The Toolbox: Issue 6Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 6 of Woodcraft Magazine.
JessEm Mast-R-Slide 7500 Sliding Crosscut Table
A sliding table on your table saw allows you to crosscut larger panels than with a miter gauge alone or even with a crosscut sled. Sliders also provide a safer and more stable means of supporting a workpiece throughout the cut. However, sliding table saws can be incredibly expensive, and even many aftermarket sliding attachments aren’t easily accessible to the average home-shop woodworker for reasons of expense or incompatibility with existing equipment (or both).
JessEm’s Mast-R-Slide 7500 sliding crosscut table brings a cost-effective solution to the small shop, with a wide range of compatibility. Designed to replace the left extension wing on most American-style cabinet and contractor saws, this accessory bolts easily onto the saw with a quick, no-hassle setup. As with all of JessEm’s offerings, the system features the company’s signature mix of bright-red aluminum extrusions, steel and solid brass.
The Mast-R-Slide uses a bearing-guided, multi-rail system for a smooth and accurate glide from one end of the travel range to the other. The guide mechanism is comprised of 30 double-sealed precision bearings positioned in a staggered design to provide constant contact to the guide rails throughout its travel. The sliding table is easily adjustable to level it with the saw’s tabletop and to align it parallel to the cutting blade. Also included is an outrigger support table that is fully adjustable for positioning in a fixed location anywhere along the length of the sliding table, depending on the cutting operation being performed.
The extruded aluminum fence length measures 28" in the closed position, but extends outward for a maximum cut length of 48" with the flip-stop in place.
The fence offers mitered crosscuts up to 45 degrees in both directions, while the sliding table has three positions for the fence. Mounted up front, you can get a maximum crosscut of 33". Moving the fence to the middle position gives an optimal location for mitered crosscuts up to 24-1/2". Put the fence in the rear position for a maximum crosscut capacity of 36". The fence is easily moved from one position to the other, and can be removed from the sliding table entirely for unobstructed use of the table saw when cutting with the rip fence.
Unlike most aftermarket slider attachments, the Mast-R-Slide 7500 requires no support legs. This not only offers a smaller footprint, but allows the use of a mobile base on the saw. Although designed to be used on the left side of a table saw, the slider will fit both right-tilt and left-tilt machines with solid cast iron tops. Table saws that have a four-hole extension wing mounting pattern will require two additional holes drilled into the extension for mounting.
The attachment weighs a solid 48 lbs., and uses a 27" rail system. The table itself measures 7-7/8" x 40", and has a maximum stroke of 37".
JessEm’s Mast-R-Slide 7500 sliding crosscut table sells for $549.99. For more information, go to jessem.com.
– Tim Rinehart
Colt TwinLand Brad-point Bits
A new brad-point bit? *yawn*
How about bits that drill faster, drill cleaner, last longer, and leave smoother holes than any Asian import you’ve ever used?
Available in standard and high-speed steel (HSS) versions, I found the standard Colt TwinLand brad- points produced cleaner holes, and seemed quicker than my present bits. The secret appears to be in the bit’s “lands,” a sharp beveled edge bordering the chip-clearing channels on the sides of the bit. The double-land surface – one on each of the leading and trailing edges of the channel – improves bit guidance for a straighter, thus cleaner hole. That second land also keeps chips from being trapped between the drill bit and hole wall, helping to minimize burns and marks.
The HSS versions of the Colt TwinLand bits do their standard siblings one better. Instead of a flat-sided ground point, the polished HSS double-land bits feature a cutting point that actually drills rather than just pushing through the wood fibers. I made clean exit holes in softwood, hardwood, melamine, even Corian solid-surface material. But for me the best part was the speed with which they drilled through all the materials I tried – at least twice as fast by my conservative estimate.
The beveled lands on the HSS bits are so sharp you can actually start the bit vertically near the edge of a 2x4, rotate the drill 90 degrees over the corner of the board and cut sideways (not recommended by the manufacturer but sure to impress your friends). Even with this kind of abuse, the 1/2" bit I used for longevity testing was still sharp and going strong after 400 holes in red oak.
The standard bits come in metric sizes ranging from 3mm to 30mm, and English measurements ranging from 1/8" to 1". They sell for $2.99-$23.99 each.
The HSS Colt bits are available only in English sizes from 1/8" to 1/2" in increments of 1/64", and go for $3.75-$25 each.
Made in Germany, the Colt bits sell at about twice the price of typical import bits, but they’re worth every penny. For more information, visit woodcraft.com.
– Tim Rinehart is contributing editor to Woodcraft Magazine.
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