Woodworking Tools

A Revolution in Paint Removal - The Silent Paint Remover

Sometimes I buy tools to do jobs that I hate doing, then I find out that the job wasn't so bad after all when I had the right tool. The feature tool for his issue is something called the "Silent Paint Remover" (SPR). Around our house the paint stripper is my wife, and depending on the project she is working on, she is anything but silent, so this tool intrigued me. This tool incorporated a new technology, Infrared. Now infrared on it'sown is not a revolution but basically it means that when you apply heat to many painted surfaces, it softens the paint enough to scrape it off.

  The idea behind the SPR is that in order to remove old paint from surfaces it needs to be modified in some way that makes it malleable and therefore easy to scrape off. Anyone who has scraped paint of old furniture will understand that the words "easy" and "remove paint" are seldom used in the same sentence. Removing paint from old wooden objects can be real tough. .

The SPR uses a newer technology, Infrared heat, to warm the paint up, making it much easier to remove than traditional methods. I know a bit about Infrared as one of the heaters in my workshop uses this same technology. It produces a very even heat that is almost like the heat given off by the element on an electric stove. If heat can be called "soft" that is what Infrared heat is like. It is much harder to burn anything with Infrared heat which is why it is such and ideal element for removing paint.

The problems of removing old paint are many and the first one is safety. Traditionally the instrument used to strip paint is a heat gun, which works like a hair dryer on 'extra-burn'. It is easy to burn the paint, scorch the wood, burn your hands and more (I know all this first hand). Fire is always a concern with heat guns and they can ignite chips of paint and wood. The second problem is dust and particles being blown off with the heat gun as you scrape. If you are working with paint that has lead in it, this can be extremely dangerous, especially around children and should be avoided at ALL costs. The problem is, most people have no idea which paints contain lead. The other alternative to removing paint is one of chemical removers. I don't know about you but my luck with these is less than with the heat gun and I am always offended by the smell and just working with such a caustic solution.

The Silent Paint Remover solves all these problems by introducing a more efficient method of removing paint and cleaning up after, but the greatest asset to this tool is that it makes the tedious job of removing paint far more bearable ... even enjoyable. The fact that it is environmentally friendly, inexpensive to operate and silent are just bonuses to getting the job done right.

Silent Paint Remover available here ... 

Copyright Colin Knecht - woodworkweb.com

Freud RTS5300 Router/Table Combo Package Review

(Now discontinued)

 WOW ... That is probably the best word I can use to describe the Freud Router Table package, and that word might be an understatement. This package includes the FT3000VCE Router and SH-5 Micro-Adjustable Fence.
Anyone who is serious about using any router knows that over 80% of router projects require the use of a router table. With this in mind, and based on the price of this tool we decided to give this a good run for it’s money. The Freud router table is not like many of the inexpensive tables you can purchase from your local hardware store. This table can easily be considered a main tool to your existing stable of equipment ... click below to see how

Lets start at the beginning. The Freud Router Table comes complete in a cardboard box with all the parts you will need (except the router, which you will need to purchase separately if you don’t already have one). The legs, like the rest of the table are well made and all the holes for the screws line up like they should. We did have one complaint, there were no instructions on how the legs went together. Now this may seem trivial, but after you spend 5 minutes figuring out what you have and deciding how it should go together you realize that the wasted 5 minutes could be spared with a simple photocopied diagram to let the constructor know which lengths of bracing should go on which sides, and whether they go up or down.

Once we got the legs together the rest of the table was easy to finish up. For our testing we used the Freud Router (which we will evaluate in another article as this tool alone requires special attention). As we put the table together we were encouraged that all the parts lined up where they were supposed to and the entire table, including attaching the router to the table was quick and easy.

We were told that because the Freud router was a plunge router, taking the springs out of the legs would make it easier to move the router up and down in the table. We decided not to take the springs out of the legs as this was only for testing purposes and we would need the router, complete with legs for test without the table. We found the router quite easy to use even with the springs in place.

The main feature of the Freud table is the adjustable fence (which can also be purchase separately). The fence has a very nice wide in-feed and out-feed fence that is long enough to accommodate even longer boards. One of the most appealing advantages of the fence is that both the in-feed and out-feed work independently on one another and they are micro adjustable, which means ...... wait for it ...... you can actually use this router table as a JOINTER. That’s right folks, we ran a couple of small boards just to test this out and were amazed at the results. If you don’t already have a jointer, this router table will easily do double duty by routing and jointing.

To test the table we decided to use Freuds raise panel door bits. We used the combo bit that produces both the rails AND the styles with the same bit and were VERY impressed with the accuracy and ease of use. Cutting the panel for the inside of the door was equally easy althought we decided to make a couple of passes as we were whacking off quite a bit of wood.

The results of our routing test was a fantastic raised panel door cut in only a few minutes that was precision through and through. The Freud router and table made this not only and easy job but something enjoyable to do as well. The table was smooth and easy to use. The micro adjustments work easily and can be locked in place so that the entire set up is firm for continuous use. All in all this tool was a joy to use and something we would highly recommend to any woodworker. It will open up a whole new perspective of woodworking for you.

Copyright Colin Knecht woodworkweb.com

Festool TS 75 EQ - TS 55 EQ Plunge Cut Saw Review

 If you are under the impression the Festool Circular saws were just another run-of-the-mill circular saw ... Boy! are you wrong. These two circular saws are revolutionary ... Finally someone has made a circular saw for woodworkers, not just for carpenters. These saws will deliver precision cuts, which is what woodworkers are looking for. If you are in construction or building houses, these circular saws will work fine for, as will many others, but if you are a "woodworker" you need to look at these saws ... they may change what you thing about your tool collection - in fact, you may be thinking of selling some tools to acquire one of these little gems ...

Read more: Festool TS 75 EQ - TS 55 EQ Plunge Cut Saw Review

Festool Deltex Detail Sander

 Yikes ... this detail sander saves a lot of time, not to mention frustration. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I take on projects. Recently I was asked if I could "just sand a chair " that one of the neighbours down the street was re-finishing. I said sure, bring it over. After all how tough could it be to sand an old wooden chair ... or so I thought. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision I would have to be doing a star-performance sanding job on restoring an onld windsor chair that was said to be over 100 years old. This was not going to be a job for the belt sander !!!

This was a "very special project" I was told ... only when they brought the chair over. "That's why we asked you to do the sanding". Great ... it's a special deal and now I have to treat it with extra special care. Oh did I mention I would be doing this for free !!! ... yeah, that's me, the good guy on the block. I knew my trusty Bosch five inch orbital was going to be of minimal help and I didn't want to spend the next month of my life hand sanding ALL THE DETAIL of this chair. I decided to take a trip to my local hardware store to see what new things they might have that would be in my price range that would help me out with this. I love the tool guys at the hardware store, when you ask them about a "budget priced tool" .. they don't even slow down. I guess to them, everyone has endless money.

They started by telling me they had just taken on this new line of tools "Festool" they told me an within the line was this great little detail sander. As usual, I asked the price and as usual they ignored me and went ahead an began demoing the tool. WoW ... that was great I thought, look how it chewed it's way around corners, this would be ideal for that windsor chair project. Then they reminded me that for most people sanding is the worst job, and that as a woodworker "I would know how important a good sanding job is to the final finish of the woodwork project".
Well ... I had to agree with them and at that point I knew I was going to be leaving with the tool. the good new is when I go it home and began using it, I was truly astonunded how well it worked ... and fast too. I cleaned up that old chair in no time and did an excellent job ... and in the end I got myself a new tool. Yeah they are a bit on the pricey side, but we all know to get a good tool the last, we have to invest a bit of money. No I know I can tackle any size project and not have to worry that the sanding is going to get to me .
Hmmm .... maybe I'll even charge a wee bit for the next "sanding project" I am invited to take on. 
Copyright Colin Knecht