Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Drill press and table saw...

Drill press and table saw ... now with photos!  At right is my drill press, all assembled, placed, aligned, calibrated, and tested.  It's a variable speed machine (250 - 3,000 RPM) that uses a variable diameter pulley for speed adjustment.  On low speeds that means more torque, which is exactly what I'll need for large holes in hardwood.

The table saw (at left) is also a very nice piece of machinery.  It's a long, long way from the 10" Craftsman saw that a friend and I owned back in the '70s.  Note the very wide table (55" on the right) that lets me cut the full width of a sheet of plywood or MDF, the solid steel tubing to connect the dust collection vacuum hose to the blade guard, and the outfeed table to hold longer pieces of work cut lengthwise.  I've only made a few test cuts so far, but it's easy to tell that I'm going to enjoy using this thing.  It's got a 3 HP motor, which is quite large for such a relatively small saw – it's hard to imagine what I could do to stall the blade.

There are a couple of features that really stood out to me, aside from the generally good build and finish.  One is the fence (far right).  It moves smooth as silk when you raise the red handle, then locks solidly in place when you push the handle down – without moving at all.  None of that takes much force.  Then note the two magnified cursors (one for work to the left of the fence, one for work on the right).  The fence can be used on either side of the blade, thanks to the very long fence rails.  Then (at near right) there's the blade guard.  It's made from several pieces of molded polycarbonate (shatter resistant) all cleverly hinged to keep the blade area enclosed as much as possible – no matter what the thickness of the work or the height of the blade is.  It's ever so much better than the cheap single piece of soft plastic used on that old Craftsman...

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