Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boxy Lady

At long last some freight from Japan showed up today. Fortunately the box was just narrow enough to go through the freight door, which is only about 47" wide for some strange reason - a 48"~50" opening would be more convenient I guess:


I wheeled the behemoth down to my shop space, and was keen to get the box opened to see what the winds had brought. I knew what was supposed to be inside at least....

A first crack into the plywood box:


A relief then to find that I had received the same machine I bought, in the condition I bought it in, with no shipping damage or missing parts:


A while later I had the box side walls off to reveal the little lady:


Ships are assigned a female gender, so to speak, so why not surfacers?

I find that a johnson bar, pallet truck, and some 1" pipes are mighty handy for maneuvering machines around single-handedly:


At this point, I wasn't totally sure about the exact location for the machine, and it was physically larger than I had imagined, but it came with a long extension cord, which made it possible to set up if even on a temporary basis to check things out. So I wired a new plug onto it and plugged it into an existing outlet to power it up. First I needed to raise the drive unit up to get the support tables out.

Then came the moment a while later - does it work? It would be an awfully heavy ornament after all.

A piece of hinoki from the old MFA gate reclamation seemed the appropriate material with which to christen the machine. I pushed the drive belt feed button to confirm the 3-phase was correctly wired - it was. If wired wrong, the belt would have rotated the wrong direction, which would just have meant swapping a wire around, no big deal. Sometimes we get lucky with the wiring, heh-heh.

May as well see what happens when wood goes in one end:


Seems to work just fine - I was pumped!!

Some people say that super surfacers are only good for softwoods. I know that to be false, however seeing is believing as they say. I know there are doubters out there, some professionally trained as doubters in fact. How about some curly bubinga? This can't possibly work - or can it?:


Oh damn! This isn't working at all:


Yep, looks like super surfacers are only good for softwoods, what was I thinking?:


Some people may refuse to accept pictures like the above at face value, or any information that might contradict their world view, and I'm okay with that. Horses also tend to be calmer with blinkers on, and I'm kinda surprised a human version hasn't come about yet. Hah- I tease! Sorry! The stubborn ones out there know who they are.

Meanwhile, back in the reality of my shop, there is wood of all kinds to be surfaced and it will be interesting to see how the chō-shiage-kanna-ban handles various materials as I become more used to operating the new machine. For now, it looks like it will save me considerable labor on the bubinga.

A view of the underside of the two knife cassettes - the standard re-sharpenable knife type is fitted at the moment, and there are two of them:


There's a rubber plug on the top at the back that I was curious about:


Turns out it is for fitting a hand wheel so that the drive unit can be manually raised and lowered:


Depth scale is in metric and shakkan-hō:


What else is going on here? Well, it has a foot-pedal operated control unit:


Here are the insert knife cassettes and 10-pack of blades, along with the manual and a couple of dry lube sprays provided as a courtesy by the seller:


There is a modest tool set, which fits into its own compartment in frame of the machine:


Not quite sure what the metal dowel to the left is for at this point.

Here's the super surfacer most of the way to being set up, except for some remaining wiring work- and the small Hitachi bandsaw tucks in there nicely:


It will take a while to get used to seeing it in the space. Tomorrow I'll probably move the surfacer another few inches closer to the post, and maybe 6 inches closer to the jointer, and then I can put in the dedicated wiring. I've already picked up the 3 phase plug and receptacle, so I just need a few EMT fittings and pipe yet.

To make space for the new machine, I moved the chopsaw over to the other side of the jointer, and managed to tuck the hollow chisel mortiser in at the end:


It was like a game of machine tetris in there the past few days as I figured out how to accommodate the new surfacer into the space, but it seems to have come together well. I figure another day to button things up and then I can get back to making stuff, save for a few mods needed to the dust collection piping now that the little bandsaw has a new spot.

Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way.