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Pierre Bellefeuille

Custom suction rib system, save 80 % of time…

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Here is the custom design I created to thin my violin rib. It is basically a suction MDF box with a groove over it that holds in place the rib. It works over the table of a press drill. I was using a Delta press drill with an extra large platform. I was using a Safe-T-Planer mounted on the drill to thin my ribs. It is very accurate. It does not produce a fine powder like when we are using a belt sander. It is a known that the fine powder coming from hard wood is toxic for the lungs. It is pretty safe to use the Safe-T-Planer. It can be found here: http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Planes/StewMac_Safe-T-Planer.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=TXT%3A New Products&utm_term=safe t planer&utm_content=Safe-T-Planer

The measurements of the box are:
Length = 762 mm
Width = 153 mm
Height = 120 mm

The MDF thickness is 16 mm.

The width of the groove is 43 mm. I used a router to make that groove being .6 mm deep.

The open part for the adaptor suction part is 56 mm wide. I connect to it a Shop-O-Vac vacuum.

We start to thin from the middle of the rib in place, then going to one extremity, and we start again into the centre and we complete until finished toward the other extremity. This approach about 80 % of the time usually used with the traditional method using a plane.

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The "Safe-T-Planer" might be the most unsafe tool I own!  (And I own a lot of tools.)  I rarely use it for that reason.  Once, due to the side-bearing forces as the stock engages the edge of the planer, the friction fit between the chuck and tapered spindle gave way, and the "Safe-T-Planer and chuck went spinning across my shop like a deranged, heavy, razor-sharp top.  I jumped out of the way pretty quickly.  I found it to be unsafe in a few other operations before putting it on the shelf (possibly for good) and turning to other methods for thicknessing.

It looks like you made a nice holding fixture, though;  good job with that.

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I think the safe-t-planer gets a bad reputation ,but i generally think its because people are using them wrongly or have a poor understanding of how they work.

I have one decades old that i use occasionally and as long as you are careful they work quite well for what they do ,but as with all power tools /machinery you cant let your mind wander while using them.

I heard allsorts of terrible stories of radial arm saws before i was given one by my father in law ,(an American craftsman  model bought in the early 1980`s).  Love using it.. I later discovered this model was `recalled ` for safety reasons in the US and worldwide.

Mainly concerning  the guard mechanism. I contacted them despite not being the original purchaser and Sears sent me a new guard system .new handle /switch and an all new sacrificial table in a huge crate to the UK(all free of charge).  Much improvement,safety wise and still enjoy using it.

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The spindle bearings on most drill presses are not designed to take side pressure like a milling machine. If you are going to use a drill press for milling / planning  operations you should make very light cuts or you will soon be able to drill 3/8 holes using a 1/4 drill bit. :)

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24 minutes ago, Linden said:

The spindle bearings on most drill presses are not designed to take side pressure like a milling machine. If you are going to use a drill press for milling / planning  operations you should make very light cuts or you will soon be able to drill 3/8 holes using a 1/4 drill bit. :)

Actually, looking at the bearing type and arrangement inside some of them it seems they were designed for side pressure and not for drilling. :)  

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1 hour ago, Linden said:

The spindle bearings on most drill presses are not designed to take side pressure like a milling machine. If you are going to use a drill press for milling / planning  operations you should make very light cuts or you will soon be able to drill 3/8 holes using a 1/4 drill bit. :)

While good advise, this information is often victim to hyperbole. I've had my grandpa's drill press for many years not, and I often drum sand with it. Still drills straight and true holes. That's my anecdotal 2¢, and I would also advise to take it easy with any side load regardless. 

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15 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

While good advise, this information is often victim to hyperbole. I've had my grandpa's drill press for many years not, and I often drum sand with it. Still drills straight and true holes. That's my anecdotal 2¢, and I would also advise to take it easy with any side load regardless. 

Indeed it is. Most cheap drill presses have two deep groove ball bearings - i.e. they're around 6 times better at side loads compared with thrust loads ( drilling ). The weak bit is the chuck. The better arrangement would be using an angular contact bearing like a 7205B with 40 degrees contact angle. Those are rarer than hen's teeth. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 9:32 PM, Pierre Bellefeuille said:

Here is the custom design I created to thin my violin rib. It is basically a suction MDF box with a groove over it that holds in place the rib.

 

Lovely job, really.

I never thought I'd be using this as a phrase of complete approval for how well somebody designed and made something, but,  gee, that really sucks!   :lol:

[Ducks for cover and exits hastily  :ph34r:]

 

 

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I like the jig. I've been wanting to try making a suction jig for rib holding during planing and scraping, but haven't gotten to it, partially because I wasn't convinced it would hold tight enough. If it stays put under a safe-t-planer I presume it doesn't shift around, so you could also plane and scrape it in there or does it slide around if it isn't butted right up against that lip? Have you done your final planing and scraping using that, if so, did it work well for that as well?

The jig I've been using instead is a flat board with 600 grit sandpaper attached with spray adhesive for a higher friction surface, then use two 1/8" wooden pins to hold the end. Two holes are drilled through the end of the rib on one or both ends, so you lose the last 10mm of the rib or so, but it allows you to plane and scrape in both directions without fear of cracking the rib. You can plane right over your pins and not hurt the plane. Don't have a clamp to work around, and when you want to check your thickness you don't have to undo a clamp. Just pick up the rib and check it.

Overall, it's a big improvement over clamping down the rib, but your box is one step closer to my "ideal" contraption, which would be a box attached to a suction clamp (or shop vac works I suppose, just more noisy I think) with a foot pedal to engage and disengage or perhaps a valve that you turn to turn the suction off and on quickly so you can pick up the rib and check it easily. 

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looks interesting.  I was wondering what method you had come up with.  Maybe that would be good for a high production shop.    I'm building my first one and found it quick and easy just attach the rib to the bench with a holdfast and plane it with a toothed plane from around the middle out,  then turn it around and do the other end.    I made a sanding block with sides that extend down as a depth stop also and was thinking of making depth stops on a toothed plane. 

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1 hour ago, MikeC said:

looks interesting.  I was wondering what method you had come up with.  Maybe that would be good for a high production shop.    I'm building my first one and found it quick and easy just attach the rib to the bench with a holdfast and plane it with a toothed plane from around the middle out,  then turn it around and do the other end.    I made a sanding block with sides that extend down as a depth stop also and was thinking of making depth stops on a toothed plane. 

Agree...;)

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On ‎2017‎-‎11‎-‎08 at 7:18 AM, TimDasler said:

I like the jig. I've been wanting to try making a suction jig for rib holding during planing and scraping, but haven't gotten to it, partially because I wasn't convinced it would hold tight enough. If it stays put under a safe-t-planer I presume it doesn't shift around, so you could also plane and scrape it in there or does it slide around if it isn't butted right up against that lip? Have you done your final planing and scraping using that, if so, did it work well for that as well?

The jig I've been using instead is a flat board with 600 grit sandpaper attached with spray adhesive for a higher friction surface, then use two 1/8" wooden pins to hold the end. Two holes are drilled through the end of the rib on one or both ends, so you lose the last 10mm of the rib or so, but it allows you to plane and scrape in both directions without fear of cracking the rib. You can plane right over your pins and not hurt the plane. Don't have a clamp to work around, and when you want to check your thickness you don't have to undo a clamp. Just pick up the rib and check it.

Overall, it's a big improvement over clamping down the rib, but your box is one step closer to my "ideal" contraption, which would be a box attached to a suction clamp (or shop vac works I suppose, just more noisy I think) with a foot pedal to engage and disengage or perhaps a valve that you turn to turn the suction off and on quickly so you can pick up the rib and check it easily. 

The box is pretty big, it keeps your fingers always far away from the Safe-T-Planer, the suction if very strong, there is no need to clamp the rib. I always start at the middle of the rib. The finishing is done with the scrapers, it is not long do since the Safe-T-Planer does already an excellent job. The accuracy is well controlled within 1/10 of a millimeter. It must say here that inside the box I have to pieces of MDF wood to reinforce it, you can see a discontinuity at two place into the holes pattern, this is where are located the inner pieces of wood, there is a central hole on each piece to let the suction pass through.

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On ‎2017‎-‎11‎-‎08 at 10:12 AM, MikeC said:

looks interesting.  I was wondering what method you had come up with.  Maybe that would be good for a high production shop.    I'm building my first one and found it quick and easy just attach the rib to the bench with a holdfast and plane it with a toothed plane from around the middle out,  then turn it around and do the other end.    I made a sanding block with sides that extend down as a depth stop also and was thinking of making depth stops on a toothed plane. 

I wanted to save my hands, as I used to play the music a lot too... Basically, I just like to create something new, for the pleasure of it. I like to conceptualise things...

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On ‎2017‎-‎11‎-‎08 at 12:20 AM, Violadamore said:

Lovely job, really.

I never thought I'd be using this as a phrase of complete approval for how well somebody designed and made something, but,  gee, that really sucks!   :lol:

[Ducks for cover and exits hastily  :ph34r:]

 

 

Thanks! :) LOL

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Double sided carpet tape holds ribs just fine, whether planing or using the safety planer on the mill.  When combined with a duct tape/mdf kluge to hold the shop-vac nozzle where I want it, it is an elegant kluge indeed...........:D

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