Monday, November 23, 2015

Shelix Byrd Head-Jointer

Before moving into the new studio I decided to study my work habits and to further evaluate my woodworking knowledge. I also decided to move into a smaller studio. I wanted to limit myself on what I really need versus what I really want. The new space will be 2 rooms that add up to 650 square feet. The floor and wall space is crucial and decisions must be well thought out for the success of the business.  

The first step in the evaluating process is the machinery. Today we will start with the jointer. I once had the hopes and dreams of owning a 16 to 20 inch wide jointer with ship wheel handles. But realistically I don't need that or the hernia. Really all I need is a Powermatic 8 inch jointer with a quick guard removal (Please see photos below).  This particular jointer is 1 of 2 Phil Lowe at The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts  owns. But this particular jointer is also the one he recommends as the jointer to have if I was limited in space & budget.  

What we love about this jointer is the quality and how easy it is to work, adjust, and repair. But really regular maintenance is all that is needed.  One additional feature we have both added to the jointer is the Byrd Shelix head.  Which by far is the best out in the market. Phil and Artie made quick work installing the new head at the school. But when it came to my jointer... well it was a different story.

Removing the old head was easy. Installing the bearing was quick work. Inserting the helix head was a little tricky with all the individual cutters. I also couldn't get the head to spin with out grinding some the overly generous welds left from the manufacturing process 1969-70. Overall the process was easy. I adjusted the tables to the max capacity without hitting the cutter head. This is where patience is need to ensure the proper rotation of the head.   

This is when I quickly noticed that I couldn't raise the out feed table high enough to prevent snipe on the tail end of any board I would run over the jointer. This is where all the frustrations and questioning begins. Did I order the correct head? Did Byrd ship the correct head? Is the head too big? What can I do now?  Darn it!!!!! OMG!!!

I am happy to say I did order the correct head and the head met the tolerances by the engineers at Byrd Tool Co.  With the advisement of Byrd and my friend Artie I simply ground the casting on the out feed table with a dremel tool and a abrasive wheel.  This process took about an hour and I removed more than I needed. For I sure didn't want to install the head and find out I needed to grind more material.      

With all that grinding and swearing behind me, the jointer is ready to go. I can hear Phil saying its Perfect!!! In the end of all this invested time and frustration was all worth it.  For its perfect and purrs like a dream.  Many thanks to Byrd and my buddy Artie. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Your Brand.....

The Story of Telling

Where Your Brand Story Ends

Like the gym in my city you can invest time, energy and considerable resources into tellingyour story.
But the stories your customers tell are what tomorrow’s customers are paying attention to.
Your brand story ends where their stories begin.
The question might not always be, “how many people can we attract or make aware?“
It might be, “how can we make sure our customers are telling the story we want others to hear?”

This isn't my post or my words above, but they are my guidance in trying to establish my brand. For information please visit;

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Clamp storage

As many already know I am addicted to buying quality clamps. Every time I tell myself I am done purchasing clamps I find another one I must have.  For the past two weeks I have been searching and asking my fellow woodworkers for clamp storage ideas. Sadly there really isn't many options than the common few. I can hang the clamps on the wall taking valuable wall space. I can store them in a drum and pinch myself or whack myself wrestling clamps out from the drum.  Or I can make a clamp tree/rack on casters.

One of the issues people have with clamp trees is the difficulty to move the rack once its loaded to the max. Yet this common issue everyone complains about can easily be resolved. Its quite obvious to me  if a is made to hold every clamp you own than of course it will difficult to move. I also didn't want to get a hernia trying to move the rack. So I decided to make a 2 foot wide clamp rack.  I simply used 2x4's, angle iron (bed rails), and 3 inch casters.  I screwed the whole thing together. There wasn't any plans, but I did have one look at for inspiration. I was surprised how much fun it was to make and how easy it moves full of clamps.    

Now the only issue I have is that I need like four more racks. I will also need to find other options for those 6, 7, and 8 foot clamps that are rarely used.