05 March 2010

In suspension...

Some time ago, I was day-dream land fantasizing about upgrades to machinery in the 'shop, which proved to be a fascinating but frustrating exercise at the same time. There are a couple of constraints that are stacked against me (entirely of my own making I have to add) the first being that the floor is a fairly lightweight suspended affair and the second is that all machines have to run off a 13A ring main.

The floor is easy to remedy by ripping it up and laying an additional pair of sleeper walls, one each side of the existing wall, which will then give me a spacing of 900m between each, with the 50x75mm joists at 400mm intervals. I've been told that this ought to be able to withstand a point load of around 130Kgs or so.
Electrics are easier to sort out as all the kit I've been looking at will run happily of a 13A ring main circuit...the saw might be on the cusp, but if it is, I've been assured that there are devious and cunning ways round the problem.

What's on my wish list then? The Jet JTS 600 is the strongest contender at the moment as it's about the right weight and size...some of the other ones are cheaper, but weigh in at over 100Kgs more and positively eat space in a small 'shop. After a lot of humm-ing, haa-ing and much head scratching, I've finally opted for the Jet JWBS-16 mkII band saw and the AW106PT2 planer thicknesser, both of which have a capacity of 250mm, which is big enough for the sort of stuff I do. The final two bits of kit that I need is a decent capacity pillar drill and smaller lathe as the one I have at the moment is too big.

I could do with a new router as well (the old one is now ten years old and owes me nothing) and I would also like to get a Micro Fence to go with it, something recommended to me by Robert Ingham (there's a name to drop in a Blog!)

There's also a remote, but germinating seed of an idea at the back of the grey matter which is gradually taking form...one of these might be added to the list.

Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but as I have absolutely no will power in any way shape of form in these sort of decisions, the chances are moderate to good that it'll happen...possibly.

1 comment:

Mitchell said...

That is an impressive array of machinery.

Every time I would go to my old man for advice regarding one piece of machinery or another that I wanted to buy, he would tell me to pick the machine I thought would be able to handle the job I wanted it to do and then buy the next model up that had greater power. Each time I would answer him with, "Your a lot of help".

Eventually he explained it to me. You usually buy a new machine, not because the old one gave up the ghost, but because your demands increased to a level that the old machine couldn't meet. If you buy a new one based on your current demands you will quickly be disappointed again because your demands will increase once more. Buying one up meets your current demands as well as allowing for one increase in your future demands. Eventually, you will be disappointed with the replacement, but I found by following his suggestion, there were longer intervals between new purchases.

Converting your explanation of your shop's structure to a measurement I can visualize, I come up with 2 inch by 3 inch joists on 15 3/4 inch centres supported by a knee wall every 34 1/2 inches. If my conversions are correct, in a normal application it would be more than adequate. Machinery, however, often bucks during operation and as a result, point loads can be 3 to 5 times the machine's weight. To compensate for this added load, I would suggest that the 2 x 3's be placed on 10 inch centres at the very least, and 10 inch centres with 2 - 2 x 3's laminated together using construction adhesive and screws on 12 inch centres at the most.

I guess what this long-winded comment is trying to say is that there is no such thing as an overpowered machine or an overbuilt shop floor.

All the best in you plans,