Hot New Tools: Issue 63Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 63 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Guides you can roll with
JessEm Clear-Cut TS Stock Guides
Most of us have experimented with an assortment of shop-made jigs and store-bought accessories promising to make ripping boards safer and/or more accurate. These add-ons work, but all suffer some limitations. At long last, your tablesaw might have found its perfect match.
Simply set the Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides on the infeed and outfeed ends of the fence, start making a cut, and watch them roll. Operating like the stock feeder rollers used on larger machinery, the guides steer stock in three ways. First, the roller arms employ spring pressure to hold the work down against the top of the saw. Next, the angled urethane wheels grip and steer stock inward to keep it registered against the fence. Last but not least, the one-way roller bearings within the wheels prevent kickback. When they’re not needed, the rollers pivot out of the way and tuck behind the side of your fence.
The rollers can be quickly and easily mounted to most commercial tablesaw fences using the T-track provided in the kit.
These guides cost more than other options, but by improving accuracy and cut quality and eliminating the need for an assistant when breaking down sheet goods and long boards, they can earn their keep. The only disadvantage is that the guides can only accommodate stock thicknesses up to 13⁄16".
Tester: Peter Collins
Safer, smoother spur drive
Big Tree Badger Safety Spur
Turners know the importance of maintaining a safe distance from standard-issue spur drives, but accidents still happen, especially when attempting to turn small blanks. The exposed sides of the spurs are the culprit; the briefest chance encounter can damage a pricey turning tool or cause injury. The Badger eliminates the risk of accidental contact by shrouding the sides of the drive spurs within a spring-loaded sheath. By enabling you to safely cut all the way up to the sheath, you make the most of even the smallest blanks. The spurs, which can be replaced or resharpened, accommodate spindle diameters as small as 1⁄2".
As if safety isn’t enough, the second reason to consider this premium spur is improved performance. For those lathes that suffer from minor headstock-tailstock misalignment, the Badger’s keyed centerpoint can be adjusted to align with the tailstock center even while the machine is running.
Tester: Ben Bice
Festool Vecturo OS 400 Multi-Tool Set
These days, contractors are rarely seen without their oscillating multi-tools. With the right accessories, this talented multi-tasker tackles sanding, scraping, and cutting chores that once required a half-dozen trips back to the truck. Although a time-saver on the jobsite, this tool hasn’t made as much of an impact in the workshop because it lacked the control and precision required for fine woodworking. Leave it to Festool to refine the oscillating tool by adding power, reducing vibration, and inventing three new bases that deliver a new level of cutting precision.
The smallest base works like the base on your circular saw, limiting cutting depth when making long plunge cuts. For shorter plunge cuts, the mid-sized base shoe stops the blade with a simple adjustable foot. The largest base offers the greatest control. It employs a pair of plunge rods (much like the plunge base on a router) to control vertical movement and a magnet that draws the blade against the guide, eliminating the blade wander and skating that typically happen when making plunge cuts.
The Vecturo is available with and without the additional bases. The cutting options and control provided by these bases more than justify the price of the complete kit.
Tester: Andrew Bondi
By turning up the heat, Kiln operators have found a way to make better behaving boards. Roasted Wood is heated to temperatures much higher than normal kiln-drying. In addition to completely changing the wood’s color, the thermal modification process makes the wood harder, more stable, and resistant to bugs and decay–without chemicals.
Woodcraft now offers Thermally Modified Maple in two flavors: Honey Roasted (HR) and Dark Roasted (DR) (the darker color is a result of more time in the kiln) in a variety of sizes for turning anything from pens, to tool handles, to pool cues.
Tester: George Snyder
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