Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Motor Madness + Busy Busy Busy

Inspired by the successful rebuild of the GE motor for the Hammond Glider, I decided to carry on and rebuild another identical one I've had lying around for ages, plus a 3/4 HP Brown Brockmeyer Induction-Repulsion motor that I picked up in Seattle several years ago.

Old motors are normally a simple rebuild, the main hassle is getting them apart and the bearings out. Order new bearings, clean and paint, maybe new capacitors if needed, reassemble and you are done! Quick satisfaction. Totally contrary to my mantra of the Slow Woodworker! Luckily the BB will require a couple of different machining operations that will likely drag that project out.

The latest kiln load is gently drying, and should be done in a week or so. As I have no more two year old air dried slabs left to put in the kiln, next I may put in a load of well behaved one year old softwood slabs, specifically a couple types of cedar/cypress. I find these dry with less fuss than hardwoods.

Meanwhile a couple busy days of chainsaw milling transpired. About 100bf of spalted maple slabs one day, they're over 2 feet wide, but short. Next day over to Thetis Island to mill up some arbutus, probably closer to 200bf, boards were more like 18" wide.

While I was cutting up the maple on the beach, a guy stopped to chat, turns out he has a property up the coast with a big arbutus that's down, he invited me to come up and slab it up. Wow!

I am reconsidering the next project. With the Hammond Glider sitting in my shop all shiny and rarin' to go, I definitely need to do something that will require its services.  So the slab table looks like its star is falling already, and the display cabinet's is rising again. Probably a good thing.

Also got the General 14" planer moved downstairs, it took four of us to lift that beast. Had the blades sharpened locally, they did about the worst job I have ever seen. I am seriously going to start sending my blades away to be sharpened properly. Installed them anyways and fired it up with the VFD. Super quiet and cuts well. I need to dial in some of the settings still, but I am really happy with it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hammond Finished!

Another busy week in the shop! It's nice to be able to make some solid progress for a change.

Got the Glider motor parts back from the media blasting, painted them, then when I was reassembling I noticed there was still a substantial amount of lead in the windings. So it was back to the motor shop. I wanted them to either clean the windings again, or seal them up with some special electric motor paint. Instead, they gave me a spray can of the paint I wanted and suggested I go do it myself! Perfect, I got it done fast, done right, done cheap, and I still have 90% of a can to do future motors.

Blinged up the motor paint a bit!

So I got the motor mounted on the saw and took the first cut. First impressions are that the saw is quiet and very smooth and cuts at 90.0000 degrees. Exactly what I had hoped for - Hurray! I notice that I started the rebuild on July 14, almost exactly 3 months ago. There are a few small tweaks needed, and I am still waiting for a new Forrest blade, but the heavy lifting is done.

Using my sound pressure meter, the Hammond registers 73 dB, versus my Powermatic 66 at 92 dB. Quite a difference.

Was able to get to the beach last week for a day of chainsaw milling with practically the entire class from the IP woodworking school. Great fun, we had three mills going at the same time, cut up half a dozen logs.

Also making some progress on the General planer, some modest cleaning done as well as a sharpening. Discovered one of the gibs is different from the other two, not sure if I am going to need to replace it or not. Plus the bearings on the bed rollers need replacement. Luckily, the bed rollers are not a critical piece, I'll order them on line but they'll take a while to get here. I disassembled the planer from the base so my son and I could carry it from the garage down to the basement. Wrong! Looks like it'll take four people to move it.

Still contemplating the next project. The curved glass front display case is sill high on the list, but I am thinking I may use one of my 6' long 30" wide catalpa slabs to make a slab coffee table.

I also rediscovered how satisfying it is to rebuild an electric motor. I also noticed that the old motor I had been using to keep my kiln door shut tight was exactly the same the one I just rebuilt! I have started to rebuild it, should be way easier the second time round!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soooo Clooooose!

I have had a real burst of activity in the shop the past week. The Hammond Glider is now rebuilt! Hurray! Now I've got the motor taken apart and taken it in for media blasting, then I will paint it myself and put it back together. I've got a new blade on order from Forrest, it takes custom blades due to the unique arbor. Won't be long now (I hope!) until I'm making sawdust with it.

The VFD for the General Planer arrived, and I tested it out on the planer - it worked great! I then wired the VFD into my shop. I need to get the planer moved from the garage into the shop now, get its knives sharpened, and do some minor cleanup and setup on it.

I finally got my recent load of slabs dried and out of the kiln, after a major struggle with the a/c unit. I reloaded it with about 400 bf of mostly oak, plus a few other odd 'n ends. I was planing to let the oak air dry another year, then I noticed that it was starting to split in the middle so I thought I had nothing to lose by throwing it in the kiln. A number of pieces are 30 inches wide, I guess if I cut them in half they'll still be decent.  However, I am running out of room in the garage now for dried slabs!!

I'm hoping for a major day of slabbing on Friday, some friends will be joining me, hopefully we'll get three saws milling at once!