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When using a router table, you want the throat — the opening the bit pokes through — to be the smallest diameter possible that still allows the router bit to turn freely. If the opening is too large, small pieces can dip or even fall into the throat. Some throat plates twist and lock into place, and others are held in place by screws, but by far the coolest way to hold a router throat plate is with magnets.

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INCRA’s MagnaLOCK laser cut steel rings are held in place with four rare earth magnets; just drop the right-sized ring in place and you’re ready to route. The donut-shaped magnets are held in place with counter-sunk screws and sit on top of O-rings. This setup presumably allows you to adjust the height of the rings so that they’re flush to the table surface.

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Lee Valley just posted a straightedge that uses magnets to hold a steel rule at many commonly-used angles, including ones for isometric drawing. Hmm — the last time I made an isometric drawing by hand, I was in middle school shop class. With CAD becoming ubiquitous and free CAD-like programs available to the general public, I can’t imagine there’s much use for hand-drawn isometric drawings anymore unless you’re a die-hard drafter.

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Most table saw fences don’t come with a digital readout accurate to 0.001″. You can buy products that add this feature, but they can be expensive and they’ll only work on the tool on which you mount it. With Mag-Dro’s magnetic caliper base, you can take a 6″ caliper, a tool you probably already have in your shop, and turn it into a positioning tool.

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How cool would it be if your tape measure actually stayed put without having to hold onto it? You could walk away from your work and not have to reposition the tape. This probably isn’t going to happen for woodworkers anytime soon — but if you work with ferromagnetic materials, there’s always the Magna Rule.

Marked in both Metric and inch scales, Motor Guard’s flexible magnetic ruler will stay in place on any magnetic surface, whether flat or curved.  Several retailers claim these are made in the USA, and Motor Guard itself purports to be a supplier of high-quality US products.

You can purchase the Magna Rules in a set with 12″, 24″, and 36″ rules. Pricing for the three-pack starts around $20 before shipping.

Magna Rule MR-3 [Motor Guard]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Ever dream of scaling a wall like Spiderman? Cling Climbing is working on a device that’ll let you: The only caveat is that the walls need to be made of a magnetic material like steel. So what’s the practical purpose of this device? They list such uses as climbing power pylons, ships, silos, or steel bridges to do maintenance or inspections.

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Can you spot something missing on Kapro’s Combination Square? Actually two things are missing.  Notice there’s no channel running the length of the rule; it’s smooth and flat. You don’t need a channel because this square doesn’t have the usual thumb screw locking mechanism. Instead six rare-earth magnets hold the body where you position it.

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Forget measuring to locate recessed cans when you’re hanging drywall; Blind Mark’s Center Mark tool uses the awesome power of magnets to make finding them faster and easier.

To use the Center Mark, screw the target into the socket inside the recessed can and hang the drywall.  Then move the Center Mark locater puck approximately where the can should be, and with any luck the puck will snap into place to locate the center of the can. Finally, saw away from the puck until you hit the edge of the recessed can, jump to the outside, and saw around the outside of the can.

The Center Mark sells for $18. The Home Depot site claims the tool is only available online, but my local Home Depot had them on the shelf.

Center Mark [Blind Mark]
Center Mark [Home Depot]

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I don’t do much work with steel studs at home (okay, I’ve never worked with steel studs anywhere, but I’ve seen them and think they’re neat) so I have not used the Wedjji from J&J Industries. It’s a door and window framing tool that allows one person to center a stud in a metal door or window frame. Based on videos on the Wedjji web site, commercial construction crews would formerly use pieces of sheetrock for this, and it was a PITA. The Wedjji, which comes in four sizes, depending on sheetrock thickness and stud dimensions, costs between $27.99 and $29.49. Each unit has 3 or 4 built-in magnets to hold it to the door or window frame. It looks like the Wedjji is a reasonable widget, and it does have a cool name.

Have any Toolmongers used this tool? Is it a good alternative to a few scrap pieces of sheetrock?

Wedjji [Manufacturer's Site]

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Magswitch takes two Magswitches and mounts them to a couple of right-angle plates to make their BoomerAngle Adjustable Switchable Magnetic Welding Angle. They sell two versions of the BoomerAngle: an 8″ model sporting two 30mm Magswitches with 155 lbs. of breakaway force each and a 10″ model with two 50mm Magswitches, each having a breakaway force of 550 lbs.

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Anybody with kids or grandkids has gone through the childproofing stage. You find yourself crawling around on all fours, permanently damaging your nice cabinets (and maybe your knees) by installing safety latches to keep the wee ones out of unfriendly places like cleaning cupboards. Then after a few weeks you find yourself walking halfway across the house to throw something away in your bedroom rather than fuss with opening the latch to the kitchen garbage.

Kidco’s magnetic child locks could solve some of the potential pitfalls of installing child safety latches.  First they attach with adhesives, possibly saving your cabinets from damage. Second they open simply with the touch of a magnetic key in the proper location. They claim the key will release the latch through over one inch of solid wood.

The best pricing we could find was $20 shipped for a pack of three locks with one key and key holder. Now if it only had a targeting laser…

Magnetic Child Locks [Kidco]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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