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Back in early April I ordered the StewMac Safe-T-Planer. I have the older version but it hasn't gotten much use for some years now. Not that it was a bad tool but more because it needed some new inserts and I didn't know if I could get some new ones that fit.......

Anyway I've been working on getting ready to use this and I wanted to make a table and fence to fit my 500 that is set up as drill press. It would be nice to use in on my 520 too but that is for another time.

A week or two back I leveled my table so it pretty darn close to right on. I also started working on design ideas for the table system. Today I finished it up to the point it is ready for testing.

I don't know if anyone will be interested but I did manage to take some pictures of the final project to this point.

The table is made from MDF which I will treat with oil if the design looks like it works like I want or if I decide I need to make some changes I might use baltic birch plywood next time.

Here is a shot of the bottom. The bar is from a 500 miter gauge.

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From the top side you can see the two mounting holes and and "extra" one, mmmm what could that be for??

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It is important that the alignment is the same each and every time. So with the miter bar in the miter slot you slide it until the dog locates against there front of the table.

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Did you guess what that third hole was for? If you guessed that it was for locking the miter bar in place which in turn locks the table in place you would be right.

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Now it is time to mount the safe-t-planer. the shaft is designed to work in a stock drill chuck with three flats as you can see here:

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The old model I have is just a round shaft and I seem to recall using the 1/2" router chuck to mount it. Anyway I went with the drill chuck now.

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The side to side direction has been located but now it time to locate and lock the front to back. This is done by having the table against the way tubes as seen here:

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With this location locked in place we can take a short intermission before I posts the second part of this thread.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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This next "trick" I have been playing with and can not say for 100% it is a perfect solution but I don't have a better one right now.

Any one with one of these machines knows that table locks pretty well, but you end up putting too much pressure and well it can move. Many years ago I spotted this with using the mortising set-up. I ended up making a notched 2x4 that would set under the front edge of the table and that seem to fix that. Later on shopsmith came up with leg so I'm pretty sure they knew about the issue.

Well for this application I don't see there being much force but I also sure don't want the table tilting for any reason.

My solution is to use a stop collar on the way tubes that traps the table and should hold it pretty well. So far so good.

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Now we are up to the fence. One side is located and the other moves to provide how much of the safe-t-planer is exposed. Here it is before being mounted:

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The holes are 20 mm so any 20 mm dog works to locate the "pinned" side of the fence. I did the design on the fly so you will see construction lines in a lot of places.

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The area where the safe-t-planer sets was cut with a 3-1/4" hole saw and the curved exits were done with a drum sander. The sanding sleeve was pretty used up so I was getting some burning, might clean that up at some point with a nice new fresh sanding sleeve.

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At the location you see above the cutters are behind the fence front so no cutting would happen. You can adjust the fence to cut the whole cutter width as you can see here:

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You can of course do even wider stock with several passes and turning stock end for end.

When you get it set up the way you want you still have to clamp the other end of the fence in place, something like this:

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Just to give you an idea of how this would work take a look here:

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I will be doing some test cuts maybe tomorrow, or at least soon.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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Here is another thing I've been playing with and am pretty happy with. I've complained about shopsmith lack of support for doing real routing. No way to use guide bushings, not an easy way to lock the quill when plunge routing, and well we need not go any farther on that subject.

One thing that I think can be solved is how to get precision depth cuts. There is no micro-adjust on the quill but.........

Way back when before shopsmith started making the adjustable stop collar.

https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/cat ... collar.htm

I would attach a stop collar then use feeler gauges or drill bits or set up blocks to fine tune the depth of cut.

You can do the same thing with the quill (note the one shopsmith sells is the wrong size so don't buy one for this feature). In this case I have the safe-t-planer but you could have a router chuck and bit and do the same thing.

I lower the quill to the zero surface, normally the top of the work piece then lock the quill at that location. Add a stop collar and bring it up to the head stock.

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Now unlock the quill and anything you place between the stop collar and the head stock is lower the bit or cutter that much. Here I have a 1/16" brass bar, you then lock the quill at the new location. You can then use the tool that way or if you want to plunge to that depth you move the stop collar up to the head stock and tighten. Either way works.

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These set up blocks come in sets and give you the ability to stack in 1/32" increments. (They have a metric set as well but I don't have mine yet, they were back ordered.) If that is not close enough you can then either use a feeler gauge set with them or by itself to get into the .001" range. There is some error that creep in so think more like within a couple of thousand.

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Those setup blocks can be found a few places but I got mine from Lee Valley:

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/to ... -up-blocks

You can get various kits and do add-on later as another possible way to get a more complete set.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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Hey Ed,

I can see how this table/fence setup you've created could make the Safe-t-Planer much more functional.

But assuming one already has one of the various full-size, dedicated planers out there (like the Shopsmith ProPlaner or the Dewalt DW735), what are the reasons you see to own a Safe-T-Planer?

Thanks,

Al

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Gale's Law: The bigger the woodworking project, the less the mistakes show in any photo taken far enough away to show the entire project!

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I do a lot of smaller projects and this is ideal for those.

I think it is most popular with guitar makes since it can do a lot of the tasks that they need to do. But I think another niche area would be model making or small box building. I don't really do those sorts of things but I do find myself needing a tool like this in the shop for small jobs.

One thing I'm looking forward to trying is to size some stock to make a couple of zci. Since it is getting harder and harder to find 1/4" material that is actually 1/4" I find that making it is the easier solution.

Anyway depending on what you do in your shop will dictate if this would be helpful or not.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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reible wrote:Here is another thing I've been playing with and am pretty happy with. I've complained about shopsmith lack of support for doing real routing. No way to use guide bushings, not an easy way to lock the quill when plunge routing, and well we need not go any farther on that subject.

One thing that I think can be solved is how to get precision depth cuts. There is no micro-adjust on the quill but.........

Ed


That is an interesting idea. By using an xy table ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071V8PJ1S/?c ... _lig_dp_it )
the Shopsmith, especially the PowerPro, could become an excellent milling machine but the lack of being able to set a precise z has always been the road block. Using this idea and a set of carefully selected stainless steel shims, I think pretty good performance could be achieved. You still would not have a controlled plunge to do closed pockets but you could do a lot of basic cuts on a wide range of materials with end mills and the RPMs available on a PowerPro.

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