Although I had intended to spend the entirety of Saturday in the shop carving a new head and finishing up my new piece Sam, Friday evening my band saw broke as I was moving it for open studios. The entire bed came right off the base. At dinner after open studios Bill May, Arrowmont's fearless leader, offered to being his from his shop for me to use, but after dinner I began to take the saw apart to see what could be done.
These are the brackets which attach to the bottom of the table bed, able to slide in a cradle on the base and lock when tightened. The brackets are wafer thin castings that after inspecting I realized I could break further quite easily in my hands. The band saw is a lower grade Jet bandsaw- not ideal but the best I could get used with the money I had.
The cast pieces had an internal sliding mechanism that was beyond my capabilities to replicate with my limited equipment, but I set out to re-attach the table to the base. To simplify the mechanism, I would have to alter the bracket on the base and re-design a new slider.
You can see in this picture that the cradle formerly operated with a single hole for a tightening bolt. In simplifying the movement, I had to change an internal slide mechanism to this cradle by opening up the hole into a slot.
I began by drilling out as much of the aluminum-casted base as I could before hand sawing the inner sections and then using a hand file to clean it all up.
This initial distance had to be lengthened further after the second image above but the same process was used.
Using some HDPE (high density polyethylene) that I had left over from the piece Hungowa (the sections that register the bentwood laminations and the mild steel sections), I made up some sliding pieces that would attach to the under side of the table bed and rest in the cradle. HDPE is commonly recycled (#2) and has a variety of uses- many people have cutting boards in their houses made of HDPE, pop bottle caps, surgical reconstruction makes use of the material, and many machine parts such as gears, etc.
Actually, one of the furniture pieces that Eric Britton and I designed and built titled Jug had HDPE panels. It's a wonderfully buttery material to work with. When you turn it on a lathe you get one continuous line of material as you cut. I've also used it to machine the mechanics on the kinetic wave action on I Am Man: Revenge.
With some 1/2" stock of the same material I began making the bottom side of the bracket that bolts to the underside of the table bed. Running a low channel allows the curved piece to sit inside the bracket for registration. I then began to replicate the bolting patterns on the opposite side of that piece.
To keep this new bracket at the same hight as the old one, I had to recess some the the back side so that it would fit snug to the underside of the tabletop. The arch was then attached from the back side and recessed within the block and attached to the table.
Because the sliding mechanism would now take place on that cradle rather than inside the bracket as was true with the former broken one, the underside of the cradle where the tightening nob goes also had to be altered so that the table can still tilt for angles. Additional pieces were made /attached and the curved piece was tapped and given threaded posts for the knobs to tighten on the bottom side.
And voila! Ready for action again.
Now I'm heading back into the shop to work on my newest piece, Sam. A sneak peak of that from last week... there is now a tower on his head but you will have to wait to see more! Also, a peak at the vinyl title wall I designed as part one of the Annual Artist in Residence Exhibition. Post cards will be sent out shortly!
Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday evening! Smile big. It looks good on ya!