Woodworking News
(April, 2017)


New Lithium Ion Wet/Dry Hand Vacuums

In March, Black & Decker introduced four new models of its handheld line of small, portable vacuums. Ideal for installers and repair jobs where the woodworkers needs to clean up a small amount of drilling or sanding residue, the vacuums can also handle liquids. Maintenance is a breeze thanks to an easy-off, washable bowl and filters. Plus, the operator can tell at a glance when its time to empty the translucent dirt bowl. And he/she can remove errant liquid messes without a trace using an included squeegee accessory. Sawdust clean-up from small jobs such as sink installs is quick and easy thanks to the vacuums' wide-mouth design. These tools don't take up much space because of a convenient wall-mount storage and charging station. They are lightweight yet powerful: the HWVI225J01 model, for example, is underv 2 lbs and has a 7.2 Volt power source.
 


 

Cordless, Brushless Router

A new 18-Volt brushless compact router (model R86044B) from RIDGID has a brushless motor that is designed to deliver more run-time and longer motor life. The tool also features variable speed - from 17,000 to 25,000 RPM, depending on the diameter and profile of your bit, and the material being milled. There's a micro-adjust dial for making small changes to the cutter depth, and a soft start switch "that helps prevent gouges on work surface and extends motor life". A quick release lever allows easy removal of the motor housing from the base - none of that endless screwing them apart - and there's an LED light built in. The Home Depot's price tag on this tool is just $119, but that doesn't include a battery or charger. That's because the company offers a number of different battery pack and charger options, which can be found online. There's a lifetime limited warranty.



Reach In and Rip...

New from the power tools division of Bosch (aptly named Bosch Blue), is an 18-Volt compact reciprocating saw. The 083B11 can reach "into spaces that other reciprocating saws can't fit". Don't let the small size fool you: at only 15-3/4" long (and 4.4 lbs without the battery), it has all the power a cabinet installer needs. That's because, according to Bosch, it has the best power-to-weight ratio in its class and delivers 3,050 strokes per minute. And because of the light weight, it is ideal for continuous cutting above your shoulders. The easy-to-operate blade-change system delivers quick, tool free blade changes, and an LED light brightens up the work zone. The saw comes with a lock-out switch to prevent inadvertent startups, and the kit includes a FatPack™ battery, a fast charger (it will take a spent battery to 80% in 25 minutes), a 6" blade to get you started and a handy tote bag.

 


 

More Ergonomical Parts Handling

Located in Portland, Maine, the Southworth Corporation makes materials handling solutions. In late March, the company introduced its new PalletPal Roll-On, a platform that lowers to floor height so that pallets can be placed and removed using a hand pallet truck. Ideal for woodshops that make parts and/or manually load and unload a CNC, the platform has a built-in turntable that rotates product so the woodworker is always loading or unloading pallets from the near side. The unit’s capacity is 2500 lbs. and its 44” x 48” platform accepts a variety of pallet sizes. The fully raised platform height is 30”. As parts are loaded, the platform is lowered so that each succeeding tier of goods can be loaded at the same height. Raising and lowering is controlled by either a pushbutton pendant or foot switch.


Two New Vacs

The German manufacturer FEIN Power Tools, Inc. has just released a pair of powerful, professional grade wet/dry shop vacuums. Both models, the Turbo X and the Turbo X AC, come with extensive accessories, and the lid is shaped to securely store tool cases for various other Fein tools. The company, which has offices in Pittsburg, PA, added a built-in push handle to make it easy to move one of these vacs around the jobsite or shop. The AC model has fully automatic filter cleaning (AC refers to 'automatic cleaning') for uninterrupted work and longer service life of the flat pleated filter. Either model can handle all types of debris from liquids to fine dusts, and both are approved for dust class L because of their PES flat pleated filters and electronic safety shutdown when in the wet vacuuming mode. The motors have an autostart with power-on delay to prevent electric current spikes, and both come with a 25-ft power cable and a 13-ft suction hose, to provide a large operating radius. The Fein Turbo II X AC Wet/Dry Dust Extractor sells for $549 at Fein tools Online.

 

 

Handheld CNC

The Shaper Origin is a handheld CNC router with a screen on board. You move the machine to its approximate location, following a line on the screen, and the router actually moves in its housing to make fine adjustments and deliver accurate cuts. The operator sticks a special tape on a board to allow the CNC to zero out. The concept is magnificently simple, and the first generation of the tool made a lot of industry heads turn. Now, the second generation is being offered for sale before its release. According to the company, it "combines robotic precision with hand tool simplicity". Origin is a portable, intuitive, and powerful tool that is capable of handling a wide variety of materials and projects. A limited number are available now for pre-sale. Batch 1 pre-orders that were taken prior to Feb 1, 2017 will begin to ship this September, and batch 2 pre-orders (taken after Feb 1, 2017) will begin to ship in January, 2018. There is a video of it in action on YouTube, and the tool sells for $2,099 with some discounts available for early ordering.


New Power Drawbar

Wisconsin based Tormach offers milling centers that are ideal "for prototyping, short run production, education, and hobby CNC milling", including the PCNC 440 which tops out at 10,000 RPM and has a base price of $4,950. The company has just introduced a new Power Drawbar that is designed to reduce tool change time. Instead of opening the spindle cover, using a wrench to loosen the drawbar bolt, inserting the new tool, retightening the bolt and then closing the cover, operators can now simply press a button to swap out cutting tools. The power drawbar "doesn’t just make tool changes quicker, it makes them effortless". Many people find themselves purchasing machines on a budget, and therefore tend to skip some of the flashier accessories, or buyers don’t see a need to make tool changes quickly if they are only machining for hobby, prototyping, or some other non-production purpose. But the power drawbar is an accessory that most users place in the “need” column, instead of the “want” column. The power drawbar is designed for use with the Tormach Tooling System® (TTS), and it easily pivots away to allow manual tightening of the drawbar if necessary for conventional R8 tooling.

 


 

Powerful Portables

Adwood Corp. in High Point, NC has introduced its new Adamik Manual Plus Portable Edgebander. The tool is compatible with ABS, PVC, wood veneer and Melamine from 0.3 to 3mm, and while it's lightweight and compact for portable use in-shop or on location, it can also be bench-mounted.

And Makita Tools has unveiled its powerful new XSRO1, which it bills as the world's first cordless, rear-handle, circular saw. It's powered by 36 Volts of Lithium-ion power (two 18V batteries).

 

Wooden Acoustic Panel CNC

The next time you're having lunch in a busy restaurant and can't hear your client over the clatter of conversation, think Vitap. The company's new and compact Point Grooving CNC machine features one sleeve of blades in lieu of spindles, and these are used for grooving wood-based panels rather than drilling them. The machine was designed specifically for the manufacturing of acoustic/sound absorbing panels, and different blades can be used for various grooving patterns. Plus, grooving from below greatly improves dust collection and removal of excess material. For more information, visit Atlantic Machinery.

 


  Oliver Machinery is based in Kent, Washington and has been building woodshop machinery since 1890. Now in its 127th year, Oliver is still known for rock-solid, reliable woodworking equipment, but it's adding updates such as helical and spiral cutterheads, plus automated controls and sensors. So, in keeping with the times, the company has now released its 2017 catalog as a digital file that's viewable online.

Test drive cut-to-size scanners

If your sawmill is growing, or your hardwood flooring operation is expanding, optimizing scanners are probably the next logical step. Oregon-based Ultimizers has now opened a training area in its factory where graders can give some of the company's cross-cut and ripping solutions a test drive. Ulti-Vision builds scanning and optimizing systems for cut-to-size operations. Their scanners use smart camera technologies to find defects such as wane and knots (scatter defecting), infrared lasers are used for profiling, and color cameras deliver a true image showing the full board with defects.

 

 

Portable Miter Saw Stand

PortaMate’s new PM-8000 miter saw workstation is compact (31”x29”) and fits any miter saw up to 26-½” wide. With its side extensions in the raised position, it provides up to 7 ft of work support. The adjustable tool tables can raise to the height of your miter saw, and the large 10” wheels can handle most jobsite terrain. It's also ideal for bench top planers and some other tabletop tools. (Nope, the saw isn't included!)

Affinity Tool Works manufactures BORA, Portamate and HTC brands, and is also the exclusive North American distributor for Fisch, Tormek and Sjobergs.

 

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