
by ACUTABOVE WOODWORKING
1. Frank Collins' only comments on this fine 'Beginners Part 1' video, is he has never been keen on spray adhesive, nor the cutting squiggly lines example. Better to practice making something useful.
2. A good trick is to use Cellotape as it is also a lubricant for the blade.
3. More advanced aspects of scroll saw expertise, patterns/jigs and clues. See: Steve Good channel! https://www.stevedgood.com/
4. Helen Harris is the best go-to for all blades and parts, like small chucks for making start drill holes. Contacts: PO Box 1384, Murray Bridge SA 5253.
M: 0428 826 224 P: 08 8531 3440
One Man's opinion on Woodturning chisel sharpening
A recent quiz to members was what the grey wheel on a grinder is for. Jokingly I suggested it was simply a counter weight in the short term until budget permitted acquiring another white wheel!
The truth is, after using a dressing stone to prepare a grinder wheel (see: https://youtu.be/pTawxMA4l1A ) then a jig is needed to have the right angle for the specific tool being ground. And that requires a combination of using the grey wheel for badly presented tools, followed by the white wheel for gentle finishing. Angles, pressure and ensuring no excessive heat is all part of the exercise. Doing this takes some knowledge and training. Checking with Lindsay Horsley, he states: "In regard to the white (Aluminum Oxide) wheels, these wheels are softer, but most importantly produce less heat than the grey wheels, making them less likely to overheat the tool, and hence compromising its hardness."
Everybody grinds their tools totally differently. Our own renowned Woodturner, Henk Eyssens is well known for his 'extreme concave' grind of tools to suit his own style of woodturning. Again, it can be a personal preference, and hence why so many Members carry their own tools, ground to their preferences. That's one reason why Club equipment is usually set to some generic standard layout for use, in order to suit 'most people'.
Sometimes overlooked, is to ensure that any sparks flying from a grinder, do not cause a flame up of nearby dust, and that a fire extinguisher is nearby. But that is a matter for the safety documents.
Some good input from a member explains:
1. "Goggles/ safety glasses or face mask should be provided on a marked shadow board with request to be used, and possibly with our poster “only protect the eyes you wish to keep”. [Ed: Covid19 cleaning comes to mind]
2. Grinding wheels should be given the “ping test “ from time to time to prove the wheel is not cracked. They can explode.
3. Grinding styles can be freehand (a lot of experience required) or using special jigs appropriate to job.
4. Some of these are relatively cheap. I would like to see some (or better, a specific jig for each category of edge tool) supplied.
5. You mentioned that that the club owns a wet stone grinder. Maybe it could be put to good use. I have one and can say that its possible to touch up a perfect spindle gouge fingernail grind in less time than it takes to fit it in the jig.
6. I have forgotten the figure, but a large percentage of people new to woodturning give it away because they cannot sharpen their tools." [Ed: This last point is a big concern, if Members lose interest due to lack of understanding things, for sure. ]
7. He goes on to say: "I must disagree with the concept of using the grey stone on edge tools. We are not grinding heavy duty angle iron / RSJ steel. We are “touching up” a fine edge tools. Maybe just one grey stone for non-edge grinding.
He then mentions some other things that he had have been taught or learnt.
1. Grinding wheels “glaze over “ and should be dressed when required. I don’t think the club has a usable dressing tool. [Ed: refer to the Maintenance team for access to it]
2. “Dressing” allows the wheel to grind (cut) rather than rub, which on any wheel will simply generate heat.
3. The harder the steel the softer the wheel. Grey wheels are harder than white wheels (Aluminum Oxide) which wear away faster and generate less heat.
4. Grinding heat “collects” at the point. This means the heat collected at the cutting edge in our case, sending the edge blue/black and removing the temper from the steel.
5. Many of the club’s edge tools have suffered this fate. This means they go blunt faster and require more sharpening and punishment, requiring earlier replacement."
Scheppach TiGer 2500 Professional Wet stone sharpening & honing System
1. The Club has a "Scheppach Tiger 2500" combination wet stone grinder with linisher, in the Carver's cupboard. This is a TORMEK look alike, not as good, perhaps, but setup correctly, can do the job. It's not a tool that an inexperienced person should use, for risk of damaging a very fine tool indeed. RecordPower have a rather nice inexpensive unit from MMVIC (mmvic.com.au), and of course the top notch TORMEK takes the winning post.
SHARPENING Plane Blades
Terrific example of comparing the methodology of sharpening a "PLANE" compared to a chisel.
Richard Raffan - Essential Woodturning Tools
1. Which chisel to use? Skews for clean cuts to spindles, small diameter bowl gouges for cutting bowls and dishes, big roughing gouges for getting basic timber into shape, parting tools for taking a finished job off the lathe, and all manner of favoured tools for making coves and rounds.
Keith Rowley introduction
Richard Raffan - Cutting a basic Bowl
1. Removal of woodturning machine tail-stock fittings vary from machine to machine. Some are popped out via a hollow aperture down the threaded tail-stock adjuster, and some are simply done by winding the tail-stock beyond the end point (popping the Morse taper out). Seems there are other less than satisfactory methods being used by members. Point is - if the right procedure is not working, then something needs to be fixed. (as above). Turns out, with Lathe#5 in the south-east corner, you simply unwind the tail stock beyond the end, and the last 1/4 turn slips the #2 morse tapered unit from the tail-stock. Easy.
A good Member shares these very useful thoughts and suggestions:
1. "List of safety guidelines in the use of lathes. e.g., Richard Raffan says that its not if but when a piece comes flying out of the lathe.
2. My own view is that some of our lathes need a serious going over/servicing or replacement.
3. In this day and age, I think that most members would expect vibration free and (manageable) variable speed control at the minimum.
4. In a perfect world each lathe should be fitted out with face mask and a basic set of 6 chisels, face plate, woodscrew chuck, four jaw chuck, spur drive, tailstock live centre and long and short tool rests.
5. Rather than consider, we recommend use of external courses lathe training e.g., Pops Shed. I completed Pop’s 2 x Saturday morning course and found it excellent. The course is based on a book written by Keith Rowley “Woodturning - A Foundation Course” which they sell, and I think It would be a useful addition to the club library. [Ed: DONE] The book stresses the 6 laws of woodturning.
6. Sanding on the lathe should only be done with the tool rest removed, Sandpaper not to be wrapped around the timber, and usually in the safety zone (between 6 and 9 o’clock (looking from the tailstock end) meaning in an event the hands and sandpaper are thrown into clean air, not forced around the rotating timber."
Triton TRA001 Router demonstration.
1. According to Dick Webb, a router is one of the worst tools to learn how to use properly. And Members have such a variety of brands. The Club has a Triton, whereas other members might have, say, a Makita. It's a matter of having access to a USER MANUAL that well explains where each of the adjustments are on the model being used. The principles remain the same, and sure, there might be some beaut fancy features on some versus others, but they all 'route'.
2. Like many machines around the Club, there is a detailed 'instruction sheet' showing the Triton knobs, switches and settings, on the wall immediately behind the machine.
- NOTE: Triton has some unique features (like the way it raises to unlock collett), but worthy to know if using the Club unit. Instructions for use, are on the wall behind the routers.
Example of uses of a typical Bandsaw
1. An unsupported irregular shaped piece of wood is a bandsaws worst enemy, for taking the high speed blade off centre, and risking the blade coming off the wheels. Whist some will explain a cradle can secure a round log, BUT: the KDWC policy is: "No Round Logs to be cut on bandsaws".
1. A common argument is what the right height for a saw blade to be. 1mm above the thickness of timber; OR, 1 1/2 times the height of the timber; OR full height of the blade capacity?
The answer rests in a decision on safety versus quality of cut, depending on the type of timber being cut, and the accuracy needed of the cut. Demonstrations for each purpose would be great to compare and discuss.
Using WIXEY alignment tool Youtube:
1. Wear and tear of machinery can lead to alignment issues. The thicknesser, the band saws and the table saws are examples of machines that need to be squared up perfectly. The use of the Club's WIXEY tool is a great way of ensuring things are in alignment.
COMING ..... :
Where are all the small, specialist TOOLS and ACCESSORIES at the Club ?
Where are all the CONSUMABLE items at the Club? IE: Screws, glue, sandpaper ?
What is a good set of basic tools to have, to start my own Shed?
Whilst this is a US based article, with promotion of brands typcially found there, and there is a focus on courses at the end, nonetheless, the opening disucssion of 'what tools are needed' is a good read.
Feel free to add to this good oil!
Feel free to suggest updates, and new entries to add for Newbies to the Club to enjoy and get started, by emailing ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org