Hot New Tools Issue 44Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 44 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Lucky number 7
WoodRiver® No. 7 Jointer Plane
Continuing to fill out their hand plane product line, Woodcraft has introduced the WoodRiver no. 7 jointer plane. Having used the no. 6, I looked forward to getting my hands on the no. 7. The key difference is length: the extra 41⁄4" makes this plane ideally suited for flattening faces, such as wide boards, tabletops, and workbenches,
and truing the edges of long boards. (It’s open to some debate, but when armed with nos. 4, 5, and 7 a woodworker can tackle most hand-planing chores.)
While the plane costs several hundred dollars less than its competition, I couldn’t find any shortcomings. The Bedrock-style body is stout (close to 91⁄2 pounds, more than a pound heavier than vintage planes). In the same vein, the blade is 50% thicker than older Stanleys and holds an edge respectably well.
Due in part to the weight and blade, the plane effectively dealt with knots and gnarly grain, without chatter. And, thanks to a nicely designed rear tote, it doesn’t tire the user.
Like the other planes in the WoodRiver V3 family, the fit and finish was excellent. You might find a cheaper vintage plane at an auction, but you won’t find one that’s as ready for work.
Tester: Craig Bentzley
I can’t remember when I bought my first Veritas single-wheel marking gauge, but it’s been at my side (or in my apron) ever since. And while I’ve tried various different pin, knife, and wheel-style marking gauges, I haven’t felt a need to add to my marking tool arsenal until now.
Veritas’ dual-wheel marking gauge sports two independently adjustable rods. This means that you can keep one rod set to one measurement, or use the two rods in tandem to lay out grooves, tenons, and mortises. (Either cutter can be retracted into the head for use in single-bar mode.) Unlike making two lines with my single-wheel gauge, the cutters on the dual-wheel gauge have opposing bevels, so that I can set the bevel on the waste side of the cut.
I suggest trying out this gauge before buying. The gauge is larger than its single-bar counterpart. I found the upsized gauge more comfortable to hold and easier to run against stock, but it could be a bit of a handful for those with smaller hands.
Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Handheld metal detectors are great for sensing metal before it comes in contact with your bandsaw, jointer, or planer. However, most detection devices beep to warn that there’s metal somewhere in the stock, but leave it to you to find out where.
Not so with the Lumber Wizard 4, which employs a beeper and red beam to point out hidden metal.
When I put it to use, the 6"-long scanning head inspected wide stock quickly, and the detector’s sensitivity proved most impressive. I was able to find screws 11⁄2" deep.
For portable-mill operators sawing trees in the suburbs for lumber, or woodworkers with a soft spot for salvaged stock, this detector promises to quickly earn its keep.
Tester: Kent Harpool
Jet Vortex Cone Dust Collector
Most woodworkers don’t realize that the filter bag, or canister, is a dust collector’s Achilles heel. As dust cakes the filter media, airflow drops and performance suffers. To prevent this, Jet added an internal metal cone between the bag and filter that knocks most particles out of the airstream before they rise up and clog the top bag or canister. The result: a cleaner filter and increased airflow. As a side benefit, the cone limits the “blizzard effect” in the lower bag. Tightly-packed chips mean fewer bag changes.
Jet’s Vortex Cone comes standard on their entire line of single-stage collectors, from their 1.5 hp/115-volt to 2 hp/220-volt units. The different motors provide different airflow rates (from 1,100 to 1,200 cfm), but the bags and canisters are interchangeable. This means you can buy a bag with a larger micron rating now and then upgrade to a better bag or canister later.
Tester: Shawn Staats
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