Author Topic: Other Machines  (Read 4065 times)

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Offline charlie b

  • Posts: 34
Other Machines
« on: July 17, 2007, 11:43 AM »
Work horse of the shop is a Robland X-31 combi - 3 hp TEFC 10" table saw with sliding table, 3 hp TEFC 1 1/4" bore shaper, 3 hp TEFC 12" joiner/planer with chuck for horizontal boring/mortising (the latter with removable XYZ table) that weighs in at 1,100 pounds (around 500 Kg, don't know what that works out to in "stones").  This IS NOT a Shop Smith, one motor "transformer", combination machine.  Made in Brugge, Belgium, it has all the quirks of a Euro machine - a Users Manual that is actually a parts list, blade height adjustment is a "bump & nudge" since the Euro version of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Agency) doesn't allow for "blind cuts" (dadoes or rabbets) on a table saw. Like all combination machines, it can be "challenging" to set up since there are so many inter-relationships between functions and tech support from the U.S. distributor waxes and wanes.  Fortunately, there's a Yahoo Robland X-31 owners group to fill in the blanks.

The router table, with the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System - table top with inserts for different sized bits, precison fence positioning system (move fence in 0.001" increments), with templates for doing through and half blind fixed or variable dovetails, finger and finger/box joints and replaceable zero clearance inserts for the fence - is the Go To set up for dovetails, raised panels, making trim and molding, cutting stopped dadoes and rabbets (rebates for the Brits), template routing, etc..

For circles and arcs, and for line inlay work, the Micro-Fence precision (as in 0.001" increments)  router fence on a Dewalt 621 plunge router does the job.

The Rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander is the latest Handy To Have machine - great for taking a band sawn shape "to the line" and will replace my Delta oscillating spindle sander.  The tilting table on the Rigid is also a nice capability to have.

The Laguna Tools LT16SEC bandsaw was a Can't Pass It Up deal on a machine I didn't think I needed.  With 12" resawing capacity and a shop made resaw fence, this puppy will cut 1/16th inch slices quite nicely, the 2.5 hp TEFC motor never seems to bog down and the ceramic guides handle 1/4" to 1 1/4" blades.  This machine opened up a lot of possibilities - the most recent - bandsawing bowl blanks from log sections.

Favorite/most fun to use machine is the JET mini/midi lathe with SuperNova2 scroll chuck.  Turning has got to be the Crack Cocaine of woodworking.  You can turn what would otherwise be scraps, tree prunings, fire wood, plastic, bone, nuts - and someone actually turns corn cobs (stabilized with super glue) and Paralam.  Relative to other types of woodworking, turning provides almost instant gratification - start to finish (and I mean including applying the final finish finish) in an hour, two at the most.

Had the TREND MT JIG but gave it to a woodworker with more passion and talent for woodworing than tool buying money when I got the DOMINO.  Adding mortise and tenon joinery and loose tenon M&Ts should provide some design options sooner.  There are many out there with The Gift for woodworking who struggle to make their ideas into wood because they can't afford the tools and machines that reduce the Grunt Work and the learning curve.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy using handtools.  But cutting 16 mortises and 16 tenons for a simple table with apron and stretchers is a drag.  And handcutting dovetails fora drawer or two is fun - not so much fun when you've got seven or eight drawers to do.  Anyway - if you've upgraded a tool or machine and get tired or moving the old one around, or don't have room for it, consider passing it along to an up and coming woodworker struggling to get by.  You'll gain some space and get back something that's priceless.

(While waiting for a woodworking show to open, I struck up a conversation with a guy in line.  He was a furniture refinisher with a passion for furniture making - and very limited funds.  He was agonizing over whether he should get "A" or "B", having only enough money for one.  I later saw him at the booth that had "B", examing "B" with great interest.  Then he saw the price tag - and his shoulders slumped and his face registered that "oh well, maybe some other time" look.  He ambled off like a kid who'd just learned that he couldn't afford the pony ride.  It wasn't a whole lot of money - to me - but it clearly was more than he could afford.  So I bought it, found him, gave it to him and disapeared into the crowd, thinking, but not actually saying, "Hi-Ho-Silver - AWAY!"  I suspect the guy is wondering to this day "Who was that masked man?" - and that brings me a smile. 

At the next woodworking show you attend, look for the person with more woodworking passion than money - and consider playing The Lone Ranger.  What you'll get back is something money can't buy.)

charlie b
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 11:47 AM by Matthew Schenker »

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Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: Other Machines
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 11:42 PM »

Nice post with a great ending. ;D
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Brent b

  • Posts: 89
Re: Other Machines
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 08:14 AM »
Wow, that's a really remarkable thing to do.  Thanks for the inspiration.
i bought in
it's paid off
i'm going home

Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2501
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
    • Metafizix
Re: Other Machines
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 08:30 AM »
That was me! Do you have the warranty info BTW?

Just kidding. I've read your post twice and it still makes me happy. You're a good guy (I'd say you're a good stuff, but it doesn't translate well if you're outside of Boston). Now, who needs some black and green? Charlie and me are taking orders.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Other Machines
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 02:40 PM »

Great story and a very good deed!

I also have a JoinTech Cabinetmaker system and router table attached to my table saw with a Fein  13A router mounted the insert plate.  (The OEM cast iron table extensions and Biesenmeyer design fence are still in their factory boxes.)  You said you use the JoinTech system to make dovetails.  I tried that for the first time last night.  It took me a couple of hours to read the manual and to tinker with the setup to make the half-blind dovetails for a simple tool tray to be hung from the side rails of my MFT.  Previously, I have used PC type dovetail jigs when making drawers.  I seems to me that the JoinTech system is slower going because you have to shift the carriage position relative to the bit after each pin cut and each tail cut.  I consider the JoinTech (and the similar Incra) system very good if you are doing only a few drawers and for one-off pieces including rather large ones such as for a blanket chest.  But for a quantity of like sized drawers (and even for differently sized ones), I think a dedicated dovetail jig is much more efficient in terms of user time required and physical effort required.  Have you tried different methods for making dovetails besides your JoinTech system?  Are you satisfied with the bits from JoinTech? 

I also note the absence of any spray finish equipment in your lineup.  Is there a reason for that? Addition of HVLP capacity for water-based finish is near the top of "next to buy" list because I find hand application of solvent finishes much too time consuming.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline patrick anderson

  • Posts: 153
    • neoshed
Re: Other Machines
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 02:45 PM »
Wow. That was very generous of you mate.

I'm unfortunately in the other guys position at the moment  :'(
patrick anderson
may the festool be with you.....always