Author Topic: SAPFM-ORV Fall 2014 Meeting Minutes - Part II  (Read 1503 times)

Dale Ausherman

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SAPFM-ORV Fall 2014 Meeting Minutes - Part II
« on: November 04, 2014, 12:10:30 PM »
(see prior post for PART I of these Minutes)

Dave Boeff also led a discussion and demonstration of bandsaw tuneup tips, resawing methods, and jigs. He related that he had replaced the blades on his own bandsaws with Carter blades, a 1/4 inch six TPI on one, and a 3/4 inch 3 TPI on another used primarily for resawing. The fewer teeth the better for resaw blades, as the larger gullets leave more room for sawdust removal and more horsepower per tooth when sawing wide boards. Dave's experience with the Highland Woodworking Woodslicer blades is that they only work well in hardwoods, not so well in softer woods like pine. When resawing, if the blade "chirps" periodically and the resultant cut surfaces show periodically-spaced kerf marks, then likely one is sawing too fast, which does not give adequate time for the blade to clear the sawdust - the sawdust is being forced past the blade in clumps which cause the squeaking and the marks. Go slow! Several attendees spoke to tensioning of the blade.  Dave adjusts his blade tension manually, starting at zero tension and turning a known number of times, determined from experience. Others position the blade guides all the way up and "strum" the blade until a particular pitch is heard. Yet others look for vibration in the rear of the blade when the blade is fully exposed, tightening until the vibration just stops.  Yet others talk of the commercially available tension measuring devices, but these are expensive. All agree that it is not a good idea to use the tension scale provided on many 14-inch bandsaws. And the subject of un-tensioning blades between use also came up, with some reporting that bandsaws in metal shops are rarely un-tensioned between uses. I think the final consensus is that if tensioned, saw blades stretch a little over time and that wether un-tensioned or not the tension needs to be frequently checked and adjusted for good resawing performance.

The conversation next turned to replacing of worn bandsaw wheel tires, with several approaches mentioned.  Ben Brungs uses inexpensive commercially available "rubber" gasket material, butt joined and glued to the wheel with an automotive adhesive. Dave buys commercially available tires of various materials, and in some cases adds his own crown on the tires by sanding with a powered cutoff tool. And when adjusting after installing new tires Dave centers the blade on the crowned wheel, rather than centering the teeth as some recommend, the latter wearing out the tires much more quickly with little payoff in performance in Dave's view. Dave also recommended setting the wheel-type blade guides so that the barely touch the blade and do not spin unless under sawing load.
Dave also reviewed the need to check band-sawing drift after each blade change or tensioning. This is done by sawing along an axial line on 1x2-size board about halfway down the board, with the board taking on the drift angle.  The board should be long enough that it can then be clamped in its drift position, and the angle read and recorded with a spare bevel gauge.  This gauge setting is then used to set the fence for resawing.   Dave made his own fence that rides on the bandsaw fence guide and is adjustable in angle.  The angle holds true and the fence is slid along the fence guide to adjust for different resawing settings. The fence is reinforced to hold perpendicular to the table, and has threaded screw inserts for adding of a taller fence face.  The fence also has an optional attachment of a resawing "point" which should be aligned with the front of the blade teeth, and another attachment to hold large workpieces perpendicular to the table to aid in sawing of wide pieces such as chair splats. (See the meeting photos on the SAPFM Forum.)

The bandsaw topic was wrapped up with Eric Madsen and a student demonstrating several jigs.  They had a large table extension with a large-circle cutting capability enabled by a pin in an adjustable sliding dovetail strip in the top surface. They also demonstrated a simple wooden box type jig to which joined bracket feet blanks are screwed for bandsawing the vertically-curved sides. The box holds the bracket blank perpendicular to the table as it is moved through the cuts. And coolest of all (in my opinion) was a simple yet elegant jig for rapid sawing of stock to a template.  The jig consisted of a little raised point with the blade imbedded a small distance from the edge, and the point raised just above the stock so that the point rides against the template which is attached to the stock with screws or double- sided tape. The saw then cuts out the stock just a little-bit oversized to the template.  That sawn piece with the template still attached is then taken to a router for trim bit or pattern bit routing to the exact template dimensions. Beautiful! The bandsaw discussion continued with Eric explaining the nickel test for proper bandsaw tuning.  A nickel stood on end should remain standing when the bandsaw is turned on. I have yet to run this test at home as I cannot find a darn nickel.  I spent them all on tools bought at SAPFM chapter meetings!

A highlight of the meeting was the Dean Posekany presentation on construction of a steel-stringed guitar. Dean was a special guest at our meeting and is a member of the Woodworkers of Central Ohio (WOCO) guild where he has also demonstrated these techniques.  He has also posted videos on the WOCO site ( He presented an extensive slide presentation with related videos on detailed step-by-step construction and finishing, giving us a much better appreciation of the work required making a top-notch instrument. He showed us quite a number of jigs that he built and many were applicable for our use including clamping systems, bending thin sheet of wood.  One of the very interesting facts was that the top and bottom of a guitar are designed as surface of a sphere for structural strength.  This also complicated the construction.  He described the various wood species that are suitable for the various part of a guitar. Included were details of a number of both simple and complex jigs and fixtures Dean designed and built to aid in the process. This report has not the space to do justice to Dean's work, so please check out the material at the WOCO site, and also the meeting photos on the Forum.

Our first meeting day ended with Mike Holden setting up an experiment in tool rust removal so that the processes could run overnight in preparation for Sunday's   presentation. He described several possible approaches and associated rust removal chemicals including citric acid (from hardware or grocery store canning shelf), lemon-lime Kool-Aid, Molasses, EvapoRust product (Harbor Freight or hardware stores), and electrolysis. He set up the electrolysis using an old auto battery charger (need the older type which do not auto-trickle-charge or other modern electronics), and a steel electrode and tool to be treated suspended in a solution of water and a little Arm and Hammer washing soda (not baking soda). The negative terminal always attaches to the tool part.  Be sure the steel anode is not stainless steel (releases pollutants) and that it is disposable in that it will get much caked with crud as part of this process.

The next day started with Don Wood presenting on restoration of old metal planes. If one is just getting started purchasing old planes the first buy should be a Jack plane, or several as they can be very cheap.  They can be repurposed to make scraper planes, or other uses.  For example, Don reported that Lie Nielsen sells a frog for converting a Stanley jack plane to a scraper plane but it is not listed in their catalog and I cannot find it online. (Paul Hamler was developing such a product in 2007 but I cannot find current info. Don reminds us that Stanley Bedrock planes, while more expensive, have a mechanism for adjusting the position of the blade edge in the mouth without removing the frog. Don showed how to flatten the frog bed on old planes to improve performance.  This is easier to do on on old style frog beds than on newer models (post 1931) as the newer bed's blade adjustment levers do not have a removable rivet. Don starts the process by giving the plane parts a good bath with hot water and detergent.  He says you will be amazed at how much better a plane will look after this simple step. He removes rust with the Krud Kutter product or Greased Lightning to remove rust and other crud, using a two-three day soak. As to refinishing the black Japanning on old planes, Mike and Don report that true Japanning material is available albeit expensive ($68 per quart for Pontypool Black Japanning Asphaltum Paint at but that certain black paint can suffice, such as Ford engine paint.

Following Don's talk on his plane restoration approach, Mike reviewed the results of his overnight experiment of alternative rust removal approaches. He also gave a detailed technical description of the chemical make up of the agents involved, and their tradeoffs.  Don supplied a handout from Woodcraft Magazine which covers the basics (Woodcraft Magazine, Feb/Mar 2013).  As to Mike's overnight results, the Molasses removed just a little rust and the Kool-Aid just a little better. The citric acid was better yet, but Mike pointed out that some of the acids will pit the clean bare metal as well if left to work too long. The electrolysis worked best yet, but will also remove some steel from the tool. The EvapoRust product was also very good. With the electrolysis and EvapoRust is is important to spray the cleaned tool with a little WD-40 or other light oil (even mineral oil or the expensive Camellia oil) to prevent "flash rust" which will follow quickly if not treated. Or simply rub with an oil soaked rag, which Chris Schwarz calls a Woobie rag. (Chris even describes a SuperWoobie rag he encounted at Lie Nielsen's which is a 3M microfiber cloth that had been soaked in jojoba oil ( Don and Mike warned not to put wood or copper parts into any of these solutions as they can be destroyed.  It is best to remove these parts or encase them thoroughly in hot paraffin. In prior uses Mike was not impressed with the Boeshield product, as some stored tools rusted in spite of application of this product.

The last topic for this ORV Chapter meeting was a round-robin discussion of Mahogany, including sources for the wood, different species, and means of dealing with tear out for highly figured mahogany. Charlie Watson brought several example pieces of mahjogany as well as some Sapelle. Sources include Irion,  and Groff and Groff, both in Pennsylvania, and Keim in Charm OH. We Michigan woodworkers find Mahogany at Armstrong Lumber, near Hartland, and L.L.  Johnson Lumber near Charlotte, just south of Lansing. As part of this discussion Eric Madsen demonstrated the capability to plane high-tearout areas using two of Rio Grande's helical head planing machines. And to cap it off Tod Herli showed the performance of his wooden smoothing plane in these difficult areas.

Overall the meeting was very successful, with many techniques and processes shared. It was also a great way to catch up with the happening and experiences of our good wood working friends.  – DAA