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Pocket screws allow you to quickly and easily join pieces. Several companies sell similar variations of the pocket screw jig, and they all work pretty much the same way. One exception is the Route-A-Pocket. It takes a few more tools and a little more effort, but produces what the manufacturer thinks is a better-looking and stronger joint.

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Line up the Route-A-Pocket jig on your work piece, chuck the special router bit and a 3/4″ bushing into your router, and you’re ready to make the pocket. Once the pocket is cut, you stick the pilot hole drill bit into a bushing on the end of the jig and drill the hole.

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You knew it was coming. With all the digital readouts being sold on the market, it was only a matter of time before somebody slapped one an a router. Now Craftsman’s digital plunge router comes with an on-board digital display for setting cut depth.

The display reads in increments of 1/64″ and you control it via three buttons: the on/off/zero button, the in/mm button, and the light button. You use the display to zero the bit and dial in the cut depth anywhere between 0 and 2″ with the depth stop knob. After locking in the depth knob, the tool works just like any other plunge router.

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Looking for a clean way to run some wiring or piping?  Amana Tool’s new ball end insert router bits cut a circular channel in the backside of moldings to hide the runs. Ball end bits aren’t new, but these bits are an extension of Amana’s line of bits with replaceable inserts.

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Don’t get me wrong — I like my old Porter Cable 690 series router, but if I was a first-time router buyer today, there are so many more choices. Electronic speed control, built-in dust collection, and height adjustment are all key features my router is missing. But one of the coolest new features has to be Bosch’s router table base.

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We just covered the Sidewinder router lift from Woodpeckers which moved the height adjustment from the table top to the side for easier access, but how about going one step further and motorizing the lift so you can adjust the height on the fly? The MLCS PowerLift does just that.

Controlled with a foot pedal, you can make adjustments to the height in increments as small as .005″. You can watch the speed, direction, and height of the lift right on the digital control panel. The lift also has a depth stop so it will stop when you reach the desired cutting depth and can lift the router motor high enough so you can change bits above the table. To eliminate backlash when raising and lowering the router, MLCS connects the DC motor to the lifts screw by cogged pulleys and belts.

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MLCS sells a simple fix for a problem I didn’t know existed — evidently some router guide bushings can vibrate loose under use. Their solution is to sell you a spring washer that keeps pressure on the bushing nut so it won’t turn during use.

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The whole point of a router lift is to make it easy to quickly and accurately adjust the height of a router. Most router lifts are pretty accurate, but sometimes adjusting them isn’t a quick as it could be. Generally you have to use a special tool for the top of the table to adjust the height. Woodpeckers’ new Side Winder Router Lift uses a flexible cable and crank that can be mounted within easy reach to quickly raise or lower the router.

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If you just need to create simple box joints rather than fancy joinery, MLCS has another system for quickly producing these joints on your router table.

The three different spacer bases in the Multi-Joint system allow you to make 1/2″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ box joints as well as rabbet, dado, spline, and sliding dovetails. The bases are 24″ long pieces of laminated MDF with guide bars made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW).

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To create interesting joints, previously we covered Isoloc joint templates for Leigh dovetail jigs, but the templates were expensive — plus, you need to already own an expensive Leigh dovetail jig. MLCS now sells the less-expensive Fast Joint system that you can use with a router table to make similar fancy-looking joints.

Using the system is pretty straightforward. Fit the male and female templates in the Fast Joint jig, install the correct bushing in your router table, chuck the bit into your router, and lock the work piece into the jig. Then just start routing. After you finish the first piece, flip the jig over to use the complementary template and lock in the mating work piece.

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Denker’s rotary planing and cutting head fits any rotary tool that will hold its ¼” shank, whether it be a router, a rotary tool, a spiral cutter, or tool with a flex shaft.

Made in the USA and hardened to 62 RHC, Denker claims the cutter can slice through tough hardwoods even if it’s green or has burls. They design the head to cut one chip every revolution, and it rides the surface of the wood to help guide the cut. It will cut a little or a lot of material depending on how you hold it against the wood.

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