Monday, 15 January 2018

Drill Press Upgrade - Part 1 Design Process

For years I have persevered with my floor mounted drill press. I had fastened this to the concrete floor in the shop with anchor bolts but the position of it wasn't ideal. Obviously a home workshop is in a constant state of flux and is constantly evolving so my initial thoughts on where it should be sited have now changed. When you find a need for a change to your particular workflow if there is something bolted down it can limit your plans.
This project is intended to give me more flexibility in the location of the drill press in my shop.
Also I want to have extra drawer storage space so I designed this into the project.

The main criteria was:

  • Ability to move the drill press
  • A stabilized base
  • Storage space local to the drill press

So I looked around for potential plans and found one from Woodsmith.
It seemed to fill all my requirements so I adapted the plans to suit my particular drill press.

The thing I liked about the plans were the mobile base with a low centre of gravity and a nesting storage unit. This is also on wheels and can be pulled out so allowing the drill press full height to be used if necessary. I don't have a requirement to wheel the press all around the shop as if on a shopping cart with rotating castors so the fixed axis wheels are fine for my needs.
Also I conventional metal mobile base would not suit my particular requirements so was discounted completely.

So here is my Sketchup representation of the entire mobile base/storage unit shown as exploded and nested.

This shows the storage unit nesting around the mobile base.
I used a 3D model of a Delta drill Press that I found on the
Skecthup 3D Warehouse. It was close enough dimensionally to my

This shows how the storage unit can be pulled out on
its integral wheels (hidden by the side plate)
should the need to use the full capacity of the drill press be required.
The drill press mobile base also has screw jacks to further stabilise the
whole of the floor stand.

This is an exploded view of the storage unit.
4 drawers and 4 storage cubbies give further storage space
to a crowded small shop.

I decided to make the entire unit from birch plywood and some construction timber. The edges of the drawer fronts and storage unit top were to be edge banded with hardwood.

Full extension 10" (250mm) stainless steel slideways for the drawers, 8 x 3" diameter no mar wheels and 4 jacking screws with non slip pads make up the hardware for the entire project.

Also as much as possible glued and pocket screws construction is used. Pocket screws can be immensely strong, especially for shop furniture, and I believe get a bad press. I have made loads of sheet good based projects with pockets screws and find them very strong.  Maybe the advent of the Festool Domino has created this perception, I don't want to start a debate on this (you are free to start another thread if you desire) but I don't currently have one so pocket screws it is.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2018 has arrived and no woodworking - yet

It is a cold January 2018 day today. The car was frozen up and I opened the shop for the first time since before Christmas and put the heating on. Nothing had rusted so the application of CRC 3-36 periodically throughout the year had worked its benefits.

CRC 3-36 Corrosion Protection

I have a few jobs lined up to do this year at least until spring. My nephew and niece-in-law are having a new baby in a couple of weeks and a request has been made to build a toy chest similar to one I made a few years back. I have a stock of oak and need to buy some birch plywood and some special hinges. The hinges prevent tiny fingers being trapped as they stop the lid from falling too quickly.

Toy Chest made in January 2015

I also have a request from a customer to build a metronome. The customer will supply the mechanism and gave me some wood, I believe it is utile, in barter for making the case.

Further purchases planned for the year are a new bandsaw (probably an 18" for resaws) and a Domino DF500. I have to get these in this year as Brexit may bring price hikes.

Festool Domino DF500
There is also a 5 string fretless bass that I am part way through to finish off.

Drilling the hole for the bridge earthing/grounding strap

Applying CA glue to the fretboard. Mahogany markers have been inlayed
as fret positions.

There are a few other jobs that I also have to start.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Digital radio, LED lights and an external antenna

The general lighting in my shop is very good. However I did notice that there were dark spots particularly at my assembly table and bandsaw. I looked at the new LED lighting strips meant to replace standard fluorescent strips but in the area I wanted to increase lighting levels strips would not be practical.

I then looked at RO80 lamps and they suited the area. I bought 10 E27 bases and fixed 5 of them in place. One per roof joist over the assembly table and one behind the bandsaw and one in front of the bandsaw.
E27 Lamp Holder

They were wired so that I could have a separate bathroom type pull switch for the two locations.
Bathroom Pull Switch

The LED lamps arrived and I screwed them in. These are cool white 5000K, 700 Lumens, 9W, 240 volt lamps. They have an E27 screw thread and have an equivalent lighting output of a 75W halogen lamp.

I switched them on an the difference was very noticeable. I could now see what I was assembling!
The augmentation of lighting around the bandsaw was also very good.

Lighting above the assembly table

Lighting fore and aft of the bandsaw

5 additional LED lamps in situ.

Then came the bad news. The shop music system has a digital DAB/DAB+ radio receiver. This is the standard in the UK and some other parts of the world. It also has a conventional FM mode. The antenna for this was inside the shop. This is not an ideal situation as the roof is metal and cuts down the signal profoundly. When the new lights were switched off the reception on DAB and FM was just about acceptable. There were some stations that "burbled" as per DAB reception but that was ok to put up with.

When the LED lights were switched on the DAB reception was completely blocked. I put this down to the electronics in the lamps generating EMC (probably inducing it into the electricity supply wiring) and overloading the front end of the radio receiver. I switched over to FM and there was also noise on there and some stations could not be listened to especially in stereo.

I had a quick look on Amazon and found a supplier of external DAB compatible antennas. These were fairly cheap so I bought one.

When it arrived the antenna was assembled and clamped to a 10 foot long aluminium pole. DAB in the UK is vertically polarised so I positioned the folded dipole in a vertical orientation.
The outside of the shop already had a suitable antenna bracket fitted to the external wall so I simply mounted the pole into this. The 75 ohm cable was routed through the inside of the tube.

DAB Antenna vertically polarised mounted on the outside of the shop

Then a hole was drilled through the brick wall into the shop and the cable passed through. The hole was sealed with some external mastic sealant. Inside the shop the cable was routed up and along the walls, clipped into place and passed through into the shop music system. The cable was cut to length and the connector fitted. This was then connected to the radio receiver.

The receiver was powered up and the reception was clear and noise free. The LED lights were then powered up and there was absolutely zero interference and no noise. The new antenna worked fine and the LED lights work great.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Driveway gates - Part 7 - cladding

The western red cedar cladding was fitted next. This was premade tongue and groove cladding from a local commercial wood dealer. The only thing I had to do was fit the tongue into the groove I had milled in the stiles. It is crucial that a spacer of about 4mm is used when fitting each board to provide room for expansion/contraction. Each board was fitted with a series of stainless steel screws pilot drilled into the iroko.

Several coats of Sansin exterior weather seal was applied. This is a beautiful waterborne finish that build up a nice satin appearance with a deep colour after many coats. It can be applied with a foam brush or sprayed. I opted to use a foam brush.

Next all the hardware was fitted. 3 banded hinges, 3 shoot bolts, and a vertical drop bolt into each leaf. Fitting of the stays was left until final fitting on site.

The job was now completed. The old gates were sawn up and became firewood having served their purpose for the best part of 30 years