Recent Comments

Commenter Post Title Comment
Benjamen Johnson Creating a Male Connector

Thanks Dave. That turn table is part of the original set of track that came with the train table ... I think it was Imaginarium brand, so I don't have any plans. I don't think it would be that hard to reproduce if you have a router with a circle cutting jig, make even just a jig saw if you're steady.

I'd first cut out an octogon (the straight edges will make it easier to route the tracks) the size of the turn table out of some 1/4" thick material, route all the tracks, then round it into a circle. Then I'd cut out the center. I'd use another 1/4" thick piece to make the center, start out square for routing the track, then make it into a circle that fits in the center of the first piece. Finally glue the outer ring to another 1/4" thick piece and attach the inner cirlce with some sort bolt or rivet through the center so it can spin.

I also have more train stuff on my new site:

Dave McC Creating a Male Connector

Ben!!  The best site I have found for making Thomas the Train track and accessories.  Great ideas and helpful hints.

In your picture Percy has worked hard and is heading home.  Percy is on a wonderful "Turn Table" .  Do you have plans for it?  I would love to try and make one.




Dave McC

Benjamen Johnson Drilling the Hole for the Connecting Rod

It's been a while since I posted this, but I think the reason I have the dowel positioned that way is that I drilled holes in several dowels with the depth stop set. If you look closely you'll see the vise has V-grooves in one jaw that allow me to position the dowel repeatably at the same height.

One might argue that with the V-groove the dowel is less likely to move than if it was rotated 90 degrees, but I have experience with this vise and have found that not to be true.

Anonymous Drilling the Hole for the Connecting Rod

Seems to me you have the dowels at right angles to where they need to be for drilling.

Benjamen Johnson Completed Router Table (Mostly)

Mike, I use the plastic rails that come with the plastic bins when you buy then in a set of 20 or so. The rails are screwed into a board which has two small scrap pieces butted againest either end. The reason for the end pieces is that I needed something to screw the L- screws into. The L- screws are what attaches the whole mess to the peg board. Here's a picture, it might make more sense:

From Misc
Mike Completed Router Table (Mostly)

Just had a quick question. I noticed you have some red bins on your pegboard wall. How are you keeping them on the wall?  I use an aluminum yardstick which works pretty well, but I can't tell what you are using.

Vic Drilling Straight is Hard to Do

I have the same problem drilling through 1/2" dia. x 3/4" dowels for my spiral staircases pictured on my website.  I have batches of 400 of them to drill out the 1/4" hole.  I have tried the drill press and the lathe with no real difference so i use the drill press and a cross vice with a v groove jaw.  I'll just share that slowing down the speed of the feed and using brad point drill bits helped a little.  I also drill through about half way and turn the dowel around and drill the other side.  I also center punch both sides.  This is a lot of extra steps for a quantity like this but it does seem to help.  Results are still nor perfect but not too bad either.  I think you are right about the drill following the grain...

If I discover anything better I'll keep you posted

Good luck


Tom Mounting the Remote Digital Readout

Looks like this project is rolling along. Looks good.

rg My Dust Collection System

I'm  not sure if using a watt-meter is an accurate method of checking sanity, but it does prove our theory!  I guess it's one of those counter-intuitive things that doesn't work the way we think they do, when we really start to analyse it.  Sort of like water expanding when it freezes, unlike most other substances.

Interestingly, I just bought a rowing machine that uses a blower wheel on the flywheel to provide resistance.  It has a shroud around the outside with a movable shutter on the side, toward the centre.  When you close the shutter all the way (allowing the blower wheel to suck in less air), it's easier to pull the rower handle.  When you open the shutter to allow more air into the blower wheel assembly, the difference in resistance is pretty significant.  So coincidence provides us with yet another practical application of this phenomenon.

Benjamen Johnson My Dust Collection System

I actually use the 2-1/2" hose with a reducer right at the sander's dust port. I have to wrap some duct tape around it to keep it in place, but I've found the 2-1/2" hose is more flexible than the 1-1/4" hose (at least the ones I have).

I did try buying some cheaper off brand 1-1/4" hose for hooking up to smaller dust ports, but I found that it whistled so bad that it was useless. After that experience I've stayed with the Shop-vac 2-1/2" hoses and a reducer.

Benjamen Johnson My Dust Collection System

If you were to put a current meter on the motor leads, you would see that it actually draws less current when the intake is restricted or blocked.

That's crazy talk!

Not that I doubted you, but I did hook my Watt meter up to the vacuum and got about 1000-1100W (A little higher than I expected) running free and 800-900W while I was blocking the intake. Just to cheek my sanity I tested my drill press and the number of Watts went up as I loaded the spindle.

I never really thought about it before, I always assumed that the change in pitch was the motor working harder, but your explanation makes sense.

Thanks for the correction.

rg My Dust Collection System

Some interesting and useful tips.

"Sometimes a Shop-vac is too powerful for the task at hand. If you restrict it's flow by using a reducer, it puts a higher load on the motor"

However, that is not correct. A vacuum cleaner motor is a centrifugal pump. If you restrict the suction or discharge, the motor has less load on it, not more. It is moving less air, and therefore does less work. If you were to put a current meter on the motor leads, you would see that it actually draws less current when the intake is restricted or blocked.

It's counter-intuitive, and you'd probably be correct in your assumption if we were talking about a positive displacement pump like an air compressor. Think of a vacuum cleaner with a blocked intake like a household fan operating in a chamber which you've sucked all the air out, creating a vacuum -- there would be nothing to resist the fan blades. The increased RPM of the motor is a result of it doing less work, not consuming more power.

That being said, your application with your sander is still good reason to slow down your vacuum. But I think you could achieve the same effect with a simple blastgate valve. Either way, though, you've solved the problem. And for what you say a speed control costs, it probably works out the same and with less hassle.

I love the remote control idea!

Jeff My Dust Collection System

Interesting post. I use both a shop vac as well as a Delta dust collector. I tend to use the shop vac on my router table or sander since both are usually across the room from my dust collector. I hate the stiffness of the shop vac hose. I have a smaller hose to connect to my sander which is more flexible and easier to use. Have you worked with different hoses?

Benjamen Johnson Screwing in the Ball Plunger

I used 8-32 ball plungers. Here are the exact ones I ordered.

Anonymous Screwing in the Ball Plunger

Ben, great fix. Can you advise size of ball plunger that you used?

Steve Decorative Box: My First Attempt at Box Joints

That's a great looking box. I always thought that joint was called a finger joint?

Jeff Decorative Box: My First Attempt at Box Joints

Very nice. I have never cut a finger joint - yours looks very good and alos I have never made my own filler, so your good results have me thinking about trying this myself. Nice work!

Jeff Making a Colt Router Base

I need a new router base plate. I saw one in Wood magazine that was home made and had a handle on one end - looked sort of like yours. I think it would offer better control in a number of routing situations.

Jeff Notes From the Workshop: 20110206

That's a handsome pencil box and I'll have to look for some maple at my Home Depot.

I have a small hot dog style compressor for my brad nailer and like you say, it is loud. But, I am going to live with it as I have other things on my wish list. I was looking for a good basic fixed base router at HD the other day. Need one of those.


Todd @ Tool Box Buzz The Danger of Inattention at the Table Saw

That is scary! I learned my lesson with a table saw at a very young age. I was cutting some blocks with a miter gauge and only had a very small gap between the fence and the block. The block pinched and shot the block and miter gauge back at me.

From that day forward I've NEVER taken a chance with the saw. Tough lesson to learn but lucky I didn't really hurt myself.

Thanks for sharing...more people need to hear and see these stories so they understand what can happen.