General Woodworking

Cross Cutting Bowed and Twisted Boards


 Not only do I hate cutting bowed boards on my sliding compound or my radial arm saw, it is inherently DANGEROUS. Many woodworkers have been severly injured by not paying attention and having saws recoil or kickback. One of the reasons for this is that the teeth angle on some cut off blades is at a more acute angle, such as

 The first issue to look at is the type of blade you are using. If it is not a 60 to 80 tooth blade, preferably with anti kick back teeth, you may want to start considering exactly what you need in a cross cut blade. Note: normally you can only get anti kick back teeth in a 60 tooth version, with 80 teeth there simly isn't the room to include anti kick back teeth. 

A cross cut blade for a table saw if FAR DIFFERENT than it is for a sliding mitre or radial arm saw. One of the biggest differences is the hook angle on the teeth. On a table saw a hook angle of 10 - 18 degrees is fine because the blade is cutting the wood against the firmness of the tables saw's table. On a radial arm or sliding mitre it is quite a different story.

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Jointer Versus Planer: Which One Do You Need to Start With?

I don't know how many times I get asked the question, what should I purchase a jointer or a planer.  The quick answer to this is both, but for those who want to know why, or what alternatives there might be, read on.

Depending on where you obtain your wood, it can be anything from rough to finely milled and ready to use. In many cases wood is purchased "rough cut" and needs to be finely milled. The reason for this is that whoever milled the wood, has no idea what you are going to make with it, so they cut the wood on the large size you you can re-size it to fit your project and as well as to cut around, or include any "features" of the wood like figure, knots etc. 

Read more: Jointer Versus Planer: Which One Do You Need to Start With?

Woodworking Is Newest Home Improvement Trend Among Women

MINNEAPOLIS, -- We all know home improvement is a hot trend. But did you know that when it comes to home improvement, a growing number of women are tackling woodworking by building custom cabinets, book shelves and tables?

Marketing research among women woodworkers by Rockler Woodworking and Hardware reveals that one of the fastest growing trends in home improvement is women working with wood ... well it was in the 90s, but, sadly,  not enough for them to retain the women in woodworking website.

"There are more than four million American women woodworkers," said LiLi Rockler Jackson, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware spokesperson and a woodworker herself. "It's a growing trend as more and more single women are buying homes. They want to create something for their own homes with their own hands."

According to the research, 66 percent of those interviewed state they love woodworking because of the sense of satisfaction it provides. Nearly one third (31 percent) undertake the pastime to create furniture; 19 percent build storage items such as custom cabinets or shelving; and 17 percent complete home improvement projects such as adding custom crown molding to a room.

Well known do-it-yourselfer and cable television host JoAnne Liebeler believes the sense of accomplishment experienced by women woodworkers is much of what's fueling this phenomenon. "Women are realizing they can use power tools and build something amazing," she said. "They see me handling a circular saw and they think, 'if she can do it, I can do it.' The fear factor has been replaced with a sense of empowerment."

Rockler's research supports Liebeler. Nearly 24 percent of those interviewed said they first started woodworking as a way to improve their homes yet found that they enjoyed working with power tools. In fact, while one-third (35 percent) of those interviewed are relatively new to woodworking, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) own their own power tools and know how to use them.

"There's such a rush of adrenaline when working with power tools," said Jackson. "Women are experiencing that rush along with a major sense of accomplishment and pride in what they can create."

Source: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

Porter-Cable Invents Keyless Blade Change on Circular Saws

New Quik-Change™ System Enables Users to Change Blades without Tools

JACKSON, Tenn. – Professional builders, framers and remodelers no longer need to stop working and search for the right tool to change the blade on their circular saws. Porter-Cable Corporation, the first company to offer blade right and blade left MAG-SAWS in 1995, introduces the industry’s only circular saw with keyless blade change.

With its one-of-a-kind, Quik-Change™ system, Porter-Cable’s new line of circular saws enables users to easily change the circular saw blade by hand and get the blade as tight, if not tighter, than using a wrench. The hassle-free, keyless blade change system saves time on the jobsite by eliminating the need to locate a wrench or other tool in order to change blades.

The new Porter-Cable circular saws (models 324MAG, 325MAG, 423MAG and 424MAG) feature magnesium housing, which is tougher and lighter than the aluminum housing found on many competing circular saws. The magnesium housing’s durability extends the life of the circular saw and its lighter weight reduces possible physical strain from repetitive use increasing work on the jobsite.

Also, the MAG-SAWS are equipped with a unique, integrated dust collection system improving cutting visibility for more precise and efficient operation. The “dust elbow” of the circular saw can be adjusted in order to blow the dust away from the user, or a vacuum can be attached to the “dust elbow” to create a dust-free work environment. Additional benefits include a new soft-grip handle for comfort, increased line-of-sight for more accurate cuts and extended miter lip on the lower guard for no-hang up cuts.

The new line of Porter-Cable MAG-SAWS provide versatile cuts with a 15 amp motor and 0-50 degree miter capacity with a positive stop ay 45 degrees. An on-board clip keeps the cord away from the 7 ¼” 20T framer Razor™ Blade during operation. The 324MAG and 325MAG are blade right kits, and the 423MAG and 424MAG are blade left kits. An electronic brake is available on models 325MAG and 424MAG. The entire line will be available in March 2004 for approximately $129 to $149.

Porter-Cable Corporation (, a subsidiary of Pentair Inc. (NYSE – PNR), is a leading manufacturer of portable electric and cordless power tools; air nailers, staplers and compressors; generators; pressure washers; and related accessories for the professional woodworking, commercial/residential construction, plumbing and electrical markets. With its manufacturing operation centralized in Jackson, Tenn., Porter-Cable operates a second manufacturing facility in Steinheim, Germany, where its products are produced and sold throughout Europe under the FLEX brand name.