Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Jigsaw Blade Clamp Repair (U-Shank to T-Shank Conversion)

Jigsaw blades are available in two major styles: U-shank and T-shank.  Unfortunately, I was unaware of this fact when I bought my first jigsaw at a garage sale for $5.  I mistakenly bought a package of T-shank blades for it when it really took U-shank.

Not wanting to admit that I wasted $12 on the wrong blades for a $5 jigsaw, I decided to use them anyways because the package said, "Fits all jigsaws".  The blades did not fit properly and would slip out during use.  I still insisted they were supposed to work, so I tightened the blade clamp harder... too hard it seemed, since I'd cracked it right down the middle.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Small Mill, Big Vise

When I won my $500 All Industrial Supply shopping spree at the Bar-Z Summer Bash in 2018, my first inclination was to buy a Kurt vise for my machine.  However, after looking at the dimensions, it seemed that even the smallest vise was still too big for my tiny machine table.  The bolt locations would not have lined up with the T-slots, and I would've had to make a fixture plate to mount it.  Even then, there might've been an issue with the vise handle interfering with my machine's Y-axis handwheel.  Not wanting to risk all this confusion, I remembered that my friend had won several vises at an auction which he wasn't using.  He was kind enough to let me have the one of my choice.

I ended up spending the $500 on other things.

The vise I chose was this large two-piece one, shown here next to a standard mill vise for comparison.  The thing I liked about this one, aside from virtually unlimited holding capacity, was the height of the jaws. By itself, the back jaw practically doubles as an angle plate!