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July 24, 2014, 08:59:20 AM
Cubicdissection.com ForumsMain ForumPuzzlemaker Forum (Moderator: Robert Yarger)Power Feeders:
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Scott Peterson
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« on: April 14, 2008, 04:06:08 PM »

Hi All,

I have been considering buying a power feeder to somewhat automate some of the cutting processes I use for making puzzles.  I think this could improve the quality of cut due to a smoother, more continuous motion through the cutter (saw or maybe past a router).  In addition - I have been thinking about making the sticks used for puzzle pieces - using a spiral up/down (compression) bit in the router, rather than the method I currently use with the tablesaw.  The benefit to the power feeder would be that I could make a "climb cut" which should come out smoother.  I think John uses something along these lines...

Anyhow - since I know some of you work as cabinetmakers, I thought I would post a question and see what your thoughts are.  Below are 2 links to power feeders I have been considering so far.  Any thoughts or input would most certainly be appreciated!  Of course, if you have a source where these may be cheaper - that is useful info too! 

Grizzly Baby Power Feeder
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Baby-Power-Feeder/G4173

Delta 36-865 Versa Feeder
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18235&filter=power%20feeder

Thanks in advance!   Grin
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Jerry McFarland
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 05:07:54 PM »


Scott,

I am skeptical of the two feeders mentioned due to the strange looking support system they both have.  The normal production feeders have a threaded hand wheel arrangement.  See this link: 

http://www.toolbarn.com/product/delta/36-850

     Delta 34-850: 1/4 hp 3 wheel 4 speed stock feeder

I have a similar stock feeder to the 34-850, it seems like mine is discontinued, see below:

     Delta 34-985: 1/6 hp 3 wheel 4 speed stock feeder

Here's a grizzly version that looks good:

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-4-HP-Power-Feeder/G4176

The support system on the feeders you mention may be okay, I just suggest talking to someone who has one first.  I like the hand wheel adjustment where you can lower the machine down when feeding to get the right amount of pressure.  When I got mine it was the smallest type of production feeder from Delta.  It worked fine for me for feeding many hundreds of hex sticks through my shaper.  It also did a fine job for shaping raised panel doors for my kitchen cabinets.  Looks like the hand wheel type of feeders are a bit more expensive.

Jerry



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RKB
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 06:02:11 PM »

Very true what Jerry said. You must realise that the head with the rollers is pretty heavy and you're goint to be working with rather small pieces of wood. So fine adjustments are probably very difficult without those hand wheels. The feeders without those are probably good for wider boards, where the position of the rollers is not that important. But if you want to cut the rollers as well as your wood, go for the cheap thing. Furthermore, I think that you'd soon need four hands to set it up without those hand wheels.

Also important is where to place the thing to keep it out of the way when not needed. I use one (with hand wheels) on my combination machine and I didn't drill any holes in the machine top because it's a rather small machine and when it is positioned for the saw, or the milling top, it can't reach the planer (next to milling it is no doubt useful for planing 'thin' boards).

I solved the problem with two heavy metal columns secured to the floor of the workshop. One reaches slightly below the machine table top (and also has a socket build in for electricity... 380V !! That way I can't trip over any cords). The other one would get in the way for the horizontal drilling equipment of the machine... So I made it in two parts. One part is only about 20 cm high and secured to the floor, the other part can get bolted upon that one (and together they stay just below the machine top).

This arrangement is very practical and keeps things out of the way when they're not needed. But most of all, the impact on the capacity of the machine is minimal and I rarely have to remove the feeder from its stand.

A feeder is a very useful piece of safety equipment. So keep an eye on your fingers, not on your wallet.
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Jerry McFarland
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2008, 07:37:32 PM »


Scott,

One more thing to add, I think most woodworking equipment is really meant for cabinetmaking and it ends up being somewhat oversized for puzzle making.  Even my small 1/6 hp stock feeder is still oversized for puzzle piece making.  The ideal would be a small high quality feeder with nice adjustability and light weight that could easily be moved from machine to machine, but there does not seem to be anything sized for the puzzle maker.  I even tried this stock feeder on my bandsaw for ripping puzzle sticks and it worked fine but I did not do it again, it is not convenient due to its size and weight.  But then it did come in handy when my wife wanted new kitchen cabinets where a power feeder is really needed for safety issues on raised panels, when the shaper is swinging a fairly large cutter.

Actually, if someone would develop a small high quality power feeder I bet it would sell well but to a niche market.

Jerry


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Scott Peterson
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 11:08:46 PM »

Thanks for the advice, guys.  That is just what I was looking for.  I may just take things up a notch and go with a power feeder with the screw adjustment wheels.  It looks like these will make for much easier adjustment, which can indeed be fine adjustments for the puzzle work.

I have found the same thing with puzzles - that a lot of the woodworking equipment can be a bit big for the small pieces.  Usually - I make a jig that will make up for the oversize factor of the machine.  I'm still scheming through how I will best put the power feeder to work.  While I'm at it. I think I will go ahead and figure out how to make triangular stock (Rob will like to hear this!).

Ry - your combination machine sounds like quite a complete shop - and 330 volts!  I have always admired the European combination machines - but always hesitant due to the cost.  The combination wanna-bees in the US (Shopsmith and the like) don't seem to make it to the same level...

Thanks again for the tips!  And, yes I should think of my hands and not my wallet! 
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RKB
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 08:26:14 AM »

Another major advantage of the roller feeder with hand wheels is the fact that you can easily change the height without affecting the orientation adjustments of the head. Both operations (orientation and position of the head) are independent, which is not the case for the feeders you showed in your first posting.
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now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert hall...
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