Thursday, September 20, 2012

On being the chief cook and bottle washer...

For the last couple of classes, I've sensed that something was wrong with my planer. It might have been the sound, or just the way the boards fed through it - but something has been going on with it.

So when I noticed a little shredded rubber coming out of the bottom of the belt guard (like this)

and smelled rubber burning, it became clear that there was a belt issue. I removed the right side of the planer, exposing the gears and pulleys that feed the wood through the machine.


Cool looking parts like this make me smile.

And sure enough - it was easy to spot the culprit - a belt that was disintegrating. It had actually flipped upside down and was riding in the pulley backassward.

Never saw that before!

Luckily, there is a machine supply house minutes from the shop, so I picked up the new belt, and a little woodshop fortification.

I love how the barista labled my cup.

The new belt slipped into place, and I cleaned and greased everything, before re-attaching the cover. Right about then, Eric stopped by the shop. He's my boy-Friday.

Well, OK, my man-Friday.

Second in line to being chief cook and bottle washer.

As he was checking out my work, he remarked about the fact that when you acquire tools - you not only have to learn to use them, but you have to learn to repair them, too. Isn't that the truth?

And frankly, I think performing repairs on your tools makes you a better woodworker. I feel like it helps you understand how the tool works, and how you can baby it, or coax a little more out of it.

I used to feel a little intimidated by some of my repairs, but now - I'm feeling somewhat fearless.

In fact, just last week - I took apart a plunge router

and went to my local independently owned hardware store to pick up a couple of parts.

I love this sign on the front of their store!

Sure enough, I found what I needed. Think you're going to find a selection of switches like this at one of the big box stores?

Think again!

All in a day's work!

Now if I can just come down off my quad latte high.

No comments: