Woodworking Techniques and Advice

Smooth over your sanding shortcomings

howard-grivnaDuring the last decade, I have analyzed the sanding systems of more than 400 different companies that involved more than 1,000 wide belt sanders. I soon became aware of a distinct pattern of operating problems irrespective of the product being manufactured or the size of the company. The following are universal problems that you should endeavor to avoid.



Survive in the new economy by being flexible

davidgettsI can still remember as a child, whining to my parents about my big brother and simply being told to “shape up or ship out.” I hated those words. Being the youngest, it always felt like I was the one being picked on. I was only acting up out of self-defense. Why was I always the one who had to get his act together? Shouldn’t it be the one who knew better and was inflicting the pain? Since I was the underling, I didn’t hold the power. I was just looking for a way to coexist with those that did. And, decades later, I find myself in the same boat. Aside from being an adult, the only thing that has changed is the cast of characters.



Power point: How to harness 3-phase motors

b_h_davisSooner or later, most small-shop owners will find a great bargain on a machine only to discover that it has a 3-phase motor. Since 3-phase power is typically found in industrial settings, many of these shops will only have a single-phase electrical service coming into their buildings. While sometimes the simplest solution is to just replace the motor, that is not always a reasonable option. In this article, I will discuss other ways to bring 3-phase machines online.



Employees need to see the future clearly

ralph_bagnallThe last in our four-part series on lean manufacturing focuses  on getting your workers to buy into a cost-effective shop floor strategy.



Sort through chaos with single batches

ralph_bagnallThis is the third in a four-part series on lean manufacturing for custom shops. Part 1 covered the importance of a clean and organized shop; Part 2 focused on identifying common tasks. Part 4 will explain how to get employees to “buy in” to lean manufacturing techniques.



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