Friday, January 2, 2015

Project Update: The Terminator has Arrived

A lot has happened since we last spoke. First, I decided to chop the bracket off the table saw riving knife so it would fit through the crosscut sled I'm building. I used Big Bertha with her current blade because it's pretty trashed and the new 1", 3 tpi resaw blade is in the mail as I write this. The cut went smoothly with just a few sparks here and there.

I'll post up more about the crosscut sled as I complete it. Here's a quick photo of my progress so far.

It's 14" x 24" with open ends to accommodate larger pieces of wood.

Late last night I received a Craigslist alert and what should I see but a listing for a HUGE Delta drill press for $100. Yes, I bought it. It's got an 18" throat, which is the length from the center of the bit chuck to the back pole. This is important for me because I badly wanted to use a drill press, rather than the method preferred by dear Mr. Miller in the Harpsichord Project 3.0 - using a block of wood with a hole in it to stabilize your drill for a 90-degree hole. I didn't have much luck with this approach and found it to be rather frustrating.

What I needed was a drill press that provided sufficient throat depth for me to place the keyboard into the press and drill away, which required at least 10.5" in throat clearance. The new drill press provides up to 18" and I've currently got it set at 11", which is more than enough room to do some real damage, I mean drill some holes.

As you can see, it ain't no spring chicken - it was built in 1974, but it boasts four speeds, runs great and will drill precise holes in my keyboards, which is all I needed. The added benefit here is that the upper assembly will also swivel horizontally to drill angled holes, as well. Amazing. The only thing left to do is replace the original v-belt with a link belt, which will significantly cut down on vibration during operation. I'll be replacing the belts on Big Bertha, Little Buddy and the new jointer, too, so this will be a good test to see how the link belt material works (more on this later).

As you know, I enjoy naming my machines. In this case, it only seemed natural that I call this one Deep Throat, but my wife would have none of it, so it shall simply be known as The Terminator. Though I was hoping to be through with acquisitions when I picked up Big Bertha, this is clearly not the case. And I do still need two more machines: a Ridgid oscillating spindle sander and a smallish lathe. I have alerts set up for both on Craigslist. It's only a matter time.

Until next time...

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