Saturday, August 08, 2015

always something...

The power to shape the world you live in to fit your own needs is rewarding. These days it's a power too few know first hand. For instance, my Grizzly planer has a bad habit (due to the massive weight of the handle on its adjustment wheel and the ease with which it moves) to go out of setting during planing operations.

When the wheel handle is at the top, it is cutting some variable at an even sixteenth. As it rotates down a quarter turn, the thickness of stock changes by 1/64th inch. If I want it to hold perfectly even as set and without having to over-tighten the table locks, an accessory lock of some kind is required. I reached this conclusion by talking to technical support at Grizzly and learning that they could offer no relief for my problem.

I made this simple wheel lock using Baltic birch plywood and rare earth magnets. The magnets hold it in place, but allow it to slide quickly and easily into (or out of) engagement with the wheel handle at the top. Because of the wheel spokes dividing it in 3rds, the new wheel lock also allows me to adjust the setting at 1/3 or 2/3rds a full turn.

What too many these days do not know is how much pleasure one can find in such simple accomplishments. Not only does it work, it's a small thing I invented myself. And while it may be impolite to boast or to gloat about such small things, unless you've done something of the kind you will not know the feelings involved.

Today I am working on preparation for my class on making veneered boxes. It starts on Monday morning.

Make, fix and please create... Teach others to do likewise.


  1. aren't the knobs on the side of the bottom table locks? there are two of them, on on each post, with a bar that runs through the table to the other side posts, with a nut on the end shaped like a wedge. Tightening those knobs should lock the table in place. or at the very least snug them up, it should make it should take the slop out of the machine so that it doesn't move on its own.

  2. Yes, the table locks are supposed to stop the table from creeping up or down during use. But mine don't. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Grizzly to get to the root of the problem and then decided to take matters into my own hands.

  3. Also, on my Grizzly, there is very little resistance in the wheel, even when the table locks are tight. I use Jet planers of a exact type at Marc Adams School of Woodworking and of the 6 planers of that type at the school, the wheels are smaller in diameter and don't show the same tendency to wheel down as I experience on my machine.