When to give up on the 4x6 horz'l bandsaw?

Well stated and 100% correct
The methodology of the left has always been:
1. Lie 2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible 3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible 4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie 5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw 6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
Reply to
Gunner
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Your setup with a saw per specific blade is a great idea...of which I will implement in my own shops.
I have many grinders with wheels per specific job...for a bit of floor space you get significant convenience.
The cart for a stand is another great idea. ====================================================
Yeah, works good in tight spaces, as well. The "stands" that come with these saws are soooo dorky and crappy.... The carts have great storage capacity, as well.
With the saws mounted close/side-by-side, you can also use both vises, which helps in some cases. Best to leave both saws "loose", so you can shove them around a bit, if only to get the vise stop of one out of the way of the other. No biggie to do this.
I also got rid of the screw belt-tension jobby, and got a long door spring, which I wrapped from the top of the motor around to the pivot arm (where the saw tension spring attaches), to create spring tension on the motor/belt/pulley system, which makes speed changing near-instant -- one of the best mods I made, bang-fer-buck-wise. However, if you have dedicated saws with dedicated blades, this will be a less critical feature, but if you have only one saw, and cut different metals, it's really a time/effort saver.
This strategy can also be a bit of a blade saver, by allowing the pulley to slip, in case of a real jam.
You shoulda seen my recirculating setup.... proly overkill tho.... the oil drip thing I saw on youtube is something I may implement for myself. -------------------------------------
FYI...the retail chain is setup to sell "a box" and is not equipped for even the slightest repair/adjustment job on any item.
For your tracking problem...make sure your blades are properly tensioned...which means in this case to tighten the crap out of the saw...proper tensioning really can't be done with the saw as it is..the handle is too small..but having it as tight as you can do goes a long ways. Also buy good blades...as with most machine tools today the magic is in the cutting tool not the machine. Poorly made blades will never track and will drive you crazy. I have had good luck with Lenox and Morse brands. =======================================================
I never thought of that, but in hindsight I recall cheap blades that got totally distorted by the saw. And indeed cheap blades could be part of the problem.
I also need to get a good blade welder. I've had about 3, with not much luck. I used to use one in a University machine shop, and even as a neophyte back then, my blade welding was flawless -- with a DoAll blade welder. Now, it's so hit and miss, I don't hardly bother, which is proly why I let the saws sit out of commission so long.
I think HF has a blade welder. Any good?
Funny story: I sent a boxful of 1/2 blades to Starret for welding. They were so offended by my blades they told me they were not only not going to weld them, but that they were going to throw them out.....!!!!!! I put a stop to that in a hurry, got the blades back, and have wished pox on them ever since. Wadn't too impressed with Starret blades, either.
Reply to
Existential Angst
Lenox bi-metal blades. Best thing since oral sex and sliced bread.
Spend the extra couple dollars and only buy Lenox bi-metals. Really good blade stock!!
Gunner
The methodology of the left has always been:
1. Lie 2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible 3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible 4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie 5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw 6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
Reply to
Gunner
To follow up on this, I got an email from HF this afternoon, letting me know that the gear shaft for my 4x6 was available, and less than five bucks.
Thanks to Pete and Gunner for the suggestion.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Danniken
Gunner tips his hat
The methodology of the left has always been:
1. Lie 2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible 3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible 4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie 5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw 6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
Reply to
Gunner
"Existential Angst" wrote in news:50bb164d$0$1215$ snipped-for-privacy@cv.net:
What I read was that there is often casting sand left in the gearbox. I bought a Jet in the hopes that they took a little more care, but opened it up anyway. Sure enough, half a teaspoon of sand mixed in with the gear oil...
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
Well,,,,I just ordered the second gear (Brass worm wheel) for our 32 year old Harbor freight 4x6 band saw. - (Parts arr actually easy to come by - Just not from Harbor Freight - Ie, BDI McMaster or Boston Gear)
The original gear was cast Iron and wore out and was replaced about 20 years ago with a brass gear. Now we will replace it with an Acura wheek and worm right off eBay. 65 bucks delivered to the shop door.
This is not a hobby saw either. We originally bought it as a dedicated machine for a job we did for Catipiller. Lots of 200-2" Long blocks from 2"x5/8 HRS Barstock (Actually it was metric 80x80x16 as I remember) We ran that job 8 to 10 times a year for over 3 years. - I also made a fixture to cut a 1/4x1/4 chamfer on the block but we found gang milling them in the Horz mill was faster. - Point is it;s not easy to cut the corner off a 2" block with a band saw. (So much for HF saws not cutting streight)
We put the little saw into general service after the Toowmotor moves to Korea and eventually sold the Kalamazoo because Bimetal blades for the HF saw were WAY cheaper and after we put flood coolant on the little saw they lasted every bit as long as the big saw blades. .,,, (We put a hydraulic feed on it last year and the blades last even longer now/ - We cut LOTS of 2" and 1-1'2: 4140 pre hard round bar and the hydraulic doubles the life of the BiMetal 6-10 blades. (Like I say- Not a hobby saw)
We are going to replace the bearings on the gearbox this time on GP , but the guide bearings are original and are in perfect shape.. With a micrometer stop we made fo the saw it cuts within .005 all day. (It gets run an average of 10 to 15 hours a week BTW.....MVP in the shop. Very little happens without it)
So when is it time to give up on these saws? When you die, especially if you modify them with things like water and hydraulic feeds. - Within the 4x6 range thee is nothing a brand new $10,000 ChiCom saw will do that this "throw-away" saw will not do.
As far as cutting straight, in the years we have had this saw I have found the only reason that keep it from cutting straight by looking in a mirror. When YOU get it adjusted it will cut dead nuts all day long. Contact me at wrew4power#gmail if you want to pick my brain
Reply to
Mathew Molk
Well,,,,I just ordered the second gear (Brass worm wheel) for our 32 year old Harbor freight 4x6 band saw. - (Parts arr actually easy to come by - Just not from Harbor Freight - Ie, BDI McMaster or Boston Gear)
The original gear was cast Iron and wore out and was replaced about 20 years ago with a brass gear. Now we will replace it with an Acura wheek and worm right off eBay. 65 bucks delivered to the shop door.
This is not a hobby saw either. We originally bought it as a dedicated machine for a job we did for Catipiller. Lots of 200-2" Long blocks from 2"x5/8 HRS Barstock (Actually it was metric 80x80x16 as I remember) We ran that job 8 to 10 times a year for over 3 years. - I also made a fixture to cut a 1/4x1/4 chamfer on the block but we found gang milling them in the Horz mill was faster. - Point is it;s not easy to cut the corner off a 2" block with a band saw. (So much for HF saws not cutting streight)
We put the little saw into general service after the Toowmotor moves to Korea and eventually sold the Kalamazoo because Bimetal blades for the HF saw were WAY cheaper and after we put flood coolant on the little saw they lasted every bit as long as the big saw blades. .,,, (We put a hydraulic feed on it last year and the blades last even longer now/ - We cut LOTS of 2" and 1-1'2: 4140 pre hard round bar and the hydraulic doubles the life of the BiMetal 6-10 blades. (Like I say- Not a hobby saw)
We are going to replace the bearings on the gearbox this time on GP , but the guide bearings are original and are in perfect shape.. With a micrometer stop we made fo the saw it cuts within .005 all day. (It gets run an average of 10 to 15 hours a week BTW.....MVP in the shop. Very little happens without it)
So when is it time to give up on these saws? When you die, especially if you modify them with things like water and hydraulic feeds. - Within the 4x6 range thee is nothing a brand new $10,000 ChiCom saw will do that this "throw-away" saw will not do.
As far as cutting straight, in the years we have had this saw I have found the only reason that keep it from cutting straight by looking in a mirror. When YOU get it adjusted it will cut dead nuts all day long.
Contact me at wrew4power#gmail if you want to pick my brain
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What blades?
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
My HF 4x6 is not that old (ten years maybe), but I have had to replace one gear. Bought mine from Grizzly. I did upgrade to the HF 7x12 (before the big price jump) a couple years ago, but I kept the 4x6. I had mounted it flush on the end of a roller table, and its really handy for severing round rod I use for inserts in molds. That being said the HF 7 x 12 is an order of magnitude better saw. This is one of the old tools made on the same old pattern that was definitely worth the money. I probably won't ever sell my 4x6 (modified to manage 4 x 8). I have found myself on more than one occasion using both saws at once. Its particularly satisfying when I have CNC machines running in the shop, I'm standing in front of the manual lathe or mill working, and I hear blanks drop into the bucket under the saw behind me. Clunk!
The big deal for me on the 7x12 (and I could add it to the 4x6 if I was inclined) is the built in coolant system. Well, that and the quite good hydraulic feed for things like tube. If I needed another saw I would gladly buy another one of either depending on my finances.
That being said cold saws are pretty impressive with doing copious amounts of steel. Better tolerances and smoother finishes. I have also considered the miter saw style bandsaw. Because you don't need to move the whole saw assembly when mitering long pieces. Both are pretty small envelope for their price tag. I have room 20 feet stock for now and its not THAT hard to move the saw.
I will say that buying a horizontal bandsaw should be nearly every metal shop's second purchase. Mill or lathe (usually not both at once as a first tool) make money, but a horizontal band saw is a force multiplier. When I bought my little 4 x 6 I was so chuffed I came on this group and bitched everybody out for not telling me to buy one sooner. I have lots of other metal cutting tools (torch, plasma, grinder, chop saw, metal cutting circular saw, SawzAll, sabre saw, etc), but the horizontal band saw out works all of them in my shop. I don't mean individually. I mean combined.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
...I have lots of other metal cutting tools (torch, plasma, grinder, chop saw, metal cutting circular saw, SawzAll, sabre saw, etc), but the horizontal band saw out works all of them in my shop. I don't mean individually. I mean combined.
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My 4x6 is also my wood cutoff saw. With a 6~10 TPI blade It has cut up to 6x6s cleanly, without a nub in the middle. Finer pitch blades just clog.
I modified mine to cut 8" wide too, but there's very little clearance for chips to fall away before the blade enters the guide rollers. I left the 8" width angle iron guide in place and milled the back edge of the original guide's base to align against it when resetting to square from an angled cut.
Also I added a second pair of mounting holes in the guide base to position the end closer to the blade for more support when cutting short stock square.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I feel like a knob. I was trying to cut down some reclaimed guardrail post the other day (a few months ago) and struggled. I've actually got a low pitch carbide tooth blade for the 7x12. Of all the tools I have I never thought of that one.
I wound up making multiple partial cuts on the big RAS and then breaking it with a wedge. Then I had to clean it up and flatten it with a power plane.
I was banding them together to make a "stump" for my anvil.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I feel like a knob. I was trying to cut down some reclaimed guardrail post the other day (a few months ago) and struggled. I've actually got a low pitch carbide tooth blade for the 7x12. Of all the tools I have I never thought of that one.
I wound up making multiple partial cuts on the big RAS and then breaking it with a wedge. Then I had to clean it up and flatten it with a power plane.
I was banding them together to make a "stump" for my anvil.
------------------------ I've tried the 4x6 as a chop saw to cut firewood that was smaller than a chainsaw will cut without grabbing. It works reasonably well both horizontally and vertically unless the branch is crooked and hard to hold straight against the pull. I also bought an inexpensive top-handle (one-hand) chainsaw that's probably a better and certainly faster and more portable way to cut up branches that are between lopper and two-hand chainsaw size. My other hand holds the branch or sawmill slab firmly against the sawbucks, which eliminates jumping and reduces grabbing, and feeds it for the next cut. Be very careful with one-hand 'arborist' chainsaws. So far I've used it only with the sawbuck frame guarding my off hand from the bar and the saw held out beside me.
I thought an anvil should be mounted on a wood 'stump' with the top at knuckle height until I took the blacksmithing class. His were on welded angle iron frames at various heights, for various sized students, and all that I tried were satisfactory until my arm tired. The smiths at ag fairs have portable pipe / angle iron stands for their anvils and leg vises.
To better view delicate work I remounted my anvil at waist height on a tripod of one 2x6 and 2 2x4 legs which makes it more stable and generally useful than it was on the oak log section. It may preferably be lower for a long session of heavy hammering but I don't draw out metal that way, and my eyes focus best at closer computer monitor distance. For me higher is better for center-punching scribe marks and flattening and shaping sheet metal with a light hammer. The anvil removes the temptation to misuse a machine tool as one.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I wound up making multiple partial cuts on the big RAS and then breaking it with a wedge. Then I had to clean it up and flatten it with a power plane.
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I've noticed that very experienced craftsmen are extremely reluctant to use hand tools these days. I save a contractor's PT 6x6 deck post cutoffs for cribbing and see that none were severed in the middle with a hand or pruning saw. I suppose they never learned how to keep saws sharp, and maybe don't want to be embarrassed by poor results.
I did learn how in Jr High, and surprised a carpenter neighbor with press-fit hand cut mortices in a shed frame made from tree trunks.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I have used my vertical (wood only) bandsaw to break down mesquite for cooking pieces. I like shorter chunks in the BBQ grill. I can burn them down to just the right coals for grilling much faster. Its a smallish Rigid from Home Depot with a Wood Slicer resaw blade. The Wood Slicer is really an impressive blade. I still split larger pieces with a wedge and a sledgehammer.
I also bought an inexpensive top-handle
I have been using a cheap electric chainsaw for pruning trees for years. I've considered a gas powered, but my experience with that size class motor is as often as I use it I always need to work on it first. With the electric I fill the chain oil and plug it in. When trimming the trees out front 90-110 yards from the house I just roll out my emergency backup generator. I run an electric pole saw the same way.
My other hand holds the branch or sawmill slab
Anvil height is somewhat dependent on the knuckle height of the blacksmith and the type of work being done. Light detail work is often done at a much higher height than heavy work. The type of stand is up for grabs and based on the materials available and the whim of the person setting up the forge. I image in most of the midwest log sections are used because they are nearly free. Any firewood seller has logs from which a section may be cut. I used recycled guard rail post because they were the cheapest material I had at hand.
My son took a blacksmithing class in college as an elective. Of course he made some punches and chisels from spring steel so those are handy in our forge... basically the open back shop door and the end of the welding table for the propane furnace to rest on.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Remember my lecture about time? Time is the most ireplacable commodity for anybody. Not just me. I learned very quickly that a $300 electric drill or an $800 rotary hammer saved me money every single time I used them. I've used a bit brace, and I am fairly capable with a star drill and a hammer, but for the most part I can't afford to take that much time to do any job.
I save a contractor's PT 6x6 deck post
Sharpening saws is still a thing. There is a still a sharpening service here in Yuma. I do not use them since I can sharpen pretty much anything I need sharpened except end mills. Even then I save old end mills in both HSS and carbide to make other tools. I'm starting to get a collection of special purpose D-Bits.
Often a home shop craftsman or or hobbyist will take greater care and build nicer wood projects than a professional due to time constraints. You can make all the arguments you want about quality and pride in workmanship, but a person who does it for a living MUST be able to beat mass produced wood (paper) products without charging so much as to make it unattainable to their customer base. They can charge more, but they can't charge hand cut dovetail more and still make a decent wage no matter how good they are. I don't do this for a living and I am not a wood worker except when SWMBO says she needs something. I have routers and a dovetail jig. Three drawers and I have saved enough time to pay for all of it. Your neighbor was likely impressed with your work because it was good, but that does not mean he couldn't do it. More likely he just doesn't have the time to do that.
If you want to be a entertained watch Rex Figures it Out on YouTube. He's a little over the top but most pro YouTubers are. He used to be a professional wood worker, and has transistion to being a (mostly) hand tool wood worker and professional YouTuber.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I have been using a cheap electric chainsaw for pruning trees for years. I've considered a gas powered, but my experience with that size class motor is as often as I use it I always need to work on it first. With the electric I fill the chain oil and plug it in. When trimming the trees out front 90-110 yards from the house I just roll out my emergency backup generator. I run an electric pole saw the same way.
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My gas powered Husqvarna and Stihl have been generally though not completely reliable, at least as good as my several electrics which have less durable plastic housings and poorer bar oil feed. The problem with all of them when cutting small branches on sawbucks X=X X=X is not having a free hand to hold down the branch when it's smaller than the gap between cutters and whips around. I cut at about waist height to spare my back and avoid dulling the chain on rocks so I can't safely step on the branch. That portable hosting gear I've mentioned is to lift tree trunks to rest on the folding sawbucks and be cut into stove lengths.
The ideal solution might be a circular cordwood saw with a pivoting frame to hold the branches. Lacking one or the space to store it, the top handle arborist saw is a reasonable answer that leaves the other hand free to advance and clamp down the branch. It's probably too dangerous for general use.
My property is a mature oak forest up to and around the house so I have to dispose of dead wood from twigs to stumps somehow, and cutting as much as possible into lumber or the firewood that's my main heat source is the best answer for me. I consider processing wood to be my health club. Saturday a mystic/seer/fortune teller at a flea market guessed my age 15 years too young.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Remember my lecture about time? Time is the most ireplacable commodity for anybody. Not just me. I learned very quickly that a $300 electric drill or an $800 rotary hammer saved me money every single time I used them. I've used a bit brace, and I am fairly capable with a star drill and a hammer, but for the most part I can't afford to take that much time to do any job.
------------------------ Time mattered when I was on the clock, now that I'm retired energy has become the limiting resource. I no longer have as much as when I was only 70.
I was thinking of a recent job where the mentioned homeowner / retired carpenter needed to cut a section of plastic gutter and spent at least half an hour finding, digging out and setting up his radial arm saw and the other stuff he needed, which had become separated during other jobs. He works out of his truck and doesn't have a home shop set up, like me he has to move woodworking power tools out into the driveway and pack them away afterwards, which costs time. The next day I cut another piece in ~10 minutes discuss>measure>argue>cut>install with a fine tooth hand saw, splitting the pencil line because he bet me I couldn't cut it square. It was a difficult installation because we couldn't find all the parts in any one style at two Big Boxes and one local store and had to adapt rectangular to square.
I use power tools as much as I can but I don't have any that can cut a close-fitting mortice notch for a slightly curved 2x8 in the side of upright tree trunks that were part of an existing shed. For that I chain-sawed flats on the trunks, clamped the 2x8 in place, clamped 2x4 blocks snugly against it above and below, removed the 2x8 and guided the hand saw against the blocks, thus putting the saw kerf within the beam mortice. Then I hogged out the rest with the chainsaw and chiseled the inner side parallel to the other upright by eye. This was to stiffen a roof that had sagged under the previous year's snow load.
Much of the work on those pole sheds was done out in the woods with the logs on sawbucks. I learned to cut a respectably straight, level and smooth flat on a log with a chainsaw freehand.
The contractor neighbor loaned/gave? me a rock drill and 1-1/4 bit because it had needed the cord replaced and he bought another drill instead to get the job done on time, like you said. It's SO much faster than a star drill for splitting off inconvenient rocks.
The top one sharpens the end flutes of end mills nicely.
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lowest one does side flutes but it's fussy to adjust and difficult to use, and of course they become undersized, better for roughing than finishing.
For my low-budget hobby use I sharpen only the end flutes and rough out steel by plunging down, which doesn't dull the sides. The horizontal feed between plunges is less than the radius so I don't have to keep them center-cutting.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I guess I could say I don't really have the skills to sharpen end mills. I expect if I setup a finger tracer for the Tool and Cutter grinder I could sharpen the flutes of some end mills. Maybe the ends on 2 flute and maybe some four flute. I do mostly CNC work where I am running by dead reckoning and I have to count on the machine to be close enough. I have measured and setup jobs using regrinds, but only for one off special jobs where I needed an angle or a corner radius that was an oddball and the only one that I found that was cost effective was a regrind. Mostly for efficient time management I use new end mills and when specs fail it goes in the bucket.
When I first got the T&C grinder I bought a diamond cutoff wheel for it. This might be right up your alley for being frugal. Most of the time when an end mill fails its just the tips/corners. I can cut that off while turning the mill and approaching the wheel at a slight angle. This gives me a nearly new side mill with a shorter flute, and there is a slight hollow grind on the end to eliminate drag. You can't plunge with it, but you can get some more life out of a mill (its no longer an end mill) that would otherwise just go in the scrap carbide bucket. When I chowder that I save what's left to make a D-bit cutter of some kind.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I guess I could say I don't really have the skills to sharpen end mills. I expect if I setup a finger tracer for the Tool and Cutter grinder I could sharpen the flutes of some end mills. Maybe the ends on 2 flute and maybe some four flute. I do mostly CNC work where I am running by dead reckoning and I have to count on the machine to be close enough. I have measured and setup jobs using regrinds, but only for one off special jobs where I needed an angle or a corner radius that was an oddball and the only one that I found that was cost effective was a regrind. Mostly for efficient time management I use new end mills and when specs fail it goes in the bucket.
When I first got the T&C grinder I bought a diamond cutoff wheel for it. This might be right up your alley for being frugal. Most of the time when an end mill fails its just the tips/corners. I can cut that off while turning the mill and approaching the wheel at a slight angle. This gives me a nearly new side mill with a shorter flute, and there is a slight hollow grind on the end to eliminate drag. You can't plunge with it, but you can get some more life out of a mill (its no longer an end mill) that would otherwise just go in the scrap carbide bucket. When I chowder that I save what's left to make a D-bit cutter of some kind.
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I do have diamond grinding wheels, and if my machines were tight and rigid enough to not chip carbide I'd use them.
Surface-grinding the end flutes is really very simple, the fixture sets the relief angles and indexes in 15 degree steps (360/24) between flutes, there's no finger stop. The base can be squared by eye on the mag chuck, the back rake isn't very sensitive to slight misalignment. You do have to carefully adjust a 4-flute endmill's angular position in the collet and the fixture's on the mag chuck so you can grind arbitrarily close to center without hitting the next flute. They are easier if you grind away two opposite flutes near the center and center-cut with only the other two. A pilot hole lets an imperfect center grind plunge cut and advancing less than the radius lets it nibble.
My mill advances 0.100" per turn so with a half inch end mill I advance two turns and downfeed with the drilling handle. This saves the side flutes for light finishing.
I made a collet closer nut with a half inch center hole to sharpen stub length S&D bits with it, using the 30 degree back clearance setting to give a point angle of 120 degrees.
The 30 degree setting can grind a sharp beveled cutting edge on the dull tips of end mills. I use it for trial skim cuts on surfaces that might be hardened such as cast iron or chrome plated rod, since I do a lot of salvage and repair of old metal instead of production with new stock like you.
I've bought very cheap high quality dull used endmills in a variety of diameters and lengths and sharpen them as needed if a common size won't do.
I can't easily trade time for money like you because I'm in a residential instead of rural zone, but instead I can save by spending 5~10% of the new cost on used equipment I need, like a snow blower, and fixing it. I used my time to minimize living expenses, to $0 for heat and $40 a month for electricity, and invested in the high-paying areas the Left totally depends on but loves to hate. Practice what you preach.
We were discussing that life choice in auto shop class last night. Some former students repair and sell free broken lawnmowers etc. I tried that with motorcycles but I'm too much of a perfectionist to make money at it. Learned a lot, though. The freedom, lack of stress, self-reliance and treasure-hunting fun of it can be attractive and satisfying.
To me creating advanced electronics was too. I would have worked on the space projects for free. Machining was necessary at microwave frequencies where the enclosure is not only shielding but part of the circuit's ground plane or a resonant cavity. We were dealing with the speed of light over fractions of an inch.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins

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