Cutting wood in COLD

I recently tried to cut a couple precision holes of 5 1/32" diameter in 1/4" Cherrywood using a drillpress and circle cutter, an arrangement that worked well for me last Summer but not this time in the cold of winter. My work area is unheatable and it was close to zero Fahrenheit when I cut the wood. It came out quite badly: rough edges, chips where I had not expected them.
Could this be caused by the cold or should I be looking at a problem with the drillpress setup?
(I'm making new lens boards for a very large view camera.)
Thank you in advance for help.
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I would think that the cold should make cutting easier for the tool and make it easier to get a clean cut. Could you have been uncomfortable and hurried the setup?
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Honestly - not an educated clue. But I'd place my money on setup. Having a hard time figuring out why a 50 degree drop would have that effect.
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Joey,
It must be a VERY large view camera. Wit 5 1/32" diam. holes in the lensboard, you must be using about a Copal 27 shutter! :-)
I'm a large format shooter myself, though strictly 4"X5". In fact, my first view camera was Jay Bender's kit camera made of cherry. It was also my first woodworking project. I built it in the evenings while living in a hotel for a month. Learned a lot about woodworking AND cameras on that one. The camera served me well for many years before I handed it down to my kids and replaced it with an Arca Swiss. Along the way somebody also gave me an old Burke & James 8X10 in need of some TLC, but I've never gotten around to it.
Love to see some pictures of your camera and some of the photos you do with it. Ian

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When I was a kid, one of my chores was splitting wood for the fireplace and cookstove. Granddad pointed out that if I put off most of it until we had several days of good, hard freeze, it would split a lit easier. Generally, it only took one swing of the maul against the wedge and the wood flew apart.
I don't know if this has anything to do with the cutting characteristics of frozen, planed lumber - - - but it might be worth a try to experiment on a piece that has been brought up to room temperature before boring.
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T. wrote:

Me neither, and me too. My shop isn't *that* cold, but it's quite a lot colder than it was during the summer. I'm not working with cherry either, for that matter, but I'm not seeing any real difference in how the wood works at these (30-40 degree) temperatures.
30 more degrees colder could certainly make a difference, but I'd be much more inclined to look and make sure the chisel on the fly cutter is sharp, and that it's turned the right way. Not too much feed pressure either, and set the drill press for its slowest speed.
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On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 06:56:25 +0000, Joey Bosco wrote:

Machines tend to chatter worse because of more play in the bearings and moving parts when they are this cold. The wood will splinter and split much worse, though I would not think it would make as much difference in cherry as it would with an open grained wood such as oak (especially bad) or ash. Remember, the wood will generally be around 6% moisture content and it will take on a complete different set of working characteristics when it is below freezing. The third variable is the person. When I am working in a garage that cold I am shaking like crazy, hurrying with setups, not paying close attention like I should and generally doing a sloppy job just trying to get done and get back to someplace warm!
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