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Generally you use a hot wire cutter to make flat profile cuts through foam. With Proxxon’s new ThermoCut 12/E, you’re not just stuck with a boring straight profile — you can bend the wire to cut almost any profile you can imagine.

A U-shaped fixed frame has a pivoting and adjustable length arm on top, and an extendable lower arm holds the hot wire. The arms extend far enough to cut as deep as 7.9″ into the foam and you can cut foam as high as 5.9″.  The wire heats up in only a second, and you can vary the wire temperature to fine-tune the cut.

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Bosch is missing out on a big market here in the U.S. by not selling their IXO Vino lithium-ion cordless screwdriver with corkscrew attachment. I mean, if you had a choice between a cordless screwdriver and a cordless screwdriver with a corkscrew, which tool would you choose?

Setting the corkscrew aside, the screwdriver has an integrated LED to illuminate fasteners in poorly lit areas and a built-in charge level indicator. It can be operated in forward, reverse, or locked mode for hand driving. The one thing that disappoints me is Bosch integrates the lithium-ion battery into the tool iPhone-style, so when the battery dies, the screwdriver is about as useful as a door stop.

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The temperatures are dropping and you’ve started getting out the winter clothes, but did you ever think about your poor router feeling the chill? JessEm has your router covered with their Rout-R-Jacket… oh wait, it’s not that kind of jacket? Let’s try this again.

Unless you have a fully enclosed router table, collecting all the dust you produce can be hard. About a year ago we covered the Dust Bucket, a sheet metal box that encloses your router to catch the dust. JessEm’s Rout-R-Jacket is a similar type of enclosure, except it’s made out of fabric.

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At first glance, the BladeRunner seems to be a corporatized version of mounting a jigsaw upside-down in a table. Heck, even the second and third glances still give that impression.

The product video on the website further tarnishes the image with its cheesy infomercial feel, especially the part with the BladeRunner doing the jobs of at least five other tools that would normally cost you $500 or more to buy. The fact you can pay for it in four easy payments of $40 doesn’t help the image of an “As Seen On TV” product. Not to disappoint, they even offer to throw in the wall mount, a $40 value, absolutely free.

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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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This is part three of a series where I take a look at the Delta DP 350 drill press. If you missed the first two parts, check out the links at the bottom of the article.

In part II, I left off mentioning that Rockler had just put this drill press on sale and I wondered if Rockler would refund me the difference. It never hurts to ask, so I asked my local store if they’d give me store credit for the difference. Without hesitation, they said sure. They would have refunded the difference to my credit card if I hadn’t had another $50 of stuff to buy anyway. It wasn’t even a problem that my receipt got wet and the bar code was unreadable. And no, they have no idea who I am; I have no doubt they would have done this for any customer. All in all, a stand up corporation.

First Real Test

My first real project with the drill press was boring holes for a pair of dry erase marker holders. I needed a series of 1/2″ diameter holes 1-3/4″ deep in some red oak. To set the depth stop, I drilled the first hole approximately 1-1/2″ deep and then incrementally drilled a bit more and checked the depth with a caliper until the hole was 1-3/4″ deep. Then I set the depth stop from that first hole.

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Sure we learn by our mistakes, but we don’t have to advertise them to the world. If you make more mistakes than the tiny nub of an eraser on your pencil can handle, maybe it’s time to upgrade to an electric eraser like the above Sakura model.

Powered by two AAA batteries, this compact eraser runs spins at 12,000 RPM to quickly remove marks.  Designed to be easy to control and comfortable to use, it weighs only 2.8 oz. It uses two different types of erasers: white vinyl for pencil and blue solvent for drafting ink.

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Metabo’s Wall Chaser MFE 30 is a specialty tool for cutting grooves or chases in masonry or concrete.  The tool saves time by cutting both sides of the groove at once. Then all you need to do is chisel out the middle with the supplied extraction chisel.

Two 4-7/8″ diameter diamond cutting disks allow you to cut grooves 3/8″, 5/8″, 7/8″, or 1-1/8″ wide and up to 1-1/8″ deep, or you can just use one blade for other cutting chores. A dust port connects to common-sized suction hoses to keep the dust down.

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Fein added an interesting feature to some of the angle grinders in their WS 14 line; they replaced the switch with four touch pads — two in the front and two in the rear.

You start the grinder by touching one of the font pads and one of the rear pads. The grinder will continue to operate as long as you touch one of the four pads and will slow to a stop when you release it. Just so you don’t accidentally start it, you can lock the grinder off.

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