Bench Shavings – 3/4/16

I’m exhausted. I spent my time out in the shop on Thursday cleaning up, getting the miter saw station sorted out and organized and looking good. I got the cords for the phone and heater wrapped up a bit and managed. I also put in the last support beam next to the miter saw so that the HCM can sit up on the shelf. This gets yet another thing out of the way, which is nice.

Something else I did while I was thinking about it was to swap out the two fixed casters on the router table with two swivels from the old planer cart. Same size, so it works out. Two of the casters unfortunately still move a bit even when locked, so I didn’t use those. I put the sander back on that cart, this time just sitting on the fixed shelf. Not exactly sure what I will do with that cart or that space, but for now it’s fine. I could have the planer higher up on a cart, but we’ll see. I did make room for the air compressor to go back under a wing of the jointer.

It was on Thursday that I made the definitive decision that I was going to upgrade my saw. The height mechanism was getting very hard to use, it was now lower than the router table, and so many other longstanding issues that have had me thinking about it for a long time. I did some research on the saw I knew I was getting, and found out that if I didn’t get it soon, I might not be able to get it at all. Only one store on the north side of Atlanta stocked them, and they had been hoarding them a bit for that reason. So, today I drove over to that store and bought it. I’m about a month earlier than I anticipated, but had to ensure that I could not only get one, but have options to switch it out if there were any issues.

The saw is a Delta 36-725, and it’s pretty good. I got it set up in about two hours this afternoon. It’s got a cast iron middle section, which is a huge upgrade over the painted aluminum I had – I can use maglock switches, etc. It also has full miter slots with miter grooves, and is quite a bit deeper ahead of the blade. This means I can finally build a sled, and use my miter gauge as it was intended.

I’ll have a write-up/review on the saw at a later date. I’ve done a bit of fine-tuning, but there is more to go. The saw is really dialed in right out of the box, but there’s some measurements and checking I want to do, like five cut, etc. I’m out about 1/32 over 18″ on the fence, and I’m hoping I can do even better. The blade is perfect to the right miter gauge, which is nice. The knobs are really nice and smooth. So good. It also fits in my space perfectly, like it was made for it. I’ve got a riving knife on the way so I can keep my Shark Guard. I’ve also got now 30″ of capacity to the right of the blade, which would have come in handy on Wednesday.

The shop is pretty much back where it was on Thursday, besides now having two table saws in the shop. The old one will probably go for sale next week as soon as I figure out how to fix the blade raising issue. I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks fine tuning the saw, making zero clearance inserts, etc. I’ll also need to make the stop/fence for the miter saw. After that, I’ll be giving the jointer and the planer a tuneup as far as the blades go. When all that is done, damn will I have a sweet setup going. Lots of little things to do to make life easier, but I’m super happy with the shop right now, which is a win in itself.

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