Monday, February 27, 2017

A Tilting-Table 8" Table Saw

I should know better by now than to take on 8" table saw restoration projects, but this piece of junk was free, and I couldn't resist.

The 8" saw blade diameter is utterly obsolete -- it's difficult to find replacement blades. But the 8" saws take me back to my long lost youth, so I like to see them brought back to useful life, even though they're next-to-impossible to sell. With this machine, I'm going to see if I can coax an 8 1/4" blade into it. 8 1/4" appears to be a current blade diameter that can maybe extend the life of these old-timers.

As it currently stands, the saw is the usual mess of tinkered-up components, with much (just about everything) wrong with it.

The Saw Itself

There's no maker's name on the saw, just an embossed "MODEL S 25" in front.

Googling "MODEL S 25 table saw" got me nothing.

The rip fence and mitre gauge are actually pretty decent. The throat insert is a wretched, shop-made piece of scrap metal that will have to be replaced. The arbor bearings aren't gone, but they feel grease-starved. The arbor's pulley is in frightful condition.

The pulley was run with a loose setscrew, so the pulley's bore and keyway have been battered beyond salvation. The spindle's keyway is also a battered, widened mess. I've yet to examine the spindle's outside diameter closely. I hope it's ok.

To add insult to injury, the v-belt is a 3V cross-section belt running in 4L pulleys, and the drive ratio is way too slow. At its best, this must have been a feeble excuse for a saw.

The Stand

The stand is a cobbled-up collection of wooden table legs and plywood. It's likely to end up as firewood.

The Motor

The motor is an ancient beast of a thing with a 1/2 hp rating. I suspect that it was originally a 25 cycle motor that got rewound for 60 cycles -- its size and weight are about twice that of a modern 1/2 hp motor. I don't think I'll be using the motor for this saw; it's just too big and heavy for the rear-mounted motor configuration that I have in mind. The motor-underneath configuration strikes me as an awkward, needlessly complicated way to power the saw that puts the motor right in the way of all the sawdust coming down from above. Here's a view of the motor on its platform out of the stand.

I'm itching to see the thing run, so I'll get it off that platform and onto the workbench for a test. Then I'll stash the thing against the day that I can give it a proper teardown, cleaning and paint job. It could be a good unit for powering a wood lathe.

Here's a view of the motor's I.D. plate.

Googling the model number, 11F801D, got me nothing. Let's see if the thing runs.

- - -

It starts and runs nicely; these things last forever.

The motor weighs 44 lbs., and it has an output shaft diameter of 3/4". That's big for 1/2 hp. I'll find a place to stash it, and return to it if and when I ever find a suitable application for it. (Or perhaps sooner, should I feel moved to restore it to pristine condition just for a project.)

Where To From Here

I'll rig a stand and deck for the saw, and a light weight 1/2 hp motor to prove out a drive arrangement. There may be a belt tensioning complication attendant to the saw's elevation feature; we'll see.

Belt Tensioning

Sure enough, belt tension varies with saw blade elevation, as I expected it would. Here's a view of the belt correctly tensioned with the saw blade fully elevated.

Now, lower the blade and see what happens.

The belt tension slackens off severely. There are three ways I can think of to deal with that.

a) A hinged motor mount that's arranged so that gravity acting on the motor's weight automatically maintains belt tension throughout the range of saw blade elevation.

b) A sliding motor mount with a single clamp to it that makes static belt tension adjustment as quick and easy as possible.

c) Use the adjustment range already available from the elongated mounting holes in the motor's base. That adjustment range is sufficient, it's just not terribly convenient to use.

I'll probably go with method 'c)' to keep things simple. Methods 'a)' and 'b)' introduce complications that I really don't want to have to deal with.

The Stand

I have an adequate stand left over from a Ryobi saw that got scrapped.

If the saw had been as well made as the stand, the saw might still be with us. (See this post for complete information on the stand.)

The Deck

I salvaged the 3/4" firply deck from the saw's original stand, cut the sawdust chute portion away and reassembled the pieces with biscuits. Now I've got a contiguous panel that will do nicely for a new deck.

I'll trim that down to a neat rectangle and finish the edges. Come final assembly time, I'll give it a light grey enamel finish, and I'll have a proper deck for the machine.

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And here we are with a decent deck for the saw stand.

I installed four 1/4"-20 tee-nuts for fastening the deck to the stand. While I was at that, I worked out the saw's position and installed another four 1/4'-20 tee-nuts for fastening the saw to the deck.

Next up is to overhaul the saw and get it into running order. Then I can work out the motor mounting arrangement and try the machine out. Before I do that, though, there's a little detail about the motor that I should attend to so it's out of the way. Oh, and before that, I should build a wheeled dolly for the stand to perch on, so I can easily move the machine around in the shop.

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Here's the completed dolly.

It's basically just half-lapped 2x4s. Half-lap joints are not that easy to make in material that large. If I ever make another dolly like this one, I may go with biscuited butt joints -- they'd be a lot easier to execute, and quite strong enough.

I still have to provide the dolly with a 'floor'. Then the dolly will be able to accept a sawdust bin. (See this post for the dolly floor I came up with.)

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And here we are with the deck and saw in place; the machine is beginning to take shape.

That arrangement puts the saw's table height at 38 3/4". That may seem a bit on the high side of ideal, but it suits me fine.

A Replacement For The Antique Motor

Here's the unit that I have in mind for powering the saw.

It's a Marathon Electric model No. 5KH36JNA769. It's rated at 1/2 hp, which is just adequate for an 8" saw. 3/4 hp would be ideal, but I don't want to sacrifice my one 3/4 hp motor to this project.

Note the extended thru-bolts holding the motor's frame together. I can't seem to find a straight explanation for that feature; I can only assume that it's for mounting the motor by its output end face. Anyway, for my application here the extended thru-bolts will just be a snaggy nuisance, so I'll make up regular length thru-bolts from 8-32 threaded rod. (I don't want to cut down the long thru-bolts, just in case I ever want this motor to have its extended thru-bolt feature back.)

And here are my new thru-bolts.

They're 7 1/2" lengths of 8-32 threaded rod, with acorn nuts installed with red threadlocker.

And here we are with regular length, acorn-headed thru-bolts.

Much neater.

The Arbor, Blade and Outer Flange

The arbor is the usual 5/8"-18 with a 15/16" A/F hex nut. The blade is scrap metal. The outer flange is a ruin. It's been tightened down on too hard in the past and distorted. I'll have to find a replacement.

The Table And Throat Insert

The table is rusted, but not badly -- nothing that a machine sanding won't clear up. As I mentioned earlier, the throat insert is a wretched, shop-made thing that I'll have to fabricate a decent replacement for. The throat opening itself appears to have been abused somehow; its edges aren't true. There's really nothing I can do about that, and it won't affect the saw's performance so I won't worry about it.

Now is as good a time as any to deal with the surface rust on the table, so here goes.

- - -

And here we are after a brief sanding.

Much better. There's still cleaning and cosmetic work to done on the table, but it's now perfectly serviceable.

Next up is to take the table off, and start attending to the machine's innards.

Removing The Table

  • Tilt Pointer (Only to save it from harm. The pointer is attached to the table's front trunnion, and isn't really in the way of removing the table.) One 8-32 x 1/2" round head screw.
  • Tilt Clamp Screw. Unscrew it completely.
  • Front and Rear Trunnion Caps. Four 1/4"-20 x 1/2" hex head screws.
That gets you to here.

The table with its trunnions still attached is off and set aside. There's access now to the arbor casting and the elevation mechanism. The tilt clamp is a bar that's tied in to the elevation screw.

Note the 90° stop at the upper left rear of the frame.

It's just a 1/4"-20 flat head screw with an adjustment locknut on it. It's a bit bent and will have to be replaced.

The Elevation Mechanism

It feels as though the elevation screw may be bent; the screw binds towards the low elevation end of its travel. That has to investigated and corrected. It's a flaw that's not tolerable.

Here's the elevation screw and nut out of the machine.

It may only be old grease and sawdust fouling that's causing the elevation screw to bind. We'll see.

The Arbor Casting's Elevation Pivot

The pivot is a 3/4" diameter steel rod. The arbor casting is anchored to the rod by a setscrew, so the rod pivots in holes through the side walls of the frame. The rod's axial position is fixed by the point of a setscrew riding in a groove at the left end of the rod, within the left side wall of the frame. Two flaws attend that arrangement:
  • There is some radial play between the rod and the holes through the frame's side walls.
  • There is some axial play in the axial retention groove.
Those plays/clearances translate into play at the saw blade's periphery that will make for iffy cutting precision. Here's what I've done to all but eliminate play from the elevation mechanism.

The rod no longer pivots in the frame with the arbor casting anchored to it; instead, the arbor casting pivots on the rod. The rod is now firmly held in place both axially and radially. A pair of collars and washers fix the arbor casting's axial position on the rod. The arbor casting is free to pivot on the rod between the collars and washers.

The Arbor Bearings

The bearings felt grease-starved, so I extracted them for replacement. I take them to be an obsolete make and model -- N.D. No. 7503/3203. They're 17mm bore x 40mm O.D. x 12mm thick, which makes them exactly equivalent to No. 6203 bearings. Here's a view of the original bearings.

I got 6203-2RS (sealed both sides) bearings from Princess Auto and put them in. 'Trued the face of the arbor's flange on the lathe and I've got a serviceable arbor assembly.

Trial Assembly In Progress -- Motor Installed And Wired -- SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 2017

See this post for some notes on that paddle switch. The wiring material is 16 AWG/3 SJOOW from the Home Depot.

The Mitre Gauge

The mitre gauge's beam is remarkably close-fitting in its slot; it has about the nicest fit I've ever seen in a mitre gauge. All I've done to it has been to clean it up and add a facing, like so.

I just had to drill two 9/64" holes through the face of the gauge's head to accept No. 6 screws, for fastening the wooden facing in place.

The Throat Insert

As I've mentioned before, the throat insert is a wretched, shop-made thing that needs to be replaced. However, I can make it serve for the time being by giving it proper leveling screws.

The insert is two thicknesses of aluminum sheet riveted together, for a total thickness of just over 1/4". The heads of four 8-32 hex head screws serve, not very successfully, as levelling screws.

I drilled and tapped the four 8-32 screw holes to 10-24, and installed set screws, like so.

Once I had the screws adjusted satisfactorily, I applied CA adhesive to the screws at the underside of the insert so the screws would stay put. We'll see how that works out.

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End Of The Road -- SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017

'Sold it. The buyer only wanted the saw itself, so I still have the motor and stand to apply to some other project. Here's a view of the saw all freshly painted and ready to go.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Arrow Stapler Model ETF50 -- Microswitch Failure

I was part way through installing some baseboard footing molding when my Arrow stapler started acting up.

Sometimes it would fire a brad, and sometimes it wouldn't. Finally, it wouldn't work at all.

I took it apart in hopes of finding a bad solder joint or some such, but a thorough visual inspection of the tool's innards revealed nothing that looked amiss. One item caught my eye, though, as a possible culprit -- the tiny microswitch that's operated by the trigger. Here's a view of the stapler's printed circuit board that has the microswitch on it.

The stapler is many years old, and has had very little use. In my experience, microswitches can and will develop high contact resistance with age. A little investigation with an ohmmeter was in order.

The switch has the usual terminal arrangement of common (C), normally closed (NC) and normally open (NO). The NC contact was ok; the NO contact wouldn't close. I did what I always do with flaky switches -- I hosed the switch down with WD-40 so the WD-40 could wick its way inside, and gave the switch many actuations. That did it. The NO contact came back to life. I reassembled the stapler and tried it out; sure enough, it worked. The stapler got me through my baseboard footing molding job without further trouble.

- - -

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of WD-40. The stuff is my go-to solvent/lubricant for all kinds of things. Switches love it. It improves their operation and lengthens their life.

- - -

The Arrow ETF50 stapler is a nicely constructed tool that's readily openable for maintenance such as that described above. To open one up, you'll need:
  • No. 2 Phillips screwdriver.
  • 5/16" wrench or nutdriver.
  • 3/8" nutdriver.
Proceed as follows:
  • Remove the magazine -- one special screw and a 5/16" A/F nyloc hex nut at the rear of the magazine.
  • Remove three 3/8" A/F nyloc hex nuts from inside the magazine chamber. Remove the magazine chamber.
  • Remove three No. 8 x 11/16" pan head thread-rolling screws from the side of the plastic casing. The casing opens up like a hinge.
WATCH OUT for the little coil spring under the trigger, that it doesn't go flying on you.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

A Simpson's Supremacy Model No. 103.23180 Wood Lathe -- Restoration

This post is the continuation of an overview of the subject wood lathe. Here I'll record what gets done to the machine, and the parts and materials that go into it.

The Headstock

Following are the items to be dealt with:
  • New replacements for the bronze sleeve bearings.
  • Functional replacement for the original, missing ball-thrust bearing.
  • Replacement for the original, missing 4-step pulley.
  • Re-creation of the inoperative indexing function. (The indexing stops were incorporated into the original, missing pulley. I'll fabricate a separate index wheel to restore the indexing function.)
  • Replacement for the missing front cover.
Bronze Sleeve Bearings

The bearings are 3/4" bore x 1" O.D. x 1" long.

I obtained replacements from BDI Canada. BDI is my go-to place for any kind of bearing or power transmission component. The bearings that I got are Isostatic Industries P/N EP-121616.

The bearings are a tight press fit in the headstock casting. A hydraulic shop press is needed to remove and install them. Replacement went smoothly with no surprises. Within the casting surrounding the bearings, there's plenty of space for an oil supply.

Thrust Bearing

The original, missing ball-thrust bearing resided inside the headstock casting at the outboard end. I've replaced the thrust bearing function with a steel washer right against the inboard end of the headstock casting, a bronze thrust washer and a steel collar. Following is a list of the parts used:
  • Steel washer -- 5/8" flat washer bored out to 3/4" I.D. x 1 3/4" O.D. x 1/8" thick, Canadian Tire P/N 61-3203-4 (pkg of 4).
  • Porous bronze thrust washer -- 3/4" bore x 1 1/4" O.D. x 1/16 thick, Isostatic Industries P/N EW-122001 from BDI Canada.
  • Steel collar -- 3/4" bore x 1 1/4" O.D. x 9/16" long, RBL P/N SC 3/4, Princess Auto P/N 3871340.
Here's a view of the arrangement.

At the outboard end of the spindle, I installed another bronze washer and steel collar, so the spindle can be set up axially with something approximating a no-bind/no-lash condition.

4-Step Pulley

As I pointed out in the introductory post on this lathe, the headstock's spindle is a mite undersize at 0.741" diameter. That led me to shim the bore of my replacement, 3/4" (0.750") bore pulley for a better fit. Here's a view of my beer can shim tucked part-way into the pulley's bore.

It's not too difficult to assemble that arrangement onto the spindle; the whole affair goes together nicely and works as it should. I was pleasantly surprised by that, actually -- I'd expected it to be much more difficult to shim a pulley's bore.

The pulley's four step diameters are 4 1/4", 3 1/2", 2 3/4" and 2". The motor's pulley has identical step diameters. So, for a 1,725 rpm full-load-speed motor, the spindle speeds obtained are approximately 800, 1,360, 2,200 and 3,660 rpm.

Indexing Function

Here are two views of the indexing wheel I fabricated, to re-create the indexing function.

That wheel is a whole story in itself that I won't go into here. It was a challenging little machine shop project, and it does work. The lathe now has its 36-position indexing feature back. Here's a view of the wheel installed in the headstock, with the indexing pin engaged.

The Headstock's Front Cover

In the first photo above of the headstock, that gaping opening in front is supposed to be concealed by a sheet metal cover; the cover is missing. If only as a safety feature, never mind aesthetic considerations, there ought to be a cover.

I have some 0.024" thick aluminum sheet on hand that will make an acceptable cover, so here goes a little sheet metal fabrication work.

Much better. I think the original cover had an engine turned finish, but I didn't feel quite up to reproducing such an effect. My plain cover will have to do.

The Tool Rest

The lathe's 8" tool rest is a fine, sturdy piece of gear.

The only thing I had to improve on was the flat washer for the position clamp bolt -- the washer it had was ill-fitting and too thin. I turned down a close-fitting, thick washer on the metal lathe for a perfect fit. The tool rest's sliding action across and along the bed ways is now flawless.

Cleaning, primer and paint are all that are now needed.

The Tailstock

The tailstock is massive, and so is the affair that clamps it in position on its ways. Here's a view of the tailstock taken to pieces.

Tailstock Handwheel Fastening

The handwheel's hub has provision for two 1/4"-20 x 1/4" set screws, but the ram's screw shank only had one flat. I filed a second flat on the shank, and installed a second set screw.

Tailstock Position Clamp Screw

I assembled the acorn nut and the 1/2"-13 x 1 1/2" stud together with blue threadlocker, and added a thin flat washer for under the acorn nut.

Tailstock Ram Position Clamp Screw

Here's a view of the knob-headed clamp screw that I fabricated to replace the original hex headed screw.

That's a length of 5/16"-18 threaded rod with a dog-point turned on it at one end. The knob has an internal 1/4"-20 threaded insert, so the other end of the 5/16" rod had to be turned down and threaded to fit that, then assembled with red threadlocker.

Tailstock Accessories

And here's the fully accessorized tailstock.

The complement consists of:
  • 2-13mm drill chuck, Princess Auto P/N 8144727.
  • MT1 drill chuck arbor, KBC P/N 1-507-350.
  • MT1 dead centre, KBC P/N 7-560-005.
  • MT1 live centre, Busy Bee P/N B1677.
A Drawbar-Fitted MT1 Drill Chuck Arbor For The Headstock

I find that a drill chuck for the headstock is often useful for turning small items like toy stub axles, but a drawbar is essential for keeping a drill chuck arbor seated in its taper. I couldn't find an MT1 arbor that would take a drawbar, so I modified a tang-ended arbor to accept a drawbar. Here's a view of what I ended up with.

There was already a shallow, centred hole in the tang end of the arbor, so I drilled that deeper and tapped it 8-32. The drawbar is a length of 8mm diameter steel shaft salvaged from a laser printer, that I also drilled and tapped 8-32. An 8-32 x 1" long stud completes the drawbar/arbor connection. I turned a 5/16"-18 thread on the outboard end of the drawbar for retention nuts.

I'll assemble the drawbar to the arbor with blue threadlocker, and I'll have my drawbar-fitted drill chuck arbor.

A Handwheel For The Headstock Spindle

It appears that the lathe never had a handwheel, and I find a handwheel to be very helpful for inspecting one's work with the lathe not running. For a quick-and-dirty handwheel, I got a 2 1/2" diameter v-belt pulley from Canadian Tire (P/N 056-5718-2). That looks like it'll work fine.

I.D. Plate Removal

The two I.D. plates are fastened by tiny drive screws.

The screws are No. 4 x 3/16" long. Fortunately, the screws were installed in through-holes, so I was able to punch them out from behind. Had they been installed in blind holes, I'd have had a devil of a time to extract them.


The lathe is getting my usual treatment of primer plus two coats of enamel.
  • Primer: Princess Auto Power Fist No. 8057275 Sandable Grey Primer.
  • Enamel: Tremclad Gloss Grey.
I'd rather have used a matte finish grey like the original finish, but I couldn't find any, so gloss will have to do. I'll be back with a photo of the finished lathe once I get it all back together.

- - -

All Done

Here it is all painted and ready to go to work.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Tool Review -- Jobmate Folding Work Bench 057-0029-0

I got this yesterday from the local Canadian Tire outlet for the regular price of $39.99.

Let's see what's in the box.

'Some assembly required', evidently.

- - -

The assembly instructions included are adequate, but the drawing doesn't show the leg structure's orientation correctly. The picture on the box is correct. Use the picture as your guide and you'll get it right.

The factory got the parts complement right -- my unit was complete with no incorrect or missing parts. I encountered one adjustment that needs doing that the instructions don't mention, one lubrication requirement and one nasty flaw. It's possible that the flaw was just a one-off thing that I had the bad luck to end up with, but I suspect that a lot of these units were produced with the same flaw -- mass production unfortunately lends itself to mass error.

An Adjustment

Note the attachment of the moveable jaws' mounting brackets to their rails -- there's a fair bit of undesirable slop there. Snug up the nyloc nuts that secure the brackets to the vise screw nuts with a 13mm socket wrench. For each rail, you want a moveable bracket that slides freely along its rail, but with a minimum of slop between the bracket and the rail.


The factory doesn't lubricate the vise screws. Apply WD-40. Avoid using grease; grease will just get loaded up with dust and turn to sludge.

A Flaw

There are sixteen pilot hole locations for the screws that secure the vise jaws to their brackets. The eight outboard locations are ok, but the holes should be deeper -- just shy of going all the way through. That's no big deal, and easily rectified.

The nastiness is with the eight inboard pilot hole locations. They're drilled very shallowly, and they're mispositioned -- they don't meet up with the screw holes in the brackets. New 1/8" diameter pilot holes must be spotted and drilled in order for the brackets to be attachable. Bending the brackets to meet the existing hole locations is inadvisable -- you'd end up with badly distorted brackets.

The Finished Work Bench

Here it is in its natural habitat -- a room undergoing some renovation.

It looks to me like the thing will do what I need it to quite nicely. I have a small closet space to put flooring in, and an entire bedroom that needs baseboard installed. I'll let you know how the work bench performs.

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Update -- TUESDAY, FEBRUARY  7, 2017

For light work, it's a fine little rig.

Where a full-size Workmate would be too much of a good thing, the Jobmate bench is ideal.

Update II - Another Flaw -- THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017

I noticed that the work surface wasn't level from front to rear. The rear edge of the work surface was higher than the front edge. Shortening the rear legs by 1/2" corrected the condition.

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