Hot New Tools Issue 48Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 48 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Powermatic 4224B Lathe
Powermatic has added a battleship to its fleet of professional-grade machines for turners dreaming of creating colossal columns and behemoth bowls. The 950-pound brute sports a 24" swing over the bed and a 42" working distance between centers (20" and 63" beds are also available). Powered by a 3 HP, three-phase motor with a built-in converter for single-phase power, the lathe features electronic variable speed (EVS), providing infinite spindle speed adjustment between 40 and 3,500 rpm, plus a reverse-mode for sanding. The machine offers a host of other features as well, including a headstock that slides the full length of the bed to facilitate outboard turning of pieces up to 88" in diameter, a built-in vacuum system for chucking bowls, and even an air nozzle for clearing chips.
Tester: Andrew Bondi
Better box joints – and beyond
INCRA I-Box Jig
Whiteside Ultimate Flush Trim, Pattern, and Combination Spiral Bits
If you plan to do a lot of pattern routing, you need to see these bits. Compared to standard straight-flute bits, these feature a compression grind, which combines an upcut and downcut spiral flute configuration to produce tear-out-free top and bottom surfaces. The 7⁄8"-diameter cutter (most spiral bits are only 1⁄2" diameter) allows for a higher shear angle for smoother cuts, even when routing against the grain.
Up to now, it has been difficult to find anything other than bottom-bearing (flush-trim) spiral bits; now, Whiteside offers three bearing configurations to suit your work. In addition to the flush-trim bit, there’s a top-bearing (pattern cutting) bit that’s suitable for template routing and making plunge cuts. With bearings on both ends, the combination bit (sometimes called an “over-under” bit), can be guided by a template on either side of your work.
Tester: Brian Renner
Imagine your pocket-hole jig on steroids. Kreg’s HD (Heavy-Duty) jig creates joints as quickly and easily as standard-sized jigs, but utilizes larger screws that can create joints 50% stronger than those made using a standard-sized jig. The HD screws are perfect for 2-by construction. Now, assembling outdoor furniture, fences, and trellises can be as easy as building a pocket-screwed plywood cabinet box.
The HD Starter Kit includes a drill guide, a stopblock, a 1⁄2" step-drill bit with stop collar, a 6" #3 square driver bit, and a sample of #14-size HD screws.
Note: Check your local building codes before using pocket screws to construct load-bearing objects such as interior walls or deck railings.
Tester: Peter Collins
You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In