Hot New Tools: Issue 22

Big bits for solid-wood doors (and more)

CMT Entry and Passage Door Router Bit Set

Thanks to CMT’s entry and interior door bit set, you can now use a 21/2 or 3 hp table-mounted router—instead of a heavy-duty shaper—to make a traditional mortise-and-tenon door.

The set includes a sticking bit, a tenon cutter, and a flat-topped coping bit. To make a door, use the tenon bit first to mill the ends of the rails. Next, use the sticking bit to shape the inside edges of the rails and stiles. (You’ll need to use a drill press or mortiser to mortise the stiles.) Use the coping bit last to rout the shoulders of the tenons so that the rails fit seamlessly against the stiles.

The tenon-cutting bit (capable of cutting tenons up to 5/8" thick and 11/16" long) is useful even when you’re not in door-building mode. In addition to tenons, you can reposition the bit’s cutters and spacers to rout ship laps, tongue-and-groove edges, or spline slots.

Buying the three-piece set, plus a panel-raising bit, is a serious investment, but if you’re willing to do the work, you can mill a houseful of doors—and get a tenoning bit that’s good for other projects—for about the price of one custom door.

#403757 $299.99

Woodcraft Tester: Peter Collins

Lower foam, higher strength poly glue

Bolder Bond Polyurethane Glue

When polyurethane glues first appeared on the woodworking scene a decade ago, they were touted as the “ultimate” adhesive solution. Now that the foam’s had time to fully harden, these one-part, waterproof adhesives have proven their usefulness for some projects, especially for outdoor use and for joining metals, plastics, or oily woods. I appreciate the fact that dried poly glue is easy to sand and doesn’t chip chisel or plane blades. But polys aren’t perfect. I find the foam more of a nuisance than gap filler and some don’t seem as strong as good old yellow glue or epoxy.

The benefits of Bolder Bond are subtle, but significant enough to warrant a fresh look. For one, this glue isn’t new. This industrial-grade adhesive has been used to repair and reinforce cellular phone towers and high-pressure gas pipes for 15 years. The low-foam blend designed to make less mess in the field also makes for cleaner shop experience. Most importantly, third-party testing has found that Bolder Bond has a 20-25% higher mechanical property (basically, “more grip”) than its competition.

By giving more of what I really want from a poly glue and less of what I don’t, this bottle has earned a spot on my shelf.

2 oz, #148530 $4.99
4 oz, #148531 $7.99
8 oz, #148532 $12.99

Woodcraft Tester: Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk

Old tricks with a new stick

Pinnacle Story Sticks

Traditionally, a “story stick” is nothing more than a wooden stick with penciled ticks. As simple as it may sound, for transferring the exact location of parts or joints from one piece to another, it’s worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, a simple stick can’t take measurements, plus it’s sometimes easy to read the wrong pencil mark on a well-used stick.

Pinnacle’s story stick takes the proven concept a couple of notches up. First, they’ve replaced the wood stick with a solid aluminum bar. Instead of relying on hard-to-read pencil marks, Pinnacle’s version employs adjustable steel tabs that slide along the bar and lock in place. To position the tabs, you can simply align them to existing marks, or use the scales engraved on both sides of the main bar. Once set, the small marking slots in the tabs are perfect for a 0.7mm mechanical (or a freshly sharpened) pencil to transfer precise “story marks” to your workpiece. In addition, this stick comes with an adjustable stopblock to make it easier for you to register it against the edge of your stock.

Adjustable for right or left hand use, the stick also works well as a center scale, such as when laying out symmetrical projects.

36" Story Stick, #148746 $34.99
900mm Story Stick, #148747 $34.99
Replacement Stops (pk of 4) #148748 $12.99

Woodcraft Tester: Tim Rinehart

Longer-Lasting Folding Rule

Rhino 6' Folding Rule

I have always depended on a good folding rule for all my cabinet and finish carpentry work, but wooden ones have drawbacks: A good one can be fairly expensive, fragile, wears quickly, and water-stains easily. The Rhino folding rule has all the advantages of my wooden rule, but its fiberglass body is built to handle abuse in and outside of my workshop. The Swiss-made rule features engraved graduations in 1/16" increments, a graduated slide for taking precise inside measurements, and snap locks which secure each section in the closed and extended positions. The snap locks can also be used to lock the rule at almost a perfect 90º angle. In a pinch the rule could serve as a square for rough work. This tool might not be more accurate than my old rule, but I strongly suspect it will last a lot longer, even if it gets used for some extreme-condition jobs outside of my workshop.

#148596 $19.99

Woodcraft Tester: Tim Rinehart

Holding Power Wherever You Need It

Magswitch Universal Magnetic Featherboard

Keeping workpieces secure while using my table saw is now as easy as twisting a knob with Magswitch’s Universal Magnetic Featherboard. Two 20mm rare earth magnets featuring “on/off” switches let me locate the featherboard quickly on any steel or cast-iron surface. And the two contrasting feather orientations give me flexibility regardless of the feed direction. I also used the Universal Magnetic Featherboard on the outfeed table to edge-joint stock. Other applications include bandsaw and shaper work. A real plus for me is that the pressure can be pre-loaded against the workpiece by locking one magnet “on,” and then pivoting the featherboard toward the fence or table and locking the remaining magnet in place.

#148442 $44.99

Woodcraft Tester: Peter Collins

Back to blog Back to issue