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Thread: Self stacking outfeed for TS?

  1. #1
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    Self stacking outfeed for TS?

    I have a potential job coming up that will require multiple grooves cut into about 50 boards, 3' long. This may become a somewhat recurring task. I'm a one man operation, so to minimize the travel around the saw to maneuver each board on the outfeed, I'd like to come up with some method to have boards self stack off the outfeed. Maybe not the whole 50 board job, but be able to stack some meaningful number of boards to significantly reduce the time to cut those grooves.

    I googled around and found this page with a very clever adaptation of a hydraulic lift table. I don't quite know exactly how he has rigged the cable to manipulate the hydraulics on the table and he doesn't go into specifics. I guess the cable pulls on a valve to release pressure?

    So, the request to the collective is what other examples and ideas might you know of to solve this need?

    Thanks for your help on this!
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 02-27-2021 at 2:34 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  2. #2
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    You could buy a hydraulic lift table with electric controls to raise and lower and keep the foot pedal/buttons on the operator side of the saw.

    You might be able to make a stop block for a foot operated switch that would only allow the table to drop a set amount each time the pedal was stepped on.

    Or you could really go nuts and hook up a couple of photo eyes that would operate a solenoid valve and automatically drop the table.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  3. #3
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    3' long, but how thick and how wide?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    3' long, but how thick and how wide?
    ~1" thick, 8" - 12" wide.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  5. #5
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    So assuming you had something on the outfeed side that would allow each processed bought to stack on the previous one, at 1", you could probably only stack about 20 using some kind of hydraulic like in the video.

    The other issue you may run into with a hydraulic or pneumatic table is that the weight of each subsequent board may not be enough to overcome the friction of the piston seal. In the video link, that guy has a bunch of wood already on the table.

    A cheaper experiment, build a catch box about an inch wider and an inch longer than the longest/widest board you are processing. This is your catch/stacking bin. Then on the outfield side, build a ramp out of a a slippery material, such as a melamine shelf. Mount the ramp so the processed board slides down and drops into the box.

    Although with a 3' length the ramp may need to be a fairly shallow angle, in this case you could mount some surface roller bearings on the ramp. Something like these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



    You could make the catch box out of a soft material, like 2" foam insulation, to minimize any impact damage to the processed boards.



    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 02-27-2021 at 9:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    The other issue you may run into with a hydraulic or pneumatic table is that the weight of each subsequent board may not be enough to overcome the friction of the piston seal. In the video link, that guy has a bunch of wood already on the table.
    Hmm, interesting thought. I don't have access to a hydraulic table to test that and HF doesn't have any in stock or I would buy one to experiment.

    A cheaper experiment, build a catch box about an inch wider and an inch longer than the longest/widest board you are processing. This is your catch/stacking bin. Then on the outfield side, build a ramp out of a a slippery material, such as a melamine shelf. Mount the ramp so the processed board slides down and drops into the box.

    Although with a 3' length the ramp may need to be a fairly shallow angle, in this case you could mount some surface roller bearings on the ramp. Something like these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    You could make the catch box out of a soft material, like 2" foam insulation, to minimize any impact damage to the processed boards.



    My first thoughts were along these lines but I figured the boards would get too dinged up as they slid down the ramp. Didn't consider using foam though. Will give that some thought though I think the boards will still get dented with that first edge hitting the top of the stack.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bruette View Post
    You could buy a hydraulic lift table with electric controls to raise and lower and keep the foot pedal/buttons on the operator side of the saw.

    You might be able to make a stop block for a foot operated switch that would only allow the table to drop a set amount each time the pedal was stepped on.

    Or you could really go nuts and hook up a couple of photo eyes that would operate a solenoid valve and automatically drop the table.
    I wonder what the cost of one of tables with electric controls would be. I bet not cheap... Not sure how much I'm willing to spend on this yet. Maybe $300 or so??
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
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    Do you have a power feed? I would invest in one to help automate the process. Instead of the boards sliding down a ramp end first you could set something up so the get pushed onto an outfeed table and then slide sideways down a ramp. You could even make the table so with the push of a button it tilts so once the board is completely on the table you could then make the table tilt so the board could slide. You could play with the angle of the ramp to keep the board from sliding too fast. If you have air in your shop you could make it pneumatic.

    But I would want a power feeder simply because trying to do more than hand feed a board into a saw is a recipe for an accident. The power feeder would just require you to start the board and then focus on the board just finishing up and then getting the next board ready to go.

  9. #9
    Seems like overkill to me for that quantity. I process stock on the shaper with a powerfeed loading off and onto carts by hand, and can usually keep the parts flowing end to end. How many pieces could you expect to stack up without tipping over? Then there's the potential damage from parts sliding into a box, calling for extra sanding. And $300 would hardly get you started.

    If you don't have a powerfeed on the saw, I would start there. If you do have one on your shaper, can you do the grooving there?

  10. #10
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    Hmm...unless this is going to be a constant production thing beyond the 50 sheets, perhaps the best solution might be to...hire a helper to handle the off-loading. I think that's what I'd do in this instance.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    Brian, when I see “multiple grooves” I think of a shaper with multiple cutters and a stock feeder......Regards, Rod

  12. #12
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    Really appreciate all the responses! I had not considered a power feeder and can definitely understand the benefit. I did some quick shopping this morning and the Grizzly/Shop Fox baby feeder might be a good add on. Guess I would blow up my budget but maybe worth it. Quick question to those with power feeders, is there some feature or adjustment that will keep the stock pulled into the fence thru the cut? Like the Jessum feed rollers do?

    I don't have a shaper or the room for it. I do gave a 3 1/4 hp router in a table. I figured it would be much faster to cut the grooves on the TS. Although in hind sight, it would be much easier to manage the stock on the outfeed of the router table than the TS.

    Building on Chris's drawings and the idea of using foam board to cushion some of the handling, I came up with this thought of the boards landing on a ramp vs. flat, with the bottom edge landing on foam board as a cushion. The proportions are out of whack. I would have 3 "bays" ganged together as a cart on wheels so that I could move the cart over as each bay filled up. I then thought of having 2 of these carts to swap with each other so as to not have to offload a cart for each pass. I would feed from a cart thru the saw to the other cart.

    20210228_122546.jpg

    Thoughts? I'm thinking I might prototype this at 1/8 scale to see if the boards would really stack the wauy I'm hoping.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  13. #13
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    Could you take a wing off the saw so you could stand closer beside it and not have as far to walk around from infeed to outfeed? I'm not sure I'm picturing just what you're doing correctly so this may not work anyway.

  14. #14
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    I put a large "Brute" trash barrel at the end of my outfeed table to catch the "train" of milled pieces as I mill them. I can concentrate on the milling process--for accuracy and safety--and spend a little extra time restacking the offcuts. It's a lot faster and easier than managing each board after making each cut. If you tilt the barrel toward the table
    you could likely get most off the 50 pieces done in one barrel. I bought the small Delta power feeder(same as the Griz -and others--1/2 hp IIRC) and once set up it makes milling like this much more efficient. Tho small, I milled 1 1/2" x 3/4" dadoes in 10' 4x4's--30 of them, 1/4"/pass=180 cuts--so it could work well for you needs. Good luck.

  15. #15
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    I just read the new posts and the baby feeder is the one I have. It is easy to adjust and you do "aim" the feeder slightly toward the fence. I initially was going to mount it on a wood base and clamp it to the saw table but advise from those that know here on SCM recommended a more solid attachment to the table so I bravely drilled and tapped three holes in my new SS table and it worked great. If you don't need/want the lift table for other purposes and you plan to do more of this type of milling the baby feeder is a better investment. I got mine from Rockler 10+ yrs ago when they had a clearance sale(just to gloat--$99)--wish you lived closer so you could use mine.

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