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JOEL Joel's Blog

In Which We Welcome Rex Into Our Machine Shop Family


In Which We Welcome Rex Into Our Machine Shop Family 4We were in the market for a power bandsaw to cut off raw stock for Bridget and Blondie, our workshop mill and lathe, and in the heat of summer the need became compelling. In the process of shopping for a bandsaw - and a good one isn't super expensive although not super cheap either, we found this small homemade hacksaw(with a base) on Ebay. $208.36 delivered!!! How could we say no. It's really all the machine we need. Slow, not a bandsaw, but very quiet and when the cut is done the reciprocating arm rests an a bearing and just waits for you to turn it off. The machine was built many years ago by a man in New Jersey, who passed away, and we bought it from the company that was clearing out his basement. I don't know his name. Apparently his basement was filled with similar home made machines. We are going to clean it, change the belts, and put it to work. I am pretty sure the maker would be tickled pink to know that the machine he build, from what looks like scrap and automobile engine parts, has found a new home and will be put to work for the foreseeable future. We call it Rex because it is so much smaller than Bridget and Blondie it seems like their pet.

In other news, I got an email from Festool trumpeting their top notch review of their 18V cordless drills:

Tools of the trade tested 18V cordless drills recently. See how Festool's T18 stacks up to competition:

- the best runtime - 45% more 1 inch auger holes per charge than other 3.0AH cordless,
- The lightest and shortest in 3.0AH cordless class,
- quiet and "smart", featuring electronic clutch, temperature and current overload protection for motor and battery.
- the most versatile in the pack with available right angle, offset and depth-stop chucks.
- comes with the 3-year warranty - one of the longest in the industry.
- one of only two cordless that are built in Germany, not China.
- the only one featuring EC-Tec brushless motor technology for 1,000,000 screws - probably the last drill driver they will ever need to buy.

The major complaint the reviewer had about the drill was the cost (well duhh) and also some issue with the clutch setting easily being knocked off setting. I haven't seen any issue with the latter or heard complaints from customers so I don't know where that's coming from.

This week is the week between school and camp and I expect to be on vacation when you read this. My son is coming to the office with me for part of the day on Thursday to play with the tools and I hope we will build something together. Until then hold my calls.

Join the conversation
06/26/2012 PhilM
Hi Joel,

That's an interesting machine and I am sure the maker would have been very happy to see it in your shop.

Would it be possible for you to post a few more detail-oriented pictures of it? I am thinking about building a really small one for my occasional use.

06/26/2012 Eric R
We had something similar to that in machine shop in school. The teacher made it. That poor things was constantly tortured by us dumb students, but it always came back for more.
I hope Rex has a long & happy life in your shop.
06/26/2012 James Becwar
I would love to see a video. It looks like a really cool machine!
That's awesome! The nine lives of Rex!
I would love to see it in action, any possibility of a video?
Just a month ago, I was lamenting not having a horizontal bandsaw for slicing up round brass billets.
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