Woodworking Tools

Assembling the Kreg Bench Top Router Table

I try and get involved with as many tools as I can so I can see which ones I like and which ones to avoid. Since I can't afford to purchase every tool, not do I have the room, I use every opportunity to check out new tools.
In this video I get to help a friend of mine, Bob, assemble his new Kreg router table. Since I have never had the opportunity to really look at this unit, helping to put it together is a perfect way to see the working details.

When I first saw the box, I wondered how they could pack everything into such a small box, but everything was there, right down to every nut and bolt. If you have never assembled one of these before, you really do need to read the instructions. There are a lot of different pieces and a lot holes where things could get installed but shouldn't be. As usual, laying out all the parts before you get started, assuming you have the room is always best.

Putting the legs and braces together is always first and I liked how supplied nuts and bolts that really locked the frame solidly as you were assembling it.
Once the legs are assembled the next thing is to attache the top ...

Buying Refurbished Tools

Every tool manufacture gets back broken or defective tools. Sometimes they are deficient in manufacture, other times customer s actually break them ( often but claim otherwise), regardless of the reason, tools break and very often manufacturers take them back.

So, what do they do with these tools you ask?  Well, some are destroyed, others used as parts and others still are refurbished for re-sale. In the industry they are called “refurbs”, and they are often retailed at 30% - 50% less than new-in-box (NIB) tools. Depending on the manufacturer and the tool, there may or may not be a warranty with the tool and if there is it may or may not be the same as the NIB tool.

The real question for most woodworkers is “are these tools worth purchasing”?, and the quick answer is yes they are, but there are a few things to watch for.

Some refurbs come in brown packaging while others come in what looks like new original boxes. Either way, they are still refurbs and there are 5 important things to look for,  such as ...

1 – Most important – is the tool a brand name, well recognized tool brand or is it knock-off or lower quality made tool. If the tool is a brand name tool, like Makita, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Delta, Ridgid and so on, it is probably a good buy. Walk away from brand names that look and feel cheap and are names that you don't recognize, unless you are willing to risk your investment.

Tips for Table Saw Tune Ups

table saw tune upThe table saw is one of the most important tools in your workshop but in order for it to run smoothly and efficiently, some follow-up maintenance is required. The steps below instruct and detail how to keep your table saw cutting smoothly and safely.

When is a table saw tune up required?

Your table saw will normally provide some helpful indications guiding you on just what adjustments need to be made, and how soon. If the blade cuts straight but at the very end, breaks off more stock than required, this will be accompanied by a ringing sound (as it straightens after deflection). Another sign: if the saw blade is not perfectly parallel to the fence, there will be burn marks on the wood. However, with this last sign you need to be careful since cutting too slowly will also cause burning.

Drill Doctor 350X System

There is nothing worse than trying to drill through something ... and you just know that your drill bit is dull, because you are having to push too hard, and you know your drill bit is heating up and losing what sharpness it had, along with its steel temper. For me, this usually happens with smaller bits. For some reason my 1/4" bit gets the most use.

Most of the time I am drilling into wood, but once in a while I need to drill though some thicker and harder steels, sometimes even stainless steel, which is VERY hard to drill through. These are the times that I need a sharp drill, and as usual, I never have them. Oh sure I can run down to the hardware store and pick up another drill bit for only a few dollars, but for me, the closes hardware store is about 20 minutes away ... each way. Add a cup of coffee into the equation and I can easily be gone for an hour and an half, after all ... I AM going to a hardware store. No self-respecting woodworker goes into any hardware store, buys a drill bit and leaves.

A few weeks ago I finally decided that between the frustration of always seeming to have dull drill bits and the time it takes to go and get one or two replaced, now was the time invest in a tool that would save me time and frustration.

To be honest, the Drill Doctor 350x is not a deluxe tool. If you want a drill bit sharpening tool that does much more, the Drill Doctor DDSB version might be a better choice for you. The 350X only sharpens bits from 3/32" up to 1/2", but for me this is perfect. The tool is easy to use, doesn't take up much room and I can sharpen up a bit in a couple of minutes (or less). I must say, of all the sharpening tools I have, this simple little tool is one of my favorites

Dovetailing Made Easy

Every woodworker would love to make dovetail joints when they are making drawers, boxes and other similar joints.Dovetail joints look great, are solid and are a sign that a woodworker has dedicated some special skills to their woodworking project. Unfortunately, despite the fact that we see some sort of article every month in one of the woodworking magazines, dovetails are STILL seldom used. WHY IS THAT? The woodworking magazines have described in detail every possible jig for making dovetails on the router, on the tablesaw, hand cut dovetails and even dovetails cut with the CNC router. SO WHY ARE DOVETAILS SELDOM USED? 

 

Well I'll tell you why, because its either
   A) To expensive to purchase a decent jig to cut dovetails with
   B) To time consuming to practice and practice until you are good at hand cutting them
   C) Don't want to spend the time making the jig for the tablesaw
   D) Don't own a CNC machine

Well folks FINALLY .... there is hope. I knew this would happen eventually (woodworkers are such innovative people) Yes, someone has finally invented a dovetail jig for use with a router (using a table or without using a router table) AN AFFORDABLE jig, and one that is not complicated and difficult to understand.

The E-Z Pro Dovetail jig is just as the title says, easy to use and very non-complicated. You can choose to use or narrow boards to make your dovetails on, and this little jig will still accommodate them.

 

CLICK READ MORE BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS

Rockler Shark Pro vs Carvewright/Compucarve CNC Router Wood Carving Machine

The Rockler Shark Pro and the Carvewright/Compucarve CNC Router Wood Carving machines are the two machines targeted at the mass market entry-level woodworking users, so it's only fair to see how the two rack up against each other with regards to carving area, work piece size, cutting system, machinable materials and software.

Rockler Shark Pro Carvewright

Rockler Shark Pro CNC Router

Carvewright CNC Router

Carving Area

Carving area comes first because size is king but remember that there is a difference between maximum work piece size and maximum carving area. The Shark's gantry is a much wider than both the worktable and the carving area so in effect, you will not be able to carve the full width of the work piece if that is essential to you.

For the Carvewright on the other hand, focus is placed on the work piece size which includes being able to carve up to the edge of the work piece itself, so you've got a carving area of about 14" x 11" which, from the carving area perspective at least, has the Carvewright taking the lead from Rockler.

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