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About a year ago I started down the road of making a roughing beveler based on two end mill cutters attached to a 1.5 hp motor.  Similar to the one that Tony Spezio wrote about in Power Fibers.  This weekend I finally got around to putting the thing together and have some questions.

1.  Safety shield - I had a sheet of acrylic that I managed to shape and then crack as I put it in place.  Any tips on working with this stuff?  I found that you need to drill your holes oversize, not just a pilot hole.  Is there another material that is easier to work with and is still economical?  Plexiglas, Lexan?

2.  Hold Downs  - I am using metal bearing guides used on sliding doors as my hold downs and guides.  I wish they had a V groove instead of a rounded radius, I think that would help keep things in alignment and prevent the strips from wanting to roll over.  Any idea where to find some bearings that have a V groove on the outside?  Or how to retrofit something (without a lathe)?

3.  I plan to run my strips through after they have soaked.  I have read that this will prolong the time between sharpening or replacement of the cutters.  Since the cutters are HSS, I assume they will rust.  Any suggestions on what I could apply to the cutters to prevent this?  WD-40? silicon spray?  (Matt Fuller)

    Use Lexan.  It drills much better, is basically bulletproof, and does not shatter like Plexiglas or some of the other plastics when you attempt to do something like that.  Available at Home Despot or Lowes back in the window section.

    You can turn your hold-downs from black delrin.  Self-lubricating, so unless you really wanna go over the top, you won't need to mount them on bearings - just a little shaft to mount them on.

    Just clean 'em down with alcohol or some of that sap remover you can get from Lee Valley or Woodcraft, and make sure everything is dry before you put it away.  If you really want to get anal about it, cover shiny surfaces of your cutters with Camellia oil.  That being said, you will get more cutter longevity if you use carbide cutters, plus the added benefit of no rusting to have to worry about.  (Mark Wendt)

    I would not use Plexiglas for a safety shield. Lexan is much more resistant to shattering if something goes terribly wrong. I got mine at the big box store in their window department. Do not try to tap holes into it.

    I am using skateboard bearings on my hold downs. A 7/8 hole is a light press fit over the bearing. I made my followers out of hardwood dowel that could be shaped on your drill press.

    Soaking reduces the tendency for the edges to splinter. I'm not sure that you will gain all that much cutter life from it. I use carbide in my vertical miller. Dave Bolin has been milling bevels with his surface planer. I believe he has a picture on his blog of what bamboo does to HSS blades.

    Lohkamp, Larry

    (Larry Lohkamp)

    The only thing I would say is never, ever use silicon anywhere near your shop, it will do nothing but cause you problems, it has it's place but not in your bamboo rod shop. (Joe Arguello)

    Don’t even think of having any fluid or paste with silicon anywhere near anything that might touch your cane. It will ruin your finish.  (Ren Monllor)

    Anti-rust:  Hot air gun, followed by camellia oil.  (Steve Yasgur)

    Lexan is a trade name for a clear polycarbonate (you know, the material used in Z87.1 safety glasses).  If you get it thick enough, it will stop a bullet.  You can buy serious sheets of it from TAP Plastics.  I believe McMaster-Carr has it too.  I have some on order in 3/4" thickness for a work-related (not rod related) application where performance is important.  (George Bourke)


SWMBO is not too happy about the racket produced by my beveler especially with shop vac running at the same time. There is a door between my shop and where she spends time but it's hollow. I am wondering about how to diminish the sound transmission through it. One thought I had was to fill it with injectable insulating foam. Another would be to nail or otherwise attach acoustic tile or some other material to shop side of it. It opens into the shop, and there is a step down into the shop, so there is clearance all around it including above and below for some attachment. Suggestion and experiences into solving this sort of problem would be appreciated.  (Mike McGuire)

    Not really a lot you can do there, you may knock down the noise a little by insulating the walls and maybe applying some acoustical tile. Foam in the door is not a good idea, most hollow doors have a cardboard webbing in them. The foam would most likely swell the door till it wouldn't fit the opening anyway. The best bet is to do your beveling outside or when honey ain't home.  (Tom Kurtis)

    First, a "hollow core" door isn't exactly hollow.  The inside has cardboard zig-zags glued into it.  I suspect that would mean you couldn't spray foam in it successfully.  I think I'd try something like "Homasote" which has very good sound deadening properties and glue or screw it to the door. Drywall screws would work if you keep them near the edges of the door.  The down side to Homasote is that it's pretty heavy.  You may need to use heavy duty hinges on the door, and have help putting it back up.  You'll probably also need to weather-strip the door.  (Neil Savage)

      You might attach one or two layers of celotex to the shop side of the door.  As a material, it is very similar to acoustic tiles (also light in weight), but has the advantage of coming in sheets.  Someone else suggested a fireproof door, which might do the trick on its own.  (Tim Anderson)

      I know I find the racket from my shop vac to be horrible (I still have my high frequency hearing, as your SWMBO does) and I don't like it because I can't hear any other piece of equipment I am operating. So it is a safety hazard.

      For less than $200 you can buy an excellent 2 HP dust collector from Harbor Freight and with maybe $50 more all the associated piping.  You can run this outside under cover as I have and all your problems will go away and your health prospects will improve substantially. If you have to run it inside, you can buy felt bags and capture most of the stuff below 5 microns.. It it very quiet when compared to the shop vac. SWMBO will be very happy to approve the expenditure and it will be very superior to a sound proofing approach.  (Dave Burley)

        My woodworking shop in the basement happens to be directly underneath the den, so you can well imagine that all noisemaking activities end at 9:00 when the TV schedule begins.  One of the noisemakers is the 5 hp dust collector.  Did not want it outside as it moves 1200 cfm of air and that will quickly remove all the heated or cooled air.  Also considered mold growing in the sawdust during humid weather and didn't want that. Too tall for the crawl space. Solved the problem by building an enclosure out of 1/2" MDF, removed the casters and mounted them on the box.  Made a door and mounted a 20 x 24" AC filter for an exhaust.  It really dampened the noise down.

        Bought a remote, as I found that I would not walk across the room to turn it on and again to turn it offf for small cuts.  Had great fun with it in my pocket upstairs.  Would start it up, the wife would hear the faint sound and ask what the noise was.  Naturally I would say "what noise" and turn it off. Was not nearly as funny when she finally figured it out.    (Carey Mitchell)

        I have a little Jet dust collector. I am planning to put a cyclone type chip collector on it to make  it a two stage job. The motor and fan are suspended from the joists  with the bag hanging down. This keeps it out of the way.  I use it for all of my sanding and sawing operations and even for picking up the sweepings from the floor. I haven't used m years except for picking up water. These little units need only short runs of hose with few turns or constrictions because of their low air volume and velocity. Still for a small shop they save your ears and as Dave points out they allow you to hear the tool you are using- which is a safety issue. I have somehow lost about half my hearing in my left ear and I am very careful about the hearing I have left.

        In short -- I strongly agree with Dave it is a good investment as long as you don't expect too much.  (Doug Easton)

    The first thing I would do is find a solid core door for the sound reduction and fire rating if your shop is attached to your house.  Weather stripping and a threshold seal would also add a bit more after the slab replacement. You might be able to pick up a used door slab for cheap on CL.  (Mike Monsos)

    Site 1

    Site 2

    Here are a couple of how-to web sites. If you use spray in foam there is a less expanding foam that is used around windows and doors. i am sometimes amazed at how building rods interferes with everyone's lives around us. (Timothy Troester)

    Be cheaper to furnish her with ear muffs...

    Or send her out with the girls when you plan on a beveling session.  ;-)

    But seriously, the acoustic tile is probably the way to go, or maybe build an "airlock" system - another door with a short walkway.  Insulate all around and that should knock most of the dB's down to a manageable level for SWMBO.  (Mark Wendt)

    Think "cave!" Since I don't know the construction of your house, I would guess that the wall between you and your wife is frame. Noise vibration will pass through the wall very readily. Even replacing the door with a solid core door will not necessarily reduce the noise to a comfortable level. Sound absorption material on your side will help your room more than her side. If the wall does not extend from floor to floor above, noise will transfer over the wall to the adjacent room. I've only been really successful in designing sound proof rooms by constructing them with masonry walls floor to floor, solid core doors with a door seal. The suggestion to provide your wife with Bose sound suppression technology (or other less expensive units) which are also suitable as earphones may be the best way.  (Lee Koeser)

    You should change out the door to a solid core 2 hour rated door anyway if you are using any type of flammables in your shop. For this reason do not use Styrofoam or Blueboard insulation for a sound barrier either. If the door goes into from your shop (garage, say) into a living space, it is UBC and IBC code in most states to be a rated door.

    I do business with acoustical sound attenuation companies and engineers in sound proofing some types of commercial buildings related to my HVAC field. The hot product out there right now for a 2" thick sound board is from a company called Kinetics. A Google search will bring up similar products, many are used in home theaters also.

    Warning! They not be cheap.

    It's probably more cost effective to tell your wife there is a big sale at Pottery Barn just before you want to run your beveler!   (Tom Vagell)

    Something I do know something about (also have an acoustic lab for industrial and environmental sound reduction).

    1. Like energy, the first step is to reduce noise generation. This may not be feasible, but this is the first step.  Most of your noise is likely airborne and reduction is a function of equipment and motor-fan speed. Depending on the type, the noise power increases by a factor of 3 or 7 with speed.  What you are trying to do, is lower the sound power.  Significant sound absorption is not small or cheap.

    2. Most likely noise is also being reflected out, the sound power is not being absorbed within the room. You can reduce the sound pressure escaping into the other room, but absorbing some of the power in the room (not necessarily at the door), but applying insulation in the walls too.  Vents and ducts can of course transmit.

    3. Not all insulation is equal. Many factors apply, such as density, but most foam in place is not created for noise reduction and probably offers little value. 

    For home-industrial insulation, I like Roxul. Mineral wool is almost always better than fiberglass. (I am not recommending specialist material, or diffusers).  I do use Roxul at home.  I do use Roxul for impromptu setups.  (Also use industry materials and patterns for my work (hold a patent here and other)).  The fancy name for some of the associated panels is Bass Traps.  Not cheap, but if you want to look at home-studio panels, B&H Photo has been expanding their line.  4" minimum please, but as frequencies go higher, the thickness is less critical.

    4. If space not an issue, custom acoustic door  or  a transition room.

    5. You may be also transmitting noise by vibration, but I suspect within the room, this is much lower than the airborne noise from fans and the beveler blade.

    If the beveler is "whistling," speed is a major function of the noise generation.

    Sharp edges and high-speed noise are nature combination - just physics.

    Just make sure the equipment vibration is low as possible.  (Dave Wilson)


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