Woodworking Tools Videos

Gifts for Woodworkers

This video could also have been named "Colin's List of Favorite Tools" because all the tools I show here are tools that I love to use, not that there are not lots of others, but for tools that fall in the "gift" category, this was the most likely bunch of candidates.

So let me start of with the least expensive and easily the most used tool in my work shop, the lowly tape measure. As you can see in the video I have a box full of tape measures but the only one I ever use is the LEFT hand tapes that I got from Lee Valley. They are small, easy to read and inexpensive at around $6.00 As you can see on the video, for all of us right-handers, having a tape that we can read the number the right way up when we hold a pencil in our left hand, to me ... is very important. I still make mistakes in measuring but I can honestly say they are MUCH fewer now that I don't have to try and read numbers up-side-down. This is a no-brainer for me.

 

The next 2 items are also available at Lee Valley, the first is a steel engineers square. I use this nearly as much as the tape measures. I also have one of the fancy (expensive) wood and steel squares, but I discovered that depending on the moisture level - it's not always accurate, because of the small amount of wood movement. I want a square the is accurate ALL THE TIME and these engineers ...

Buying Cheap Power Tools

inexpensive poewer toolsWe would all love to have an unlimited budget to purchase any and all power tools we need for woodworking, and of the very best quality available ... sadly, not everyone can afford this, but there is hope.

All over the planet there are shops, stores and on-line dealers selling inexpensive power tools in every possible shape, color and configuration. The question is ... which ones can you buy that you will get some amount of service out of?

The good news with inexpensive power tools is that they all have many things in common with one another and there are ways of utilizing these tools and getting value from them. In our YouTube video we outline many of these details, but there is more ...

 

Power tools come in 2 versions ... corded, where you plug them into the wall and battery operated, where the tool comes with at least one battery. As consumers, we need to make all sorts of choices and the first choice we need to make when purchasing any power tool, is to determine how much and how often it will be use, this is the first key in selecting power tools ...

All About Wobble Wheel Dado Blades

wobble wheel dadoMany years back, some number of companies produced a special blade that could cut dados with just a single blade. The invention was really pretty cool, but simple. The single blade would have to rotate a bit on it's axis which would mean that it could plough out a trough of wood, depending on how far the blade was turned. When it was not turned I would carve out a slot approximately 1/8 inch wide, but when it was turned fully it could make a dado cut that was well in excess of 3/4 inch. These blades were called wobble wheels and were quite common at one time. I am not sure if they are still made and I have not been able to find a source for them in recent years.

Like all things that change, the wobble wheel has all but gone away, replace instead by the stack dado set which consists of a couple of outer cutting blades and sandwiched between them are something called chippers, and together they are used to dado cuts of varying widths, depending on how many chippers are installed.

I used a wobble wheel for many years and always found to make decent cuts, my only real complaint was it often took a lot of time getting the width the perfect size. Over the years I have heard (but never actually tested) from many  people, that wobble wheels, because of their design create somewhat coved bottoms on the dado cuts. Based on how the blade works, it's pretty easy to assume this would of course be the case, but how much of a cove does it make and does it really make any difference?  That's what I set out to see ...

Building a Sliding Mitre Stand

Smaller workshops are always looking for space saving ideas and projects, and this project, no matter how large your workshop is, can benefit a variety of storage constraints. Many modestly outfitted workshops these day either have a sliding mitre saw in them. These a great, handy saws, but all of the stands that are available for them are designed around the idea that the saw and stand need to be portable. If you are a carpenter, that may be true, but if you are a woodworker you may seldom if ever, have a need to move your saw. Of course the problem with all metal stands for these saws is when they are set up, they take up a lot of room with little useable storage underneath unless it is wood, which is still hard to get at.

I recently upgraded my compressor to one of the quieter models, and I love the compressor, but it's always in the way sitting on the floor of the workshop. I thought that if I could build a nice stand for my mitre saw and use the space underneath the saw to store my compressor I could solve 2 problems.

Like many woodworkers, I HATE throwing out wood, even small chunks, and my neighbors know this so a couple of years ago when one of them did a basement reno, they gave me a number of very good sheets of 1/4"  plywood that could easily be used for backing on cabinets and so on. But I had other ideas for it ...

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