Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Triton WCA390 Blade Height Winder--A Workaround

I spent a frustrating 8 hours trying to align the saw blade of my Triton 2000 workcentre. I eventually discovered the reason why I could not get it right; the saw, power unit and blade, is attached to its base in such a way that depth and angle are adjustable, but a degree of rigidity has been lost in order to have this adjustability. There is too much sideways movement and slump for accurate work. The blade alignment changes when one adjusts the depth.

I googled and found the Triton WCA390 Blade Height Winder. With this accessory the power unit can be locked in one position relative to the base and the whole assembly moved up and down with the winder to adjust depth of cut. The following pictures illustrate how it works.

I went about looking for a supplier in South Africa without success. Several tool shops told me that they no longer stock Triton products. I wrote to Triton and did not get help from them. So, I made my own height winder. It’s not as difficult as it seemed originally.

I purchased 30mm X 5mm flat bar for the U Frame and a length of 10mm threaded rod. I figured the threaded rod would be a slow way of adjusting the height, but it would make small adjustments easier. The rest of the materials were scrap pieces of tube etc that I had. I spent just over ZAR50, about US$8.

I started with the saddle. I used some tubing with an inside diameter slightly bigger than the outside diameter of the U-frame tube. Cut two sections that enclose a PVC bearing cut from a piece of irrigation pipe.

I then attached the one half of the saddle to the threaded rod using a flat piece of scrap and some tubing. I figured brazing would be strong enough. I sandwiched PVC material in between the washers so I could eliminate play and still have the rod rotate easily.

The following pictures show the rest of the assembly. I used a piece of stainless steel tubing, left over from a balustrade job, to make the bracket that attaches the threaded rod to the saw base plate.

Constructing the U-frame is the easy part. I made some PVC blocks and shimmed them so the U-frame fitted precisely between the 2000 workcentre rails. Aligning the saw as described in the manual was too difficult. I marked the workstation base so I knew where the front of the blade had to be so it aligned exactly with the middle of the slot in the saw table top. I removed the “cam” type adjusters and just clamped the saw to the workstation base. It was easier.

It works! With the ruler laid up against the blade--it’s a one-meter ruler--the alignment of the saw blade is accurate to 0.5mm over that one meter. And it does not change when the height is adjusted.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Falling Into a Negative State

When I look back I realize how often I’ve been overwhelmed, sometimes by trivial things. Last week I left my cell phone at the cigarette shop. Fortunately the man at the shop called one of the recent numbers I had dialed and was able to get a message to me. I was 30 kilometers away, home already, by the time I received the call. I began to fall into that state of self-recrimination as I got into the car to go retrieve my cell phone. I’m predisposed to being intensely critical of myself. I’ve always done that. If I lose my keys, wallet, credit card I feel like I’ve committed a gross sin. All of me feels ashamed, guilty and untrustworthy. Why? It was a simple lack of concentration in a moment, not a crime.

If someone betrays me I am devastated. If I oversleep and realize I’m going to be late I become so worked up I cannot function properly. I call this “falling totally into a negative state” I use “totally” because ALL of me becomes that negative state. There’s nothing else, just the terrible thing that I’ve done or omitted to do. All of me is forgetful, unworthy, unreliable. I sometimes don’t even label myself; I just feel awful.

In a recent discussion a friend complained about being depressed. I said, it’s okay to be depressed; it’s only a part of you that’s depressed, the rest is functioning well. I did not fully realize the impact this would have on me. Slowly, over the next few days, I began to realize, I don’t have to fall totally into that compartment of my life that may be negative at any particular time. I began to realize I’m much more than my depression, more than my forgetfulness, even more than my unworthiness. I’m an alcoholic, but I’m also a brother, a husband, a father and grandparent. I’m a taxpayer, a technician, a mechanic, a woodworker. Losing my credit card does not invalidate all the good and acceptable things I am. If I’m depressed I can accept my depression and go and live in one of my not-depressed states.

It has taught me balance. I don’t get it right all the time, but I’m beginning to apply this principle. I can more readily step back from a situation and see the bigger picture; give the incident due consideration but don’t become the negative state.

Dale Carnegie, way back in the 40-s somewhere, defined the concept of “day-tight compartments.” The concept is to not let yesterday contaminate today, or be so worried about tomorrow that you only part-live today. One can shorten the period into half days or hours—being in the moment. But being in the moment is very hackneyed. Day-tight compartments is something I can get my arms around, visualize and live.