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We joke around the office that if you ask Sean to make anything (from a bookcase to a giant dinosaur), the first thing he does is open Photoshop. (No, .) So say you’ve crafted some awesome sign lettering or other cool pattern digitally, but now you want to transfer it to wood. You could spend thousands on a device to do it directly — or you could put to use the same tool that artists have used for years to trace and resize drawings: the pantograph.

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Northern Tool is selling the Milescraft WheelEzze grinding wheel dressing tool for $8.  Used to dress bench grinding wheels (you do dress your wheels, don’t you?), it’s a little less brutal than star wheel-type dressers.

WheelEzze Dressing Tool [Northern Tool]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

When cutting crown molding, you’ve usually got two choices:  1) Calculate the compound angle and actually use your compound miter saw to its full potential, or 2) cut it upside down and backwards.  Both of these non-intuitive methods can lead to expensive mistakes.  Screw that — why not use a jig like Milescraft’s Crown45 that lets you cut the the crown molding just like you’ll put it up on the wall?

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Dual Featherboard

A single featherboard is practically a necessity when routing a profile like a bull-nose, where you can’t correct the damage with another pass if the board lifts from the table. Two featherboards help keep the board tight against the fence and table, when making cuts like long dovetails. So, if you’re already buying two featherboards, why not buy a pair that also stack to make a wider featherboard for operations on tall boards?

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Offset Router Base

Edge routing can be tricky if your router doesn’t have a large enough base. The router’s center of gravity hangs over the edge of the workpiece, making it easy to accidentally tip the router and ruin your crisp profile. An offset router base gives you more leverage to keep the router from tipping.

Milescraft offers an affordable 13″-long offset base made of clear polycarbonate. It sports an oversized knob to make the base easy to grab, and the scratch-resistant surface helps ensure the base’s transparency.

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This makes a great DIY project for a Toolmonger, but cutting the angles can be a problem. After reading this post on the All-In-One Clamp, and this post on the MilesCraft Saw Guide, I still had no solution for how to cut long, straight lines that’re at odd angles to the edge of a board. A table saw with the guide set at an angle will do the trick, but here’s a way to manage it if your shop hasn’t grown that big yet.

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With this mobile tool workcenter, you can keep your Dremel (or other mini rotary tool) close at hand, along with accessories, work space, and extra storage. You can even sketch out ideas on a whiteboard on the box’s lid. The website mentions an “integrated vacuum hose port” but doesn’t provide much information about it — it looks like the unoccupied bench-dog holes might function as a downdraft table for dust control. Do any of you Milescraft MobileX1 workcenter owners care to fill us in on the details?

MSRP on this little beauty is $75, and street pricing is a pretty uniform $60, but I ran across it at All Electronics for $45, with shipping in the $7 range.

Milescraft Portable Hobbyist’s Workcenter [Digimode10]
Rotary Tool Workcenter [All Electronics]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] (B000KIASXG) [What’s This?]

 
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A good all-purpose straight edge guide is helpful in making your cabinetry or woodworking projects turn out for the best, and while there are many different models and types, often they might not fit your rig — or if they do they won’t fit another saw you have around the shop.  The MilesCraft saw guide system is a universal edge guide and circle system for all saws. 

It works by attaching directly to your circular or jig saw to provide an edge following fence for controlled cutting.  The preset holes in the guide head allow for clean circular cuts with your jigsaw, and the measuring scales on the bars provide quick and easy cutting measurements.  The guide allows for up to 10″cuts with left- or right-hand usage and includes a circle compass for making round cuts with a jigsaw.

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post-orbiter.jpgIf you’ve ever tried to cram your drill into a tight or odd-shaped space, you’re a candidate for Milescraft’s Drill Orbiter — an extreme extension of the 90-degree drill attachment concept.

The Orbiter consists of a spherically-shaped rotating head assembly with a drill input shaft, chuck, and handle.  What makes the Orbiter special is that the head assembly is split into two hemispheres, each of which can rotate separately to create an incredible range of extension angles.  The handle also makes it easy to control the drill once you’ve created an angle shape that’ll let you fit it in the spot where you need it.

The Orbiter features a 3/8″ hex shaft for drill drive, which means you can use it with 3/8″ and 1/2″ chuck drills.  It includes a 3/8″ keyless chuck, and the handle has a soft rubber grip.

Street pricing starts around $30, and you can find the Orbiter online and in most big-box home improvement stores.

The Drill Orbiter [Milescraft]
Street Pricing [Froogle]