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Thread: Making Mobile Cart for Power Feeder for Jointer and Bandsaw

  1. #1
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    Making Mobile Cart for Power Feeder for Jointer and Bandsaw

    Jonathan Jung's posts about the mobile cart for his power feeder got me thinking about this again. A few years I posted about doing this for my SawStop table saw, but there really was no place to put it.

    I'd love to add one to my bandsaw for resawing, but probably a better use would be for my jointer. Or, hopefully, both.

    There are some space constraints in my workshop for rolling large carts, so it would have to be relatively small (and clearly have lots of weight in the bottom as my Comatic AF32 1/4HP power feeder that has been sitting on the floor unused for several years weighs 74 pounds, plus the effect of the lever arm.

    My jointer is a Felder AD941, so a 16" jointer, and my bandsaw is an FB710, an 18" bandsaw with a large table. So there is some distance from the cart to the blade/blades. In theory, I could wheel this to my router table too, but space restraints might prevent that, and my Ready-2-Rout prevents installation behind the router fence.

    Lots of words.....

    I am intrigued by the mounting mechanism of the Felder extension table that I use on my planer, and bandsaw. The way it screws down holding on to the rectangular steel bars that are on the side of the bandsaw are tempting to use to secure the cart to the bandsaw. Unfortunately, the jointer doesn't have those (no need), but the forces there are downward, not sideways, so probably not needed.

    I'm thinking of using those workbench retractable casters so that when in use the cart is stable on four legs, but can be rolled around the shop between those machines.

    I think the idea of gravel in the base is quite sensible. Clearly need a lot of weight as low as possible.

    Any helpful thoughts?
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  2. #2
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    Weight down low is a really good thing for narrow/small but tall when something heavy is on top so a gravel box is a good idea. Be sure to line it with plastic if it's not washed stone
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 12-01-2023 at 3:23 PM.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Have a look at Carl Holmgren's videos, or various designs in steel, like the Iwoodlike or Record power bandsaws
    as those four point levers are a pain.
    I have one near identical to the one below, and made similar for the bench and a 12" cabinet saw.
    proo300b-bandsaw-040hr-2-300x450.jpg

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Have a look at Carl Holmgren's videos, or various designs in steel, like the Iwoodlike or Record power bandsaws
    as those four point levers are a pain.
    I have one near identical to the one below, and made similar for the bench and a 12" cabinet saw.
    proo300b-bandsaw-040hr-2-300x450.jpg
    Interesting design of his. I don't see downloadable plans or plans for purchase, though not sure I would need them.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  5. #5
    I generally make these up as I go along, it's one of those things where it'd probably be quicker, than drawing everything up properly.
    Nothing that critical really.
    Well...not for the design on that saw, which is nearly identical,
    EB 315.JPG

    But if you want to complicate matters, I'll mention some of the possible pitfalls of the design, though it's not likely to be problematic
    for something what likely won't have many constraints to be overcome.

    Probably worth mentioning though, as it might save someone else finding this out and having to redesign from scratch.

    I've yet again got to make some changes to my base of my TS, as I placed the axle not quite far enough to the end previously
    and it has a tendency to lean due to the caster swinging too close to the centre,
    Not quite right, yet, and I'd try doing something different again,
    quite the head scratcher to make, with as low profile as possible, as I'm not very tall,
    If I were taller and needed the machines raised, it'd be a cinch, and with a grinder, convert that angle iron into flat stock,
    to move the axle further, and not have to worry about making solid tabs for the feet of the machine.

    SAM_4016.jpg

    Here's why I had to scoot the axle closer to the end, as the swivelling caster had a tendency to swing towards the see sawing fulcrum point.
    Still not right and it needs some encouragement in order not to do so


    SAM_3999.jpg
    What compounds this issue further... is the brackets I made for the levelling feet,
    I've since learned that having to run around placing 3/4" ply "beer mats" under the feet, is an annoyance,
    so glued two layers, and slightly tapped these to one thickness , thus capturing the beer mat, much nicer.

    To do this effectively, (for me) the levelling brackets need to be raised up, one thickness ply, at the very least,

    in order for the feet not drag off the ground when moving.

    Hopefully this will make the situation more tolerable, as it's nearly so as is....

    SAM_8599.jpg

    I've still got another two to make, one interesting design with much restrictions for the nice bench, likely completely different,
    and another tablesaw much the same again,
    well simpler infact, as the chassis is solid enough to stick some axles through, with another slot for the lever, likely no latch needed either, just some
    bar with a bit of give to it, as to be encouraged sidewards, as seen in Holmgren's videos.
    That is the simplest way to do things really, should it suit.

    The only real problems what one might find is, now they want everything on wheels...
    Oh I nearly forgot the auld belt sander needs moving too!

    Tom

    Tom

  6. #6
    Here's another take on the idea, and it should stop analysis paralysis from getting the better of someone
    This is just to emphasize when this type design is challenged, and won't be any bother the length for something like in Darren's videos.

    By challenged, I mean agricultural, and possible annoyance, as the "throw" of the very long lever, "bottoms out" on the upper bench strecher,
    so it may need either squeezing ones foot in there when that happens, or scooting the bench slightly, and then it might settle lower to use more gentlemanly.

    Perhaps I could have got things better, not sure TBH, but that throw isn't a bother with the TS base, and I made altercations to it, for said reasons without concern.
    Still, I don't bemoan moving the bench, compared to the bandsaw with four pedals to engage, what might take a pry bar also, as two are tight to the wall,
    and the fact they are an absolute menace to ones boots!

    Get the height of the lift needed with the chosen wheels right, I think I might choose 95mm or around that, sized wheels for the job, if it were me.
    That's what I used on the green bandsaw, and the rough screeded floor is very bad.
    I used very similar kind of latch as to the first one I linked also, as it will disengage over a bump, and not wheel down the driveway.
    As said, Carl Holmgren's "scoot the lever over to the side" method is both the simplest and the most preferable IMHO (though I've ne'r done so yet)

    With the wheels at hand, then it's just a matter of choosing a timber paddle, or a metal one much the same as on the tablesaw.
    This was built using scraps, and I believe I stuck another laminate of thin ply under one end after testing.
    Clamps are your friend
    SAM_4056.jpg

    Some old pipeSAM_4066.jpg
    SAM_4118.jpg
    And for the heck of it, a proper latch, just for fun.
    SAM_4111.jpg

    It'll be interesting to work on the other bench, as I want it to be accessible from both sides, but also unobtrusive to the work, and also the eye.
    Quite an interesting challenge, compared to a machine on stilts.

    Hope that might inspire, as I don't think there's any other problems to be accounted for, unlike the examples I've given.

    All the best
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 12-01-2023 at 10:58 PM.

  7. #7
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    Well, started working on this heavily today. I'm making a small footprint (still the dust collection flexible duct will be in the way on the bandsaw so I hope it reaches). It's clear that this will be VERY top heavy without serious weight in the bottom to lower the center of gravity.

    I'm going to start with gravel. Should I also add cement to the gravel to add more weight? Sounds like a disaster in the making if I don't seal all the joints to the legs well.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  8. #8
    I moved a four wheel univer around a number of times before id had enough. Just on a tall dolly then off that onto the saw or shaper. Doily was about the same height as both of them. Weight is not huge but they are heavy unbalanced weight and dont pinch your fingers. Im pretty used to hand feeding and its never bothered me to rip up a bunch of material. For a while I had the feeder on a metal bracket bolted to a low ceiling then I could slide it and move it easily locating it with a clamp. Ideally just have a feeder on the machines I want them on if so.

  9. #9
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    A trigger or F clamp is all that's needed to attach the feeder table to any tool.

    Mine slides around with a decent shove, since I put UHMW under the feet.

    I wish I had made mine slightly lower, so it isn't taller than my tablesaw. I need to cut the legs down a bit. I was trying to accomodate varying tool top heights.
    JonathanJungDesign.com

  10. #10
    If the power feeder is mounted on your shaper you could simply move the shaper and swing the PF arm around
    Dave Davies

  11. #11
    there is a guy who did that on you tube saw it last night. He was impressed and said why did I never think of that before. Any time ive had to move machines around its felt wrong and waste of motion and more. last thing I want to do is moving 1,300 lb machines around.

  12. #12
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    I had a bit of an epiphany a few days ago about this. My workshop is somewhat unique as I have a raised access floor that is steel. I also had, collecting dust in a drawer, four unused Magswitch 95 magnets. So, in theory, four of them should be able to hold 390 pounds. I also bought a bag of marble chips (50#) that I will place in the bottom, and installed workshop retractable casters to move it. When I retract them, the base will be a sheet of 3/4" plywood with the units weight and four magnets holding it down.

    Pictures to follow, I'm painting it now, then will install the power feeder and hope for the best. I think this should work.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  13. #13
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    Ok. Got the base built after several mistakes/changes and have the power feeder mounted on it.

    Power Feeder Cart, Mounted on Jointer.jpg
    Power Feeder Cart.jpg

    After a quick test run, I was really surprised that despite having the magnets activated and 50# of stones added to the bottom of the cart, the cart twisted a little when running. I'll try adding another 50# of gravel to the base (I made that part extra tall to allow this.) Hopefully that will fix the problem. If not, I'll have to find a way to use a few magnets to attach the cart to the jointer itself, which, I would imagine, should stop the cart from rotating.

    I also read up, and it seems that people's suggestions for how to set it up are different than what Comatic has in the owner's manual. Their instructions are actually counterintuitive, but they state to set it up so the infeed roller is touching the table, and the outfeed roller is touching a 3-4 mm high pad. This would make the pressure greater on the infeed side, but they said this is to put more pressure on the outfeed side.

    There are only a few links I could find on this topic. Most say to put all the rollers on the outfeed table, and feed the board in with virtually no pressure on the infeed side until the rollers catch it on the outfeed side, exerting all the pressure there.

    I can see why you would want the greater pressure on the outfeed side (as one typically uses a jointer correctly), but shouldn't there be roller contact with the wood on the infeed side to get the wood moving?

    I tried it on the outfeed side only. It does work, but leaves the blades exposed which reduces safety. Not thrilled with that.
    Power Feeder on Outfeed Side Only.jpg
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 12-08-2023 at 8:50 PM.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  14. #14
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    I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but need some advice from people who use power feeders.

    I'm getting great results on the jointer. Really like using it there, as I feel it adds a safety factor. I might be doing it wrong with how I have it setup, but it seems to be working well. Takes time to setup, which otherwise wouldn't be necessary, but runs well when I get it going.

    I tried the power feeder on the bandsaw for the first time today. What a nightmare. Setup was no fun, but more importantly, the results were horrible. Large differences in thickness from front to back, and also from top to bottom.

    With the large spring loaded roller jig / featherboard I used before trying the power feeder, results were stellar. Near perfect thickness all over. But with the feeder - ugh....

    Now I think one problem is that the speed seems too high, but I'm not sure where the gears are to replace to slow that down. You also seem to have to put a lot of pressure on the power feeder to push against the fence.

    Can anyone who uses a power feeder for resawing on a bandsaw (or anyone who knows, for that matter) give some advice here? As it stands now, I can't imagine using this on the bandsaw, which really is the machine I wanted to use it on for resawing.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  15. #15
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    Alan, my feeder goes down to 5 fpm and it's still too fast for some resawing. Ok for ripping, but too fast for taller harder stock. Also, to get adequate pressure without the fence moving, I clamp the tail end of the fence to the table so it doesn't have any wiggle.
    JonathanJungDesign.com

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