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Upgrading The Shop Tools

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I still might buy a bench... because by the time I pay for wood, vises, and cabinet hardware the cost is almost the same as a small euro bench.

By the time you factor in your hourly rate for labour, you could probobly have gotten 2 benches.

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Commercial benches truly suck. Thin tops and all kinds of corners cut. A half decent Sjรถberg bench costs four times more than mine is costing me. Well, unless I get the wood free...in that case ten times more.

I've thought of teaching. Perhaps one day.

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Well I'm trying to detail the whys and wherefores so you can make your own without any hassle. Still, if you want to sent business my way....

:barnarnar:

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Hijackers! The whole bunch of you.

I am building a bench eventually. I swear... however I have customers breathing down my neck and need to build some guitars.

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We're hijacking this thread and holding it hostage until you write some reviews about your new toys. :-D

Your bench can wait. I'm sure your guitars spend more work time under and in machines than they do on a bench anyway!

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Hijackers! The whole bunch of you.

I am building a bench eventually. I swear... however I have customers breathing down my neck and need to build some guitars.

Just do what I did man. get a few 9x4 inch scaffold boards froma builders yard. bolt them all together, plain the top level, bolt on a vice or 2 & away you go.

Cant go wrong, my damned thing weighs in at just under 90kg, solid as a rock. & i dont have to worry about damaging the top, as I have easily got 2 inches I can plain away over the next few years before it starts to get light.

Anyway, hows the bandsaw going,

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Paulie that saw was worth every stinking penny.

It rips through 8" Bloodwood like it is butter... I was able to rip .038 in veneer from padauk without blinking. And it only takes one pass through the drum sander to remove the blade marks. I can almost remove the blade marks with a scraper...

No drift. No Waste. The only way to upgrade from the Laguna 14 SUV is to go Italian and get something serious.

I am going to get serious with the Laguna in a few weeks and I will finish my review at that point. I want to bookmatch some of the ziricote, bloodwood, cocobolo, and ebony I have on the rack before giving the saw an A+ (they always cut great with a new blade).

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Yea, nice band saws are a godsend.

I have a sip 16 inch jobbie with a tilting bed, adjustable blade tensioners & 2 cutting speeds. Takes up to a 1 inch blade & i have had it down to a 6mm blade. but I have to have those 6mm jobbies made up specially.

I was surprised at how good it is for just under โ‚ฌ1000.00. Goes thru 9 inch blocks of hard ash with no hassle at all, although blades dont last any time at all doing that kinda stuff.

The cocobolo & ebony are going to destroy your blade in no time man. even the more expensive tungston blades wont last book matching tops with those materials. but so long as you factor it into the cost of a build I suppose its OK.

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Paulie, seriously, get a WoodMaster CT. Spectrum Supply in the US carries them and will ship internationally.

Really great resaw blade, and lasts for ages and ages. Carbide tipped. I'm resawing indian rosewood (wide boards, long cuts, for sides) and it doesn't seem to have dulled at all. It ain't cocobolo, but it's not that far off.

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It is always exciting to get new tools. Especially big ones. That Laguna looks like a serious piece of hardware.

I saw some references to Asian machines. When I lived in Hong Kong, the conventional wisdom on Asian quality for anything was Japan #1, Taiwan #2 and mainland China a distant #3. The Hong Kong Chinese vendors made fun of mainland Chinese goods.

My new Grizzly G0555LX (made in Taiwan) is sitting in its box in my garage waiting to get setup. It isn't a Laguna but better than the bench top model I used to have. I also don't have 220v power run to my garage yet. That's to come later.

Wes, I have that exact spindle sander.

I would have added some emoticons to the post but they aren't showing up.

Congratulations on the new hardware.

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Lets get something straight you highjackers this is my tool thread. So I guess should update everyone on how the new tools are working.

The General Spindle Sander -

GENERAL INTL Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander Model# 15-220M1

So far worth every penny. Good dust collection. Excellent size to the spindles. Affordable. The 3" drum is awesome.

The only issues I have is there is no insert for the 3" drum.

The 1.5" Drum has a tendency to spin when you push to hard against it then the key on the metal spindle moves out of the channel in the rubber drum causing it to warp and wobble. You then have to stop loosen the drum and rotate it so that the key falls back in the channel. Annoying. I solved it temporarily by tightening the crap out of the retention screw but this deforms the drum slightly... doesn't happen with the other sizes.

Laguna SUV 14:

So far worth every penny. I can not explain how awesome that saw is or how much money and time it has saved me by cutting nice bookmatch tops. I get a top and a veneer out of a 4/4 - 5/4 board and the top is usually ready to use after a few light passes through the drum sander.

The Delta 18-900L drill press:

Not sure how I lived without it. By far the best tool I bought this season. Drills straight. Always has enough power. The long throw allows you to drill ridiculously deep holes without repositioning the piece.

Only issue is the Chuck key. It is a POS. They made it fit loose so it wouldn't get stuck. Well it is so loose that you pinch your skin trying to force it in long enough to break the chuck loose. You have to turn the key the right way as well to loosen the chuck which is annoying if you are used to using the key the same direction to tighten or loosen.

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I had the exact same problem with my spindle sander. I figured that the only way to fix it would be to make a metal collar which locks onto the main spindle and to hollow out the rubber to make a thinner sleeve with a wider bore. A lot of work really. That said, the larger diameter means that the edges will be moving faster than the smaller spindles so should technically take less work to remove material....that said there is a larger contact area....meh....funny it doesn't happen with the 3"!

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I know its a bit off topic but the Ridgid belt/ spindle sander has gotten rave reviews. It's $200 at Home Depot. I think you can buy it through Amazon also. It's a bit too much plastic for me, but I'll probably get it as its dual purpose and I don't have a lot of room. Plus it's a benchtop tool.

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I know its a bit off topic but the Ridgid belt/ spindle sander has gotten rave reviews. It's $200 at Home Depot. I think you can buy it through Amazon also. It's a bit too much plastic for me, but I'll probably get it as its dual purpose and I don't have a lot of room. Plus it's a benchtop tool.

I got rid of my Rigid belt/spindle sander because it is a toy for hobbyists not suited for real production guitar work.

The belt sander part of it ate belts after about a month.

There is no way to really fix the tracking issues with the belt.

The table is not completely level as the folding wing sits higher than the actual table.

The flex and short spindles limit its usefulness and accuracy. The belt sander part is short as well limiting its usefulness.

In general I ended up only using it for inside the horns on the bodies and finishing the tight curves on my headstocks. Even then it did not oscillate enough to not leave heavy scratches or burn.

For 400.00 you can have a professional grade spindle sander that is still a bench top unit.

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My neighbor gave me a three chest Craftsman toolbox and 12 framing 2x4s. Time to reorganize the tools and build my split roubo bench.

I start by sanding the faces flat and gluing all the 2x4s together. This is going to be a small bench. 42 x 26 is what I plan on. I am building 4x4 legs by gluing the 2x4s together.

The 2x4s are 105 in. I will try to explain how I did the sizing. I cut each one into 3 pieces, 2 for the top and 1 for a leg. 36" measured from each end leaves me 33" in the middle. I make sure to leave the line for each top piece. Since the top is going to be about 3" thick when I finish the bench height will be 36" (my personal comfort zone).

The top will have 2 end blocks and an end vice so that is were the 42" comes from.

I used 7 pieces per side of the roubo. It is something like 12.25" per side after sanding the 2x4s. One reason I used the drum sander was to preserve as much wood as I could. The plainer I have nerfs the ends hard so I will have to make a work around when I plain the tops.

Using a split roubo design allows me to use my 13" planar to level the tops. And it gives me the ability to clamp in the middle of the table. The insert for the middle will fit flush one way and stick up 1/2" or so when turned over. This is so I can use it as a block.

It will not be a traditional bench because I am not working from plans but basically winging it. Since it is free 2x4s if it sucks I will burn it... if it is awesome I will rebuild it in maple.

IMG_20130708_172237_zps4600382b.jpg

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I would certainly drop rising dovetails for attaching legs in favour of a simpler arrangement. I only just about managed to get away with mine. At least it causes people to scratch their heads as to how the seemingly "impossible" dovetail works though.

One mistake I almost made was glueing up the second half. Only glueing it up to the dog holes, then routing them off the side before capping up saves a lot of work trying to sink mortices in a completed top! Just checking my phone to see if I took photos of that bit of work....should update the thread really....

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You are making it too hard.

I plan on building the base, building the top, and sticking them together with some dowel rods I have to beat in with a BFH so I feel better knowing that I could take it apart if I needed to.

Researching my tail vise options and trying to engineer luthier centric vises now...

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Both halves of the top are ready for planning.

IMG_20130709_183717_zps1c19e0fa.jpg


Legs ready to be glued.

IMG_20130709_183725_zps493f6492.jpg

Gluing up all the legs at once. I hope I have glue in the right places.

IMG_20130709_184927_zpsa0f0ff05.jpg
IMG_20130709_184933_zps46e2f5d6.jpg

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What a complete POS I managed to buy from Rockler. Every piece of the dust collector tools I bought with a seam in it has busted. Wasted $78.00. Luckily it is all ABS plastic. That means that normal old PVC glue will weld it fast.

IMG_20130709_185348_zpsbbc53c84.jpg
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IMG_20130709_185759_zps72eb290b.jpg
IMG_20130414_160817_zps9e9eb2cf.jpg

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Pro I have read those articles until my eyes bleed.

I am not sure what type of vise I am going to use. Remember this is a Luthier's Roubo not a traditional roubo.

One problem I am trying to work out is which vise is more useful for carving bodies. A wagon vise is great with bench dogs but it can't hold a body on its edge so I can work on the inside of the horns. A tail vise might have to be pretty big to be able to do that so I might end up with a Twin Screw on one end anyway.

As for the bench dogs... I was going to put them in before gluing the tops together until I decided that bodies and necks need special benchdogs that won't mar the sides.

I am going to need larger round bench dogs with some sort of padding on them so that when I pinch the body I don't get dents from the corners of a square bench dog.

All in all this is a fly by night operation because I am not sure what it is going to look like.

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There's nothing to stop you having basic vices on the bench (leg, wagon, holdfasts) and using those to retain other more specific workholding jigs. Once I get a feel for my own bench (itching) I'll place my holdfast locations for things like overhead router binding jigs and the like. My journey with that one is far from finished! I might even add an air spike to the underside with a conveniently located Venturi pump for vacuum holding. Loads of scope.

Round bench dogs sound like a better idea since we don't work on purely square workpieces. I get the idea that maybe a dual-screw end vice would be better than a wagon for that since you can have a row of holes across the top of the vice for cork-padded dogs or whatever.

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