Sunday, July 01, 2012

Woodshop maintenance, and how to reward yourself afterward

(Some people have been having problems reading this post, I think Blogger is having some issues right now. I'm going to change the font, with hope that this will correct the problem.)

You know there is never any end to the maintenance that goes on at the school, right? Our weekly routine includes sharpening chisels, sweeping floors, emptying dust collectors... the list goes on and on.

Luckily, the more intensive jobs aren't necessary as often - but after someone ran a board with staples in it (from the lumberyard) - the jointer needed some TLC. I've blogged about changing the jointer blades on more than a few occasions, and those posts get the most hits on a weekly basis. (Thanks, Google stats!) I think that means most people are a little hesitant to change their blades without seeing the process first.

So let's do this again....

First, take off the blade cover. Well.... actually, that's second. First - let's unplug the machine. Right?

Taking the blades out isn't usually difficult - you loosen the four gib screws and the pressure on the blade is released. The blades just slide out.

But this one gave us fits! There was one gib that was stripped,

and no matter what we tried, we couldn't loosen it. We pretty much had every tool in the shop pulled out, to no avail.

Well... it HAD to come out, so a little gentle persuasion with a big-ass hammer loosened it up. Unfortunately, it trashed the blade. That blade served me well, it is over 20 years old, so I can't complain.

Time to clean the cutterhead from all the crap that had built up on it. This stuff works really well, but as soon as I sprayed it, we all started coughing and gasping for air. It felt like we'd just inhaled E-Z Off Oven Cleaner. My recommendation? Spray it and run away for a few minutes!

It's also pretty caustic, so wear gloves.

The crap on that cutterhead just melts away.

But the smell was so harsh, everyone took off and left me to clean it by myself. Smart people!

My blade sharpening people will hopefully be able to make a new knife.

If you want to see how the blades get re-installed, this old blog post will help.

Another part of that old post - this is the way NOT to tighten the guard down, once you've set the knives. Don't watch it if you're allergic to bad language.

Everything put back together. Let's check the fence for squareness to the table.


Back in business.

We're not only about hard work at the shop - Eric brought in some olive oils and bread for us to try.

They were inconspicuously marked, and we all dipped and tasted.

The oranges cleansed out palates,

as well as the tequila shots we shared.

His test proved we're not only monster woodworkers, but savvy about our oils - we picked out the best oil from the blind test. It was so much fun, we're doing it again next week!

All in a day's work! Thanks to everyone for their help and moral support!


Rob said...

do you now blog as though you were the Zodiac Killer? cause all i see in symbols, oddly.

Wood It Is! said...

Rob - you're the second person who has written to say that the post has been converted to Webdings on their screen. It looks fine on my screen. I think Blogger is having some issues!

Vegas Lupe said...

Hmm...Happily I can report no issues since the blog came out. My Mac notifies me when pages are updated, and I saw it when it was posted on Sunday. It did look good on both Mac and PC.

Rob...When this happens, try to check it in another browser. I use Safari, Firefox, Explorer and Opera.

Jamie...You are amazing...You did quickly post the entire Saturday occurrences as promised. :-) What will be next? Wine and cheese tastings? Tequila? Salad dressings? I supposed we have to stay tuned.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!!!

Szymon DzwoŇĄczyk said...

Ahh.. I've just bought a jointer/thickness planer and already dulled the blade. I don't know why they sell such crappy stock blades. But as I tried to unattach it.. yeah, I have the same problem as you :)