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Posts by: Benjamen Johnson

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Need a quick way to check that your scroll or band saw table is set at the right angle? These plastic Accu-Angle gauges are a fast and easy way to set or verify the angle of the table to the blade.

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The set of eight gauges measures angles from 0 to 7.5º in 0.5º steps. Each gauge measures two different angles. The whole set will run you $13 before shipping.

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Accu-Angle [Woodcraft]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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You know you should be wearing hearing protection in the shop, but you don’t want to stop what you’re doing just to grab it. Do this enough times, and you might find yourself asking why everybody has started mumbling.

To avoid becoming one of 15% of the adult population with noise-induced hearing loss, you might benefit from 3M’s NI-100 Noise Indicator. Accurate to 3dB, the noise indicator flashes red every second when noise levels rise above 85 dBA (the dB limit where hearing protection is recommended) — and flashes green every second when the noise level is below 85dBA. If it isn’t flashing, either you forgot to turn it on or the battery is dead.

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You’d be hard-pressed to call most router tables portable, even the benchtop ones. Bucking this trend, MLCS sells a portable router table that folds up compactly for easy transport and storage.

MLCS coats the 1″ thick, 24″ x 16″ MDF top with Melamine and runs banding around the edge for a finished look. The 11″ long, hinged legs fold up for transport and lock into position when in use to support up to 150 lbs. To help the table stay in place when it’s set up, they coat the bottom of the steel legs in rubber.

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You’d think manufacturers have done just about everything possible to make drill bits perform better, but it seems they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Colt, a German drill bit manufacturer, recently introduced some new bits with what almost looks like a four-flute design.

Made of alloy steel, the Twinland brad point bits use a 25º flute with a recessed land — the land is the raised area of the spiral bit. By creating a void in the land, the design removes chips faster and helps prevent one cause of burning, where chips get between the land and the hole wall. The second “land” surface also is supposed to improve guidance and accuracy.

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Getting all the teeth lined up on a dado stack is hard enough without worrying about losing shims — that’s why Forrest dado stacks ship with magnetic shims. But you don’t need to buy the Forrest to get these shims; you can buy them separately and they’ll stay stuck to just about any steel blade or chipper.

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It cuts and scrapes; it peels and notches. It slits and marks; it’s a floor wax and a whipped topping… oops, wrong product. It’s Two Cherries’ new 2Cut. It may look like a chisel, but they claim it’s a universal tool for the craftsman as well a the do-it-yourselfer.

Like its name implies, the 2Cut has two different cutting edges: the 26 mm front edge like a regular chisel and the 90 mm long side edge for cutting use. The remaining side edge can be hit with a mallet. Two Cherries hardens the entire blade in a salt bath to achieve 60±1 RHC and polishes both cutting edges until they’re mirror bright.

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Is it possible that you get to a point where you own so many tools that you forget what you own? Or is it just the ravages of old age taking its toll on my mind?

A few days ago, I decided to round over the corners of my drill press table because I’ve dinged up the edges pretty good. So I grabbed my Colt router and looked for a round-over bit. The only 1/4″ shank round-over bit I own is a 3/8″ radius, but of course I have a nice selection of 1/2″ shank round-over bits.

Rather than using the Colt, I end up flipping the drill press table upside down and routing a 1/8″ radius on my router table; it was awkward, but it worked. It looked so good that I wanted to relieve the edge of the router table I’m in the process of building. I figured I’d better pick up a 1/8″ round-over bit for the Colt next time I’m at the store rather than try to muscle the new table on top of the old table.

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So cutting foam rubber isn’t your thing; still, you’ve got to love a tool that has counter-reciprocating blades. The counter-reciprocating action is supposed to cut down on vibration and noise and give you more control for precise cutting of all densities of foam rubber, plastic foams, and even carpet.

Made in Germany, the 3.2A motor can produce 3,200 SPM (which I’m guessing means Strokes Per Minute) with no load. The tool operates with a long paddle-type switch and can be locked running. You can change the four different length blades without tools.

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Whether you need to repair a branch on your ornamental tree or want to experiment growing the perfect variety of apple, using a grafting tool to make your cuts may help you get better results.

This 8″ grafting tool from A. M. Leonard promises to give you more uniform cuts for more consistent grafts. The tool includes blades to make three different types of cuts: an omega cut, which looks somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle, a V-cut like what is pictured above, and a budding, or T-cut. You can use it on branches from 1/4″ to 1/2″ in diameter.

Made in Italy, the tool is constructed from heavy duty poly and steel. It comes with three different blades and two anvils. You can purchase it for about $75 shipped.

Grafting Tool [A.M. Leonard]
About Grafting [UMN Extension]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

Whether you want to build a unique storage case for your coin collection or find a classy way to mark the year you built your woodworking project, you’ll be hard pressed to find the right-sized bit in a regular Forstner bit set. What you need is a coin-sized Forstner bit set.

There may be sets for other countries’ coins out there, but we’ll talk about sets that have bits for the 6 sizes of U.S. coins. The bits for the U.S. coin sizes are more or less as follows:

  • Pennies: 19.1 mm or 0.751″
  • Nickles: 21.3mm or .839″
  • Dimes: 18mm or .709″
  • Quarters:  24.1mm or .949″
  • Half Dollars: 30.6mm or  1.205″
  • Dollars: 26.6mm or 1.047″

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