Hot New Tools: Issue 54Comments (0)
When feeding stock on the tablesaw or router table, I find that rubber-soled pushblocks have the advantage mid-board while notched pushsticks have the edge when feeding the last few inches of stock past the blade or bit. So I typically use both. However, stopping near the end of the cut to switch pushers can be dicey, and sometimes makes for a less-than-perfect cut.
By adding flip-up feet to their latest pushblock, Micro-Jig has combined the best of both worlds. Like a standard pushblock, the rubberized pad holds your stock firmly against the table while providing enough friction to push it forward, all the while keeping your digits at a safe distance from the blade. At the end of the cut, the feet drop down to hook the end of the board for secure, positive purchase during the last bit of crucial travel past the blade.
The block costs more than a typical commercial pushblock, but if it helps keep fingers safely away from blades and bits at all stages of the cut, it’s easy to see how quickly it can earn its keep.
Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Although it costs a few dollars more than the competition, Whiteside’s Pro Pen Mandrel makes all the difference when turning pens. By incorporating the same technology used to hold cutterheads in CNC machines, the precision machined taper on the mandrel ensures a better fit in the lathe headstock. This, along with the mandrel’s overall quality of manufacture, guarantees vibration-free operation.
In addition, the redesigned mandrel makes it easier to adjust the shaft length for turning everything from key chains to pens without the need for spacers. To make the adjustment, simply loosen the collet nut, slide the shaft to the desired length, and retighten.
The set includes a 1⁄4" collet, collet nut, mandrel shaft, and brass knurled nut.
Tester: Ben Bice
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