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You want to start woodworking, but you’re a little intimidated by the number of the tools you’ll need and what it’ll do to your budget. For $300, FootPrint Tools offers a 17-piece woodworking tool kit that’s probably adequate to you get started right away.

The set includes:

  • A block plane
  • A bench plane
  • A jack plane
  • A 10-1/2″ carpenter’s bevel
  • A 10-1/2″ square
  • A marking gauge
  • A 4-1/2″ Beechwood mallet
  • Nine wood chisels (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″, 1″, 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″)
  • An adjustable honing guide

The bevel, square, and marking gauge are made from rosewood and brass and the chisels have polypropylene handles.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure where I left the blade guard/splitter for my table saw, and frankly I don’t really care; it’s a real pain to remove and replace and it gets in the way of at least half of the operations I perform. Now, I really like the idea of a built-in riving knife that moves with the blade, so maybe on my next saw — but for now this removable splitter from Micro Jig has caught my eye.

Not only does the MJ Splitter keep the workpiece from pinching the blade, it also can act as a mini-featherboard to keep the workpiece against the fence after it exits the blade — something that’s not easy to do any other way. By choosing one of the four sides of the two included splitters, you can adjust the amount of pressure the splitters apply by changing how much it is offset from the blade in increments of .003″.

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Should you turn in your brass setup bars for a set of Kreg’s new precision router table setup bars?  Probably not, but they are an interesting alternative for setting up your table saw, router, and other tools.

While brass setup bars are just pieces of square or rectangular stock machined to tight tolerances, Kreg designed their bars with three different gauges on each bar to easily measure tool height, cut depth gauge, and the distance from tool to the fence. The new style of setup bars might be easier to use for woodworkers who aren’t accustomed to using brass setup bars; you can’t stack their bars to get different thicknesses.

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When I first saw Eagle’s Marking Center Finder, I thought, “Cool, that works on the same principle as Rockler’s mortise-centering router baseplate.” Looking at the PVC-made jig, I figured it’d be 5 to 10 bucks tops, but then I saw $25 price tag and figured I’d tell everyone they should spend 15 minutes in the shop and make one with a with a piece of scrap wood and a section of dowel instead.

It’s simple geometry that if you build it right, drilling three evenly spaced holes on a line, the resulting jig should be pretty accurate in finding the center of a board. And if you build your own you won’t be limited to the width of a 2×4 like Eagle’s model.

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You wire your shop for electricity and run ducting for your dust collection system, so why not outfit your shop with compressed air outlets where you’ll need them rather than dragging the air hose around?

RapidAir makes running air lines throughout the shop as easy as running PEX water line. You don’t have to cut and thread pipe or mess with pipe dope at the fittings. The system can handle pressures up to 150 PSI using just flexible 1/2″ nylon tubing and simple push-on fittings.

Pricing for the master kit starts at $140; it includes one compressor manifold, two outlets, and 100′ of 1/2″ blue nylon tubing. Outlets, tubing, and fittings are also available separately.

Master Kit [RapidAir]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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The smarter we become, the more we realize that wood dust and other airborne pollution isn’t very healthy for us to inhale — not to mention the how pissed off the homeowner becomes when there’s a thick layer of sawdust or drywall dust over everything in the house. For your shop you can install permanent air cleaners, but are you going to drag them with you to every job site?

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If your miter saw doesn’t have a digital readout, there’s no need upgrade to a newer saw. iGaging’s digital miter saw gauge fits in the blade slot and rests against the fence to let you set your angles to an accuracy of ±0.1°. Of course, it isn’t as convenient as a built-in gauge since you have to remove it before you can use the saw.

The digital display has a resolution of 0.05°, a range of ±50°, and a hold function. The body is made from solid aluminum and has an adjustable locking device to fit blade slots from 5/16″ to 7/8″.

A 2″ engineer square and a 3V battery are included with the gauge. Eagle America — the only place we could find it — regularly sells it for $50, but it’s on sale for $40 and $9 shipping if you use their cheapest option.

iGaging [Corporate Site]
Digital Miter Saw Gauge [Eagle America]

 

A blade organizer like this one might be a little overkill if your tools never leave the shop, but if you’re constantly on the move, having all your blades in one secure location could be worth the $40+ price tag.

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