THE FINISHING MACHINES:
*THE PANEL SAW – This is a very large machine where plywood panels are being cross-cut. The panels are laid upright resting on a surface to hold the panel steady. The motor with a cutting blades goes up or down just like operating a pulley. It has a counter-weight attached to the opposite end of the machine for easy maneuver of the up and down movement of the motor. The result of the cuts are perfect. The operation of this machine is analogous to the radial arm saw we discussed earlier (see preparatory machines). The radial arm saw moves to and fro the operator while the panel saw motor moves up and down. Their uses are on the same frame—radial arm saw for lumbers, panel saw for plywood panels. Both machines are helpful in voluminous jobs.
*THE TABLE SAW – This machine is the very important machine in any woodworking or furniture workshop. No workshop could operate without it. This is as basic as the food we eat in order to survive. For smaller workshops or for individuals who love making furniture either for self-enjoyment or for business, the portable version of this type of machine could be used as an alternative (please refer to volume two of this topic). This machine comes with different sizes of table surfaces and the power of the motor which normally ranges from 3 hp to as high as 10 hp. This machine has thousand and one uses—cutting, ripping, mitering, dadoing, rabbeting, grooving, etc., all in straight fashion; no curve cutting could be done on this machine. This machine offers accurate cuts at a very high speed. When used properly, this machine is very friendly and helpful, but many operators also had lost their fingers or tips of their fingers because of recklessness, including myself.
*THE SINGLE-END TENONER – As the name implies, this machine makes tenon but only on one end per feed or operation. It has a cutting blade and two shafts with wide blades attached to cut away the wood in order to produce the required size of tenon. The shafts could be adjusted to the correct distance so that when the wooden part passes through them after it has been cut by the cutting blade positioned before them, a perfect tenon will be achieved. When the wooden part needs tenons on both ends, the operator will just feed the same wooden part again to get the same result. Tenoning could also be done using the table saw, but it requires too much time. This machine is useful on thousands of pieces up for tenoning.
*THE DOUBLE-END TENONER – This machine performs multiple operations in a single feed. This is the largest machine I know in woodworking. It calls for a lot of space. This machine takes two hours to set up. It contains three cutting blades and two sets of shafts with tenoning blades at both ends. When the wooden part is feed by the operator, the movement of the wood part is automatic. It passes a feeding chamber, and presto, the result is perfect! It is already cut to the required length, the tenons on both ends perfectly made, and maybe another one or two operations are required of the wood—all done in single feeding only. The wood part fed to the machine has no chance of kicking back because the wood is being pressed by a spring-loaded header. The only danger on this machine insofar as the safety of the operator and his helper on the other end of the machine is concerned is the chance of the person to be careless in taking away the finished part because the blades are exposed. A slight mental lapse on the part of the operator’s buddy doing the job will make him armless. This machine is too expensive; in fact, no machine in woodworking could ever go beyond its price.