Hot New Tools Issue 46Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 46 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Raising the sharpening bar
Work Sharp 3000 Tool Bar Attachment
By making plane and chisel sharpening as easy as using an electric pencil sharpener, the Work Sharp sharpening system has found a home in thousands of workshops. The company now offers a tool bar attachment that can be used for freehand sharpening of gouges, skew chisels, and parting tools. Or, if you like, you can partner it with the wide assortment of sharpening jigs designed for wet-wheel sharpening such as the Tormek and Jet sharpening systems.
If you already own a Work Sharp, buying the tool bar attachment that enables you to use jigs designed for a wet wheel grinder is a no-brainer. If you don’t own one, consider taking the plunge. Compared to wet wheel systems, the Work Sharp’s sandpaper-on-glass system makes it easy to change grits
for grinding or honing. In addition, the unit doesn’t have a large footprint, or require water. This means that you can keep it near your lathe for quick touch-ups without worrying about spills or rust.
Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Built for speed
Forrest Woodworker II 20T Thin-Kerf Rip Blade
Next to a premium 40- or 50-tooth combination blade for making clean rips and crosscuts, a dedicated rip blade is probably the most useful addition to a woodworker’s tablesaw blade arsenal. Typically sporting 24 teeth, a rip blade is designed to muscle its way through lumber during initial breakdown into project parts. (It also saves wear and tear on your expensive combination blade.) Because the rough-processed parts are further dressed into finished pieces later, a clean cut is irrelevant. What matters is efficiency and ease of sawing.
Forrest has designed a real speed demon in this 20-tooth thin-kerf blade with an ATB/R tooth configuration. In my tests, it breezed through 8' of 8/4 hard maple in an impressive 15 seconds (about 45% faster than my go-to 24-tpi, 1⁄8" blade.) Being a thin-kerf blade, which encounters less cutting resistance than thicker blades, this model is well suited to ripping on underpowered saws as well as industrial machines.
Tester: Paul Anthony
Know all the angles
General Tools Digital Sliding T-Bevel
Woodworkers and carpenters alike have long relied on sliding T-bevels for transferring angles. With these, obtaining a measurement of an angle required multiple steps and/or another trip to the toolbox. By incorporating a digital protractor into the head, General Tools has created a tool that’s capable of transferring angles and also providing an easy to read measurement enabling users to transfer the angle, or set their saw by the numbers and then make a cut.
I found that the 8"-long blade allowed me to fit the gauge into spots where a standard non-sliding arm protractor would not fit, such as alongside short lengths of baseboard or the face of my saw blade. The head has buttons for zeroing in the blade, holding the measurement, and obtaining the supplementary angle. Accurate within .3° it’s not as precise as my 12" Starrett combination square or drafting triangles, but for angles other than 45° and 90°, it beats my plastic protractor hands down.
The high impact plastic head and digital components within won’t outlive my wooden handled T-bevel, but so far it has survived accidental falls from my bench without a glitch. At this price, the tool has already earned its keep.
Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Hock Scratch Stock Kit
In most workshops, routers rule the roost, but there are times when it makes sense to go old school. A scratch stock is little more than piece a of steel held in a guide block, but this simple hand tool can make cuts that regular routers can’t touch, such as crisp custom edge profiles or tiny grooves for string inlays. Simply set the block against the edge of your stock, and pull or push the blade against the wood to scrape the profile. For those curious about these time-honored tools, Hock’s kit offers a quick and easy way scratch the itch. Using the pre-ground
quirk profile (shown above) you’ll get an immediate feel for this tool. You can grind seven additional profiles on the two blades included with the kit
(one on each long edge). Additional spring steel blades (#153783, $5.99) are available to create yet more. Note: For further instruction, check out hocktools.com/SC075Instructions.pdf.
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