Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hell, Hath Done Froze Over

It's freakin' cold out.

Extreme temperatures call for extreme measures in a statewide cold snap so frigid that temperatures have grounded planes, disabled cars, frozen water pipes and even canceled several championship cross country ski races.

You better believe it.

It's not 60 below here, more like -25F at the moment, but it isn't any picnic.

It was so cold last night that when I went to pick my son up from band practice my anti-lock brake sensors froze up and the ABS system in the truck turned off. Nice. Seems to be fine today - after the truck thawed out all night in the garage.

And speaking of which, I have to go clean the snow off my trailer and get things hooked up - I've arranged to buy a commercial radial arm saw from a guy and I need to go pick it up. I'd prefer to wait until it warmed up a bit, but he works on the North Slope and his wife is sick of having to park outside because "his stupid saw is taking up her parking spot in the garage while he's gone for six months at a pop." So, she told him to either sell it, or she's going to give it away when he leaves for the slope tomorrow. He listed it on Craigslist along with his sad, sad story - and I arranged to buy it today at a hell of a discount.

The cold, it ain't all bad.


  1. Would that be one of them Delta/Rockwell 14" RAS's? I got one (mid-80's model) at auction a few years back - it was barely used - weighs over 500 pounds and is a tad top-heavy. You'll get warm just moving it around. And I can see it taking up a lot of space - about what the hood end of the Cherokee takes up...

    But now you can rip, dado, rabbet, crosscut, miter, and turn those frozen leftovers into icecube tray sized bits :) Plus it's manly to lean on one when you're talking to visitors.

    Temps up here are hovering about -39 right outside the window, -35 at the airport, and about -18 up at the house. But it's all supposed to break by the weekend. As long as I can get a bowl gouge in my hand, I don't mind so much :)

  2. Well, what is it they say? It's an ill wind that blows nobody good.

    Is Shop Cat excited about the new edition?

    Also, does it mean you're jealous that temps here in WV are a balmy 25 with snow flurries?

    Well, *I* am happy that's our weather. Much better than the stupid rain rain rain.

  3. Karl, Well, the guy said it was a Rockwell. But it's a pre-B&D Dewalt actually. I can understand his confusion, first he doesn't know diddly about woodworking equipment - and original Dewalts are black cast iron. He got the thing from a relative, and never turned it on. Ever. It's been sitting in his garage for years.

    It's a beast, weighs a ton. 12" blade. Wired for 220 or 110, which is cool because I don't have a 220 drop where I want to install it, though I may add a 220 drop there in the future (I've got dual 200amp service in the shop, dropping 220 anywhere isn't a big deal, I just have to run the conduit).

    I changed the cord, and fired it up - runs like a top. Motor bearings are in great shape. Almost no rust. The traveler bearings need oil though, but look to be in perfect shape, no rust or pitting on the bearings or tracks. It's a four bearing chassis, no drift or wobble - looks like it'll be dead on precise when properly refurbed and adjusted. Old bakelite knobs have seen better days, I'll replace those with new ones. Table is shot, under frame is fine though. Needs to be taken apart and completely cleaned, then rebuilt, lubricated, and aligned - but hey they just don't make 'em like this anymore. Not in 40 years anyway. Awesome tools, I'm gonna enjoy fixing it up.

    I've seen refurbished vintage Dewalt's like this sell for well over $1000, and one in this good of shape usually goes for around $400-500. I paid $100 for it. Woohoo friggin whoo, I love Craigslist. Beastly calls it "The Magic Dumpster."

  4. Oh, sorry, Michelle. ShopKat most just doesn't care.

    Also, I think she's knocked up. Kittens, yay.

  5. Magic Dumpster - heh heh

    Steal! Nice find, Jim. I got mine along with a few other things - but definitely not for $100! Sweet!

    Don't know if you know - there's a great resource for old iron over at OWWM - invaluable if you run into a hitch in the process. Lots of info in the archives there, as well - manuals and such. (reprints link at the top of the page)

    Good luck with those kittens - mwuahahaha - ShopKat divides and conquers!

  6. Aw-www, manly little shop kittens! One for every power tool.

    Dr. Phil

  7. That's enough out of you, Dr Phil, or I just might box them up and send 'em to you ;)

    Karl, Thanks, that's a great site. I'm familiar with OWWM, I got some advice there a while back. Another Craigslist steal, I found a Powermatic Model 77 industrial scrollsaw. They haven't even made a scrollsaw since '74. This one was made in 68 according the serial number and sold in Bethal, AK. According to the guy I bought it from, it was in the Bethal HS Woodshop for 30 years. He bought it. Never used it. And it sat in his shop for 8 years or so. It was in pretty lousy shape when I bought it. I got advice from Powermatic and OWWM and did a complete refurb including repainting it back to the original Powermatic yellow. It's on the original cart/stand and it's probably one of the most useful machines I own. A solid cast iron scrollsaw with a 24" fixed c-bar with a 4-10" industrial blade capacity powered by 2HP vs TEFC motor. I can scroll cut 2" thick solid oak like 1/4" hardboard. I love that machine.

    Even managed to find a site that was willing to sell me an original, still in the plastic manual.

    As far as the Dewalt RAS goes, I've found two of them on-line, refurbed that are going for $3000. Holy shit. There's a company, Wolfe Machinery Company, that makes a full line of replacement parts for the original Dewalts, it's some kind of mission with these guys. Coolness.

    I love Radial Arm Saws, just an incredibly versatile machine if you know how to use one. This beast is going to replace my Dewalt Chop/Miter saw on the back longbench after I get it refurbished. I doubt I'll use it for rip cuts much, I've got a tablesaw for the that. But it's going to end up doing everything else.

    I'm tickled pink over this machine. And looking forward to refurbishing it.

  8. Ooh, kittygrams. Shiny. Furry. Massless. No brains. Purr.

    But, young man, you'd have to deal with Mrs. Dr. Phil about sending kittens through the mail. It might not be pretty.

    BTW- she suspects ShopKat came to you looking for a warm place to have kittens. It happened to them when she was growing up -- they had no idea the nice polite clean stray girl kitty who adopted them was already knocked up.

    I think you can use them for dusting and buffing in the shop.

    Dr. Phil

  9. A kitten with every wooden bowl?

    Dr. Phil

  10. Hey, yeah - self-cleaning buffing pads. 'Cept they have those sharp pointy parts... hm.

    Sounds like you're pretty jazzed about the RAS, there. The iron bug gotcha sounds like :) heh heh - and there's no cure.

    I got one of those lil' red 'r' Rockwell 24" iron scroll saws with my bundle-o-tools, too. It's mostly restored and cuts like a champ. Never tried the Powermatics but everyone I know that has swears by them.

    ::sigh:: back to the shop ;)

  11. Jim- Just so you know...Dr. Phil and the missus LIKE sibling kitty collections.

    Although the triplets they have at the moment MIGHT eat the proffered kittygrams.

    And I'm not sure on the shipping issues. Better check with FedEx.


  12. I'm in total sympathy with the wife.

    What will you name the kittens? Drillbit? Socketwrench?


  13. Yeah, our guys are almost sixteen. We'll get a few more years out of them, but then we'll take a few years off to be able to run out of town on vacations before we get the next matched set. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  14. Thanks Jim...
    They announced on last night's weather Alaska is sending us the arctic freezer of which you speak. Should get here mid-week or so.
    Possibly with gulf moisture.
    That means flakeage and/or crunchy rain here in the South...
    Better stock up on milk and bread before the nutjobs get to the store. Hell with that, need to get to the liquor store for antifreeze.
    Anyhow, ya cudda kept yur freeeezer up there. Just sayin...


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