Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mending a saw blade

After breaking the saw blade for the mulesaw, I tried using one of the other blades that I have.
Two blades have a different tooth configuration, and it became obvious, that this configuration is not perfect for wide hardwood trunks.
I decided that I might as well try to see if I could repair the blade, since I don't know where I can buy a new one. And if the repair job didn't work out, It would be sort of a Life of Brian thing: You come from nothing and you're going back to nothing - what have you lost? Nothing. (Except a bit of time and a few welding electrodes).

At first I straightened out the broken pieces since they were a bit bowed on the ends.

Next I ground the broken edges to prepare a groove when they were fixed in their correct position.

To make sure the blade was properly aligned, I clamped the pieces to a piece of wood with a straight piece along the back of the blade.

I found my old portable electrode welding machine (ESAB Caddy) and some welding electrodes.
My go to electrodes for this type of repair job is ESAB OK 53.05 There might be some more correct types out there, but I always have some of the aforementioned electrodes on hand, as they are really versatile.

The welding could have looked better, but welding thin steel with an electrode welder is not easy. At least not when you have an electrode of 2.5 mm in diameter which is better suited for thicker material.

After welding the blade I used an angle grinder to clean up and level things out on the blade.

I tested the blade, and it went OK for about 8", then it snapped again, but I could see that my welding wasn't very good at that spot, so I just welded it again, and then it held.

So all in all the project was a success.

The blade on the workbench.

Broken edges ground to form a groove.

Holding the blade in position.

Welding complete.

Welding ground with an angle grinder.

The mounting system of the blade.

Blade inset in the tightening/holding device on the saw frame.

A whitebeam plank sawed with the mended blade.
Saw is shown to give and idea of the size of the plank.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I managed to break a saw blade.

Yesterday I was working with the mulesaw, trying to finish the sawing of the sycamore trunk.
At some point I must have gotten a bit too eager, because suddenly I heard a loud snap followed by some clonk noises.
I immediately stopped the feed mechanism and rushed back to stop the electric motor powering the sawing mechanism.

After the flywheel had come to a halt, I could inspect the damage: The blade was broken into two pieces.

I found another blade with a different tooth pattern and finished the trunk.
The new tooth pattern works, but the surface has got a lot of texture as opposed to the old pattern that left a very smooth surface.
I guess part of the problem is that 40" is a bit too large for the saw after all.
The stroke of the saw is not so large that it can get rid of all the sawdust from the centre of the trunk, so the blade tends to bind. Unless I make a very aggressive set on the blade, but that in turn gives a less than perfect surface.

I have made most of the slabs 2.25" thick, so even with some planing, it should be possible to make a stout table.

After clearing up most of the sawdust, I stacked the slabs in the barn, so they can air dry slowly.
It is the first time I have sawed a complete trunk and stacked it this way. I think it looks fine which is good, as it will need approximately 2 years of drying time. This is based on the rule of thumb that one year will dry approximately 1" of thickness.

Asger showing the broken blade.

The stack, broken blade in front.

Asger posing with the broken saw blade on top of the stack.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Proper Pre Planning

I got inspired by a blog post by Ralph the accidental woodworker.

This time I hadn't planned my time on board very well regarding woodworking.

OK, a fact is that I had the flu when I joined the ship, so doing the daily job drained most of my
energy - leaving none for exercising or woodworking.
I did manage to make a few small projects, but looking back I think I should have prepared myself better.

So to get ahead of the game I have been doing a bit of thinking the last couple of days. One of my thoughts have been that I just can't continue making small chests and cabinets. I like making them, but I need to challenge myself by making something else once in a while. Plus I'll scare people away from this blog if they only see me doing the same old stuff over and over again.

So here is a short list of my ideas for future projects that could be made on board (in no particular order):

Restoring chisels.
I have a bunch of old chisels that could need a new handle, and either turning a handle or making an octagonal handle would definitely be possible on board as would general cleaning and initial sharpening of the chisel. I would need to bring a bit of suitable wood for the handles and also the chisels, but that is no problem.

Making a back saw.
Leif Hanson of Norsewoodsmith has made an excellent series describing how to make a back saw.
This step by step tutorial is so clearly written and illustrated, that it makes it look easy and possible to make your own back saw.
It could be fun to try, and I could make a saw with a very small handle aimed for my sons to use. I would need to bring a piece of steel for the saw blade, and some wood for a handle. The back could either be made from a short piece of angle bar or I could try to find a small piece of brass plate that I could bring along.

Restoring moulding planes.
A couple of years ago I purchased a bunch of old moulding planes. I have tried one of them since, but frankly they could all do with a little cleaning and a lot of sharpening. This is one of the things; I never manage to convince myself to spend time at while I am home.

Restoring wooden plow planes or moving fillisters.
I have somehow managed to acquire a couple of those as well, and like the case is for the moulding planes, these could use a bit of TLC.

Make a tool roll for some of my extra auger drills or chisels.
This would see a return of me sewing canvas. Something I have never blogged about.
Theoretically I could also sew the roll in leather. This type of project has the advantage of being something similar to the sign carving projects. I.e they can be done in the engine control room.

Make an explanatory working model of an engine.
One of my old dreams have been to make a model that can be used to explain how a steam engine works. This would require some turning and a lot of fiddling, but it could end up being a cool thing. I would probably have to bring some hardwood with me for this project.

Make a small Bombay chest.
OK this is not my idea, it was suggested by Brian Eve, and I can see that there would clearly be some challenges in making one. It would require me to either use a jig saw for the curved parts, or bring a frame saw.
The curved sides would probably benefit from me bringing a compass plane too.

Make a model ship or boat.
This would require me to bring a lot of thin strips of wood and a coping saw. Making the strips at home on the table saw or the band saw would be so much easier than ripping them from a piece of pallet wood and then planing them flat.
I think it could be kind of fun to make a 1:5 model of a rowing boat. This could very well be made from the drawings of a boat that I would like to make in full size.

No matter what project I eventually choose, at least I know that I have done a part of the pre planning. Thus I should theoretically have prevented a "less than adequate performance" (you need to check the actual meaning of the seven P's on Ralph's blog).