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Posts by: Gordon DeWitte

The latest Lee Valley Woodworking Newsletter (Vol. 4, Issue 5, May 2010) has a great article on how Konrad Sauer reproduced a handled badger plane. Badger planes, “generally considered to be Scottish in origin,” have a blade that is both skewed and rotated (about 10°) so the blade exits out of one side of the plane allowing it to cut rebates. tramadol online pharmacy

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I’ve had two occasions recently to use my set of Alden proGrabit® broken screw extractors, and both times it worked like a champ. The first time was on some — apparently cheap — 6-32 Phillips screws in an outdoor electrical box where the heads were quite dinged up (probably during installation). A quick touch with the drill bit side while reversing the drill created a cavity in the top of the screw. Then, with the bit flipped around to the extractor side and continuing to run the drill in reverse, I easily removed the screws. The second time was on a broken 5/16″-18 brass air-release screw in a pneumatic telescoping mast, and the process went just as smoothly.

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CRKT has a new multi-tool “chassis” that consists of a dual-carabiner center section to which you can add various tools. For example, shown above is their $59.99 GoWork Pack comprising the chassis, a knife, and a hex driver. The various components slide onto the center chassis as shown below.

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When Sean reviewed the GRR-Ripper almost three years ago (TM 6/19/07), most of the comments indicated it was too expensive at ~$70. Well, through May 29, 2010, Woodcraft has it available for $59.99, a $20 reduction from its current list price. Amazon has it for the same $59.99 price (they’re linked to Rockler). The GRR-Ripper grips and hold both sides of the work piece, and can be used on table saws, router tables, and jointers.

Any more TM users of the GRR-Ripper since Sean reviewed it? What do you think? Is this a Dealmonger @ $59.99?

Micro Jig GRR-Ripper System [Woodcraft]
GRR-Ripper Adjustable Push Block Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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The Make blog reports on Steve Roberts’ outfitting of a 24′ utility trailer as a mobile electronics lab and workshop. Steve’s the guy who has spent the last three decades exploring high-tech bike projects (e.g., Winnebiko and BEHEMOTH; a total of 17,000 miles biking around the U.S.), and a variety of high-tech amphibious and watercraft vehicles.

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While supplies last, Lee Valley has a 1200W heat gun for $19.95. This gun has a two-speed fan (7.3 and 15 cfm) and a dial-operated variable-heat control, shown below, from 110° F to 930° F (45° C to 500° C). For safety, they encased the gun’s heating element in ceramic and added a thermostat to prevent overheating.

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This post took a lot longer than I expected because I kept looking at all the neat old barn pictures. The Garage Journal reported on Heritage Restorations, a company that moves and restores 18th and 19th century timber-framed barns, cabins, houses, and mills (showroom and example buildings in Elm Mott, TX). The Long Valley Barn, shown above, is a circa 1810 barn from New Jersey that was dismantled, restored, and relocated to Texas.

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Besides guiding your saw or projecting level and plumb lines, lasers can now zap mosquitoes. A team at Intellectual Ventures Lab created a working prototype of their Photonic Fence to detect mosquitoes flying at a distance and shoot them down using lasers. The basic components came from inexpensive consumer electronics (e.g., laser printers, Blu-Ray disc writers, camcorders, and video game consoles).

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With all the web sites — OK, I’ve seen two — covering adjustable-height workbenches/tables using scissor jacks and torsion-box construction, it must mean a resurgence of something or other (height? adjustability? scissor jacks? torsion-boxes?). The Jack Bench, shown above and seen on LumberJocks, is a mobile-base, adjustable-height workbench that adjusts from 29″ to 43″ high. Designed by Charlie Kocourek, its telescoping legs are torsion boxes, and the bench is raised and lowered by an ordinary scissors jack. Standard ¾” pipe clamps lock the legs into one solid base unit at the desired height. A second scissors jack raises the bench off the floor and onto its mobile base, allowing the bench to be wheeled around. Charlie has detailed plans available on his web site for $29.95. He also has several videos showing the operation of the Jack Bench.

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Selected as one of 11 Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Awards, the patent-pending doubleVsquare was designed by carpenter Ray Atwood and introduced at this year’s National Hardware Show. This square, which lists for $24.95, has all the functions of a standard triangular square tool, plus it folds open to a 90° square and allows you to mark two sides in one motion (as shown in the above picture). When it’s folded flat, it gives you a larger straight edge. When it’s folded closed, it takes up the same space as a speed square in your tool belt or toolbox.

What do you think? Will it replace your layout square? Let us know in comments.

doubleVsquare [Manufacturer's Site]