Skil 100 Front Shoe

I got a request on making a new front shoe for a Skil 100, but after all the CAD work, CNC setup, etc. the cost would be over $250 for just one. If I make 20, the cost would drop to $150. There is a considerable up-front cost for me, so I can’t just sit on the other 19 and wait for somebody to buy them over the next 5 years. If there’s at least 10 people who need a new one or want a spare, I’ll get this going. It will take about 4-6 weeks to get the parts. Anyone interested?

You may be on to something.But before you do it get a hold of Infinity Surfboards…seems like they may be doing this already.I don’t have the number anymore.

I am right at that stage Cleanlines. Pete C has guided me to Steve Boehne. I have a couple other avenues I am investigating before I contact him. BTW Pete, could you put me on the “front shoe” list if I am not successful?

I just sent an email to Infinity,maybe they will answer.Front shoes are in high demand.Has anyone ever thought of going to a small foundry and have them cast?THey could get a pattern of am original?I do know that after being pulled from the molds they were machined,maybe thats an avenue you could pursue.Fiberglass Hawaii is the main Skil parts supplier so you could contact them.Also Gene Sherman Tools in Santa Monica may buy some.A front shoe will sometimes bring $150 plus on ebay.THe belt sprockets are impossible to find also,they are cast iron and machined.Or…go to china and have them knock em off.The Foundries in Taiwan are so high tech they can do small productions runs at a reasonable cost.A friend of mine just had a bunch of parts made for Fighting Chairs that look really good.

You know what? Overseas foundry work is really inexpensive. There are some small shops in SoCal that may be interested in making “copy” parts as well. Still, I think the castings would need machining for the critical contact surfaces and bearing lands. You’ve got me thinking: I could build up the broken portion of my front shoe with SolarRez, then make a female silicone mold off it. From there I could pour an epoxy/milled fiber version. The wieght would be off and the wear may be an issue, but it could work. You know, the Kermit-the-Frog green plastic parts of the Hitachi 2003 could be sand casted out of aluminum… naaaa! That would be Yugo guts with a Porsche body. I’ve melted two 2003’s and my business partner has gone through a couple due to radical vibrations. It’s hard to make a living with the tools that we have; and it is especially frustrating when you know that something better could be produced. A friend of mine was laughing at my lamenting over paying $300 for a special disc sander that I use for shaping. He pointed to the back of his truck and says he has well over ten grand in tools and that’s still not enough tools for what he does. Another mechanic friend once told me he had nearly $100,000 in tools!!! He fixes cars! He thinks I’m a gnarly shaper-guy; I’m too embarassed to review my tools with him. The last 10 percent in performance of electrical hand shaping tools will have a significant price; simply due the the specialization. I could never get at the higher level of hand shaping with the cheaper tools that I started with, and I can only imagine that I am being held back from the next level in my shaping by the tools that I have now. Really, the Skil 100 is not the best solution; it’s a door plane. We need to think “outside the box” and make a tool for compound curves and long arcs. The directness of a hand-held tool is huge for prototype and exploratory work. The menu-driven graphic user interface of a shaping machine will do fine for numbers and for feature-oriented designing, but an advanced hand-held tool will yield untold shaping advances. With all that said, awsome shapes could be made with a basic sanding block, in fact how ironic would it be to see the next big advancement come from somebody’s garage… There’s a beauty in that; I just hope it gets shaped with a really nice power tool.

Plus One, I need to get some real interest to generate a list. Don’t think that offshore fabrication/foundry work is inexpensive; you have to buy a lot to get a price break. Unless you want at least 500K pieces, you’re better off staying domestic. There’s also a lot of “hidden” fees. The original Skil was sandcast aluminum alloy and machined. Parts directly CNC machined from a good alum alloy and heat treated are twice as durable since they don’t have the porosity of a casting. However, there’s nothing wrong with a plastic housing if you use the right compound that will take the heat. There’s alot available, mainly developed for under-the-hood auto applications. Unfortunately Hitachi missed the target, but the Bosch 1594 is right on the money from an engineering standpoint in both materials and assembly design. The drum and the motor are highly balanced so it’s very smooth running. You’ll never melt the bearings into the housing but the handle is like ironing clothes. Fix that and tweak the depth adjustment and you’ve got a good tool for about $120. That’s less than the cost of a replacement shoe, and a better solution than trying to patch up your broken shoe. BTW, forget glues and resin, get it welded and re-machined (but this will probably be $150 when you’re done). I will have a replacement for the Skil soon; just need to clear the decks of other stuff and get some product safety issues resolved.

I got a Reply from Steve at Infinity Surfboards and he said a friend had milled 6 of them for him awhile ago.He said the guy that did the milling can’t find the program.So you may be good to go.