Thursday, January 14, 2021

Router Lift Redesign


I've redesigned and rebuilt my vice-held benchtop router table to use an old scissor-jack for the lift, rather than the big bolt I had coming up from below (that's what's sitting on the platen in this photo). I've kept most of the old frame and just added some bits to increase the height enough to cater to the jack.

The scissor-jack is superior to the base screw in that there's little or no lateral pressure on the frame while the router is being raised or lowered, so there's less need for lateral bracing. I will probably add some anyway, just to make the whole assembly a bit sturdier, but there's not really any great need for it.

I cut down an 8mm screw-eye to use with an electric drill to turn the jack-screw, but I have no need to be raising or lowering the router that quickly, and it's a bit of a faff hooking up the drill every time I want to change the height. Besides, I'd need to do the final adjustment manually in any case, for accuracy.

So instead, I've just mounted the old hand-wheel to the jack's hook-tab with a couple of small steel brackets. I can raise or lower the router to its full extent with just six or eight turns, and maintain very fine control over the bit height as well. I've done a little bit of testing, and the screw doesn't seem to shift at all under vibration from the router as it runs; if it ever does, I guess I'll have to rig some kind of clamp to the hand-wheel, which shouldn't be difficult.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the way it's turned out. It all looks a bit shonky, but it works well. Now I should replace the MDF top plate with a nice slippy piece of laminate, or maybe even a sheet of stainless steel.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Busy Busy Spiders


The spiders that live in our firewood storage lean-to by the carport have been very busy indeed since we used up the last of the wood some months ago.

There will be more firewood going in there in the not too distant future, but I think I'll leave them and their webs alone until then.

I really don't mind spiders at all, as long as they're not crawling unexpectedly up my arm. Or as long as they're not White Tails; I hate those disgusting little fuckers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Year Booty


Some new stuff arrived in the mail for me today.

The book is by Paul Sellers, my favourite online woodworking tutor, and it's a cracker. The information in there is probably largely available from him on Youtube or his own website if you're prepared to hunt it down, but it's nice to have it all in one place, in a format that remains readable when I don't have internet access. I do like books.

The other new arrival is a set of small HSS push-graver blades from China. They were very cheap, though I don't recall the exact price, and they'll go into the little beech mushroom handles (also cheap, also from China) that I bought for that purpose.

I've mounted one of the gravers already, and given the handle a few coats of shellac — it looks like a toffee apple.

I've never done any hand engraving before, and I strongly suspect that it's not as easy as people like Uri Tuchman make it look. However, there's no time like the present for learning a new skill, and I'm always interested in finding new ways of making intaglio plates that doesn't involve messing about with acids.