rant: removing blade from new saw

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I was finally ready to swap out the stock blade for my trusty Freud and put my saw to real use.
One thing I miss about my new contractor's saw is that I no longer have an arbor with flats on it like the old Skil 3400 had. I got a Blade-Loc flummy from Lee Valley because I was dubious about the manual's suggested procedure of using scraps of wood for blade changes.
So I followed the instructions on the thing. Lower blade, crank up to engage, keep the feet away from the nut. Got out the wrench that came with the saw. Bent it all to hell. Scratched my head a bit... Rightie tightie, leftie loosie. Looked at my Skil. Both are left tilt, both have the arbor oriented the same way. Verified that the threads are indeed normal right hand thread, and that I was indeed turning it the right way.
So I got a Crescent wrench (yeah, I know, but I don't have a real wrench this size) and proceeded to round off a couple of the corners on the nut. I took another crack at it, and this time I pushed hard enough to shred the hell out of the new Blade-Loc.
So I got out the old wrench that came with the Skil. I put some penetrating oil on the nut and let it stew a bit. I decided to go for the wood option after all. It quickly became obvious that all I was going to do was very slowly cut through my wood by turning the wrench.
After that, I tried a piece of 1/8" steel rod hooked under a tooth. I bent it. Repeatedly. (Need to buy my son a new rod before we launch any more rockets...)
Then I cut off a chunk of 3/16" thick 1" wide steel bar stock and wedged that under a tooth. I put the wrench back on, strained until I was red in the face, and still nothing!
I finally ended up putting a piece of oak dowel through the hole on the other end of the wrench, and pulling on it with both arms. I had to use so much force I was afraid the cast iron top on the table would buckle, and then, finally, the damn thing finally broke loose.
It looks like the nut was stuck on with cosmoline.
OK, problem solved. This will likely never happen again. I need to buy a new arbor nut eventually (different thread pitch from the Skil). In the meantime, I mostly just wanted to rant and bitch for awhile. What a PITA! Why do they do that? WTF were they thinking???
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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That's unbelievable. What kind of saw is it? My Unisaw didn't have anything remotely like that when I received it. There wasn't a blade on it in the first place, actually.
Mike

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What brand saw again?? Have never seen a table saw come with the blade installed.
John
On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 01:58:13 -0500, Silvan

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John Crea responds:

Right now, my Ridgid TS3650 has the original blade in place. Over the years, I found that about 60-70% of contractor's and benchtop saws (100%) came with blades installed. At least this blade appears half decent, but it's a thin kerf so will shortly go.
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
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On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:30:13 +0000, Charlie Self wrote:

I was looking the TS3650 over and it appears to have a shroud under the blade for dust collection with what looks to be a 2.5" shop vac connection. Just wondering how effective the dust collection is?
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Doug Winterburn asks:

Don't know yet. I'm still putting this thing together. All it needs now is to finish install the mobile bit, the fence and the motor. Probably a couple hours work, but it has to be spread over the weekend...and it needs to be done by Monday, because temps will drop from the current 70+ back down around 31.
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
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Charlie Self wrote:

Nooooooooooooo!!!
All this time dicking around with my saw to get it perrrrrrfect, and I won't get to cut and glue anything.
(It was time well-spent though. This thing may be a Crapsman, but it's a well-adjusted Crapsman. It ain't no Unisaur, but it will be a whole new world for me compared to that POS Skil.)
This has a dust collection thingie on it too. I haven't gotten around to rearranging my shop vac dust collection network to accomodate all the shifting I had to do in order to make room for this behemoth, so I haven't tried it yet.
I'm betting it will be moderately effective, but will probably still let a lot of finer dust escape. Probably work better with a real DC too, but that's not going to happen for years. My shop runneth over.
(SWMBO says it's OK for me to build a new building out in the middle of the yard, up to about 25x25 or so, depending on how zoning and such goes. When we can afford it, which won't be for a loooong time yet. Still, she didn't bat an eye when I mentioned a $20,000 price tag. Now if only I can actually build one for that. And come up with the money...)
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On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 03:16:49 -0500, Silvan

I'm thinking you should be able to. With a lot of help from my friends and therefore no expenses for "labor", I put up my 12X16 for $4,015. [Hey Novak, you reading this? Thanks again for the "you can do it" post about a year ago. It inspired me. ;> ] Some materials, like commercial flourescent fixtures, were free from a friend who is the maintenance supervisor for the "company-that doesn't-make-anything-you-own-they-just-make-it-better". They were on their way to the landfill so we rescued them.
But other things I spent extra on, like T1-11 interior walls instead of drywall. I also spent extra on things you don't see, like electricity. Four circuits of 110 at 42", and a run of 220 at a foot off the floor. Outlets on every stud. Power everywhere, infinite options. Could have saved money there, what I have is a bit of overkill. Floor is 2X construction on piers. 3/4" t&g ply, which is still expensive as hell, but covered with free-to-me recycled beadboard paneling. (Yes, beadboard is supposed to be for walls and ceilings, but when it's free and you can have a thicker floor and a "hardwood floor" look for the price of a gallon of poly, it's the cat's jammies.) Also could have saved some money by pitching the roof less steeply, and therefore needing less lengthy rafters. Set it at 10 over 12, (which was a bitch to shingle), but it gave me the ability to cross-tie it at 10-1/2 feet off the floor. Swinging an 8' tubafor end-over-end without worrying about smacking anything is nice. I saved a few hundred by making the windows out of half-lapped 1X stock and some more on-it's-way-to-the-landfill "Acrylite" (sp?) lexan/plastic/whatever-it-is stuff instead of glass. It's got an R value of about Zero, but it was free and indestructable, so that's what I used.
I'm rambling, Sylvan, but the point is you can do this. Mine could have come in cheaper than the 4K if I'd been trying to cut costs. I don't know what your housing market and personal situation is, but maybe a 5-year loan would be an option. Alice and I are planning on moving in the next few years, and if this shop doesn't add 10 grand to the value of the house, I'll be suprised.
Which, in the final scheme of things will mean that the all tools I've just put into it are going to end up being free.
Good luck, Michael
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Michael Baglio wrote:

In three years it might. Not yet. $20K was just a figure I pulled out of thin air.
I'm just in the daydream phase now, and have done no real planning or research. I expect one of the most expensive things to be the foundation. I'm not going to watch another shop turn into termite poop before my eyes. I want this thing built to a very high standard of termite resistance, and I want a rock solid foundation. I expect to hire this out because I thoroughly suck at getting such things to come out right. (I was utterly defeated by an 8' x 8' foundation. I have no prayer of getting a bigger one right.)
In the process, I have to hire someone to rip out my main panel in the house and replace it. (It's Federal Pacific, so this needs doing. It's also 100% full, so it needs doing doubly.) That's going to add around $1,000 right there. While I'm hiring a real electrician, I'm going to go ahead and get a real electrician to run power out to a panel in the shop too, and do everything to code. I figure maybe another $1,000 right there. I might do better, since I have a friend who's an electrician, and he loves beer. ;)
Then for the building itself, I'm no carpenter. I have no idea what I'm doing. My neighbor built himself a nice shop just by eyeball and the seat of his pants, but I'm going to need a lot more help than that. I haven't really looked at options yet, but I like the idea of paying someone who knows what the hell he's doing to erect it, and then wiring and finishing it myself.

Yeah, that's good ammo for SWMBO. :)
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Silvan writes:

Shouldn't cost that much if you do the work yourself, especially at that size. Some suggestions (my wife and I built my 25 x 48 shop ourselves, 99%): use rough cut lumber for siding and subfloor. I used poplar from a local mill. Cost about 25 cents a bf, IIRC. I used support beams (built up, box beams, plywood over 2x4s) for 16' spans, instead of trusses and put the truss money in a wood floor...3/4" t&g plywood. Make sure the ceiling is 10'! I stopped at 9' and it was a mistake. 200 amp service entry panel: this is where the big bucks tend to go, as the panel is only around $100, but the load of breakers needed quadruples that in a rush; electric furnace, overhead (my single vent cost me $20, fabricated at a local HVAC place) was free from the same HVAC place that fabricated the vent (they pull these units when installing heat pumps, and the furnaces are often back-up jobs that got little use).
Essential stuff in and cost was about $11,000 or $12,000.
Of course, now I'm a decrepit old fart from doing all that work.
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
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Charlie Self wrote:

[thought fodder snipped]
Speaking of size, what do you think about that? You have a lot more experience in shops than I do. Is 500 sq. ft. big enough to qualify as a respectable shop, or am I still in "small projects only" territory?
I guess it depends on what I want to put out there, doesn't it? :)
I should look for some shop planning guide that shows how much room to allow for what. I've already figured out that the table saw needs to be in the middle of this thing, with plenty of available room all around for feeding. Probably mount stuff on mobiles bases if I have to, so I can make room for the odd full sheet of plywood. At this shop size, I doubt I can leave that much room open all the time.
I've never used a planer or a jointer, but after a year or so of surfacing semi-rough everything with only a couple of hand planes, they sound damn inviting. I'm not sure what kind of sizes those things run into. I think 8" jointers are the big'uns, and I probably want a big'un. I could probably live with a smallish planer and do hand work on anything large, since by then I will have three or more additional years of experience hand surfacing everything, and will be a lot better at it.
Other additions I definitely want to allow for are a largeish bandsaw (maybe a 14" Laguna or so) and a full sized lathe. I'd like to have a shaper or a big router table. I want to keep my 36" x 72" workbench for assembly/utility and build a dedicated joiner's bench of similar size. I'll want a DC, but I can probably just stick it in a little addition, so I don't need to allow for it on the main floor.
A dedicated finishing area is a luxury I probably can't afford. Lumber storage will have to be squeezed in. Plumbing does not warrant consideration. HVAC can be in the "attic" I expect.
I can't think of any other must-have stationary tools. Am I running out of space yet?
To put things into perspective as far as what I'm used to, I have a workbench, a mini lathe on a stand, a 15" drill press, a tool cabinet, a sander/grinder station and that huge ass contractor's saw jammed into my current 10x12 shop. I have a router table and scroll saw that I have to run as benchtop swappers.
This gives you some idea of the cramped confines I can work with. It's tight, but the projects I do fit my shop. I'm not really unhappy with the size of the projects I can do so much as lacking room for just a few more machines, and room to use the table saw more comfortably.
If it's sounding like I should shoot for bigger than 500 sq. ft. I can start looking at what landscaping I'm willing to destroy. I have a bigger area to play with if I kill some bushes and cut down some trees, but I might also run into issues with easements. Not sure the gum'mint would consider that the neighbor I'm getting too close to is my father, and he wants to use my shop too. :)
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500 s.f. is respectable for hobby or light production use. If you have to heat and air condition your work space, 500 s.f. sounds real good to me. Books are great for ideas but only you know what you'll be using your shop for. Determine what kind of projects you'll be doing and what size of lumber you'll be handling. This will help determine how much clearance you need around your tools as well as stock storage requirements. Mark out your proposed shop dimensions on a piece of graph paper, make little paper cut-outs to scale for each tool's footprint, play around with different shop layouts. You can also make scale pieces of various lumber sizes, plywood sheets, etc. in order to check for clearance. Building a shop from the ground up is a real luxury, so why not do yourself a favor and include a detailed D.C. plan in your design? A dedicated finishing area would allow you to keep making dust in the main shop while your other projects are in the finishing phase, awaiting that 2nd, 3rd coat. Consider how stock material will be broken down. With only 140 s.f. to work with, I have my lumber delivered on clear days, set up saw horses and break it down to 4 foot lengths right there in the driveway. You'll probably want to build a chop saw station along a wall near your stock storage area. I'd also recommend plenty of electrical outlets. It's real tuff to add wire later due to limited attic crawl space above the exterior walls. HTH Larr
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Larry West responds:
Lots of good info.

Lots of outlets needed, of course, but in a dedicated shop, new wiring isn't that hard. I plan to pull most of my old stuff--or, more accurately, leave it in the walls, and rewire when I get back to VA. Basically, I'm not happy with the outlet layout. Simplest solution: 1" plastic conduit, surface mount boxes. Couple weeks and it's all ready to go again. Or I can do it piecemeal.
Not pretty. Looks industrial. Whoops. It's a shop!
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
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I have 375 sq. ft. and share it with the lawn mower, gardening tools, etc. It is OK, but 500 would be just nice.
My saw has a 30" fence. I rarely need the 52", but it would have been nice to have a couple of times, but I just don't have room for it. I don't do much from sheet goods so that lessens the need for the larger fence.
I'll eventually get a jointer, but right now I don't have the room for it. I'm planning to add a shed to get rid on the other stuff in there. Mobile bases are a good idea. My bandsaw is in a spot that allows for a 4' cut off the back. Rare that I need more, but it would be nice to have a few times a year. Since most things I do on the BS are far less, no reason to have it sitting in the middle of the floor taking valuable space. My planer is on a wheeled cart, as is my drill press with the pancake compressor under it.
My miter saw sits on a table that is easily moved also. Would be nice to have a wall bench for it The mortiser sits on a shelf unless needed. Not a problem as it is not used all that much. The sander is always ready for action though. It is on a small work table. It gets use a lot and you need easy access to it.
Rather than do a week of dozer work and tear down the neighbor garage, you can make a 500 foot shop do the job for you. It will be cheaper to maintain heat in there compared to a huge shop, Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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"Silvan" wrote in message

I'd love to have 500 sf.
My shop is 18' X 18' outside dimension, which comes out to +/- 324 sf.
That extra +/- 180 sf is equivalent to another room that is 12' X 15' ...which I'd give my eye teeth for.
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Swingman writes:

In the past, I've had some strange sized shops: one parlor was just about 12 x 14 (moderate sized old house), while a dining room (larger older house) was 20 x 20, but the landlord's table and chairs created problems; back porch, about 9' x 35', and the best of the oddballs, a rented basement, under a sandwich shop, that was about 19 x 63. Currently, a 16' x 21' garage that leaves me half crazy--one line with 2 receptacles, light off same line. Soon, soon, soon...home to 25' x 48' and 200 amps.
Charlie Self "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." Mark Twain
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Silvan wrote:

Just finished tuning my Craftsman last night Silvan. I don't let nobody talk bad about my Craftsman. Nobody. And... it's well adjusted now too. I think I quit before you did - I got my to .001 and called that good to go. Seems I recall you went all the way to immeasurable. Mine is an old Model 100 and it's cut up a lot of wood that has turned into some pretty nice cabinetry, and my only concern now is whether or not I can adjust to not having to compensate for less than square cross cuts. Today - the new fence system gets installed and I start building the outfeed and extension table.
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bad Craftsman, bad Craftsman..
so, Mike are you gonna take a swing at me? :)
dave
Mike Marlow wrote:

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Mike Marlow wrote:

Yeah, but mine is one of the new ones, so it's a piece of junk.
So people say. I love it. I know there are better saws out there, but I'm unconvinced that I needed to spend another $400 to $2,000 to make myself happy. It's a question of what I need it to do, what I was replacing, and what I could afford.
I bought a Craftsman drill press on purpose too, even though I could have afforded a couple of other ones, and I love that too. I've put a lot of miles on it already, and it has been a joy.
The one thing Sears has going for it around here is that they stock things nobody else does. I strongly prefer to just go buy something and take it home, and I prefer not to make a 70 mile round trip to get it. My Craftsman electric drill is really a DeWalt, but nobody around here sells this drill wearing yellow plastic. So mine is black and says Craftsman, so what?
But of course, it's a piece of junk, or a ripoff, or an inferior tool because it says "Craftsman," and I'm an idiot and a completely un-savvy tool buyer for wasting my money on any of this stuff.

Right. Probably .0005" or less. I've changed blades four times and re-checked this, and it's staying put too. WOOT! (And if I have to re-adjust it, I have to re-adjust it. The dial indicator makes it easy.)

What are you putting on it? The "align-a-rip" system the new ones have has gotten some good reviews, and it seems like quite a nice fence. I figure I'll see how it goes. So far, so good.
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Silvan wrote:

That is exactly right. Sure, there are sometimes differences in tools that make the good ones worth going for, but then again there are differences in tools that are more in the eye of the beholder than in the performance of the tool.
So - I'm wondering... did your saw perform a great deal better after you tuned it? I hafta tell ya, after I aligned my blade, I spent the first part of yesterday installing a new fence - I went with the Sears 24/24. My only complaint - you can't just walk into the local Sears store and pick one up off the shelf. I had to order mine and it took a week to come in. But - finally yesterday, early afternoon, I was ready to put a piece of wood through it. Grabbed a slab of mohagany that a friend gave me that has been laying around his house for years. Ripped it and I knew I was in heaven. Grabbed an old 2x8 and made some cross cuts, and grabbed a bunch of other stuff just to run through it. Man - that saw just sings and it just slices through wood again. What a difference - I had forgotten how a good cut felt. The new fence is such an improvement, but I knew it would be, I'm just enjoying the realization of it. Built one extension table for the right side of it before quitting last night - MDF banded by some cherry I had laying around. Next - outfeed tables. Eventually, I will take off the cast iron extension on the left side of the table as well and replace it with one just like the one I built for the right side, but right now I have to get this saw up and in service and get going on a project for my wife. Still have to build that outfeed and mount my new router (see thread on routers and the one entiteled "It's Here...") on the right extension. That part is on hold for a router insert from Rockler.

I've gotten a lot of miles out of a Craftsman drill press as well. I bought mine along with a compound miter, a band saw, and another table saw (which I immediately sold) from a guy who needed to dump the stuff - all for $300. Almost new, all with receipts and manuals. I gave the band saw to my son after getting pretty damned fed up with it. I don't know if it's the nature of 12in saws, or this model, but I could never get a decent cut out of it. The drill press and the compound miter have gotten lots of use and I have no complaints about them at all.

Well, there are differences sometimes in what a manufacturer will produce for private label versus what they produce for their own label, and then there are products that simply carry different badges. If it works and you like it, that's what counts. It is after all, a drill motor. It does go round and round, doesn't it? That's what matters most. Oh BTW - do the drill motors have the same automatic adjustment feature that the routers have? (Sorry... couldn't resist - I am one of those people who got snookered by buying a Sears router years ago. See router threads)

I used my electronic mic, but I would not want to do it often. On my saw it's hard to get to the trundle bolts. I ended up lifting the top and extensions right off the base and aligning it out in the open while it was hanging suspended between two supports. That made it very easy to align it but it's a pain to get it in and out of the saw body. It's likely that mine was a little tempermental because it had sat in it's previous position for so many years, and the next time it might actually align more easily right in the saw.

That's it. I bought the 24/24 and I'm loving it already. Seems to be very stable and accurate. Slides very smoothly. These fences were getting very good reviews a few years ago when I considered one but decided to buy other things instead. Well - they still work very well today and I only wish I had bought one a few years ago when I first looked at them. It's back to that decision of what do I need versus what can it cost? I try not to buy cheap stuff and I certainly do not buy on price alone, but then again I really don't like overbuying. I have no need for what ever the added benefit of some of the more pricey fence rail systems offer, so I didn't look at them seriously. I would have paid $350 or more for a good fence if that's what I needed to do, but I didn't, so I spent $150 on a good fence. It is after all, just a fence - it just sits there.
It's all about enjoying these things and what we can do with them. The real artistry comes from the hands behind the tools, the tools just make it easier. Every guy with great tools can tell stories of starting out with something far less, and learing to cope in order to turn out good joints, good cuts, good finishes, etc., and in the end, he's a better craftsman for it.
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