Hot New Tools: Issue 19

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This article is from Issue 19 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Personal Protection from Chips

Sorby Woodturner’s Smock  

“Keep your shirt on” is the word from the folks at Sorby. Their new Woodturner’s Smock sheds chips and shavings from the fabric, while preventing them from entering your pockets and going down behind your collar and around your neck. The smock’s neck and cuffs fit tight, but remain comfortable during long turning sessions. The long sleeves protect your arms from hot chips when turning dry stock. Comfortable protection and quality material spell long-lasting use for the dedicated turner.

Woodcraft Tester: Tim Rinehart
Available in medium, large, X-large and XX-large.
#148006M, L, XL, XX, $69.99

Grip Odd Shapes on the Lathe

Nova Soft Jaws 

I turn a wide variety of items on my lathe so I’m always looking for a way to hold odd shapes. These Soft Jaws, made from high-quality soft nylon, can be turned with regular lathe tools to fit virtually any size or shape so you can securely hold those odd sized or shaped pieces with a Nova chuck. What I like most is that now we woodturners have a safer, faster way to secure blanks compared to rigging up special jam chucks or glue blocks.

Woodcraft Tester: Tim Rinehart
Outside dia. (closed) is 4.7". Fits all Nova chucks.
#148043, $14.99

Discover Wood and Wall Secrets

Sonin 4-in-1 Multi-Function Detector 

Get true versatility in an affordable package with this handy gizmo. Sonin’s Detector lets you accurately and quickly determine the moisture content of wood from 8-22%, detect studs in walls, find metal in rough-sawn lumber and blanks, and even test for live electrical current in an outlet or behind a wall. To use the Detector, I simply select what I want to test (moisture, stud, voltage or metal) and follow the directions (check out the product reference guide at The bright yellow color helps me locate the Detector at a glance anywhere in the shop.

Woodcraft Tester: Kent Harpool
Requires 9V battery (not included).
#148111, $34.99

Clamp Without Clamps

Vacuum Clamping System 

Once you try vacuum clamping you’ll be amazed by the simplicity and versatility a “clampless” system offers. The best thing about it is how even a small pancake air compressor will “power” the vacuum clamp to hold workpieces for sanding, routing, and measuring and layout. Clamp platforms are 61/4 x 61/4" with a maximum holding force of 330 lb.

Woodcraft Tester: Peter Collins
Single-sided Clamp, #148060, $59.99
Double-sided Clamp, #148061, $69.99
Lever Valve Kit, #148062, $21.99
6mm Tee, #148063, $2.99

An Attractive Option in Lathe Safety

Magnetic Safety Switch 

Leaning over a spinning-out-of-balance bowl blank, or stretching from the tailstock end of the bed to reach the on/off switch on most lathes is inconvenient and potentially dangerous! Problem solved: The magnetic back on this switch, manufactured exclusively for Woodcraft, lets me attach the switch anywhere along the metal bed, making my time spent turning safer and easier.

Woodcraft Tester: Tim Rinehart
120V, 15-amp switch with 14-gauge, 6' cord.
#147962, $39.99 

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