Hot New Tools: Issue 58

A new turn for router tables

JessEm Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guide

By necessity, most woodworkers own an arsenal of guards and featherboards for their router tables. The reason for such sizeable collections is because most fixtures require some compromise. Better control often means less visibility (or vice versa), and those fixtures that do both well only work for specific tasks.

JessEm’s latest accessory combines safety and control while providing a clear view of your work. Compatible with fences equipped with a 1⁄4" T-slot, the one-way feed rollers mount at a 5° inward angle so that they hold stock down against the table and pull it toward the fence as it’s fed past the bit. The rollers have a 23⁄4" total adjustment with a maximum stock thickness equal to the distance from your tabletop to 9⁄16" below the center of the horizontal T-slot in your fence. Considering its ability to assist with everything from grooves, to dadoes, to raised panels, once you attach the jig to your fence, you might wind up keeping it there.

#158903, $99.99

Tester: Peter Collins

Better than a bull’s-eye

Milescraft DrillBlock Drilling Guide

For those spring and summer projects that are too big to schlep to the drill press, here’s a jig that can help you drill perpendicular drill holes precisely where you want them and that fits in the palm of your hand. This inexpensive drilling guide sports six hardened-steel guides (ranging in size from 1⁄8 to 1⁄2") housed within an ergonomic base that’s designed to grip onto flat surfaces, corners, and round stock. To use, simply line up the centering lines on the sides of the guide with the crosshairs on your stock, hold the jig, and drill.

#158941, $7.99

Tester: Peter Collins

Slick, nonstick bench defense

WoodRiver Silicone Bench Mats

For those who burn through rolls of kraft paper when gluing and finishing, and especially for those who often find themselves scraping glue and gunk from their bench, here’s a simple, reusable solution. Flexible and tough, this 2mm (5⁄64")-thick silicone mat resists most glues and finishes. (PVA glues and epoxies peel off easily, but some cyanoacrylate adhesives [CAs]) may stick). This multipurpose mat can also keep sharpening stones from sliding about while simultaneously keeping water and oil off your bench. In addition, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few short pieces, the mat can be cut into pads and installed under machines (e.g., portable compressors) to dampen vibrations and reduce noise.

12 × 12", #158721, $9.99

18 × 24", #158722, $19.99

Tester: Kent Harpool

Rust-fighting wax

Bora ProtecTool, 100ml

Those who use wax on their hand tools and machine tables appreciate the way that the coating reduces friction but accept the fact that wax doesn’t do much to stave off rust. ProtecTool offers the same slip but also contains corrosion inhibitors that provide an extra chemical barrier against corrosion. Due to its creamy consistency, the product goes on like other waxes; simply wipe it on, wait, then buff. According to the manufacturer, the wax hardens upon exposure to air to create a hard, wear-resistant film. In my own side-by-side tests, tools treated with ProtecTool resisted rusting from humidity and fingerprints better than those treated with regular wax.

#158701, $19.99

Tester: Kent Harpool

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