28 December, 2021

Workshop updates that were rejected. What they were, why I considered, then rejected them.

If you watch my workshop page, you will know I have been cleaning up my workshop, and making the last of the updates to a couple of the major tools. Most notably the final mods wanted for the Central Machinery 14" band saw, and the Central Machinery 2HP dust collector. 

Now I am not flush with cash, but there are some items I was considering saving up / selling off some stuff to be able to afford, but these updates were considered, and rejected. So here is what I was mulling over, why I thought it would be a good idea, and why I am rejecting the idea...

#1. Selling off my Northern Industrial 13" 16 speed drill press and replacing it with a Wen 12" variable speed bench top drill press. Plain and simple, when I found the Northern Industrial on Craigslist more than a decade ago, the Ryobi DP121L was on clearance, I wanted one then, but the $179.00 clearance price was steep for my budget at the time when a used and needing some TLC floor model Northern Industrial could be had for $75.00. But I wanted a bench top model due to space concerns. I wanted to store my drill bits, jigs and hand drills in a cabinet underneath the drill press.

After LOTS of searching for something that will work, I have decided to build a rolling storage cabinet that will straddle the mobile base of the floor drill press, AND have a notch / straddle the post. This way I have the under drill press storage I wanted so desprately, while mantaining the full length column. Now all I need to do is build it...

#2. Selling off my Chicago Electric 12" sliding compound miter saw and buying a compact Metabo HPT 12" double bevel slider. I wanted a more compact slide with better dust collection, and double bevels.

The Chicago Electric flat out is smack on accurate, with repeatable clean cuts at any angle. I wouldn't actually use the double bevel feature out of fear of lopping fingers off, and my bench is sized specifically for this saw, and my shop. I gain no space advantage with a smaller footprint saw, and actually get some serious disadvantage with the clearnace to the freezer.

#3. Selling off my Sunhill SM-150B 6-1/8" benchtop jointer, and replacing it with a Wahuda 10" spiral cutterhead bench top jointer. This would give me a spiral cutter head, which is great, AND an extra nearly 4" of face jointing. On RARE occasion I need to face joint material wider than 6-1/8".

The Sunhill does everything I want it to. Wider stock can be run through my planer on a jointing sled, which takes next to no shop space, so no real advantage to the width, and as long as I run clean, metal free boards through it, the knives last a good long time.  Plus the $750.00 some odd dollar price tag is a bit of sticker shock for a bench top unit... Not to mention the 10" jointer bed does consume quite a bit more of floor real estate compared to the 6-1/8".

#4. Selling off the Ryobi AP1301 13" benchtop jointer and splurging on a Dewalt DW735x. This would give me a cutter head lock, plus the dust blower to assist the dust collector. All in all an excellent machine.

The Ryobi was a Valentines Day gift from my lovely bride years ago, my concern over the lack of cutter head lock was due to snipe, but the more experience I get with it, the more boards come out of it with no, or next to no discernable snipe. Meanwhile I am seeing LOTS of people having sniping problems with cutterhead equippped planers, even the vaunted DW735x. Now in no small part there is the attachment value as this was a gift from my wife, so even if there was a noticeable difference in performance, I might just stay put anyway. 

#5. Selling off, or repurposing my Ryobi 8" full speed bench grinder, and replacing it with a Wen, or Rikon variable speed 8" bench grinder. LOTS of folks on the turning forums swear by low speed grinders for sharpening. They made me self conscious about sharpening my turning tools with a full speed grinder.

First off, I own the Ryobi. It has the cool grinding white oxide wheels, and the sharpening jig MFG OneWay that built my Wolverine sharpening jig setup, recommends a full speed 8" grinder. I learned on a full speed grinder, and can get wicked sharp grinds using a full speed grinder. I need to learn what advice on forums is good, and what is just, going with the crowd... I figure OneWay with their expertise in the field, knows what they are talking about. And my practice, this thing has worked fantastically.

#6. Selling off my Ryobi BT3100 table saw, and all its accessories, and buying a SawStop 3HP Professional Cabinet saw with the 52" fence, router table wing etc... HUGE safety improvement, huge performance improvement, etc...

This has NOT been completely rejected, and I would absolutely NOT turn down a sponsorship from SawStop, or a donation of said saw, but the price tag is just way out of reach for me at over $4,000.00 for the whole setup. Here is hoping down the road sometime... Honestly as long as the saw stays reliable, and I have enough spares to make that happen, and assuming there is an aftermarket swap in blade brake that comes to common market that fits and works, no real need.

All in all, I am happy with my shop equipment, although not 100% thrilled about my shop layout / configuration. But I suspect I am well on my way to getting there...

Next up... Pending and in progress shop upgrades / updates.

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