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  • modify 226vs for top feeding?

    Hi gang - just picked up a rbi 226vs off craigslist. First time I'd ever seen one in person. I love it but I was wondering about converting it for top feeding. It appears the only thing preventing the top arm from coming up high enough is a bolt in the back that stops it. I'm guessing this is to keep a broken blade from stabbing you in the face. I also have a delta p20 that catches the top arm in case of a blade breakage and thought I might be able to make something like that or just a spring loaded stop that would allow the arm to be lifted higher and just remove the original bolt. Has anyone tried this? Is there some other function for that bolt that I don't realize? Thanks for your input.

  • #2
    O.K. - I'm gonna go for it. Plan is to make an aluminum bracket and attach it to the piece that holds the blower nozzle. It already has two little holes drilled in it for some reason. I'm going to measure the height of the P20's arm to table when it's in the captured position and place my bracket at that height. The bracket will be 2" long with velcro on it and on the top arm so the arm with be captured if a blade breaks. I'll then remove the stop bolt at the back of the RBI. I'll post some pictures when it's done. TRY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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    • #3
      Jimbro, you get this to work well, you will be a hero to many . . . .

      I'm excited to see how this turns out

      --------Randy
      "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
      website: http://www.coincutting.com

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      • #4
        Yup, I'll thank you if you are successful at this.
        Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.



        StephenD


        The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
        Desert Woodcrafters
        Grandpa for the 7 most amazing children.

        Comment


        • #5
          Those 2 little holes are for mounting the lower blade holder and inserting the new blade and then tighten the screw. The pivot pin of the blade holder goes in the hole. Now the holder can't turn. Like a third hand. Its on page 13 of my manual.

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          • #6
            Hi JimL - Thanks for the info. When I conceived of this project I didn't have a manual but have since downloaded the ultra 226vs manual and see what you're talking about. I don't know if my saw is an ultra or not - it's not written on it anywhere. Looks like it though and it does have the dc motor. Anyway I have been able to tighten the blade by hand, however I've got some ideas in case it does become a problem. Having problems finding the aluminum I want locally but I have done a mock up and it works good so far. One problem is the back cam. If you use it in any position other than full on it loses its setting. hmmm

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            • #7
              Keep the faith - parts are in the mail! I'm pretty confident this is going to work. Goal is not make any non-reversible mods to the saw. I'll keep you posted.

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              • #8
                The parts arrived on Friday and I now have a top feeding 226VS. Before you start rioting in the streets let me give a couple of caveats.
                First of all I had to make a tool to hold the bottom blade holder while tightening or loosening. The 'tool' is a short piece of 1 X 2 oak that I cut into a L and notched for the blade holder. It fits between the hex nut for the pitman arm and the tall tilt base (item #032). A small hook keeps it from falling off. This adds an extra step that you may not want to deal with but I don't mind. It's quick and easy to use.
                Secondly, I got rid of the rear cam-over handle (#011) and replaced it with a knob. The lever would not hold its setting when the arm was lifted. To keep the tension rod (#092) from turning, I replaced the round pivot (#079) with a piece of 1/2" delrin that I tapped for 1/4 -20. I tightened the nylon inset hex nut (#065) on the tension rod against the delrin to act as a jamb. This keeps the rod from turning when the knob is adjusted and works great. However - I need to do some testing to see how well the delrin holds up. Plan B would be to use some bronze bushings and a tapped steel rod.
                I want to get everything tested and finalized before posting pictures so bear with me please.

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                • #9
                  Very very cool. When you are ready, a video would be awesome in showing the top feed process. ------Randy
                  Last edited by hotshot; 07-29-2012, 04:25 PM.
                  "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                  website: http://www.coincutting.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm still looking forward to this.
                    Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.



                    StephenD


                    The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
                    Desert Woodcrafters
                    Grandpa for the 7 most amazing children.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry it's taken so long to get back I wanted to test it for awhile and that's been a challenge in this heat. Also sorry but I don't have a way to make a video. Anyway I've managed to log about 20 hours on the saw and am pleased so far. I don't see any wear on the delrin which was my biggest concern even though I have enough to make about 100 more pivot pieces! Let me start -uh - from the start and show you what I've done and give you some options. Mine is certainly not the only way or maybe even the best way but it is A way that works so here goes. If you have a part list have it handy as I will be referring to it to try to make things clearer.
                      The 216, 220 and 226 Ultras (and perhaps other RBI's) has a hex bolt with a tube over the threads and the back of the saw which limits how far the top arm may be raised. Items #121 and 99 on the 226 parts list. I now believe this is there because the cam tension lever will lose its setting if the arm is lifted to high. For this reason the lever needs to be replaced by a knob.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        This presents a problem in that the tension rod (#92) will turn with the knob. There are several ways to deal with this from holding the rod with pliers or a clamp while tensioning, to replacing the un-threaded round pivot (#79) with a threaded piece, which is what I did. When the existing nut on the rod (#65) is tightened against the new threaded pivot piece (not too tight!) it acts like jamb and keeps the rod from turning when you turn the knob. This introduces a potential new problem. The original pivot is drilled large enough to allow the rod to move without moving the pivot piece if that makes sense. That's why there's no maintenance required on the pivot piece. When you replace it with a 1/4-20 threaded pivot it will rotate slightly with every stroke. I chose 1/2" delrin to make this piece because it's easy to machine, it is self-lubricating to some degree, and it's softer that the aluminum arms so it should wear before the arm. I spray some lube around the pivot at the start of the day. I thought about using the threaded piece from the tension lever assembly (#64) that is no longer used but was concerned about wear on the arm. That would certainly be the easy way if you're braver than me. Another option would be 1/2" OD - 3/8" ID bronze flange bearings with a 3/8 steel rod as the pivot but I was concerned I could not drill it accurately enough. The bearings would also have to be cut down to equal the thickness of the arm. This picture shows the original pivot piece, the delrin and the threaded pivot from the lever assembly.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by jimbro; 09-05-2012, 08:05 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Next you need to keep the arm from flying too high when a blade breaks. This is the original mock-up (i.e. crude) I made that bolts to the hold-down arm (#36). I have since discovered that it's not necessary as my magnifier does the same job. I also found velcro to be unnecessary. The arm stops about 2" from the table measured from the bottom of the blade.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            I made a tool for the bottom blade holder. To top feed you have to push down on the top arm with your left hand while tightening or loosening the blade holder and it's best to have something to keep the holder from pivoting too much. This could be avoided if you replaced the holder with one of Frank Pozsgai's quick set holders which I may do. For now I like the simplicity of a thumbscrew. I'm not giving dimensions because they may change depending on the orientation of the nut (#138) that attaches the pitman arm (#25). More on that in the next post.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by jimbro; 09-05-2012, 05:17 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Make the tool fit a bit sloppy. It should be easy to place and remove. I made the top that fits around the holder a little shorter that the holder itself. This aids in feeling while threading. There is enough slop in the notch and the length to allow for use in either of the two blade holder slots in the arm. Make the hook just long enough to keep the tool from falling off in use - this way when you forget to remove it before sawing, it will then fall harmlessly off. I've done this many times on purpose and by accident and it causes no problems at all. The tool fits between the pitman arm nut and the tall base tilt (#32). Whether the flat or one of the points of the nut faces the base determines how long to make the tool. I glued some rubber magnets to the tool to keep it quiet and from walking off.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by jimbro; 09-05-2012, 05:21 PM.

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