Frequently Asked Questions
How large a cylinder will it make?
The range is from 1" all of the way up to around 12" in diameter. (Keep in mind that there is a weight limit of 60 lbs). The length is determined by the track. The track is known in the electrical industry as "unistrut." It comes in 10 foot lengths and can be purchased at your local Lowes or Home Depot on the electrical aisle (Be sure to get the square stock and not the flat-rectangular). Each end of the Cylinder Mill can be height-adjusted to create cone shapes as well. The crank handle can be attached or removed from either end to allow feeding in both directions without removing the wood stock.
Can you start with square stock?
Absolutely. You can start with a rough log or square -- it doesn't matter. The Cylinder Mill is designed to create a cylinder, tenon or cone from any shape of wood.
Can you attach a motor to it?
The shaft is made of 1/2 inch cold-rolled steel. It will accommodate a 1/2 inch drill chuck. If you wish to attach a motor, we recommend a hand-held, variable speed drill. For the vast majority of the time you will find the crank handle to be the best option because it allows a controlled feel. For smaller stock having less mass, a faster motorized speed might be advantageous. Use your better judgment and always err on the side of caution.
What table saw blade do you recommend using?
We recommend a finer finish saw blade (more teeth for a smoother cut). We have yet to find one that does not work well. The difference is in the finish. Rough cut blades with fewer teeth leave a product that requires more sanding. A good bet is to purchase a general purpose blade with a minimum of 32 teeth.
How many tenons will I get before my table saw blade needs sharpening or replacement?
We noticed no discernible difference when cutting tenons or cylinders as opposed to more conventional use.
Why can't I just use a lathe?
Anyone familiar with the cutting power of a table saw already knows the saw's ability to remove material rapidly. Making cylinders and cones on a lathe can be time-consuming and can be dangerous if you're a novice. Getting a perfect cone or taper is impossible without special expensive accessories, especially if you're doing multiple pieces that you want to be exactly the same. Accuracy and consistency is another real plus to the Cylinder Mill. Even skilled lathe owners will find the Cylinder Mill to be helpful because of the speed and accuracy in creating blanks, especially when making duplicates.
What does the constant sideways deflection force do to the saw?
Only the very tips of the blade teeth make contact with the wood. The pressure is actually much less than you might expect. Over years of testing and prototyping on a cheap $179 table saw, this has never been a problem. The motor showed no signs of wear or damage. Higher-end table saws should be even more durable.
How do you set up the saw and mill for specific tenon diameters (1", 2", etc), and how do you cut tapered legs?
For cutting tenons or dowels (of a constant diameter) you must adjust both shafts to an equal height from the deck of the table saw. One way to do this is simply by using a small block of wood. Adjust each shaft to rest on the block and tighten in position. Once both shafts are synchronized you simply adjust the height of the saw blade (1” from the center of the shaft, or 2”, 3”, etc.) which will determine the diameter of the cylinder or tenon. If exact precision is vital, it's best to make a first pass, cutting the diameter of the work piece a bit larger than needed and "sneak up" on the final dimension with a second pass, checking with calipers or another measuring device.
Tapered legs (cones) are a similar process. Except this time you will adjust each shaft separately, one to the desired diameter of the top, the other to the diameter of the bottom.
Is there a warranty?
The Cylinder Mill has a one year manufacturer defect replacement warranty. This is in addition to a 30-day refund period if you don't like the product. (minus shipping costs) But we really have tried to make a tool that is precise, simple and versatile, so hopefully you won't be needing either of these! :)
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