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Gordon Ward

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  1. You can make "loop tools" out of hack saw blades as well. First, get the best quality hack saw blade. Then put it in a vise and snap it in half. These high quality blades will not bend unless heated. Before bending the loop, grind the teeth off and sharpen both sides. One end will have a hole, which will be used to attach that side to a wooden handle. On the other end grind a few notches on either side of the blade. Using a torch, heat the place where a bend is required, and using pliers, make the bend while still red hot. Design the shape so that the ends end up parallel and a handle can be attached. One side is screwed to the handle and the other side is whipped with some wire using the notches. If it doesn't look too neat, then you can wrap the whole attachment area with some duct tape. These trim tools stay sharp a long time. You need a ribbon sander/grinder to do a good job. I found a 1" ribbon sander at a garage sale for $35 and it worked great for many many years. The thing about the high quality hack saw blades is that they are harder than a file, so filing doesn't work for sharpening.
  2. Get yourself a $39 bench grinder from Harbor Freight (they even have one with a flex shaft) and make your own out of hacksaw blades like this: I really like that guy! $80+ for a trim tool that will break if I drop it? Do you know how often I drop things? Meh! It's not that hard to sharpen a tool!
  3. The most important thing is to get a good fan with as much volume as you can afford. I have built three homemade spray booths, and the single most important lesson is get a good fan. I finally ended up with a 10" fan designed for this purpose. Also if you spray in a downward direction, have the exhaust pulling in that direction. If your exhaust is going out the top, and there is good air flow, a lot of glaze will get pulled away from what you are spraying.
  4. Several years ago I posted this drawing on-line for a downdraft spray booth built primarily of plywood, 2x2s and some 2x6s. http://www.flickr.com/photos/clayart/1063497379/ I fitted the bottom inside with some house venting louvers (galvanized sheet metal) which catch 99% of the overspray and can be removed periodically and hosed off or just scraped off in place (with the fan running). I am completely satisfied with it's excellent performance. The tube-axial fan, which I located at Graingers is the most expensive part of the arrangement. It is what is used on one of the Laguna models. The fan blades have never needed any cleaning after 4 years of use. I was able to locate this fan on ebay and got a local motor repair place to tell me how to wire it. I used to always wear a face mask, but now after many years, I realize that there is no need. It draws extremely well. I do use a couple of "tell-tails" consisting of thin strips of plastic hanging from the upper edge of the opening. I thought I wanted the bottom plastic tray for cleaning with water, but now I usually just scrape out the dried glaze and don't worry about a spotless interior. I would probably skip the plastic tray If I had to do it again.
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