Hot New Tools: Ready to Take the Plunge

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This article is from Issue 49 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Hot New Tools

Ready to take the plunge

Bosch PR011 Colt Plunge Base

Because of its compact size and light weight, a laminate trimmer is ideal for light-duty routing jobs. Unfortunately, the fixed base on a typical model limits its potential to non-plunging chores. To address this, Bosch has unveiled a plunge base to fit its popular Colt laminate trimmer (also called a “palm” router). Like the plunge base on Bosch’s full-sized routers, the Colt version features contoured soft-grip handles, a depth rod with fine-adjustment capability, and a conveniently sized plunge-lock lever. The subbase also accepts a template guide adaptor for use with standard-sized bushings.

Switching out the Colt’s standard fixed base with this plunge version is a tool-less snap, but what I like even better is the fine depth adjustment and the two-handed control the base affords–features not found on other trim routers. At around $90, the plunge base is an affordable addition to a great tool. If you don’t already own a Colt, you can buy a kit (PR20EVSPK) with both fixed and plunge bases for around $190.

Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk

Featured products available from Woodcraft Supply unless otherwise noted.

Hot New Tools

Two finishing kits sized for turners

Mirka’s Abranet Turner’s Pack and Polarshine Polishing Compound Kit

When it comes to sanding, Mirka’s mesh-style Abranet is renowned for its speed, durability, and quality of results. Most often sold in discs for random-orbit sanders, it’s now also available in strips for smoothing spindles and other turnings. The Abranet Turner’s Pack contains five 13⁄4" × 15' rolls, in grits ranging from 150 to 600. In strip form, you can easily tear off just what you need to quickly progress from rough-turned to finish-ready. (Individual rolls are also available separately.)

The automotive and boat manufacturing industries use Mirka’s Polarshine polishing compound by the bucket. Now repackaged in 1 oz. bottles, the four-step system is neatly sized for smaller-scale applications, including pens and small turnings. The system works well on all hard surfaces and finishes, including acrylic, Tru-Stone, and CA-finished wood. The abrasive breaks down in use so you don’t have to remove residue between steps, and the premixed formula eliminates the need to add water, which could splatter and stain your lathe and workshop.

#154496 Abranet Wood Turner’s Sanding Pack, $49.99

#154480 Mirka Polarshine Kit, $19.99 Tester: Brian Renner

Featured products available from Woodcraft Supply unless otherwise noted.

Hot New Tools

Be true to your stones

DMT Dia-Flat Lapping Plate

Most sharpening stones are sacrificial—that is, they wear away as they abrade the steel of the cutting tools rubbed over them. As a stone loses its flatness (typically dishing at the center), it loses its ability to hone a straight edge on a chisel, plane iron, or other tool. That’s why it’s necessary to true a stone occasionally by lapping it on a dead-flat reference surface.

DMT offers you the easiest, most convenient tool for the job in its new 160-grit (95-micron) lapping plate, created using the company’s patented diamond hardcoat technology. Flat to .0005" across its surface, the diamond-impregnated 4 × 10" plate will quickly restore your waterstones and oilstones to good working order. The 160-grit surface doesn’t cut quite as fast as DMT’s 120-grit plate, but I prefer the control afforded by the finer grit. Also, the new plate seems less eager to eat up my stones or create unwanted scratches when lapping.

#154353, $199.99

Tester: Kent Harpool

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