Friday, December 28, 2007

What did you get for Christmas?

Nobody got me jack for Christmas, so I had to buy myself some stuff.

  • Craftsman 10" band saw
  • Craftsman 12 1/2" planer
  • Porter Cable 1 3/4 hp router model 690
  • 2 new sets of blades for my 4" jointer
  • Coffee grinder mechanism from Rockler
  • Pocket hole jig
  • 3 new table saw blades (Deltas)
It's all still in boxes in the garage because I haven't finished unpacking from the move. I'll do writeups when I set them up.

Friday, November 30, 2007

On The Move...

Not much happened the past couple weeks, and I'm moving next weeek, so not much wood stuff happening for a while.

My new place is $400 a month cheaper than I'm paying now. It has a larger (1 1/2 car) garage and a huge backyard. Woot! So it will definitely be worth the trouble.

The photo at right is of a binder cover I made just as a test. It's using Rollabind discs on the edge. If you've never seen that before, I can heartily recommend you check it out. I just got some chrome discs from them too. :)

The wood is Ambrosia Maple. I ripped 1/8" thick pieces off a 4/4 (3/4" surfaced) board. Gentle clamping with Titebond and then I trimmed. I added a 1/4" thick piece of ply on the backside to hold it together, and to provide a sandwich for the blue plastic.

The plan was to make a bunch of different binders for the folks at work that use the Rollabind system, but with the move, I doubt I'll get to it. :(

Another thing I found is isometric paper. Like graph paper but triangles instead of squares. It makes 3d drawings super easy. No pics at the moment, but I will once I'm settled.

In case I don't get to post before Xmas, have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November "shop" Tour

As I learn more, and become more aware of how I work, my garage/shop has evolved a bit even in just the 2 months since I last took pics. The photo above was taken standing at the garage door looking in. I've numbered the highlights and will list below.

  1. Rockwell Table Saw / Jointer Combo
  2. Benchmount Router Table
  3. Workbench
  4. Under workbench stuff
  5. Chemical and auto parts storage
  6. Rolling scrap box
1. Rockwell Table Saw / Jointer Combo

Earlier articles about this:This set from the 70's includes a 9" Contractor table saw and a 4" jointer running off a single 1hp motor with dual pulleys. There is no model or serial number information on the combo, but the individual tools have the following information:
  • Table Saw:
    Model: 34-607
    Serial: KW5599
  • Jointer:
    Model: 37-290
    Serial: KW6690
I picked them up in exchange for a Harbor Freight wire feed welder and $100 in cash. So, essentially, $200. The table surfaces were badly rusted, but the paint and interiors were awesome. The only rust inside is a little streak that came down from the saw blade opening in the top and what looks like a spill down one side of the stand.

I resurfaced the tops, cleaned and lubed all moving parts, put new belts on, and started using them! The only thing left to do is replace the jointer blades. Or at least resharpen them.

The fence is the original fence that came with the tool. It's a decent fence, much better than the one on the Black & Decker. The miter gauge, however, is nowhere near original. I just bought it last week. It's an Incra v27 that cost me $42.50 at Rockler. It was on sale for $49.99 and I had a 15% off coupon! Probably the best deal in woodworking! It is amazing to use.

2. Benchtop Router Table

Earlier articles about this:
I built this table to house my Harbor Freight Trim Router that goes on sale for $20 or less frequently. It's a great little tool and I wanted to use it in a table too.

The table is built of particleboard, melamine, pine trim, and Rockler T-Track. It hangs from a cleat mounted on the wall, keeping it out of my way when not in use.

3. Workbench

Earlier articles about this:
Probably the most important thing you can build, a workbench is the heart of any shop.

Knowing I needed a workbench, but not knowing what I needed *in* a workbench, I built this very simple table from 2x4's and OSD. I later added some glides for drawers recovered from a trashed waterbed.

Mine is taller than most, allowing comfortable work whether standing or sitting on the stool. I don't do much assembly on the bench, instead using the little table I picked up from Harbor Freight a while back.

Note the filter mounted to a box fan. That makes a huge difference in how much crap I breathe when working on wood, and also helps prevent dust boogers from affecting freshly finished pieces.

In the drawers are sandpaper, small measuring tools, cutting tools, abrasive tools, drilling tools, screwdrivers, etc. Hanging from the wall above are currently table saw blades, coping and hack saw, framing squares, and arbor wrenches. Setting on top of the bench normally are a shop box holding glue, lube, spring clamps, and some small scraps. At the other end are a vise, radio, and power strip. The fan sets there until I go to use it, then it's on the small table or the stool. The other stuff you see are finishes I was using.

4. Under Workbench Area

One of these days I'll put a shelf under the bench. But currently there's a large plastic storage box with auto stuff, my old benchmount table saw, Craftsman/Dremel scroll saw, handheld circular saw, palm sander, oil change bins, scrap metal, and whatever else I toss under there.

5. Shelves

The back of the "shop" has a tall metal shelving unit. I picked that up at a thrift store a couple years ago for $15. All my finishes, paints, chemicals, and small auto supplies are on the shelves. Up on top are large pieces of high density foam for upholstering the seats in the Guacamole Bus and some fabric scraps in trash bags. I also have a few small clamps stuck to the sides.

6. Scrap Storage

This is something I just finished, and think is pretty cool. Using scrap 1x2" rough pine from the same waterbed mentioned above and a sheet of 1/4" ply, I screwed this box together. Underneath are a set of casters from Ikea years ago for another project that never happened.

The little cardboard box next to it holds the pieces that need to be thrown away.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quilted Maple Candleholder

It's finally complete.

Three candle holder made of quilted maple and mahogony. Approximately 18" long and one inch high.

Cost of materials:
  • $20 24x1/4x5" quilted maple (!!) from Woodcraft
  • $2 Mahogony turning blank
  • $3 Candleholders and candles from Dollar Tree
I took the board and cut it to 18" (2" for each candle plus 2" empty space).

I made a template out of hardboard for the curves in the hourglass sides and ends. After cutting the hourglass shape I realized the quilted maple needed something contrasting to set it off.

I ripped the hourglass in the middle and added a strip of 1/4" mahogony resawn from a 1 1/2" turning blank. The blank wasn't long enough to use a single piece, so I made two pieces that met in the center. I didn't properly join them since the middle candle hole would just cut that piece out anyway.

Clamping was a bit of a challenge since the idiot maker (me) cut the curves before clamping. Using rounded pine pads on my clamps, I gently clamped at the ends where the piece was still parallel.

I didn't use as much pressure as I would have liked, so I let it set for 2 days. I did scrape the glue after 20 minutes so it would be easier to remove.

After it dried I started looking at ideas for legs. Originally I wanted something fancy, a flare coming to a point above the board maybe. But the simplicity of the original design called for simple legs as well.

I used two 1/2" x 1/2" x 1" legs on either end of the piece, just outside of the candle holes.

Looks nice and the design fits the project as a whole. Stability was a question, however, so I did some tests. Because the weight of the dishes and candles are on the centerline with the legs, on a hard level surface it's quite stable. However, on the tablecloth it's anything but.

Since this is an anniversary gift for my wife (Nov 17), I'll wait to see where she wants to put it. If it goes on a shelf or the mantle, I'll leave it as-is. But I have a set of "feet" ready to add for stability if necessary.

My sanding schedule was: Light shaping with 50 grit, followed by 150, 220.

Finish was provided by Zissner's "clear" shellac in a rattle can. Schedule was: 6 coats, sanded with 400 grit, 3 coats, sanded again with 400, 1 coat.

I got a nice smooth glossy finish on the quilted maple that really showed the quilted pattern. I have to say, I'm a huge fan of shellac. I like its repairability, its quick drying time, its durability, and the fact that it's a completely renewable resource. Unlike polys.

Once the shellac has had a chance to completely outgas, I'll apply a coat of Butcher's wax and box it up. I may even make a wood box to put it in.

THAT would be cool!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Candle Holder - Sneak Peak

Just a quick sneak peek at the new candleholder design. This was during the testfit of the glass holders.

Shhhh... Don't show this to my wife! It's for our anniversary!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Why I forsook the router today!

Well, not really. But what I *did* do was throw the @#$#@^ thing across the garage and start cutting the legs for my candle holder on the scroll saw using my template instead of the template bit on the router.

The template is cut from thin hardboard. I glued my drawing to the hardboard then used the scroll saw to cut the template. A quick sanding and it was ready.

Double-sided tape fixed the template onto the wood to cut the pattern for a set of legs for a candle holder. I put the 1/4" trimmer bit with bearing on the router, aligned it so the blade touched the bottom of the pattern, and started cutting.

I "sneaked up" on the cut because there was some meat to cut through. No biggie, do it all the time. Just take the wood off in several passes.

But this time the router grabbed the wood and shattered it!

The only thing I can think of is the bit must be getting dull. I use it a lot. Bleh.

So.... What do I do now? I then looked over at my bench. The little Craftsman 3" scroll saw was still clamped there and waiting to work. Why not?

The pic at the top of this blog shows how effectively the scroll saw cuts through the wood while following the pattern. Nice clean cuts resulted! Granted, it took quite a bit of concentration to guide the piece through the scroll saw, but it was worth it.

(Yes, the cuts aren't as clean as a router cut would be. Duh.)

So I now have yet another use for the $20 scroll saw!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Table Saw is Running

No time for a full write-up right now, but I got the Rockwell table saw component of my combo running. After running some test scrap wood through it I found it to be MUCH nicer than my Black & Decker 8" Benchmount table saw!

I'll get a write-up with pics and everything soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Completing the Rockwell Jointer

The jointer is ready to go!

I forgot to put the model and serial numbers in the previous posts, so...

  • Rockwell Model 4 Jointer
  • Model No: 37-290
  • Serial No: KW6690
Anyway, while the most time consuming part of "restoring" this tool was resurfacing the fence and wings, figuring out how to take it apart and put it back together was actually more difficult.

The fence is obvious. Just a block of steel that slides along the end of one of the wings, and is tightened by a cap nut and cam lever.

The outfeed wing came off easily. Remove the 3 setscrews, use a screwdriver to push the aluminum bushing plate out through the bottom, unscrew the adjustment knob all the way, and lift the wing out. The photo on the left shows the three setscrews and the photo below shows the bushing peeking out (arrow).

In fact, it was so easy I didn't mention it in my previous post.

The infeed side wasn't as forgiving. The hook that goes around the cutter head kept it from being fully backed out like the outfeed wing. So I had to find another solution.

When I flipped the jointer over, I found that each wing had 2 bolts. Happily, a 13mm socket fit it since I had lent my SAE tools to a friend. The two bolts attached the part the adjustment screw threaded through. Removing the bolts allowed me to lift the wing off once the setscrews and bushing were removed.

Now that I was down to the core of the jointer, I had to figure out how to get the cutter head out. Turned out to be easy. There are two long threaded rods that go down through the casting from the cutter head and just have nuts with lock washers under them.

I also removed the riser base. It's a cast iron skirt that raises the jointer up to where the pulley is at the same height as the one in the table saw, allowing the use of the shared motor.

With everything apart, I scrubbed it up with Purple Power cleaner. The paint was in excellent condition, so other than cleaning, I didn't do anything else. I did find some runs from resin or something that wouldn't come clean. (I doubt it's resin but whatever). It appeared it would take an abrasive or something to get it off. The risk of damaging the paint wasn't worth making more effort to remove it. It's purely cosmetic, so I'm leaving it along.

As I mentioned before, this is *NOT* a true restoration, but is instead a "let's clean it up and use it".

I applied a dry lubricant per the instructions on the bottle: Spray the components, work them through the full range of motion, remove and spray again, let dry. This product in the photo worked great.

Once everything was dry, I reassembled the jointer. It moves smoothly, the tables don't move at all once set (the set screws on the bushings can be tightened to increase the resistance if necessary, or loosened to reduce the resistance.)

I can't wait to finish the table saw so I can try this puppy out!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Resurfacing the Rockwell 4" Jointer

The rust on the horizontal surfaces of my "new" Rockwell combo saw/jointer was worse than I expected. In some places it penetrated pretty deep.

I initially tried to use steel wool and mineral spirits. No real luck . Then I brought out the heavy guns...

I used a 3m Rust Stripper wheel attached to my drill. Working it so the brush marks ran in the same direction as the workpiece will travel, I slowly removed every trace of rust from the iron surface.

What I was left with was a brushed steel look. Smooth enough probably, but I wanted it smoother.

I started with 220 grit wet or dry paper, lubricated with mineral spirits. I did one pass across the brush marks from the rust removal, and one with the brush marks, rinsing the paper with mineral spirits each direction change.

Using that method, I worked up through 400 grit, 800 grit, and finally polished with 2000 grit. The end result was a nearly mirror shine. I was tempted to go one step further and use my buffing wheels but thought that would be too too much.

The photo at right shows the texture of the jointer's fence. You can still clearly see the mill marks. But while they're visible under some conditions, in the next photo you can see just how smooth the surface really is.

I only got to the fence and the outfeed wing on the jointer last night, but there was some trial and error involved that I had to work through. I'll finish the infeed side tonight, and this weekend clean up the guts and paint.

The Rockwell Family Has Moved In!

This set was from the mid 70's I think.

9" Table Saw with a tilting arbor
4" Jointer
1 HP dual pulley motor (single phase)
Stand to tie it all together.

Aside from the rust on the table saw's top and the jointer's wings, the thing is *really* clean.

The following posts will document my efforts at getting this gear ready for use. I'm not calling it a restoration, because I don't want the stuff to look like new. I want it to be functional and clean. The paint is in excellent shape throughout, so no need to re-paint.

All the bearings and gearing move smoothly, if a bit stiff. Who knows when the last time this thing was run. But no rust on the gears that I can see.

The motor feels tight and when plugged in spins up instantly and quietly. The cords are clean and undamaged as well.

All said, I'm happy with this purchase. Now time to start getting it ready!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Inbox for the desk

I just started a new job (at a church!!!), but am at a temporary "desk". What does that mean? A folding steel table, an old eMac, a chair, and a phone.


I've got papers scattered all over the table, so I decided to toss together a little inbox to help control the flurry of printouts.

The vertical posts are scraps of my blue mahoe wood left over from my pen holder. The rest is purpleheart I picked up at Rockler, and the shelves are 1/4" lumber core birch ply. I used my "new" scroll saw to cut out the shapes in the shelves and dowels between the posts and the horizontal bars.

Finish is a wipe on semi-gloss poly.

I made this without any plans, drawings, etc. Just a general idea in my head of what I wanted and I started cutting. So there are a few oopsies in there, but I like it. I think I'll revisit this later and draw a proper plan. My wife is kinda jealous so I need to make one out of oak and ebony (or ebonized wood) for her roll-top desk.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The $20 Scroll Saw

Yep. $20.

I love Craigslist!

It's an old 80's (I believe) Craftsman hobby scroll saw. It uses 3" pinned blades, has a tilting table, a nice long throat, and something I've never seen before: A mount for a disc sander!

If anybody reading this has a line on getting the disc sander attachment, PLEASE let me know! (Post a comment, or email me at durocshark at gmail dot com )

The seller of this saw complained that it didn't cut smoothly. When I got it home I discovered why... The saw blade had a kink in it. A quick run to Ace Hardware for blades and I was cutting smooth.

I do have a couple issues with it, though they could be because I've never had a scroll saw before.

The first thing is mass. Because it's a hobby saw, it doesn't really have enough mass to be stable during use. I found clamping it to my bench made a real difference.

Second is noise. It's MUCH louder than either of my handheld jigsaws. This could also be a function of the lack of mass.

Last is the blade jams easily. It grabs the wood and the wood with the blade attached goes up and down instead of just the blade. I think it's a horsepower thing. This saw is only 1.4 amps, not much power.

But the good news is that with care it works quite well. I've mostly just done 'foolin' around' cuts to learn how to work with the saw. Avoiding the blade jams was a technique I really needed and I think I have it down now.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to apply it to a neat project!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Quill is Mightier than the Sword

And now we see where the dolphin I posted about last week ended up.

This is more of the blue mahoe wood. The dolphin carving was described here.

The base of this pen holder was cut from a block of 1x4" wood and a roman ogee router bit applied to the edges. I also drilled six 1/4" holes along the back edge for tip storage.

The fin was several 1/4" thick "boards" (it's hard to call them boards when they're 3/4" x 1/4" x 4") edge joined to show off the grain. I smoothed them with a palm sander, then cut the shape of the fin out with a coping saw. A dremel with a drum sander smoothed the edges nicely.

An oopsie happened with the mounting of the dolphin to the base. The 1/8" tab I carved into the base of the dolphin snapped off after gluing it to the base. It obviously wasn't strong enough for this use! I fixed it and made it stronger by sanding the piece that stuck in the base smooth, sanding the bottom of the dolphin smooth, and creating a steel brace.

I hammered a thin nail into the base. Using a pair of wire cutters, I snipped off the head of the nail. I used the smallest drill bit I have (1/32"? I forget) to drill a hole in the dolphin for the pin to rest. Glue was put in the hole and thinly spread on the bottom of the dolphin. I put it in place and wrapped the whole thing with blue masking tape. MUCH stronger now!

No stain whatsoever was applied. Just six coats of Minwax Poly out of a rattle can. Because of the high oil content of this wood, the poly took a week to dry. I did a test piece comparing shellac and this poly. The shellac masked the grain and blackened end grain. The poly did neither. Because the grain in this wood can be so subtle, I didn't want to take any chances with covering it up.

A green felt sheet was glued to the bottom to protect my desk. I considered red as I used for a blue mahoe coaster I made, but the red is too bright in comparison with the dark wood.

I like this wood. I just wish it would maintain its blue color when finished. It's still attractive with a finish, but I don't know if it's worth the $10-12 bf it costs.

But it sure makes neat stuff!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blue Dolphin (Carving)

I've never tried to carve anything before. This little guy took a total of like 60 hours because of start-overs. Of course, the actual time on this particular piece of wood was like 2 hours. heehee

The wood is blue mahoe that I picked up at Woodcraft a couple weeks ago. This stuff is rather diffucult to work small projects with because at small size it's very brittle.

This piece is approximately 3" tall by 2" at its widest point.

I made it from a triangle shaped 4x1x1 piece of wood. General outline was cut with a coping saw I had hanging out in my drawer. Then I did shaping with a barrel sander bit on my Dremel followed by a sanding disk on that same Dremel.

Shaping marks were removed by hand with scraps of 240 grit paper. This is a point where I broke a bunch of thinner dolphins I had started with. Just holding them and sanding was too much for the brittle wood so they snapped.

That's why I went with a triangular cross section. To add some meat to the carving in hopes that it will resist my less than gentle touch. Even then it took 2 tries...

The outline was drawn on one side of the triangle. I cut with the piece flat on the "back" of the dolphin and cut all the way through, duplicating the shape on both sides.

This dolphin will be a pen holder so after smoothing the back I used the barrel sanding bit again to cut a notch in the wood at the dorsal fin for the pen to rest in.

The block of pine it's setting in during cutting and shaping was developed out of desperation. Clamping to the bench would put too much stress on the wood when I got to the tail. I found that a wedge cut out of the pine, with a "finger" along one side to give some relief to the workpiece provided support as well as enough give to keep my fat fingers from breaking the dolphin. It works great!

The block of blue mahoe wood it's in right now was just to hold it during the photos and keep it safe on my desk while I complete the rest of the holder set. I'll apply a finish to it when it's all together.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Benchtop Router Table (Part 3)

In Part 1 of this Benchtop Router Table series, I shared my design and the assembly of the legs. In Part 2 I assembled the top and finished the legs, then joined the two together using dadoes in the underside of the top.

All that remains for this, Part 3, is the fence, the router mount, and the cleats to hang the table from the wall or other convenient location.

To make the cleats I ripped a 1x4" piece of pine at a 45 degree angle as shown in the picture above. One half is mounted to the wall with the point away from the wall, the other half gets mounted to the table between the legs butted to the underside of the top with the point away from the table. The table can then be set on the cleat mounted to the wall. The angle of the cut pushes the weight of the table against the wall so all the weight isn't on the screws holding the cleat to the wall. Very efficient design that can hold a lot of weight.

After it was assembled I applied 4 coats of wipe-on polyurethane to the pine edging around the top and the cleat mounted to the back. I couldn't force myself to use any more of that "cherrywood" finish I used on the legs.

The next step was the fence. I've been debating between 3" and 4" high fences for a while now. But I settled on 3" high because the T-Track set I bought came with bolts that wouldn't support a 4" high fence. I could have bought new ones, but that would have delayed this project by a week. And honestly, do I *really* need a 4" fence? I can make another one later if I decide I need it...

The fence is 24" long, 3" high, and the corners were rounded with a jigsaw. I drew the rounded corners with the inside of my roll of blue masking tape.

To cut the arch that goes over the bits, I used a 2" hole saw. I clamped the fence down with a sacrificial piece of scrap to balance the hole saw and keep it cutting straight.

The waste was a pair of matched arches. I hung on to them, and I'm glad I did. They work great when bracing small glue-ups.

I measured and re-measured and re-re-measured the holes for the T-Track bolts. This was one thing I really didn't want to mess up because it would mean starting the fence over from scratch.

Once I had the locations marked, I used the Drill Guide from Rockler to keep the holes straight through the fence. After testing on some scrap, I decided the best diameter hole would be 5/16". That's cutting things pretty fine when working with 3/4" melamine. So precision was VERY important here.

With care I was able to get the holes straight, true, and NOT crack the brittle melamine. A test fit showed I had nailed it. (Whew!)

I mentioned in part 2 that while the original plan called for using my offset base for the Harbor Freight 1/4" trim router, after spending some time looking at the base on the table I realized it would weaken the top unacceptably. While I could reinforce the top to support it, that would add unnecessary complexity to the design. So I went with making a separate base plate for using with this table.

The base plate is a simple 5" diameter piece of .220 acrylic sheet with one side flattened and 4 holes drilled and chamfered to match the router. I located it on the table and sketched its outline. I grabbed my jigsaw and cut an opening 1/2" inside the outline then used the trim router to cut a rabbit around the edge, cutting to the outline.

I realized I have a glaring hole in my router bit collection. I have no rabbit bits! Arrgghhh... I did the rabbit by hand and eyeball, which is why the edges are so rough. I did do some hand smoothing with sandpaper, but everything fit together so well I decided to leave it alone mostly.

To make the opening for the bits in this part I decided to use my big fat DeWalt step drill bit. It went up to 3/4" which is adequate for 3/4's of my bits. If I use one of the larger bits I'll open it up some more.

The flattened side of the base plate worked like a charm. The router doesn't turn at all when running, even when making a deep cut with a 1/2" straight bit.

The whole thing feels rock solid. These little HF routers make a heck of a racket when running, but in the table they're more like a "normal" router. The wood of the table absorbs the high frequencies, making it much nicer to use.

I put the fence back on and ran some test pieces through, just to make sure it's stable and solid and won't fall apart during use. I'm happy to say it did NOT fall apart!

I still have some things to do. I made a UHMW movable face for the fence to provide as close to zero clearance around the spinning bit as possible. For that I'm going to wait until I buy a slot cutting bit. So next week I'll add the faces.

Last is where to mount the cleat. I have it on the wall right now, but I've been thinking how cool it would be to have it attached to the end of my workbench. That will take some thought and planning, as well as a slight reorganization of my garage... errr... shop. I may also have to reinforce the legs where the cleat mounts since having it there will mean quite a bit more weight will be on it than if it's just hanging from the wall.

Even with those two things left undone, I'm considering this series finished. I'll do separate articles for the others since they can be applied to any tool, not just a benchtop router table. And the table is quite functional as it stands.

Now go destroy some wood!

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to put a pic of the finished router hanging from the wall! Here ya go!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coated vs Uncoated Table Saw Blades

Recently there was a thread on the Woodnet Forums asking about coated blades. Freud's blades come coated, but many do not. And the original poster wanted to know why.

Aside from appearance, the general consensus is that it keeps the resin in woods like pine from sticking to the blade, or makes the blade easier to clean.

This morning I was cutting up some UHMW plastic to make the fence face for my benchtop router table and got to see the difference first hand.

The uncoated blade is the Harbor Freight "Lifetime" 64T carbide tipped blade I talk about in a previous post. It gummed up with plastic so quickly I only got 2-3" inches into ripping the 1" thick plastic before tripping the breaker on my admittedly weak 1hp table saw. I messed around with blade cut depths and running oak scraps through the saw, but nothing could improve things.

The other blade is also a Harbor Freight "Lifetime" blade, this one a 40T carbide tipped blade with a titanium nitride coating.

As you can see in the first pic, the plastic didn't stick at all. The blade didn't slow down, didn't trip the breaker, and required little pressure to feed the plastic through. The other blade took so much pressure to get it through I worried my push sticks would snap!

So, at least for me, if there is a coated blade option, I will always take it.