Archive for April 2020

From The Shop: DW735 Breaker Replacement   2 comments

I have used a DeWalt 735 planer for years … and used it enough that I’m now on my 2nd one. So far, so good.

However, the unit is not perfect. Last year, I replaced the cutter head with the Shelix spiral cutter, and that was a HUGE upgrade. At the same time, I added the Wixey digital gauge, and that was a welcome upgrade as well.

Today I’m dealing a simpler problem: the onboard Cursed Circuit Breaker that’s well known to wear, and then thermal out easily. And, once the breaker starts breaking, it breaks more easily every time.

My Cursed Circuit Breaker was worn out. It was popping every few minutes with practically no load at all on the planer. So, it’s time to change the breaker for a new one. The problem, though, was that even with a machine as common and sought after as the DW735, I could find no precise guidance online on how to swap the tired circuit breaker out for a new one.

Here, then, is a photo guide with notes for you to take into the shop when you want to make a similar switch. Start to finish, this took under 30 minutes … and I was searching for tools and taking pictures for you at the same time!


14 screws have to be removed to access the circuit breaker behind the front panel. To start, take off the top, just as if you are switching out the blades. That will give you access to 3 Phillips head screws across the top of the unit.

Then, take off the hex bolts on the bottom corners of the front face. The allen wrench I used must have been metric; it was larger than 7/64″. 3mm, perhaps?

Then, take off the toggle for the blade speed. Finally, take out the 3 screws holding the depth gauge face plate in place … so you can access the single Phillips head screw behind it that’s holding the front face in place.

Now you can gently lift and rotate down the front face plate, exposing the wiring for the switch and circuit breaker.

Slide the 2 spade plugs off of the circuit breaker, and you’re ready to unscrew the keeper ring from the front of the unit to free the Cursed Circuit Breaker. I needed a small pair of pliers to grip the nut.

With the nut off, the cursed circuit breaker can now be removed from the unit and compared side by side with its replacement.

The cursed Circuit Breaker in my unit was a Sang Mao A-0701 18a breaker. It was made in Taiwan and is actually fairly commonly available for about $10. I got a comparable model off of Amazon; this type of breaker is used in portable generators, apparently. But I digress.

Put the new circuit breaker in place, replace the spade plugs onto the contacts. Check the main switch as well … I had accidentally removed one of the spade plugs on the main switch. Easy enough to plug it back into place, replace each of the 14 screws … and I was once again back to making sawdust.

Posted April 23, 2020 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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Signs: A Big Batch   Leave a comment

Before the world went to hell, I got an order for a bunch of signs. There’s a small string of west coast galleries that likes my work, and they’ve placed a few orders in the last few months, which is great.

Then, as I was saying, the world went to hell. The galleries are now closed, of course, and these signs are waiting … for the world to want to go out and find a cute little boutique that has some great stuff.

That won’t be tomorrow, I’m sure. But next month? I hope so.

The majority of these signs will ship to those boutiques when they’re ready for them. Since I was making a batch of signs anyway … I added a few and made a BIG batch. 78 signs. That’s the biggest batch of signs I’ve made.

How long will they last? No clue. After all, I got notice from another event today that it will not happen. Maybe events will start up over July 4th? That’s my new target for people to want to go out, bump elbows, and see some fine arts & crafts in an outdoor setting.

That’s my target dream.

What’s yours?

An Upgraded Display: Mr M’s Got It Handled   Leave a comment

I’m now going a-vendoring solo more often than I’m out with Mrs M. I normally double my booth to a 10×20 now. And with more space in the booth … that means I need to up my creativity to maximize each opportunity.

After all, I can’t just show up.

I have no clue what this year will turn out to be – for any of us. But I do know, when craft fairs, art shows, street festivals & such are once again happening, I better bring my best ideas to market, because I expect customers will be very choosy. Resources will be precious. I need to respect that.

When I set up my “standard” double booth these days, I put a 6′ table front & center, and then a taller 4′ table behind it. That results in good things for the look of the display.

That configuration, though, creates a 2’x2′ space behind the 6′ table that is wasteful. After all, I pay a lot of money to rent that space. How to fill it?

This is a common problem for vendors: how to fill the booth with a pleasing display. I’ve gone through several iterations for Mrs & me. Want to see our incredibly humble beginnings? Here’s booth # 1, from March 2014:

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

Only one direction to go from there!

But, on to the task at hand … how to fill that 2′ x 2′ space in 2020.

After a lot of thinking, I had the idea. For me, that usually results in a high-faluting, incredibly complex plan on paper, and here was this one.

That’s 4 pages of planning! No wonder it took me months to get this built.

Note that I custom build all of my display pieces. I believe that reinforces what I do as a craftsman: customers appreciate that I make everything they see. It’s how I get the best possible display for the boards & games & such that I make. Your mileage may vary.

The final result is that I took those 4 square feet of booth space, and will now effectively display 36 handled boards! That’s far, far better than my old display for handled boards, when I just put them in a crate on a table, or hung them from the rafters so people bumped their heads on them.

Yes, it happened. More than once. And, I’m sorry.

Clearly, I needed an upgrade.

I actually have 5x different shapes that will hang from the display. For pictures of my current inventory, go to the links at the bottom of this page. For brevity, here’s a picture & description of each of the 5 boards that I have now produced for this display. Note that one shape comes either with or without juice groove … though in this shape, I view these groovy boards as having crumb catchers, not actually juice grooves. But that’s me.

OK, OK. I know. One of the designs just has a hole, not a handle … but work with me here.

So, now, to the design of the display. I had a few criteria:

  1. The display has to come apart for transport.
  2. Signage must be integrated.
  3. Flexibility is a must!

The display piece stands well over 6′ tall. The base is 22″ square and is on wheels. The tower rotates on a Lazy Susan bearing, and is built (probably over-built) to reliably hold more than 100 pounds of boards. Hangers are removable, of course, and secured to the tower with french cleats. 4 bolts attach the tower to the base, and 3 attach the sign on top.

3 boards are displayed on each of the 12 pegs. 4 boards will fit, but I’m keeping the display to 3 each for both brevity and to make sure nothing will fall while customers are fondling the boards.

These pictures were taken on a windy spring day (on the patio!), and the 36x boards cards were fluttering in the breeze. I’m going to tuck those cards behind the boards when I set up the display, just to improve the look. My customers appreciate the cards, the identification of the woods and the care instructions attached to the boards … but with a breeze, they proved to be a distraction.

Lessons Learned

  1. The tower, even with the holes cut into each side, is heavier than I had hoped. It’s primarily made from 3/4″ plywood … I should have used 1/2″, I think. Cutting the weight by 1/3 would have been good. I am debating whether to build a shelf in the trailer to transport this piece and other tall display pieces.
  2. The Lazy Susan bearing works, but the assembly is too heavy for people to turn it comfortably, I think. That’s OK. I’ll either assist the customers, or simply let them pull the “hidden” boards from the other side of the display to see them.
  3. Love the sign. Mrs M takes credit for the slogan. After 41 years of marriage … I let her take all of the credit she wants.


Getting It Handled

A Charcuterie Board

Handles Are A Good Thing

Mr M’s New Booth # 4 (Part 2): Going Vertical

Mr M’s New Booth # 4 (Part 1)

Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×24 (# 3)

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×12 (# 3)

Mrs M’s New Booth (# 2)

Things I Learned At The Street Fair (# 1)