||November 11, 2011
This week's column: #777
| May 10, 2013 #776
| April 26, 2013 #775
| April 5, 2013 #774
| March 28,2013 #773
| March 9, 2013 #772
| February 22, 2013 #771
| February 8, 2013 #770
| January 25, 2013 #769
| January 11, 2013 #768
| December 21, 2012 #767
| December 7, 2012 #766
| November 23, 2012 #765
| November 9, 2012 #764
| October 26, 2012 #762
| October 12, 2012 #761
| September 28, 2012 #760
| September 13, 2012 #759
| August 31, 2012 #758
| August 10, 2012 #757
| July 20, 2012 #756
| July 6, 2012 #755
| June 22, 2012 #754
| June 8, 2012 #753
| May 25, 2012 #752
| May 11, 2012 #751
| April 28, 2012 #750
| April 14, 2012 #749
| March 30, 2012 #748
| March 16, 2012 #747
| March 2, 2012 #746
| February 17, 2012 #745
| February 3, 2012 #744
| January 20, 2012 #743
| January 6, 2012 #742
| December 23, 2011 #741
| December 9, 2011 #740
| November 25, 2011 #739
| November 11, 2011 #738
| October 28, 2011 #737
| October 14, 2011 #736
| September 30, 2011 #735
| September 16, 2011 #734
| August 12, 2011 #733
| July 29, 2011 #732
| July 15, 2011 #731
| July 1, 2011 #730
| June 17, 2011 #729
| June 3, 2011 #728
THE WOODWORKING SHOWS
As if the lousy
economy isn’t enough, they had to have Mother Nature and other unnatural odds
against them. In spite of all this, the Greater Moncton Woodworking Show did very
well and that is directly attributable to the Legault Show team. Ken Legault
and Show Manager Lana Hansen turned what could have been a disaster into an
excellent wood show.
Corporate moves and
changes and medical problems kept a number of long time exhibitors away from
the show as well. Add to that the threat of a nor’easter with almost monsoon
rains and even blowing wet snow were certainly deterrents to the Sunday
Even with these odds
against them, the exhibitors were very pleased with the end results. The crowd
of attendees went home with some excellent bargains so they were happy as well.
We look forward to
A PEEK BACK INTO THE
I was leafing through
some of my past ShortCuts columns and I thought that this one from 1999 might
be interesting to reprise.
There aren’t too many
major players in the woodworking machinery business, perhaps a half dozen or
so. Certainly one of the most important names is Delta and they have a very
interesting history. Their true history started back in 1906 when R. E. and G.
G. Porter along with F. E. Cable formed Porter-Cable. Twenty years later, In1926
they introduced the very first belt sander and in 1940, the very first
finishing sander. Porter-Cable made a couple of corporate acquisitions, the
Unit Electric Company and the Sterling Tool Company of Chicago.
developed the modular router back in the ‘40’s that had a removable motor unit
that is still in production today.
The Delta Connection
Delta was established
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1919 and four years later marketed the hand operated
scroll saw and a little more than a decade later in 1937, produced the first
Okay, we are getting
to the connection. A Canadian company, Rockwell, owned wholly by Beaver Power
Tools of Guelph, Ontario purchased Delta Just after World War ll. It was just
15 years later that Porter-Cable was sold to Rockwell International. The
company was now known as Rockwell/Delta/Porter-Cable. A major Multinational
Company, Pentair purchased the whole shooting match in 1984. Pentair later
purchased DeVilbyss a major air compressor and air tool company and that
brought Porter-Cable into the air tool business.
Within a decade or
so, Black & Decker realized that they were missing out on the stationary
power tool business so they purchased Delta and as I understand it, they had to
buy Delta/Porter-Cable/DeVilbyss as a package. It was under the B&D flag
that the Delta engineers developed the new and innovative Unisaw; the first
major upgrade since 1937. Two or more years ago Stanley Tools bought out Black
& Decker and all of its subsidiaries and became known as Stanley Black
A little more than a
year ago a new company was formed in the US by a couple of former TTI
executives purchased Delta (without Porter-Cable) from Stanley Black &
Decker and Delta is now known as Delta
Power Equipment. Delta Power Equipment is continuing the high quality power
tools that have been a tradition for these long years. The new company promises
to build their woodworking machinery with as many US made components as
OUR SOMETIMES REGULAR
There have been some
recent talk on a couple of woodworking forums about workbenches and our current
book from Fox Chapel fits right in. So, if you are a new woodworker and need a
new bench or just want to upgrade your shop with a new one this is the book for
you. Take a look!
To Make Workbenches & Shop Storage Solutions
Munkittric’s workbench on page 10 is to die for but is more of an excellent
storage solution than a workbench. Turn to page 23 to see Tom Caspar’s $250.
2x4 and plywood bench or to page 34 for a more conventional but novel workbench
by the same author.
a workbench without a first class vise? Caspar provides the ins and outs of
bench vises with tios on installing them. Assembly tables and rolling storage
carts all part of a well equipped wood shop and then there is the tool cabinet.
George Vondriska and Dave Munkittrick show you plans for an excellently
designed one. Sliding pegboard, the master tool of any workshop, and a tool
caddy are described and a great expandable router bit storage system is
outlined. This book is crammed full of terrific shop ideas and tips on compact
TWO GREAT TOOLS
Fein invented the
oscillating multi-tool and over the past five years or so there have been a
multitude of companies coming out with clones. Most of them very poor! One clone
would shatter the nerves in your arm in a matter of minutes. A few however
really stand out and among them is the new Porter-Cable PC250MT Multi Tool. There are two of them, the corded and the cordless. We
tested the corded version of the Multi Tool.
The PC250 is a 2.5 amp,
variable speed tool with 1,000 to 20,000 very smooth oscillations per minute. The
new PC Multi Tool has a comfortable grip with soft over-mold in strategic
places. There is a sliding on/off switch at the thumb position while the
variable speed control is back in the rear position to prevent accidental
Through the full
range of speeds (six positions) the vibration level is minimal which means very
little fatigue during use.
As you open the fitted
hard shell plastic case you will not the lack of any wrenches and that is a big
plus. There is a spring loaded clamp at the business end of the PC Multi Tool
that holds the various universal fit blades securely without the use of
tools and that is a real bonus. There are 36 accessories included, 27 assorted
grits of detail sanding discs, one hook and loop sanding pad, a flush cut
half-round blade for cutting wood, soft metal and drywall, a diamond encrusted
grout removal blade, two scraper blades, two wood cutting blades and a bi-metal
blade for soft metals and wood. Add to that, a 10’ long power cord and you have
yourself a tool.
We were particularly
impressed with the tool-free blade changing system. The blades simply slide in
and lock in any of a multiple of positions and this is great for undercutting
in those difficult places like in closets, cupboards or under kitchen cabinets.
The random orbital
sander is such a great invention that it is hard to believe that there could be
any improvements needed to the tool. Bosch however found a way in the new Bosch ROS65VC-5 5” Rear Handle Random Orbital
Sander and what a sander it is.
First and foremost in
improvements is the addition of a vibration damper that Bosch built into the
sander; I could sand all day long with this sander. I have not found a random
orbital sander that runs this smoothly and with the rear handle, the soft hand
hold on the body, you have full control of the tool. In addition, Bosch
supplies a front removable bale handle for even more control. For sanding in
tight quarters the front handle is easily removed.
The plus’s don’t end
there, the ROS65VC is powered with a 3.5 amp motor with a variable speed dial
and that is positioned conveniently by your index finger if you are right
handed or your thumb should you be a lefty.
Or sanding dust if
you will! The dust created by the ROS65VC is nicely handled in one of two ways.
Bosch supplies a screw-on adapter that fits a dust vacuum or, an included Hepa
type filter in a plastic canister that contains a very high percentage of the
dust created. Bosch calls it a Microfilter. I was sanding some pine and it
didn’t take long to fill the canister. There was very little airborne dust
created. With the vacuum adapter there is a suction control built into the
You will appreciate
the soft start feature and the quietness of the tool as well as the lack of
swirl marks on your finished workpiece, even in soft pine.
The Bosch ROS65VC is
also available in a 6” pad version that is virtually identical. Both the 5” and
the 6” get our rating.
A number of years
ago, maybe even decades ago I helped a friend install built-in home vacuum
systems in both new construction and retro-fitting the machines into existing
homes. A major problem with the retro-fitting was the drilling of 2 ¼” holes blindly
through floors and walls in existing homes. We would have to carry several
self-feed drill bits with us because of nails and screws.
Now, thanks to the
Lenox Bi-Metal technology, the new Self-Feed bits will last twice as long as
regular steel bits and will literally scoff at those hidden nails. The high
speed cutting edge and screw tip keep the cutting edge sharper and longer.
Just to put a little
frosting on the cake, Lenox has a 4”
shank on all 13 Bi-Metal Self-Feed bits and they include a spare lead screw and
hex wrench with each bit. The sizes range from 1” up to 4 ⅝” and for
quick and easy identity the bit dimension is laser etched on the shank. The
hexagonal shape of the shank end makes for a more secure fit in the drill
Lenox has also solved
the problems sometimes encountered when removing the bit from the drilled hole.
Lenox has chamfered edges and flutes to expel wood chips when drilling and to
make bit removal smooth and easy. These new innovations in a Self-Feed bit earn
Lenox our rating.
Now Here’s a Bright
Coast is a cutlery
company in the US Pacific Northwest that has been in business since 1919 but
now they have diversified. Coast has the most diverse selection of LED flashlights, headlamps and area lights
that I have ever seen. Sixteen flashlights, three area lights and three
headlamps. Coast sent me a couple of sample lights, the HP7 LED flashlight and
the HL7 LED Headlight.
Let me say right from
the get-go that these two little flashlights are the brightest LED lights that
I have ever seen. The HP7 emits 207 lumens and the HL7, 183 lumens.
The small (5.57”) HP7
is an amazing little aluminum flashlight that will throw a beam of almost pure
white light a distance of over 600 feet. On full brightness, yes there is a
focusing feature; the very wide angle beam will light up a room. By sliding the
lens tube forward the light narrows to a sharp beam.
The HP7 uses four AAA
(included) and at full power will last 3.5 hours and over 20 hours in the low
mode. The Coast HP7 incorporates a Cyclone Heat Sink System to extend the life
of the LED. The HP7 comes in a neat presentation box and includes a nylon case
and a wrist cord and both the HP7 and HL7 have a lifetime guarantee.
Coast’s Headlamp, the
HL7 is a very comfortable headlamp to wear. The stretchy head band is
adjustable and carry the wire from the rear mounted battery pack. The battery
pack uses three AAA batteries and these will run the Headlamp for six and a
quarter hours in full brightness and 75 hours on low. Full brightness puts out
183 lumens of light and on low, three lumens. The light projected distance is
from 49’ to 315’.
The Coast HL7
Headlamp has a front-mounted on/off switch and the unit is hinged to allow a
downward light beam. The rear battery pack has a convenient brightness control
switch. The same Cyclone Heat Sink System is used in the HL7.
The HL7 Headlamp is
just perfect for scroll saw work and any close up work you need to do around
the shop. The HP7 flashlight should be a necessity in any wood shop and it will
sure help you to find that dropped screw in the sawdust.
The prices of these
vary from a low of US$53 to about US$70 for the flashlight and US$42 - $60 for
the Headlight and, both models earn our rating.
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