Makita Circular Saw Review - 36 volt DUAL Battery XSH01Z DHS711Z

It been many years since I used a cordless circular saw, I even remember the first one I ever used. I needed to cut a 12 inch strip off the long side of a 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" inch plywood at a wood show. I had borrowed a saw that the vendor told me had a full charge and I remember hoping the saw would finish the cut for me as I edged closer and closer to the end of the plywood sheet. It did finish the cut, but only barely.
Roll forward some 15 plus years and wow, things have changed and now I get to a second chance to work with a cordless circular saw. One of the big differences in recent years is the Lithium batteries that are so much better in than the old NiCad batteries. More power, longer charge, quicker charges, no memory etc. Battery improvements along with all the other technological improvements have allowed manufacturers to create whole suites of top quality and top performing tools that will easily rival power and durability of corded tools.

When I first picked up and tried the Makita Cordless Circular saw, it struck me instantly just how much better this tool was than than the first generation of cordless circ saws. I was doing a test cut through construction 2x5 stud. The balance of the saw was comfortable, when I started it up, it didn't "jerk" in my hand as I started the cut and when cutting the wood, it didn't bog down, but powered through like any corded saw would do. On closer examination, here's some of the features I found ...

Using Circular Saw Blades in Your Table Saw

Yep, it can be done quickly and easuly, and with no accessories or adapters, take off the 10" blade that is in your saw, replace it with a 7-1/4" blade, it's that easy.
Many new woodworkers do not know that the arbor in a circular saw is the same diameter as most 10" table saws which means the blades for circular saw fit nicely onto most 10" table saws.

What this does is open up a whole new world of ideas and options for using circular saw blades in your table saw, with lots of benefits and only a could of slight drawbacks. Since I have been using Circ Blades in the Table Saw for some time, I thought it would be benefical for others to see what kinds of cuts they can expect from a couple of different blades that I use all the time, the Freud 24 tooth ripping blade, that is most often used by carpenters in building construction, and the Freud 40 tooth "Plywood" blade, also used by a few carpenters, but more for specialy work like cutting plywood and trim that needs a bit finer cut. 

Like many things, there are advantages and disadvantages, so here is the list of Pros and Cons for you to dwell on ...

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Making a Woodturning Tool Holder and Stand

wood turning tool rackMy list of woodworking projects seems never ending and from time to time and make an effort to finish some of my "priorities", like this tool holder and stand for my woodturning tools. I have had my tools sitting in a cardboard box for to long, yes it keeps them together but the problem is that some of the tools are carbide tipped and if the carbide is allowed to bump against steel from other tools, there is a high risk the carbide will chip or break because carbide is very brittle.

The other issue of course is that cardboard attracts moisture, or at least it retains moisture which means if the boxe is not stored in a warm dry place there is a risk the tools will start getting rusty. I need to avoid this risks by finally making myself a storage place and something I can use whenever I am using my lathe.

The best way to solve this issues quickly is to finally make some sort of working tool rack that can also double as a storage unit and maybe even something that I could put doors on to help keep out dust and to a degree recuse moisture exporsure.

Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube -

I had a quick look on the Internet so see if there was anything I like and I decided there were a couple that fit my situation and with a bit of modification I could make something unique to what I need. The first step was to lay out all my tools on my workbench to see exactly what kind of space I would need and what the dimensions of the storage/stand would be ...

The Milwaukee One Key Impact Driver

milwaukee 18 volt impact driverElectric Power Tools have come a long, long way in the past 50 or so years. I remember being amazed that anyone could invent a power drill that ran on batteries, and I'm just as amazed today to see the latest generation of power tools that you can actually control with your Smartphone, and what WILL be the wave of the future ... crazy!
If you think that this is just a trend, or that this is something you would never use, I think you would be a pleasently surprised as I was. It only took me a couple od days to fall in love with this Impact Driver, it's an amazingly versatile tool.
I have often needed in impact driver but never seemed for it to be a high enough priority in my tool selection to actually get one. I told myself I didn't really need one in my woodworking shop and I could  by without one for the DIY projects that often crop up.

When this tool arrived, the first thing I did was take it out of the box, and with what was present for battery power, of course I tried driving some heavy, long woodsrews into a thick piece of Oak I had. Wow, they powered in with very little effort. What was most noticeable was that the driver does not want to twist out of your hand with torque like an 18 volt drill will do. The impacting mechanism really makes a big difference. Much easier to use, and quicker.

Building a Prototype Dust Hood for Sliding Mitre

sliding mitre dust collectionFor those of you who have chop saws or sliding mitre saws and are not happy with the poor (if any) dust collection capabilities of your system, this article is for you. For other information related to this topic, and to see where I got my inspiration for this project, check out the Forums on - Dust Collection section, to read and see pictures of what others have done.
For my saw, I am for ever cleaning up the dust, and even though it has one of those "industry standard" dust collection socks, that actually do (barely) work. I did not want to build a honking large dust collection hood around the saw, but rather something small that would be efficient in dust collection. I have seen the pictures and read the reports from others who have made similar adaptions so this would be my prototype to see if, and how well something like this would work on my saw.

One of the great things with doing prototyping is that you learn things you might not have otherwise discovered and confirm other things you suspected  ...

Fixing an Air Nailer - 23 Gauge Pinner

23 gauge pinnerPart of being a woodworker is being able to fix, adjust, sharpen and re-utilize. All of these take a certain amount of talent, a little of common sense and a whole lot of self confidence. When ever I find my self embarking on some new repair or method, I always tell myself that whatever I do wrong, it can all get fixed.
And so it was when my inexpensive 23 gauge air pinner died on the first nail on a recent project. The pin jambed in the pinner as it entered the wood and hand to be pulled free. As luck would have it, I have an 18 gauge pinner that finished the job, but that still left me with a broken 23 gauge pinner and the one I seem to use the most because is uses very small, headless pins that once driven into many woods, the nail and hole virtually disappear so it's perfect for temporarily holding pieces together while glue dries and you often don't even need to worry about filling the tiny holes.

Upon putting the pinner back in it's plastic case I noticed there was a spare piston that I had long since forgotten about. There was even 2 Allen Wrenches just the size that fits the pinner, so it looked to me like someone expected this pinner would need to have it's pin-driving-plunger replaced at some point in time. Nice of them to add this component as part of the purchase.

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