Monday, November 6, 2017

Modified Spade Bit

Spade bits  are used for boring in wood  and if you grind out the center point  and cut out different  profiles you can make very interesting designs.  You can buy the inexpensive or used bits and make a few test pieces. 

These are very easy to make and i'll show 3 simple steps to make your own bits.

                 Here you can check out the video.

1. Mark the spade bit

  Using a bench grinder is the quickest way to remove material or you can use a Dremel tool and small grinding stones. I like to first start with a grinder then finish up with a Dremel tool to clean up the blade.

All pieces should be clamped because without the center point on the spade bit it will wander and make a mess.

I used this plastic bolt gauge and clamped the bit to the right size hole to get the right profile I needed for the spade bit. After clamping them together  I made a mark with a sharpie pen. The black ink is what I want to remove.

Any size hole can be used depending on what size you would like and if you have the right size grinding stones.

2. Grind the bit

The quickest way to remove most of the material is with a bench grinder. 

A Dremel tool and fine grinding stones can be used to make the cut perfect. The spade bit was put in a vise and slowly ground down to match the mark. With a good eye and steady hand the bit can be cleaned up in minutes.

3.Set up drill press

Three different size spade bits are ready for testing. 

 I made a quick table top for drilling, just a piece of plywood and  a block nailed on the back to act as a guide and for clamping.  This table top can be clamped to the drill press table.

 Clamping is very important since there is no longer a centering point on the spade bit the bit will wander all over.  Believe me I tested it.

Here is the first test, it just needs a little bit of clean up. A small chisel or some sandpaper will do the job.   This is a good time to make sure you have the right speed on your drill press and check  the sharpness of your bit.   

Here the bit is modified and a new center point is made.  This makes an interesting cut. It could be used to make wooden wheels and such.  

A couple of of pieces of trim are made from some scrap pieces of wood. To make these the piece has to be clamped after each circle is drilled.

To reduce chatter you can always shorten the shaft of the bit by cutting it.

There are so many different possibilities with different size bits and how they are reshaped. I yet have to try it on different types of wood.

See Also

                                  Angle drill gauge                                                   Alignment jig 3 in 1


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Test Air raid siren

After testing the air raid siren in the workshop I wanted to try it outside.  With a speed of  over  7000 rpm it is very loud. This is a project  I would like to keep and since I  have so many wood projects on my shelf  thought I would  paint this one.   


What better colour than red for a siren. I took it off the grinder and spray painted the whole siren. I gave it a few light coats, and after each coat was dry I had to turn the rotor slightly to make sure everything got covered with paint. 

The siren is so easy to put together and take apart. It is all put together with the bolt and locking nut. To see how it was made check out the last article  the  siren build.

I showed it to a few neighbors and they did not mind the sound but for a better test I will go to the country which is about ten minutes from my house.  Where I live there are many places to try it and I don't have to drive far.  



Here we are in the country on a beautiful day. Shannon is going to try the siren while Mackayla is busy on her phone probably trying to get wifi.

We tested a few different spots and  were amazed at the sound. One spot we tried was 1/2 a kilometer away and  it worked fine.  We all had fun and am sure we will find many new ways to test it.

This turned out to be a great project, it worked out so well and was so easy to make.  I am sure I will use it for halloween.

See also


                      Zombie weapon                                                       Marble spring gun

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Air raid siren

After I bought my cordless angle grinder I thought I would try  build an air raid siren. I looked on line but there wasn't very much information except for one built by Matthias Wandel. I used some of his ideas but changed a few things since I wanted to make a smaller and  portable version.


                                                                       Air raid siren

The first thing to do is take apart the angle grinder and see how  to secure a base before I start building the siren.

I took off as little as I could and still had enough to work with.

I measured the inner flange  shown above. The wooden base  will fit into it. It is 2 inches and the depth is 3/8". With this kind of support I now have a good idea how to proceed building.

A 2 inch Forstner bit was used to drill a hole in a piece of 3/8" Baltic birch plywood .

The base fit  perfect on the inner flange of the grinder. The base will be trimmed down later after the siren is made.


A block is cut and a hole drilled for a bolt that will fit in the side handle thread. This block and the flange screw will make it very secure and safe to operate. Also, it  will be very easy to put it together and take apart.

After the bolt was attached the block was glued and clamped together. I let it sit overnight to ensure a strong joint.


 A circle was drawn and divided into 14 parts. Next I cut one blade and traced out seven more  blades on a 2x4. They were carefully cut with the bandsaw and then glued and clamped onto the base.

Note: the height of the blades were later reduced to 1 1/4".
My original plan was to use one set of blades and 2 stators but when I tested my first one it worked fine but it was rough. On my second attempt it exploded and blew the blades all over my shop. So I think 2 layers of blades with rings would work better. 

A jig was made for the table saw to cut circles. The rotor centre was put on a nail and turned slowly on the saw, this will help make a clean circle. 

A ring was glued onto the blades and again it was cleaned up with the table saw. After this was done another set of blades and rings were glued on. The bottom has seven blades and the top has eight blades.

The same jig used on the table saw was clamped onto the belt sander and was sanded smooth. This will help with the balance.

To make the balance better I tied a string from the rotor to my belt sander and gave it a spin. One end was off so I drilled a few holes in the blades on the heavy side. I spinned it again and it was balanced.

Seven blocks are carefully spaced and marked then glued onto the base, this will be the bottom part of the stator.  

The base can be trimmed at this time.

The same as the bottom , I traced the contour of the ring and marked curved blocks, they  are cut to make the stator. These blocks are a larger than the ends of the blades.

                                A  ring was glued on the first layer and the top part of the
                               stator was ready  for the 8 blocks.

A spanner wrench would not work to turn the lock nut so I had to make my own tool. I used two nails,  put them in a block  and spaced them to match the lock nut.  By holding the spindle lock I was able to sufficiently tighten and loosen the lock nut.                                                                                          


The siren turned out and just in time for halloween. It was easy to build and it did not cost anything to build.  It was made from scraps in the workshop and 1 bolt.  

I will do some testing outside and check the sound levels. 

  See also


                    Zombie weapon                                                                   Marble spring gun

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Magazine File Box

I will show you how to build these strong and large file boxes. They are seven inches wide and can hold a lot of magazines. I will use my kerfmaker to make some of the dado cuts and snap it all together. Easy to build and very handy boxes for your files or magazines.

Here are some of my wood magazines in their file boxes, as you can see they are not holding up very well so I thought it is time to make some new ones and they will be made of wood. 

I used my dowel stop gauge and got some measurements from an old cardboard file box for making the new wooden box. I will use the same measurements for everything except the width. My new box will have a width of seven inches. This will hold more and it will not tip over which I found the problem with many other file boxes.

To make the box I will use the mini kerfmaker to help make some dado cuts. When the pieces are cut they will all snap together very nicely, but it will still require glue, this will make it very strong. 

The kerfmaker is put on the 3/8th plywood and the brass nut is tightened.

A stop block was clamped on my miter gauge, it was set along with the kerfmaker to the right distance to make 2 cuts on each of the sides. It is always a good idea to make a test cut and make sure everything works out.  

After the 2 cuts are made on each side  it is easy enough to use the table saw fence and cut away the center to make a clean slot.

The first 2 cuts are for the front and back of the file box. Now a bottom slot  can be cut. I put some tape on the ends to keep it from splintering or losing the small corner pieces.

Now that all the dado cuts are made, the curves can be cut. I used an old file box and traced it onto my pieces. It can be cut with a jigsaw or bandsaw. 

For the back I wanted a handle, so I used a 1 1/8" Forstner bit and drilled four holes. This will help when carrying since these boxes will be heavy when they are full. I also like the way this looks.

All the pieces are laid out. It is a good idea to test fit the box before glueing. Some sanding may be required for a good fit. When the box is finished you can do some fine sanding to take off any sharp edges.                                                   

I liked the box so much I built 4 of them, I filled one up and put it in my office right away and it looked great. I know I will get a lot of use from these and may have to build more. 

See also:   


              Box with decorative splines                                             Wood tray-birds mouth joinery