March 2018
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Rockler's New Vacuum Pads

The Vacuum Clamp Pod Kit (item 53418) from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware is designed to be used with a vacuum pump (sold separately) to hold a workpiece firmly in place with unobstructed access to the edges and top. The kit, which is listed at $59.99, secures a workpiece from the bottom face, eliminating the need for clamps that can get in the way of sanding, routing and planing. It works on nearly any workpiece with at least one flat face, all the way down to about 4'' square. It's ideal for benchtop CNC projects such as routed signs and plaques, small workpieces, carvings and more. The kit includes two pods, 8' of hose, T-bolts and fold-down knobs that slide into a T-track table or slotted CNC table. Pods may also be screwed to a traditional work table or workbench with the included brackets. Again, the company notes that a vacuum pump, which must be able to generate suction of at least 25'' of mercury (Hg), is not included. The company does sell a pump (item 57519, $399.99).

Benchtop Jointer With Spiral Inserts

Grizzly's newest jointer, the G0821, is a 6" bechtop unit for hobbyists or jobsite use that weighs in at 56 lbs. What's unusual is that it's equipped with a carbide insert spiral cutterhead. It also has grab handles on each end of the table and a baked-on, non-stick coating on the top that provides a slick surface for a workpiece. The extended table wings also help when working longer pieces of wood, and the aluminum fence helps keep the weight down, which contributes to the portability. The motor is 1.5 HP, 120V, single-phase 12Amp. The recommended minimum workpiece length is 8", and the maximum depth of cut per pass is 1/8". The 1-7/8" diameter cutterhead spins at 8000 RPM, and the machine base takes up 19-1/2" x 11"of benchtop space. Overall length is 30-3/8", and there's a 2-1/2" dust port and both 90° and 45° stops on the fence. $429.95



Cascading Cut Lists From TigerStop

TigerTouch is now equipped with a brand new feature called Cascading Cut Lists, which runs lists sequentially, or in a cascading effect. It automatically begins processing the next list (whether it is a pattern, push feed, or set point style list), so long as it is tagged properly in TigerLink6. The new feature saves operator time because once a list is complete, the software automatically searches for and initiates the next one until the entire job is finished. Using this feature means a woodworker doesn't have to wait until a list is finished, then choose the next list he/she wants to run, and press start. The operator can simply run successive lists, saving a tremendous amount of time. If material profiles change from one list to the next, the software will notify the operator so he/she can feed the necessary material for the job. The program can also be used with added time saving and material saving software features such as Dynamic Pack Optimization. And it can be paired with TigerStop’s brand new Thermal Transfer Printer.

Brown Wood's X Panel

Brown Wood's new Modern Farmhouse collection includes shiplap, hood decor, flat and floating shelves, table pedestals... and x-panels. These have cross pieces that resemble heavy timber frames and they give the impression of strong hidden construction. The company says they can be used to cap the end of an island (shown), create a table extension, or even be used to create a wall panel or a cabinet door. One face is recessed (that is, the X isn't quite as thick as the surrounding frame), while the other remains flush. That means a woodshop can use either or both sides in designs. The panels come in 1-1/2" and 3" thickneses, and in 25" x 30" or 25" x 34-1/2" outside dimensions (they can be rotated). Available species are alder, cherry, hard maple, red oak, white oak and walnut. Brown Wood Inc. is headquartered in Lincolnwood, Illinois, and has branches in Yarmouth, Maine and New Philadelphia, Ohio.



An Irish Woodworker

It being St. Patrick's Day on March 17, the editors thought it would be appropriate to invite you to drop in on one of the foremost young Irish woodworkers and see what he has been up to lately. Joseph Walsh was born in 1979 and founded his studio and workshop at age twenty in Co. Cork, Ireland. An exquisite technician, he also has the heart of an artist - as is evinced by works such as his Canopy Bed, shown here. "Walsh’s creative approach," his online bio says, "reflects his appreciation of nature and also his desire to engage the user with visual and tactile forms. The great understanding and sympathetic use of the material, the intimate relationship between the process of finding forms and creating structures, and the continuity and resolve from the concept stage to the making process define his studio and work today." He has been awarded an honorary doctorate in design by University College Cork, and his work can be found in many significant international museum and private collections, and is regularly exhibited at major art and design fairs.

Fat Max Revisited

The new 2018 version of Stanley's venerable 25-foot Fatmax® tape measure comes with several upgrades. It now delivers 13 feet of straighter standout to help woodworkers measure confidently from a distance. The baseball-inspired grip has been refined so it's easier to hold and the tape is now equipped with the company's patented Twin-Core™ technology for a more compact case design, so it takes up less space on a tool belt. Plus, it has new longevity built in, with the longest-lasting blade coating ever applied to a Fatmax tape measure, and two times the BladeArmor® coating (a full six inches) to reinforce the hook end and help reduce breakage at the hook. The upgrades are designed to ensure that the tape can survive a fifty-foot fall, and the easy locking feature engages and disengages with ease, and holds strong when locked. A new, screw-free belt clip design also allows for easier fastening and removal.



Rockwell's Scraper

Replacing countertops, or even installing casework often requires a little jobsite demo. With that in mind, Rockwell has added a new 1-3/8" carbide-tipped oscillating blade (RW8963) to its arsenal. Designed to be compatible with most brands of multi-tools (using the included adapter), it makes heavy-duty cuts in hardwoods, metal, tile, screws, rebar, cementboard and similar materials. The blade runs about $20, works well for plunge cuts - and because of the T-shape on the business end, it can be used to flush cut close to existing cabinets, trim and other obstacles. If you need something to run this blade, Rockwell also makes the workhorse Sonicrafter F80, which is a 4.2 Amp oscillating multi-tool.

New Pro Grade Lathes Coming Soon

The number of Colt Stratus professional lathe models that are available in North America will soon be expanding. Currently, distributors such as The Studios of Bradley R. M. offer three options. The SM-350 ($999.99) is an electronic variable speed (80 to 3700 RPM) benchtop midi with a swing of 13-1/2" and a bed length of 14" (plus, a 23-1/2" bed extension is available). The 230 model is a standard bed 18" x 28" machine ($3,299.99, currently on sale), and the XL (shown, $5,999.99) has 22" x 29" capacities. Coming soon are a long bed 230 that will handle stock up to 48" in length ($3,599.99), and also a long bed version of the XL ($6,399.99), for which there are currently 20" and 55" extension kits available.The Studios of Bradley R.M. (owned by teacher and turner Bradley McCalister and located in Metter, Georgia) currently offers free shipping. The lathes are also available from Arizona Silhouette.



Festool Batteries Now Talk To Tools

Festool has just announced that it will begin offering its new Bluetooth® enabled 18 Volt lithium-ion battery packs as early as April. The batteries can communicate with a Bluetooth module that was recently introduced on most models of the company's CT Dust Extractor, and they will be able to start the extractor when a cordless tool equipped with the battery is switched on. Models will be available in 5.2 Ah and 6.2 Ah, and an integrated LED display on the battery pack displays the charge status. Tools that can be updated with the new battery packs include the TSC 55 Tracksaw, HKC 55 Carpentry Saw, BHC Hammer Drill, PDC Percussion Drill, C 18 and T 18+3 Cordless Drills, DWC Drywall Screwdriver and the Carvex Jigsaw. The CT 26, CT 36, CT 36 AC and CT 48 dust extractors can all be individually retrofitted with a Bluetooth module via a remote control on the suction hose or a Bluetooth battery pack when working with Festool cordless tools. Many of Festool’s older CT dust extractor models can also be retrofitted.

24-Volt Cordless Saw

A 24-Volt, 6-1/2" diameter cordless circular saw from Greenworks (Model 32042) comes with a 2-year battery warranty and a 4-year tool warranty. It has a built-in laser guide for the cut line, and bevels to 45 degrees. A 5/8" arbor carbide tipped blade is included, and the saw (tool only, no battery) sells for $99.99 on the company's website. The battery runs $79.99 and the charger is $24.99. The 24-Volt battery will also run the company's 1/2 gallon cordless air compressor, a 2-speed hammer drill, a 10" chainsaw, a handheld vacuum (it looks a little bit like a Black & Decker DustBuster™), and a variety of trimmers and blowers for landscaping. Greenworks North American is headquartered in the historic Cotton Mills complex in downtown Mooresville, North Carolina and also produces lawnmowers, snowblowers and a range of other outdoor tools including a 60-Volt, 16" chainsaw.



Turn A Benchtop Into A Clamping Station

A reader recently sent us an email about some rugged metal clamps, newly added at (online and also in the company's retail stores) that are very appealing to woodworkers. They are actually stocked in the welding aisle, and they come with an oversized threaded shaft (approx. 13/16" diameter) that works beautifully to transform any benchtop into a clamping fixture. Just drill the dog holes and pop them in. There doesn't seem to be a need to thread a nut onto the shaft. There are both horizontal (pushing sideways, called the Masterforce™ In-Line Toggle Clamp) and vertical (pushing down, called the Hold-Down Toggle Clamp) versions, plus a package of dogs to catch the other end of the part being clamped. The in-line clamps (SKU: 2421503) were retailing at $24.99 each on when we checked in early March, and the hold-down (SKU: 2421502) were at $19.99. A five-piece matching bench dog kit (SKU: 2421501) ran $14.99.

September Carving Show in WV

West Virginia is breathtakingly beautiful in the fall, and just before the leaves explode there's another treat in store for the senses. On September first and second, the Oglebay Woodcarvers will host their 39th annual show and sale at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, which is about an hour southwest of Pittsburgh. The event takes place from 10 to 5 each day and the venue is air conditioned, with free admission and parking. There will be demonstrations and vendor booths in addition to a great selection of carved work to admire, and perhaps even purchase. Click here to see some of the pieces from last year's show. The club, which was founded in 1976, meets twice a week at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling and draws members from WV, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's named after the Oglebay Institute (home of the Stifel) for that body's generous offer of a meeting place for the original 19 members of the Guild. Today, the group has grown to five times that number.



Organize Your Drawers

Richelieu Hardware has announced the addition of a new wood divider system combining trays, dividers, boxes and holders that's designed to deliver highly functional and stylish drawer interiors. Offered in birch and walnut tones with an elegant woodgrain texture, the Straightline modular wood divider system makes quick work of drawer organization and customization. A woodshop can create custom configurations for different needs, and each component can be arranged to accommodate a specific application. Simply unclip and move the boxes, trays and dividers into new positions for a completely new arrangement. The system can be used in any sized drawer or pull-out shelf.

Clean, Dry Compressed Air

Many woodshops are familiar with Minnesota based La-Man Corporation, which provides filtration and lubrication products to the pneumatic industry. The company has been delivering its US made products since 1979, and now distributes through some 2,000 dealers. Its patented Extractor/Dryer® and Superstar .01 micron filter are designed to treat compressed air by removing water, oil and contaminates, and deliver clean, dry compressed air. The company now offers a series of refrigerated air dryers to provide reduced dewpoint temperatures and air line filtration, for a wide variety of compressed air applications. This machine uses a unique 3-in-1 heat exchanger to first pre-cool the air, then to refrigerate it to condense out all liquid vapors, and finally to return heat to the air to prevent pipe sweating and condensation. The dryer features a power on light, a dewpoint indicator, a programmable timed solenoid drain, quite operation and a compact footprint. The maximum inlet pressure is 232 PSI.



Installing Cabinets Just Got A Little Easier

Three new lasers from Bosch provide a 360° horizontal plane and two 360° vertical planes to cover the floor, wall and ceiling of a room. The GLL3-330C (red beam) laser and GLL3-330CG (green beam) are Bluetooth® connected. With upgraded diodes and brighter beams, they offer a visible range up to 200 ft. diameter, increasing to 330 ft. diameter when paired with an optional Bosch LR8 or LR 6 receiver. The green laser diodes generate lines up to four times brighter than standard red beams, so they excel in ambient and bright lighting environments. And those two lasers have dual power technology that uses either a Bosch 12V Max Lithium-ion battery or four AA batteries. Users can control them remotely with a smart phone and a free Bosch app. The third laser, the GLL3-300, has upgraded diodes and a brighter red beam with a visible range of up to 200 ft. diameter (300 with an optional LR8 or LR6 receiver). It's powered by four AA batteries. All three lasers feature Bosch-exclusive VisiMax Technology, which monitors temperature to ensure maximum diode performance.

Carving Competition and Show in New York State

The Genesee Valley Woodcarvers' thirty-fourth annual show and competition will take place in Rochester, New York on April 7th from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. The venue is the Eisenhart Auditorium on the campus of the Rochester Museum and Science Center at 657 East Avenue. Admission is free. Registration for carvers who wish to show and compete is on Friday the 6th (3:30 to 5:30 PM) for all, and on Saturday from 7:30 to 8:30 AM for out-of-town competitors. Divisions include birds - waterfowl, sea, shore, and wading birds, prey and upland game, songbirds, all other birds, decorative smoothie, primitive or antique smoothie, interpretive sculpture, miniatures and miscellaneous carving; and a general division that includes caricatures, human figures, animals, marine life, holiday and mythical, bark, relief, miniature, and miscellaneous. Skill levels are novice, intermediate, and advanced. Prize money will be awarded to 1st in Class in Bird and General Divisions as well as Best in Show and People's Choice. There will also be a Working Decoy, Bench, Youth, and Special Division (Floating Rubber Ducky this year).



Hold Panels Vertically, Hands Free

Woodworkers who work on the edges of panels will like the inexpensive ($29.99) and very simple Kliss Clamp from Fastcap. It holds panels from 1/2" to 1-1/4" thick and has a magnetic jaw with adjustable tension that simply slides into or out of the locking position. It will support sheet stock up to 4' x 8', although its most obvious benefit is as a benchtop jig for edge banding, planing or sanding operations. Invented by cabinetmaker Brian Kliss, the clamp is also ideal for using a flush trim bit to clean up solid hardwood banding on plywood shelves, or for holding cabinet sides while the tops and bottoms are assembled to them. There are no knobs or handles - just slide the jaw up or down and a magnetic device inside will hold the jaw where you need it. Two clamps can be used for larger or longer workpieces. The base is designed so that the clamp is used at the end of a board, but by dropping a couple of 3/4" thick scraps under the ends, the clamp can be set up in the middle of a shelf or other long wood part. It can be screwed or clamped to a workbench, or taken to the jobsite.

Award Winning Router Table Lift

The Pro Lift, a heavy-duty router lift from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, has won an Innov8 award from Wood Magazine. Push a button to pop out the insert ring - no tools, no screws required. And a first-in-the industry two-speed gearbox has a fine-adjustment dial to raise or lower a bit slowly and a Quick-Gear dial for coarse adjustments. The same crank handle (included) works for both dials. The Pro Lift ($369.99) is available in two plate sizes. The 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" version (item 52429) fits Rockler and Bench Dog router tables, and the 9-1/4" x 11-3/4" (55803) will fit most other tables. The insert ring has a 1-1/2" center opening, and other rings will be available shortly. The lift has heavy-duty bronze bushings and a 3/8"thick machined aluminum plate, plus a patented anti-backlash mechanism that keeps the router from creeping downward during use. A lock knob can be engaged when running large jobs over a longer period.



The Bishop's A Squid...

This month, Ohio based Next Wave Automation continues celebrating the tenth anniversary of the introduction of its CNC Shark. In March, the company is giving woodworkers free instructions and VCarve files for another new piece in its maritime themed chess set. (Woodworkers can build the entire commemorative chess set one piece a month.) The March piece is the squid shaped bishop. Over the past few months, plans have been released for the chess board, a lighthouse shaped rook, a piranha pawn and a seahorse knight. All of these files are available on the company's website. Next Wave Automation has introduced an entire line of desktop CNC machines and accessories over the past ten years, and has won several industry awards for innovation. Its machines for hobbyists and small wood shops range from the CNC Piranha to the CNC HD4 Extended.


Festool Introduces New CT Dust Extractors

Several newly updated models in Festool's award-winning CT Dust Extractor line now feature smooth suction hoses, an optimized SYS-Dock with cord holder, a T-LOC function, and optional Bluetooth connectivity with remote control. What all that means is this... The smooth hose glides over surfaces or edges, avoiding catches. The SYS-Dock and T-LOC let an operator connect the company's SYSTAINER storage modules to the mobile dust extractor, to make it easy to move everything around the shop or the jobsite. And the Bluetooth module and remote control mean that a woodworker can start the CT remotely, and get autostart functionality with Festool's cordless tools (turn on your sander and the dust collector fires up). Many of Festool’s existing CT models can be retrofitted with the Bluetooth® modules and remote starters, and the new smooth hoses can be used with almost the entire CT product line.



Wyoming Artist Mixes Wood and Beads

The finials are African blackwood, and the wave-like frame is an organic carving in solid cherry (click here for a closer look). The piece, Tsunami, is the latest work by Sundance, Wyoming beader and turner Anna Achtziger - who says she is "a lifelong rockaholic who brings a passion for beadwork to turned wood". Working in the studio of WoodEzine editor John English, she has created dozens of inspired pieces that add the color, texture and shape of thousands of tiny beads to vessels, vases and abstract turnings. Click on the Sculpture and Beaded Turnings links on her site to see more woodworking. All of the turning has been done with carbide insert tools (from Easy Wood Tools) on a benchtop 12" JET lathe, proving that one doesn't need to invest a fortune in equipment to produce exquisite work. Achtziger exhibits and sells her pieces in galleries in the Black Hills, and also in a number of venues in Wyoming including Jackson Hole.

Free End Table Plans

Minnesota based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has launched another project in its "Build It with Rockler" series. The relatively easy to build End Table features tapered legs with decorative corner beading. The company offers a free downloadable plan, online skill-builder videos, and in-store tool demonstrations in many of its 37 retail locations nationwide. Skill development for beginning woodworkers includes cutting lumber to size with a miter or radial arm saw, gluing, clamping and Beadlock® joinery. Once the table is assembled, users can customize it by choosing a paint, stain or sealer to complement their decor. (The plan suggests either a chalk style paint or a Danish oil finish.) The complete plan and additional project information are available at The free downloadable plan includes an exploded view of the project, a list of materials required, and step-by-step instructions that are punctuated by several photos to aid in the assembly process. Skillbuilder videos showing how to install table top fasteners, how to create strong joinery with the Beadlock system and how to cut tapered legs are also available on the site.


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