Welcome to the Carbide Processors Blog
Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 4:08 pm.
Maybe it’s the 5 straight days of torrential down pours that prompted this idea, but I thought some of you find some tips on drying wood helpful. And, if any of you want to share some tips on how to stay dry in the great northwest, I would gladly welcome them. I have done some searching and found some great advise from fellow woodworkers that have posted in various blogs and forums on how to season your lumber and prevent warping, twisting and cracking.
What is Seasoning Wood:
When wood is used in a woodworking project or for construction of any kind, it needs to be properly dried or seasoned. It is important that the wood have the same moisture as it’s surrounding. The wood will naturally absorb and desorb moisture until it has reached the same moisture content of it’s surroundings. When the wood dries it shrinks. If it dries to quickly, it may have unequal shrinkage which will damage the wood and cause it to split or warp.
Why Season your wood?:
If you take a great pride in the work you do, I’m willing to bet you own your fair share of quality woodworking tools. When you pair skill and quality materials, you are almost sure to end up with a quality product. The last thing you want is for your woodworking project to be ruined due to the lumber not being seasoned before beginning.
There are some things you can do to help prevent uneven shrinkage, splitting and checking. Here are some tips from other woodworkers:
- “Coat the ends with polybond right (away). That will stop the wood checking”
- “If its a really evil wood for checking like laburnum, there’s something you should immerse it in, but, for the life of me I can’t remember the name. (The name was Poly Ethylene Glycol) If you’re planking it, now’s a good time to do it, and set the “planks” on spacers to even out the air around it. ”
- “Wax is the material that has been used for more than a thousand years. I have heard of people getting good results from “Emulsion Paint” but that didn’t work for me. I believe “White glue” (PVA) has had some good results but I haven’t tried that.
Incidentally there has been some interesting work done with Poly Ethylene Glycol” (PEG) a Waxy organic compound that can be made to REPLACE the water content in some porous materials. It’s what is used to preserve and CONSERVE archeological material like the wood from the Mary Rose.”
- “A lot of the cracking is a result of drying unevenly. The outside layers dry faster than the inside so it shrinks while the inner core does not. Because of that its going to crack somewhere. If you cut it when its green, like cutting it in half, then that stress is eliminated but there are still others such as from the ends and you have a higher chance of warping because the fibers don’t have countering stresses. (by that I mean that they are all going in the same direction. If you take 2 boards each warped in the opposite direction and glue them together they will go straight because they counter each other. A branch is like that with countering fibers. When you cut it you unbalance that and there is no way of knowing which way its going to go.) The amazing thing about wood is there are no guaranties on anything.”
- “Wood can be seasoned by keeping it in a dry place – shed – garage for example and waiting for the water content to reduce to about 7% you can assess this by weighing the wood periodically, the weight loss is water.”
If you have tips of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments.
Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at 3:57 pm.
Tools that are meant for specific applications should really be used for those applications. Here is a perfect example of why.
We had a customer come in looking for a way to retrieve the remains of an insert bit that he had mistakenly put into his impact driver. The bit broke inside of the driver, and there did not seem to be anyway to remove it.
Impact drivers can deliver a great deal of force. If you are not using a tool designed to take that kind of force, you are most likely going to be left with broken bits. Standard insert bits are designed more for standing up to wear than force. When using an impact driver, you really need to be using a more rugged bit designed for that application. Wiha and Wera both make an excellent Impact bit that have proved to be able to take a beating and still keep working.
Wiha’s Terminator bits are designed to withstand the abuse delivered by todays high power impact screwdrivers. The dual material construction absorbs the impact better resulting in as much as 30 times the life span of regular insert bits.
Wera also makes a great impact bit. Wera’s Impaktor bits have a special geometry with a torsion zone to reduce initial impact and extend the service life of the bit.
Posted on Thursday, December 26th, 2013 at 4:20 pm.
They say a happy wife means a happy life. The same idea translates into the business world as well. Happy customers, mean a happy business. We believe by putting the customer and their best interest first is the only way to run a business.
Our customers are pretty important to us. The checks may have the bosses signature on them, but we know who is really keeping us employed- The Customer. Because of this, we want to do everything we can to keep them happy and coming back. Aside from the Free Tool Promotions, discounts, and coupon codes, we have recently offered another great perk for our customers. The Norton Shopping Guarantee.
The Norton Shopping Guarantee offers our customers a 30 day protection plan that includes:
- ID Theft Protection up to $10,000.
Comprehensive identity theft coverage to safeguard your personal information See terms and restrictions
- A Purchase Guarantee.
Full 3rd party guarantee of your purchase terms of sale of up to $1,000 is provided See terms and restrictions
- Lowest Price Guarantee up to $100.
If the same store’s published price drops within 30 days of a purchase, we pay the difference See terms and restrictions
We feel your private information should remain just that- private. When you buy from us, you can rest assure that your information will remain safe.
Having a protection plan in place in case something happens is great, but more importantly is to prevent anything from going wrong in the first place. We have regular scans and 24 monitoring to make sure that our site is always safe for customers to make their purchases. We never store any credit card information. Once the transaction is complete, we do not have any way to access your credit card information again. We’re very happy to be able to rest easy and know our customer’s information is safe.
We truly do value and appreciate our customers. If there is anything that we can be doing better, please tell us. We are always trying to improve and really appreciate your feedback.
Feel free to browse our store and let us know where we can improve. Happy and Safe shopping!
Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 3:51 pm.
Need some last minute gift ideas for the Woodworker on your list? We have you covered! We carry over 20,000 quality tools and always ship from the closest warehouse with stock so that your orders get to you quicker.
Keep your favorite woodworker safe in his shop this Holiday Season. We have Micro Jig Push Blocks and Grr-Rippers in stock and ready to ship. Micro Jig push Blocks and Grr-Rippers keep the operators hands away from the cutting surface and give them more control over their work, so they can stay safe and get better cuts.
Shop now and save on Micro Jig Push Blocks and Grr-Rippers
Woodpecker Mini Squares make great stocking stuffers!
Woodpecker Box Clamps were featured on DIY network and we could barely keep them on the shelf last year. We have brought in extra inventory this year and have them ready to ship. Save on Woodpecker box Clamps
Everyone can use a great set of hand tools for those little fix it projects around the house. Save on Quality Tools sets from Wiha, Bondhus and Felo.
For the woodworker that is just getting started, we have router bit sets from Whiteside and Southeast Tool that have all the basic router bits you need to get started. Also, check out our router lifts and router table packages from Incra and Woodpeckers.
If you already have everyone on your list checked off, then don’t forget about a little something for yourself.
Save an extra 10% off your order from now until Jan 1st 2014 with coupon code: holiday. Be sure to select expedited shipping if needed so that you can get them wrapped up and under the tree just in time for Christmas Day.
Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 3:46 pm.
I am sure almost everyone who has ever used router bits has gotten a bad cut at one point and time. The first to get blamed is usually the bit. Now while it is quite possible that it may have been a low quality or bad bit, this is not always the case. So before you go and throw out a perfectly good router bit, try these few simple tips on how to get a better cut! We hope it will save the lives of many router bits everywhere…
- First, most tool companies will recommend purchasing a router bit with a ½” diameter shank. Usually this size diameter will produce less vibration, giving a smoother cut.
- Secondly, you must make sure your router bits are sharp, smooth and clean. Cutting a tomato with a dull knife will just cause a big mess, right? Well the same goes for cutting wood with dull router bits.
- Next, you can get a much better cut by lowering the bit slowly and making multiple shallow passes. If one tries to make just one heavy cut it can ruin the router bit, make an uneven cut or burn the wood.
- A huge mistake woodworkers make while using a router is making their cuts in the wrong direction. Always move the router against the direction of the bit. This will allow more control over the router and will let the bit to cut into the work piece. You will also want to make sure to rout the end grain edges first and then the long grain edges when cutting a profile on all edges of a board.
- Going along with the direction of the cut, when you are making cross-grain cuts, it is best to score the cut line(s) with a knife. Such as when cutting dadoes into your wood pieces. This can minimize tear out.
- Also, watch your speed! Router bits should be run at different speeds depending on the size. A large router bit is much heavier and has a greater potential to give off a bigger vibration. Along with this it is important to know if you feed to fast the router will bind and slow down causing a rough cut. If you feed the router too slowly, you will end up with burn marks on the edges.
- Clearing the excess chips can definitely help you obtain the best cut possible. To prevent chips from accumulating between the router plate and the work piece, connect a shop vacuum or dust-collection system to your router in order to remove the waste material.
- Some of the most benefitting guidelines to obtaining a better cut can depend on what type of router you are using. If you are using a table-mounted router, make sure to keep the gap between the bit’s edges and the fence as small as possible while still allowing the bit to spin freely. However, if you are using a handheld router, always give the bit proper clearance and make sure the work piece does not shift while cutting.
By following these simple, easy to do tips you are guaranteed to get the cleanest cuts and best performance out of your router bits!
If you have tried all of these tips and you are still getting a less than perfect cuts then it may be time to look into getting a different bit. Here are the best tips on how to choose the best router bit and also tips on which router bits to buy!
Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 11:07 am.
Finding just the right blade can be a difficult task. An even harder mission however, is finding a mighty tough blade that can continuously handle major cutting jobs. Those in the pallet recycling industry have dealt with this problem for quite some time and understand just how hard the search for a tough blade can be.
In the pallet recycling industry, recyclers are faced with the challenge of cutting wood that contains nails and nail stubble. As we know, most saw blades are not made to put up with this type of abuse. Thankfully, we now have a solution.
Our friends at Popular Tools have just introduced a new amazing line of pallet recycling saw blades, or simply put– Nail Cutting saw blades. These highly tough blades are specifically designed for the pallet recycling industry. For instance, the pallet recycling blades have been made with impact resistant carbide and a heavy, rigid flat plate that holds a tolerance of .002”. The special impact resistant carbide used to make these blades allows them to stand up well in the demolition of pallets.
These pallet recycling blades are beyond doubt a great investment. Popular Tools has specially manufactured this new line of pallet recycling blades to take a tremendous beating and handle a countless number of uses. Because of the high quality of these blades and their astounding ability to withstand abuse, these strong and sturdy blades are a wise investment.
Under proper maintenance, these blades can be sharpened and will last a very long time.
Posted on Monday, September 30th, 2013 at 2:10 pm.
Routers may not be the most frequently used tool in your shop, but they are probably the most valuable and versatile power tool in the workshop. This one tool can do many different jobs, including shaping edges, trimming plastic laminate, routing intricate inlays, creating raised panels and cutting grooves. Routers can also be used to make a great variety of woodworking joints including: rabbet joints, dovetail joints, mortises, and so much more.
The router can be used in a router table or as a handheld power tool. Using the router in a router table does offer many advantages. By using your router in a router table, you are basically creating a stationary shaper. Here are some tips for using your router that will help get the best cuts.
One of the most common mistakes that new woodworkers make when using a router is moving the router in the wrong direction to make their cuts. Always move the router against the direction of the bit. This allows the router bit to cut into the workpiece and gives you more control over the router. If you try to make your cut so that the router is moving into the wood in the same direction that the router bit is turning, the router will run along the edge of the workpiece, creating a constant struggle to maintain control.
Instead, always make sure that the bit is turning against the direction that you are cutting into the wood. (ie: if the router bit is spinning clockwise and the router is positioned between you and the cut you are trying to make, you would move the router from left to Right to make the cut.)
Using your router in a router table makes routing easier and safer. Using the router upside down in the router table frees up both of your hands, allowing you to safely move the stock and guide the workpiece through the cut. It also makes the bit visible so that you can see exactly what you are doing, which is not always the case with a handheld router. Router tables make it much easier to cut smaller parts, stopped grooves, and to use large-diameter bits and raised panel bits.
Tip: Safety first. Always use a push stick or Micro Jigs Push block so that your fingers stay clear of the cutting tool.
Router tables also come with many accessories that help to keep you safe and get better results from your cuts. You can attach feather boards, and fences to help keep the workpiece from moving during the cut.
Posted on Monday, August 12th, 2013 at 12:12 pm.
If you looking for a great beginners woodworking project, consider making some wooden blocks. Try making some with unique shapes or rounded tops. See what kind of ideas you can come up with.
Posted on Friday, August 9th, 2013 at 10:13 am.
The life of your cutting tools depends on the care and consideration you take with them. Checking and changing tool holders and collets when needed can drastically increase the life of your cutting tools. Many of the new CNC machines have the ability to automatically change the tool holders in the spindle as needed. Even if this process is automated, it is still important to check the tool holders for wear and replace them as needed to prevent premature cutting tool failure, poor cutting performance, or even expensive damage to the spindle.
There are four main parts to a tool holder (also called collet holder or collet chuck).
- Pull Stud- The pull stud screws into the top of the taper of the tool holder. The pull stud is held by the clamping set inside the spindle which pulls the holder up into the mouth of the spindle. A spring-loaded draw bar is used to pull the holder into place. Some Pull studs are hollow to allow coolant to flow through the tool holder.
- The Taper- the taper is the conical shaped area of the tool holder that goes into the spindle when changing the tool. An 8 degree taper automatically centers the tool into the spindle. The taper on all our tool holders is ground to a tolerance of .0002” for both the taper tolerance and the outside diameter tolerance. Our HSK tool holders have a shorter taper than our BT style.
- V-Flange- The V-Flange is usually identified as the “V” groove found on the outer most diameter of the tool holder. The automatic tool changer locks onto the V-Flange on the tool holder when moving the tool from the tool changer to the spindle and back. The cutouts in the flange help align and adjust the holder in the spindle.
- Collet Pocket- The collet pocket is the part of the tool holder where the collet is placed into before the collet nut secures it.
The cutting tool is held by the collet. The collet is designed to collapse around the shank of the cutting tool when pressure from the collet nut is applied. As the nut is tightened, the collet is tightened around the cutting tool, pushing it deeper into the collet pocket until maximum pressure is achieved. For a guide on how tight the collet should be, checkout our article on “How to get proper tightness for your collets.”
One of the first things to check on your tool holders is the spindle mouth. A worn spindle mouth (sometimes called bell mouthing) can cause runout issues that can affect the accuracy of the tool holder and can cause bad cut quality and reduce efficiency. You can see if bell mouthing is the cause of the issues by checking to see if the tool holder issues are eliminated by bench checking the TIR. If they are, then the problem is most likely a worn out spindle mouth.
Make sure the ATC IS properly aligned. If the ATC swing arm is not in alignment, then it will not insert the tool holder perfectly. This can cause damage to the spindle and tool holder, and reduce the life of your cutting tools.
Over time, the taper can become worn or damaged. You should check the taper for signs of wear, especially where the taper contacts the spindle mouth. Issues with the taper directly affect the accuracy of the machining. If there are any issues with the taper or if there is fretting, the tool holder must be replaced. Fretting occurs when two steel parts (like the tool holder and spindle mouth) are rubbing against one another. Fretting is caused by the tool holder taper and the spindle not being aligned perfectly and creating vibration and heat, which then develops into fretting. You can tell if there is fretting by the brownish, copper colored marks that are often mistaken for rust.
If a new tool holder is showing evidence of fretting, or if the tool holder is sticking in the spindle, this may indicate that the spindle needs to be reground. When the taper on a tool holder is worn, it can cause an out-of-round condition when the tool holder is inserted into the spindle called runout. Runout can be responsible for prematurely wearing out your cutting tools and can also cause a lot of vibration resulting in bad surface finish. The vibration caused from runout can also create heat build-up in the spindle and damage the spindle bearings.
Don’t forget your collets
Collets are made from a softer metal and have slots and cut outs that allow them to collapse and spring so that they grip the cutting tools tightly. The constant collapsing and springing to adjust and tightly grip the cutting tools caused the collets to wear out more quickly than the tool holder. Using a worn out collet can cause the tools and tool holders to prematurely fail. These tools and tool holders can be very expensive to replace. Changing the collets regularly and as needed can save thousands of dollars in tooling costs. Scoring marks on the inside diameter may indicate that the cutting tool was spinning inside the collet and are good indication that the collet needs to be replaced. You should also replace collets if they have any rust or pit. You should wipe down the tool holders and spray a light coating of rust preventative when they are not going to be used to help lengthen the life of the tool holder and collets. When it is time to use the tool holder again, be sure to wipe the oil off completely before placing it back in to the spindle. Using the correct coolant concentration can also help prevent rust on the collets and tool holders.
Posted on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 at 3:48 pm.
Swing blade portable sawmills are very popular and rightly so. There are extremely versatile, very rugged with a low operating cost.
Advantages of Swing blade Saw Mills:
1. Easy, fast sharpening
2. Increased yield – a swing blade mill lets you easily cut around bad sections. You can even get good lumber out of “worthless“ logs
3. Less turning of logs – you move the head instead of the log.
4. More Consistency in sizes – a solid, circular blade does not warp and move like a band saw blade does
5. Straighter Cuts – stiffer blade than a band
6. Inexpensive maintenance – typically 15,000 board feet per blade
7. Easy to water cool - for longer blade life and no burning
A great many of these advantages are due to the fact that a circular saw blade is inherently much more rugged, long-lasting, durable and much harder to damage than a bandsaw blade. By its very design a bandsaw blade has to be flimsy enough to bend without breaking. A circular saw blade is designed to be strong, rugged and stiff.
The stiffness of the circular saw blade in a swing blade sawmill means much better cuts with no saw wander.
However, you need good saw blades to achieve these advantages. The popular tools replacement saw blades for Lucas Mills portable saws are not just a big version of a cheap skill saw blade.
Brand X Sawmill
Peterson Portable Sawmills
D & L Swing Blade
Bestbier Best saw Mills
Popular Tools saw blades for swing saw mills use a special steel that is strong enough to cut straight and tough enough to handle most knots, nails and other foreign objects.
The carbide saw teeth on a popular tools blade are a special grade of sub-micron carbide designed to give long life between sharpenings while being tough enough to survive cutting in most extreme situations.
The carbide teeth on a Popular Tools swing blade mill are very easy to sharpen and easy to replace with a standard torch set up.