May 5, 2012
This article is more of a show-and-tell than a project, a walk down memory lane for me - it covers some of my older homemade tools. These were made quite a while ago, when I was much younger and not as experienced. Still, there are definite similarities to my current work.
I grew up on the east coast of Canada and now live in Ontario, and haven't found the time to go back home as often as I should have. Life, work and other distractions can eat up the years and before you know it, a decade or two has passed. Recently, I went back, and during that time I had a quick look through my old workshop. To my surprise, my father kept nearly everything I made, some of these I'd completely forgotten about. They are showing their age and are a bit dusty, but still seem to be fully functional.
This is my first "well made" homemade table saw:
This was made primarily out of wood - spruce (legs) and plywood. Originally powered with a circular saw motor that was mounted in a plywood box that would lift up and down to raise and lower the blade. This box was mounted in another box that would tilt, for cutting on an angle.
This "box in a box" idea was effective, and I used this saw for a long time before I got a better one. I dubbed it the "Comet", pinning on the nameplate from a 1974 Mercury Comet we used to own.
When I did get a better table saw (an old tilting table model that I converted to tilting arbor), I made this into a "shaper", using a Sears molding head cutter. At that time, I changed the motor to a 1hp induction that directly drove the molding head:
Some of the top had to be cut out to clear the motor. Mounted on the motor is a rare 5", two blade molding head that I've not seen anywhere else. It is a smaller diameter than the three-cutter one, runs a bit more quietly and generally seems a lot safer.
I added blade holders (the ladder like thing on top of the fence rail) to the fence to organize the cutters for the molding head:
This worked splendidly, and I made quite a large quantity of molding and other things with this. The molding head cutter is not for the faint of heart - one slip and fingers (or pieces thereof) are flying!
A close look at the front hand wheel:
The picture is not great, but I wanted to show that it is made with a 5" aluminum pulley with plywood added to the rim. Not a whole lot different from the one on my current table saw.
My brother Don "admiring" my homemade chop saw with a dubious eye:
Made from a very old Makita circular saw as the motor. It has a 10" blade and the majority of it is made from wood, even the upper blade guard.
It's in pretty rough shape now, but I got tons of use out of this saw and could cut some very accurate miters with it. It swings more than 45 degree in either direction.
My welding cart:
Tucked under the bench. It made moving the welder a lot easier and featured genuine Fred Flintstone style wooden wheels:
This should look familiar:
A wooden bar clamp, not much different from my newer ones. The biggest difference is the end is fixed on these.
I made a few of these and they worked really well.
Here is a larger bar clamp:
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