August and September are months when quite a few members go travelling. This impacts the leaders group and on occasions, we may be stretched to maintain leaders for all sessions. Leaders who will be absent for a time during this period include Tony, Les, and the two Ian’s. Please support the leaders who will be available to the best of your ability.
Upgrades to the bigger band saws are continuing. Soon all three larger units will be equipped with micro-switches and mechanical brakes. The purpose of the upgrades is to ensure safer operations. At present, saws will run on for quite a while after power-off because of wheel momentum. The upgrades are to shut off power once the brakes are actuated thus bringing blades to a halt quickly.
Recently, a further timber rack was completed. This will enable us to store more supplies from The Stair Company and other sponsors. Members need to remember to differentiate between stocks that are free and stocks that have to be paid for. The latter is mainly made up of materials the shed has purchased from the mill. If in doubt please ask. Even if free wood is used it is a good idea to make a gold coin donation into the payment box occasionally to defray the cost of maintaining the shop.
It may be useful to use this newsletter to mention a few commonly made mistakes in our shop. Mostly these derive from memory lapses about what has been taught during accreditation. For example, when using the jointer it is necessary to undo the infeed table lock before making depth cut adjustments. Trying to reset the depth while the table is locked twists the table and results in poorly machined wood.
Another issue is the planer dropping out on overload. This happens because tapered stock is put into the machine narrow edge first or because the depth of cut is excessive. If you make an error and the knives sound like they are stalling, quickly lower the infeed bed. Better still, measure both ends of stock first and lead with the thicker end. Be conservative with depth of cut. Half a turn of the depth wheel is about 1mm. It is better for the machine and job quality, to make more small cuts than one big one.
On the table saw, if you remove the main guard system to make a special cut, use the alternative riving knife then immediately replace the main guard and anti-kickback pawls. Please remove all offcuts from the vicinity of the saw once your job is completed. Bin all small pieces that are unlikely to be useful to others.
A common mistake with the Bosch sliding compound saw is for members to attempt cutting small pieces of wood that would be more safely dealt with in a band-saw. Remember, we teach never having a hand closer than 100mm to rotating blades. Further away is even better. If the job can’t be done in an alternative machine, please employ hold downs.
When using machines connected to dust plants, be alert to the sudden appearance of shavings and sawdust in the work area. Most likely causes are the dust system is not switched on, the ductwork has a blockage or a bag in the dust room has not been emptied. Stop and investigate. Everyone must know how to deal with these situations. When emptying a dust bag isolate the extractor in the dust room.
If you have used the jointer or planer for a significant period of time you must check the dust bags. To ensure efficient operation of the filter materials and make emptying bags a light task, never let bags fill beyond half way. Ask someone to help you as reinstalling bags is a two-person job. If you don’t know, ask. It is polite to empty dust bags at the end of each session and never leave the task to the leader.
We have a voluntary but recommended, approach to wearing of personal safety equipment in most cases. One area where there is a mandatory requirement is the use of face shields when turning wood stock that is out of balance. There has been an improvement in compliance lately however it is noteworthy that some of the more experienced participants are pretty casual about the issue. Until you see someone with a broken cheek bone it is probably hard to comprehend just what can happen. We need to do better.
One other safety issue is the wearing of disposable dust masks when the session clean-up is going on. The leaders group has decided to provide free disposable masks for participants. If you want one, just ask the leader of the day. The masks are stored in a box above the glue shelf. Free masks are not for normal daily shed use. You should provide your own. If you have a lung weakness, permanent or temporary, find another way to assist other than dust removal.
There is still an occasional issue with members turning up with fifty-year old pieces of hardwood or lumps of ironwood and the like and wanting to put the timber through our equipment. This stock does immediate damage to saws and knives. Sharpening band-saws and rotating blades takes time and knowledge. As a concession, we are prepared for members to put such stock over the equipment in the outdoor area. If they learn to sharpen as well that would be a good idea. As a general rule, reserve main shop equipment for soft and cabinet quality timbers.
Finally. leaders met in early August and among other issues, they lent support to an idea for the development of an additional annex north of the Gordon Craig annex. If the Management Committee of the shed proceeds with a proposal that has been put forward, this annex could become a new technology centre incorporating, among other things, a CNT router. Retaining the space exclusively for woodwork was not regarded as essential when the current shop only opens four of the possible ten weekly sessions and shop management is already demanding. Shed resources should be directed to as many members as practicable.
Keep enjoying your participation in woodwork and remember - ‘If You Don’t Know, Ask’.
As the financial year draws to a close it is pleasing to report that the wood workshop’s income for the year has at least offset the direct operating costs. Although not strongly revenue focused, the workshop attempts not to be a burden on the shed as a whole. Workshop manager Tony has been the major contributor to this outcome. He has been ably assisted by several of the leadership group. If you can, please ask Tony how you may assist with outside contracts.
There have been changes within the leaders group throughout the year as some move on to other endeavors and new leaders step up to take their place. There is always room for new leaders. Anyone who feels they have the attributes, desire and time to become a leader should talk to Tony or Ian. The currently active leaders are Tony, Les, Ken, John G, Geoff, Barry, Phil, Lindsay, Ian D, David H and myself. The shop can’t open without leaders and we are grateful to those willing to take up the challenge.
The number of members accredited to use the workshop continues to grow. At last count, 149 members were accredited. It is a good thing that a majority of these members do not attend simultaneously. To cater for the growing numbers, we now have the Gordon Craig annex functioning smoothly for the wood turners. Within a month we will have even better facilities.
Bob, Tom, Stefan and our great building team have made very significant progress with the expanded outdoor roofed area. As soon as they give the all clear, it is intended to introduce some machinery and benches and tidy the area with a view to having more outdoor activity. Proposed changes include the reinstallation of the Trade Tools table saw and the Durden planer. More people can also experiment with steam bending wooden objects. To assist this change, Michele and David are busy installing additional safe power outlets in strategic locations.
It seems that members are coming to grips with the new equipment acquired during the year. The Bosch Professional saw donated by our Rotary friends is greatly appreciated while the new Laguna planer and table saw are doing excellent service. The second Hare and Forbes lathe is enabling us to tackle more challenging turning tasks while the gouge sharpening system has enabled us to achieve sharp tools with consistent profiles. Important if you are a wood turner!
We have had some wonderful donations of timber recently. Thanks are due to Graeme A for making the connection between our shed and his friend’s stair factory. Timber storage has necessitated that the workshop take over most of the space in the 40 foot container. One related matter is the need for discipline in taking donations from the public. There is a lot of generosity toward us but we do need to exercise care and not accept and squirrel away items we may never need. Putting in more storage containers at the expense of gardens and trees is no substitute for discipline.
Although Les is working on bench improvements for the hobby area, the primary focus of the shop has moved from making items for the shed to members doing their own projects. It is pleasing to see these are gradually becoming more complex. It is possible to learn a lot by watching and talking to others. Phil is quietly giving us a master class in carving as he works on the sign for the community garden group. I suspect we will learn a bit about craftsmanship when Tony returns as one of his projects is to make a rose gum computer bench for the community radio station. Some of these latter projects fulfill one of our objectives which is to give back to the community.
Come and enjoy the wood workshop. The more you put in the more you will take away in personal satisfaction.
The woodworkers had a busy March. The biggest contract completed was the refurbishing of a large English oak table by Les and Tony. There was a lot of work involved but the owner was generous with payment.
Ken also worked hard to make two portable folding tables for a client who has yet to turn up and collect his order.
The new Gordon Craig annex is proving a great success. The welcoming atmosphere owes much to Ray’s decision to style the shop extension on an America woodwork room theme complete with knotty pine paneling.
After the official opening , performed by Sandy Bolton MP, numerous members have started wood turning and the results are pleasing.See John G if you want a lesson or add your details to the blackboard provided.
Turners are happy with the new Robert Sorby sharpening system. Once correct profiles are achieved, gouge resharpening is quick and effective. We need to train a few more members in the art of tool sharpening. Correctly sharpened gouges make turning so much easier. See Ian or John G if you would like to have a sharpening lesson.
The big bandsaw is now in action for resawing and block breakdown. It is a bit challenging for learners so be on the safe side and ask an experienced leader to assist if you want to use it for the first time.
‘Bob the builder’ and his team no sooner finished the annex than they got busy with the completion of the outdoor work area. This included a master class in paving by Bob. Great to watch a master at work!. When the builders stood back and looked at the results they decided a further improvement was desirable. Accordingly, materials are being sourced for a further section of roof to ensure all new paving is covered.
Michel and David plan to add a couple of additional weatherproof power points to the outdoor area so portable equipment can be used as needed. Once it is commissioned the outdoor area will need a little management control to ensure it remains clean, tidy and useful. Please play a part in this care and maintenance.
The repair of small sail boats for the NYRC can, in future, be conducted in the outdoor area. Transferring the site of this work will take some pressure off the very popular Cobber’s shed.
We should be mindful of the role played by Stefan in our progress. He goes about his tasks quietly and gets results, including ensuring our building efforts are properly authorized by planning authorities. Thanks Stefan.
Enjoy woodwork all and please put a gold coin into the red donations box if you make good use of the free stocks of materials we continue to supply. Note also that some timber stock is not free. Ask if in doubt. IJB.
The Rotary Club of Noosa continued their generous support by donating a Bosch 2000W 305mm Gliding Compound Mitre Saw on Monday 21 May 2018. The capabilities of the saw are demonstrated in the following video.
Before using the saw please see Ian or Tony to ensure that neither you nor the machine are damaged (in that order).
Quite a few changes are happening in the wood workshop.
This note is to bring you up to date.
The new, more powerful, table saw has been installed and commissioned. We expect some will say they liked the old one better. Nevertheless, we need to adapt to change. The most notable difference is the positioning. In future, cutting wide panels will see the bulk of the material pass the blade to the right. We may add a small table extension to make this easier. The guard system is also different. The saw has an auto rise and fall guard with anti kick back pawls. These ensure stock travels in only one direction. There is no top dust extraction. It is all done from beneath the table. There is a quick release to remove the guard and a secondary riving knife that allows through cuts with the knife in place. Please ask for a demonstration if you do not understand the differences.
The new thicknesser will be installed this week, subject to a 15 amp power outlet being installed by our electricians. This machine is much wider, bigger and more powerful than the unit being retired. With six rows of cutters in action the finish should be exceptional. Please, ask for a demonstration before using the plant.
Within four of five weeks, we expect to move the wood turners out of the main shop into the new annex. The space vacated will be rearranged, probably to include Gordon's carpenter's bench and one or two machines presently on the main floor.
The main floor will also be rearranged to ensure there is more room around certain machines.
The Annex will feature four wood lathes. The three we have at present and a further large, electronically variable speed, H& F unit. There will also be a large bandsaw for breaking down turning wood and general re-sawing.
There will a sharpening centre, including the high speed grinder and a new Robert Sorby sharpening system. It is intended to standardize gouge sharpening as recommended by Sorby. ( If members want gouges with different profiles they will need to provide their own tools. It is too difficult to do otherwise.)
Four benches are being prepared for the annex and two mobiles and tool storage racks are under development. Attention is being given to lighting needs and installation of a further air hose and compressor.
If you would like more information talk to the leadership group.