Sunday, July 10, 2011

Plan B

This blog post is my Plan B.

If you've noticed that I've been MIA for a little longer than normal, you're correct. I've had a ten-day break between my classes, and have been trying to take full advantage of the time, by catching up on things around the shop. When you have a woodshop - there is always something that needs to be done, whether it's cleaning, or rearranging, or repairing something. As Roseanne Roseannadanna said - it's always something.

But to be honest about things, like I said - this blog post is my Plan B.

Plan A, my original post about repairing my oscillating spindle sander, was rendered useless when I accidentally ruined all the photos I was taking of the repair.

Note to self: when you resize photos: make sure you pay attention to whether you're resizing them in pixels or inches, or you'll ruin them! My images wound up being the size of a pin head. In the end, it turns out I was the real pinhead in this whole ordeal.

Good thing there was an alternative plan in place - although not one I was prepared to blog about just yet!

A buddy of mine donated this small shaper/router to my shop, and it's one of the smoothest little machines in my shop.

Powerful, accurate, easy to use - I like this machine much better than my router table setup. So when it quit working, the I pulled out my trusty multimeter and checked the switch.

Repairing tools used to mystify me, but as they say back in Ohio - "Not no more!" Figuring out what the problem is really just means going down a list of possibilities. And in this case, I checked to make sure it was getting power from the outlet. It was. So I pulled open the cover and took a deeper look.

Since the meter told me I was getting full power from the wall, so the next step was to check out the switch.

Checking the continuity of a switch sounds difficult, but it's not. And it's usually the culprit.

If you don't know to test for continuity - there are some good videos on YouTube that will explain it much better than I can. Check out this one; I love this fellow's accent.

This page is a good one to read, it you're tying to diagnose an electrical problem.

Here is the culprit - and the new one, after my trip to the local Delta repair store.

Putting the machine back together was a little difficult.

My hands are pretty small - how do people with big mitts-for-hands get their fingers in there to connect all those wires?

Here is it, all buttoned up and working perfectly.

But the bigger question of the day was - why is my electrical toolbox the heaviest one I own? My buddy Dave contends that if he has four identical tool boxes side by side, all he has to do it pick them up and he can tell what's inside. The electric box weighs far more than a box with woodworking tools. I could barely lift my box up onto the bench, and when I needed that one small nut and washer that I misplaced from the tool, I had to search through all the parts containers I had.

For some reason, I seem to keep the electrical toolbox a little more organized than the other toolboxes I have, like my plumbing one, or my sprinkler one.

Years ago, I used to get a magazine called Restaurant Hospitality, and in it, there was a column called Fridge Raid, where various chefs would show you the inside of their refrigerator at home. Some were hideously crammed with items, others were neat and organized, with various Tupperware containers of everything from abalone to zucchini. That was a great column; peeking into someone's toolboxes strikes me as a similar way of learning more about a person.

My electrical box has to be organized, or I wouldn't be able to find a damn thing!

Even my screw tips are sorted and organized!

Now if I could only learn to manage my blog photos as well as my tools!

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