You might have the best table blade or saw on the market today but without a solid miter gauge to back it up, the end result is sub par at best. Gauges that come bundled in with table saws aren’t always the most accurate and in electing an 3rd party product, we went with the Incra V27 Miter Gauge’s basic budget model.
The version we reviewed was shipped in regular transparent, plastic packaging that came along with printed instructions on how to set up and use the product. The great thing about the manual was it was simple, easy to read and follow which corresponds well with how easy the gauge was to set up and use. If you’ve been around power tools before or have basic DIY knowledge, you won’t necessarily need the instructions. That said, we would advise going through the points listed alerting you to little known facts. For instance, we discovered that the V27 can also be used on machines like a router table, band saw, sanding centers and other machines with miter gauges using the ¾”x3/8” standard specification. Also included is a hex key for easy adjustments.
In this day and age, technology is really starting to find it's way into the woodworking work shop with highly accurate and low cost tools making it easier and quicker than ever to make accurate measurments and cuts.
The dimensions of the Beall Tilt Box measure 2 3/8” wide x 2 3/8” high x 1 3/8” deep with an all metal body that feels durable and able to sustain inadvertent (light) knocks and bumps around the shop. The Box is powered by a standard 9v battery, which means, even if the battery dies on you, it can be replace in minutes with a fresh one, thus avoiding waiting for a battery to charge. The unit also comes packed with a Philips-head screwdriver allowing for easy battery compartment access. There is a large LCD display on its front of the unit that is quite easy to read. To power the unit on, simply touch the the ON/OFF button.
Black & Decker used to be one of the most respected brands for producing quality tools for the home handyman, which is a reputation that has slipped over the last few years although they have brought out some gems. That just might include the Black & Decker SC1400 Cordless 14.4v Lithium Ion Drill/Driver .
Having extensively used this drill for the past several months, it’s fair to say it’s received a few hard knocks along the way but for the most part, has done well for itself.
Fairly heavier than most other products currently on the market, we would hazard the battery’s capacity at somewhere around 1.5Amp hour mark since it hasn’t been included in the unit’s technical specifications. The battery should last you through a couple uses before you need to recharge it. There is one issue however with the battery in that it can’t be removed which makes it extremely difficult to replace and the only natural solution is to buy an entirely new product. This is a major weakness. It does come with its own charging dock however, much like an iPod which emits a red light during its operation. Unfortunately, you will have to depend on the battery level indicator located at the rear end of the drill, to see when it has been fully recharged. When the small black button is held down, a set of green lights will indicate the status of the battery charge. 3 green lights means it’s on a full or nearly full charge and when it starts going down to 2, 1, etc it reflects on the battery life. This is a feature that we would respect having on other unity and because it’s a Li-Ion battery, it tends to last longer than most other regular batteries and can pull off about 90 minutes on a single charge.
In most cases there is no better tool than a band saw to cut precise curves in wood, although a quality saw does more than just cut curves. It also cuts tenons and smaller rabbets; can be used for resawing thin strips of wood from larger pieces, and for ripping small pieces of stock.
But with the variety of types, sizes and options available, how do you know which one’s the right one for you? That’s what we’re here to tell you. Band Saw Types There are two principal band saw types : floor standing cabinet models, and shorter models for mounting (either on bench tops or on a dedicated stand). The cabinet models traditionally tend to be used mainly by professionals, while the latter are used by amateur woodworkers, although this isn’t a hard and fast rule. The floor standing cabinet models tend to have both bigger motors, and more features including a strong frame (leading to consistent cutting).
Primary Band Saw Features Two important things to keep in mind when buying a band saw are: the throat and depth of cut. By ‘throat’, we are referring to the distance between blade and vertical frame section; this determines the cut’s width that may be finished on the band saw. Typical free standing cabinet saws’ throats generally exceed the 12-14” throats of smaller bench top models. Remember: whenever you see the phrase “18” Band Saw”, know that the manufacturer is alluding to the throat measurements.
The second important thing to remember as mentioned above is the saw’s depth of cut which is the distance from the table to the upper blade guides. The promotional campaigns of many of today’s saws are based on this feature alone, which basically indicates the stock’s thickness level that can be cut through. That said, several cheaper saws can have a riser appended to the unit increasing the depth from a regular 6” to 12”.
Band Saw Motor Sizes The size of the motor on the band saw is also an important consideration; many major amateur-based models feature a ¾-1 horsepower motor, while professional models have bigger motors and variable speeds. But for woodworkers, ‘variable speed’ doesn’t really count for a valuable feature. You usually only use this feature during the cutting of metals and assorted hard plastics.
Other Band Saw Features To Keep In Mind Band saws should come packaged with cast irons; either an aluminum or steel alloy table which can tilt up to a 45 degree angle for angled cuts. This table is usually about 16”x16” and comes with a miter track. Keep an eye out for band wheels with tires and cleaning brushes, to ensure the cleanliness of the wheels. Also keep any eye out for units with built in dust collection ports, for easily linking up to your existing shop vacuum.
Two great features you might want to add to your saw, provided they aren’t already included, are a miter gauge and rip fence. Both of these prove extremely helpful during resawing, ripping and cross cutting. How to Set Up a Band Saw During the set up of your band saw, ensure that you have read the instruction manual closely and diligently. Mainly because there are often fine tuning adjustments required to ensure the saw cuts as it’s supposed to. If you don’t closely follow the manual, this might end up degrading performance. So reading the manual is worth the effort; you’ll have a cleanly performing power tool.
Band saws are great and fun tools to add to your workshop…provided they’re used correctly.
Woodworking is among one of the safest and enjoyable hobbies you can do, provided you adhere to a set of rudimentary and easy to follow safety rules. These woodworking safety rules are designed to be easy to remember and are mostly common sense. That being said, failure to comply with the safety rules can cause serious injury. The work shop is not the place to careless. It is the place to learn and adopt good safety working habits which will in turn make woodworking more fun and enjoyable.
1. Always Wear Safety Equipment This might seem like a common sense kind of rule, but it’s an important one to remember. During usage of loud power tools like routers and surface planers, wearing ear protection is a noted advantage. Similarly, wear latex gloves while applying finishes. NEVER BE WITHOUT YOUR SAFETY GLASSES. These should be the first thing you reach for when entering the shop.