Hot New Tools: Issue 61

Super slider

SawStop Sliding Crosscut Table TSA-SA48

When miter gauges and crosscut sleds can’t make the cut, it’s time to consider stepping up to a sliding crosscut table. If you own a SawStop, the decision is now a little easier. The manufacturer has engineered a sliding table that’s designed to fit all of their saws, and that incorporates a host of useful features.

The TSA-SA48’s 47 1⁄2" sliding table offers 55" of travel. This translates to a full 48" of crosscut capacity. (To save space, you can mount the sliding table flush with the saw’s front rail and still enjoy a full 36" of crosscut capacity.) The 43"-long aluminum fence (which can be expanded to 58") can be positioned anywhere along the length of the table. A single-knob angle adjustment on an oversized miter gauge adjusts from 0° to 60°.

The TSA-SA48 slides like a dream, handling the heaviest of loads smoothly, thanks to its multiple bearings. (When necessary, the sliding operation and parallelism to the blade can be easily tweaked using the integral micro-adjusters.) The table’s two large flip-stops, scale, and magnified lenses guarantee the kind of accurate, repeatable cuts you’d expect at this price.

Note: Installation requires cutting your saw’s front and rear rip fence guide rails. This can be done at any local machine shop inexpensively.

#861677, $999.00

Tester: Andrew Bondi

Tip-top turning tools

Carter & Son Toolworks Turning Tools

Carter and Son Toolworks tools are a cut above most other turning tools. These premium gouges and skews are machined from solid M42 high-speed steel–an extremely durable grade of high-speed steel that is primarily used for cutting other metals. (Carter adds extra cobalt to further improve wear and corrosion resistance.) Thanks to M42’s super-strength, it can be hardened up to 68RC for superior edge retention. When it’s time to sharpen, you’ll experience the second benefit of M-series steel: the steel will not lose its temper, even when ground red-hot.

To reduce vibration, the tools are fitted into 12"-long solid aircraft-grade aluminum handles. The most surprising detail is that all of the tools come razor sharp and ready to use. For example, the bowl gouge sports a relief edge. This secondary bevel provides extra clearance and prevents catching. With the skew, the edge is gently radiused to allow for smoother cuts and to help prevent catching.

In addition to the gouge and skew shown, the company makes a variety of other tools. All come backed with a lifetime guarantee.

#859212, 5⁄8" Bowl Gouge, $179.99

#859214, 1⁄2" Rolled Edge Radius Skew, $144.99

#856871, 3⁄8" Spindle Gouge, $134.99

#859213, Spindle Gouge Detail Tool, $134.99

#856869, 3⁄4" Roughing Gouge, $174.99

Tester: Ben Bice

Smooth operator

Steel City 40200H 13" Portable Planer with Helical Cutterhead

Most woodworkers have seen, read about, or perhaps even dreamed of segmented cutterhead planers. Compared to straight-knife cutterheads that hammer at boards two or three times per revolution, insert knives are in almost constant contact with the wood. These smaller inserts may take smaller bites, but because they work in concert with adjacent cutters, they’re able to thickness boards with less noise and less tear-out than their straight-bladed competition.

Now, Steel City has found a way to incorporate this helical head into a fully-functional 15-amp planer for less than the price of some segmented cutterhead upgrades. The 40200H employs 26 two-sided high-speed steel inserts arranged in a unique staggered pattern. To control snipe, the planer also features extra-large infeed and outfeed tables, plus a cutterhead lock.

A set of knife inserts should last as long as standard knives. However, should you get a nick, simply rotate the damaged knife to expose a new clean edge, and you’re back in business.

#842713, $499.99

Tester: Andrew Bondi

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