The Taradiddle Tribune – 4/8/2014

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It was a typical Turning Tuesday yesterday at Codger Lodge. There were doughnuts to dispose of, stories to relate, and projects to plan.pic-set1
Working to complete current projects is a part of every Turning Tuesday.pic-set2
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This week we had fine examples of completed projects. Mike Sharps brought his latest segmented urn. Jimmy Morrison had a holly bowl and a natural-edge maple burl creation.
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John Smith finished his well-executed laminated fruit bowl, John Wolf turned a flawless lidded box, and Walt Tuttle displayed his fine segmented bowl.

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I finished an Adirondack chaise project for the June/July Issue #59 of Woodcraft Magazine.
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The ever-helpful codgers took care of the field testing.  I doubt that Tom Sawyer’s methods will entice the codgers to participate in the painting of the chair.

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The Empty Bowls project was a success. Frank has a follow-up story on the charity event that benefits local food pantries and the codgers’ participation. Frank’s Woodworking Adventures Blog keeps us up to date on woodworking related events and Woodcraft’s involvement, as well as the events at Codger Lodge.

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This week after the codgers had called it a day, Mikey and I visited with the Cub Scouts of Pack 129. The cubs have a program similar to the merit badge curriculum of the older boys in Scouting. The cubs earn “belt loops” while learning to be good citizens in the community. Mikey gave the boys insight into the challenges of being handicapped and how he deals with those challenges. The boys had many questions for Mikey and gained a new perspective on how to interact with and assist folks who are wheelchair bound.  The little guy on the left, Shaun, is my grandson. (I had to mention that to maintain my good standing in the Grandpa club.)

The codgers of the lodge, without exception, are generous and enthusiastic when it comes to helping others. I feel privileged to associate with them.

We plan to do it all again next week. Come on down and join us on Turning Tuesday at Codger Lodge.
Regards,
Bill

Mourn the dragons.

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I suspect that Jimmy and Henry patronize the same milliner.

 

The Taradiddle Tribune – 4/2/2014

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We do not have quarters for muster to convey the “plan of the day” at Codger Lodge nor a First Sargent to dispense duty assignments and motivational words. Through experience, we codgers have developed a level of situational awareness that prepares us to ascertain what is required and to establish our priorities without supervision. We are capable and self-motivated.
This week at the lodge there were two boxes of doughnuts, a large tray of cookies, a bag of biscotti, a pecan pie, and Girl Scout cookies in reserve. Without hesitation or encouragement, the codgers established a plan to dispose of these sweets and set the highest priority for that task.pic set 1After a furious beginning, the battle subsided, allowing the codgers to regroup, regain their momentum, and continue the cookie campaign at a leisurely pace.pic set 2Refreshed and ready, the codgers planed their Turning Tuesday activities and executed their plans.pic set 3pic set 4_5 The show and tell items reflected the talents of the codgers and codgerettes. Walt Tuttle had a nice segmented bowl and Mike Sharps displayed two of his laminated pieces,pic set 6 Joanie Smith sent one of her excellent pecan pies and Jimmy Morrison brought a segmented piece and a large ambrosia salad bowl for our enjoyment, pic set 7 Gene Smith turned two nice bowls from laminated blanks and Linda Williams baked up a tray of fine peanut butter cookies. The cookies are from one of Linda’s “go to” recipes and they are good,pic set 8

pic set 9This is not another metal sculpture idea from Henry Aglio’s fertile mind taking shape; but rather a random arrangement of Jimmy Morrison’s bowl turning tool rests. While the flowing curves are somewhat reminiscent of Henry’s style, his presentations are considerably more refined and creative.

??????????There are fifty-some bowls in our Empty Bowls collection and they are on their way to be delivered for the charity event. The soup lunch will be held on Saturday, April 5th in Marietta, OH. Frank reported the event in his Woodcraft blog. (Empty Bowls). Thanks to all the codgers who turned and donated bowls to this worthwhile cause.DSCN4287

We are planning another codger convention next Turning Tuesday at the lodge. Come on down and join us.

Regards,
Bill

Mourn the dragons.
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Codger Lodge & The Taradiddle Tribune

DSCN4073aRecipe-BoxThis is written by a fine woodworking comrade, Bill Sands of Lubeck, West Virginia, who has taught us much in the patients and fortitude of woodworking. In his spare time Bill is also a master woodworker in his own right, and contributor to Woodcraft Magazine. He has done much for his surrounding communities, charities, and for many area woodworkers. He opens his doors, knowledge, heart and soul to all, along with a great sense of humor.  Above, Bill holds a Bubinga board from Woodcraft, that he helped this blogger through his patience and guidance of teaching safety in use of power and hand tools, to turn the board into this beautiful recipe box for my daughter.

We bring this preface to you followed by a weekly continuance article complete with photos from The Taradiddle Tribune written by Bill Sands.  The articles will contain jovial fellow woodworkers and camaraderie from the events that take place on Turning Tuesdays’ at Bill’s workshop, more commonly known as Codger Lodge.

by Author, Bill Sands:
Welcome to Codger Lodge. If you are inclined to associate with old folks who have a propensity for woodworking; this is a good place to spend some time. We codgers gather at a shop in Lubeck, WV each Tuesday to pursue our woodworking interests and related activities. Codger Lodge sports a renowned doughnut disposal team and we are diligent in maintaining our proficiency. Prevarication without malice is another common activity. Routinely, the codgers indulge in many forms of woodworking, with turning being the most prevalent discipline.
We codgers thrive on camaraderie and our group is bound by a bond of friendship. Our meetings are informal and governed by the Golden Rule rather than Robert’s Rules of Order. Everyone at Codger Lodge has a key to the executive restroom. Each of us is a CFO. Our treasury consists of two recycled plastic CD containers where voluntary contributions are made to the kitchen fund and the shop-supplies fund. We maintain a coffee pot and a refrigerator that is stocked with pop, water, and beer. When Turning Tuesday winds down and the power tools are unplugged, some of us enjoy a glass of beer while reflecting on the simple pleasures of the day shared with good friends at Codger Lodge.Turning Tuesdays' at Codger LodgeIt all began with Mikey, who suffered a fall that left him paralyzed from his chest down and drastically altered his active lifestyle. He is an electrician who enjoyed many outdoor activities before the accident. Mikey sees the glass as half-full and never half-empty. He dwells on things that he can accomplish and not his diminished physical abilities. After Mike recovered and adjusted his lifestyle to fit his circumstances, he disclosed a desire to learn basic woodworking skills.

??????????He and I began meeting in my workshop once or twice a week to ground him in the basic milling and wood joining techniques. He developed the skills quickly and we were progressing to more complex projects when, during one fateful session, Mikey asked about the mini-lathe in the shop. He expressed a desire to try woodturning. We mounted the lathe at his comfortable working level and I taught him everything that I know about turning.

New Picture??????????It became apparent that Mikey was destined to be a wood turner and needed more advanced instruction and advice than I could provide. We invited two accomplished turners, Jimmy and Tom, to join our Tuesday sessions in the shop.

Mikey finished his green wood poplar bowl

DSCN5146From that early beginning, the program rapidly expanded. Mikey’s turning skills increased and he acquired a more powerful lathe with a larger capacity to facilitate his progression toward larger bowls and segmented pieces. More woodworkers began showing up to share their knowledge and demonstrate their skills. Over a period of two years Turning Tuesday evolved into a social gathering as well as a woodworking skill share.

Currently, twelve to fifteen friends, on average, visit the shop on Tuesday. Realizing that most of us are fortunate to be retired and may be considered codgers, we began referring to the shop as Codger Lodge and our gathering as Turning Tuesday.

DSCN2719Mikey is an inspiration to us all. He accepts his paralysis without complaints and he is relentless in perusing his goals. He has surmounted all obstacles and become an accomplished turner in his own right. Mikey’s lathe is his passion and “Flat work” woodworking has gone by the wayside. The pattern routed hand-mirror project that we were working on before he was attracted to the mini-lathe is still stored in the shop, waiting to be completed.

The poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, never met Mikey; however, she must have known someone like him to inspire this work.

The Winds of Fate
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
That tell them the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life.
Tis the set of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Feel free to drop in anytime for a visit. We’ll keep you updated on the proceedings at Codger Lodge (http://www.codgerlodge.com/), and you may make new friends of your own.Taradiddle Tribune Logo HeaderLook for a new chapter from the Taradiddle Tribune every week, here on Woodshop Demos.

How To Make A Square Bowl by Matthew (Dean) Wilson

Matthew D. Wilson is MDWoodart.  He has a moderate 2-car shop garage and creates furniture, boxes, chess boards, wooden jewelry, turning items, and vintage radio restoration, some with upcycles to MP3 Players. You can check out his woodworking world at MDWoodart.com.

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In this blog, Matthew shows us how to create a square wood bowl.  Pick your favorite wood in any choice of size, about 1″ thick or more, depending upon what you want your finished thickness to be.
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Begin smoothing one face of the board with a hand-plane or joiner, then smooth an edge as well.  Rip the board to choice width.
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Cross-Cut the board to make a perfect square, then mark the corner to corner punch the center.

square_bowl-017 square_bowl-020 square_bowl-023Place your faceplate on the square and align the marks with the holes. then simply punch a divot for the drill bit to fit into.

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Mount the faceplate and blank to the lathe.  Create a recess and mount the chuck to the recess.

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Remove the faceplate, attach the chuck with blank to the lathe, and begin the turning process.  Matthew uses the Easy Wood Full Size Finisher to create the inside shape of the bowl.

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After completion of cutting the inside shape of the bowl, cut the underside shape and sand the entire bowl. Apply your finish of choice.  Woodcraft carries General Finishes Polyacrylic water-based top coats in flat, satin, semi-gloss and gloss applications.  another fine choice would be the Waterlox Finish products, also at Woodcraft.

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Two finished square bowls that can be used as coasters, a jewelry tray, paper clip holders for your desk, or for whatever your imagination and design requirements may be.

Contact Matthew at MDWoodart and have him create something for you today!

Don’t have a blog site?  Want to be a guest blogger on Woodshop Demos?  Contact Woodcraft at frank_byers@woodcraft.com.  It’s FREE!

Too Sharp??!! Woodworking by Jerill Vance

In woodworking most tools need to be sharp to do quality work. We spend a great deal of pride and time in getting them sharp and maintaining the edge. Many woodworkers have asked me when is a cutting edge sharp. There are several methods to determine if an edge is sharp but I always say if you can do quality work with minimal effort then the tool is sharp enough for that task. And until recently I did not think anything in the shop could be too sharp. This summer I actually cut my skin (similar to a paper cut) on the edge of a board after I dimensioned that board. The edge is always knocked off during the sanding stages so the danger is not there for very long. Of course all the edges need to be sanded slightly round prior to applying a film finish because the finish will not adhere to a sharp edge. So for the first time I have to admit that an edge can be too sharp! Are the edges in your shop sharp enough or too sharp?

Enjoy your shop time,
Jerill

Powermatic & Jet Add New Power Tools for 2013

What does Jet/Powermatic have in common with Rough Cut-Woodworking with Tommy Mac? Along with Woodcraft, they help sponsor the PBS woodworking show!
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DSCN8190aAt Woodcraft’s vendor trade show, Rough Cut’s Tommy Mac unveiled Walter Meier’s new product lines for Powermatic and Jet Power Tools, available for September of 2013 (See video below).  Introducing two new Powermatic PM1000 Table Saws.  The 1-3/4HP, 1PH, with 30″ Accu-Fence System, Item #857876 retailing for $1,999.99 and the PM1000 with a 52″ Accu-Fence System, Item #857875, retailing for $2099.99, also available at Woodcraft.

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 Features:

  • Dust collection is maximized with the blade surround and collection hose as they provide an unobstructed path
  • Hands free power switch is conveniently located
  • Safety is maximized with the tool-less guard assembly and its easy-to-use, independent side leaves
  • The sturdy miter gauge pivots 60 degrees to either side, allowing easy adjustment for a full range of cuts
  • Cast iron work surface features a beveled edge
  • Exclusive Accu-Fence provides rigidity and precision
  • The poly-V belt drive system reduces vibration and maximizes efficiency
  • Ergonomically designed 7” hand wheels provide momentum – making blade height and bevel adjustments easy
  • Arbor lock allows for one handed blade changes with minimal tools
  • Bevel scale is conveniently located with large, easy to read numbers
  • Quick access to the interior of the cabinet with the hinged motor cover

Product Information:

  • Motor Power: 1-3/4HP
  • Motor Current (Amps) : 20/10
  • Motor Phase : 1
  • Motor Voltage (V.) : 115/230
  • Prewired Voltage (V.) : 115
  • Recommended Circuit Size (Amps.) : 30A (for 115V), 20A (for 230V)
  • Table Height from Floor (In.) : 34-1/4
  • Table Size (In.) : 20 x 27
  • Table Type : Cast Iron
  • Total Work Surface (In.) : 57 x 27 (30″ Tablesaw);  75-3/8 x 27 (52″ Tablesaw)
  • A blade surround and collection hose provide an unobstructed path, maximizing dust collection
  • Conveniently located hands free power switch
  • Tool-less guard assembly with independent side leaves is easy to use, maximizing safety
  • The sturdy miter gauge pivots 60 degrees to either side, allowing easy adjustment for a full range of cuts
  • Exclusive AccuFence provides rigidity and precision
  • The poly-V belt drive system reduces vibration and maximizes efficiency
  • Ergonomically designed 7” handwheels provide momentum, making blade height and bevel adjustments easy
  • Arbor lock allows for one handed blade changes with minimal tools
  • Cast iron work surface features a beveled edge
  • Bevel scale is conveniently located with large, easy to read numbers
  • Hinged motor cover provides quick access to the interior of the cabinet
  • Arbor Diameter (In.) : 5/8
  • Arbor Speed (RPM) : 4200
  • Blade Diameter (In.) : 10
  • Cast Iron Work Surface (In.) : 40 x 27
  • Dust Collection Minimum CFM Required (CFM) : 350
  • Dust Port Outside Diameter (In.) : 4
  • Maximum Depth of Cut (In.) : 3-1/8
  • Maximum Depth of Cut at 45 Degrees (In.) : 2-1/8
  • Maximum Diameter of Dado (In.) : 8
  • Maximum Rip Left of Blade (In.) : 12
  • Maximum Rip Right of Blade (In.) : 30 (item #857876);  52 (item #857875)
  • Maximum Width of Dado (In.) : 13/16
  • Weight (Lbs.) : 347 (30″);  393.8 (52″)

 

Also on the circuit at the show was the new Jet 14″ Bandsaw with Steel Frame, Model JWBS-14SF, Item #858830, at $1,899.99
Product Information:

  • Jet 14 Bandsaw with Steel Frame_Model JWBS-14SFMotor Power (HP) : 1-3/4
  • Motor Current (Amps.) : 15/7.5
  • Motor Phase : 1
  • Motor Voltage (V.) : 115/230
  • Prewired Voltage (V.) : 115
  • 13-1/2″ of resaw capacity
  • Redesigned fence with laser etched scale and micro-adjust feature
  • Two position faceplate provides appropriate support for every cut
  • Tool-less guide adjustments
  • Conveniently located dual dust collection ports
  • Sturdy wheels feature a shallow crown and polyurethane tires
  • Heavy duty tensioning with quick release
  • Four sided blade guard
  • Blades can be removed out the front of the table, no bending or angling required
  • Round table insert features leveling screws for precise adjustment
  • Band Saw Size/Wheel Diameter (In.) : 14
  • Blade Length (In.) : 125
  • Blade Speed (SFPM) : 3000
  • Blade Width (In.) : 1/2
  • Cutting Capacity Height (In.) : 13-1/2
  • Cutting Capacity Width (In.) : 13-1/2
  • Dust Collection Minimum CFM Required (CFM) : 400
  • Dust Port Outside Diameter (In.) : 4
  • Maximum Saw Blade Width (In.) : 3/4
  • Minimum Saw Blade Width (In.) : 1/8
  • Table Height from Floor (In.) : 39
  • Table Size (L x W) (In.) : 21-1/2 x 16
  • Table Tilt (Deg.) : 45 Right/10 Left
  • Weight (lbs.): 356
  • No assembly required

new lathes 2013Two new 15″ lathes will be added, September of 2013.  JET’s new 15” Woodworking Lathe, available in a standard version (Model JWL-1015) and variable speed version (Model JWL-1015VS), provides optimum control, as well as positive-locking indexing.  Built for easy speed changes these new lathes are owered by a 1/2 hp, single-phase, TEFC motor. The 4-amp, model JWL-1015VS delivers variable spindle speeds ranging from 200 to 3600 rpm.  Three speed ranges are designed to perform different types of woodturning tasks. The slow speed range (200 to 1050 rpm) is best for detailed turnings, mid- range (300-1750 rpm) is great for sanding and finishing, and the high speed (600 to 3600) is intended for general woodturning.

Speed changes on the 5-amp model JWL-1015 are made by transferring the drive belt on stepped pulleys inside the headstock.  The drive belt is de-tensioned by pulling up a lever located beneath the headstock.  The hinged headstock cover and redesigned access door provide increased working space over most mini-lathes.  The belt is switched manually to the pulley corresponding to one of six spindle speeds: 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630 or 3975 rpm.  Then the cover is replaced and lever pressed back down to restore belt tension.

The lathe headstock features 24 integrated indexing positions, making it easy to cut evenly spaced features for fluting and veining applications.
A self-ejecting tailstock is provided for safe and easy removal of tooling.  The hollow tailstock and removable tip on live center allows for boring through stock.  Optional accessories include a lathe stand with height adjustments and wide feet for stability, 21” bed extension and extension stand.

The JET JWL-1015 Woodworking Lathe, Model 719100, Woodcraft Item #858827 is priced at $479.99.  The JET JWL-1015VS Woodworking Lathe, Model 719110, Woodcraft Item #858828 will be $579.99.  Both are warranted under the JET RED AssuranceTM program.

8 inch bench grinderThe final new item for Jet to release in September will be the new Slow Speed (1725 rpm) 8″WW Bench Grinder, Model 726100, Woodcraft Item #858829 for $329.99.  The benchtop grinder includes two high-quality Norton® wheels: an 80 grit 3X Blue Ceramic Alumina K Grade wheel for coarse grinding and a 100 grit White Aluminum Oxide wheel for finish grinding.  Protecting your eyes from those high quality wheel producing sparks and dust particles are oversized adjustable shields.  The single-speed benchtop grinder is driven by a ½ hp, 115V single-phase induction motor.  The two 8” wheels have a 1” width and a 5/8” arbor.  The unique feature to these bench grinders are the large etched tool rests for easy marking for chisel sharpening angle location reference, which also have 45° of travel and a scale that has a 1° resolution.  A bench grinder stand is optionally available at additional cost of $ as well.

Doug from Jet/Powermatic and Tommy discuss all of these tools in this video:

More to come with Tommy Mac and Woodcraft showing you the latest in woodworking tools!
auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

Woodcraft Magazine Aug/Sept 2013 Issue #54

BEFORE_AFTER

Learn how you can put together this two-wall shop in your new or existing garage or workspace.

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You’ll want to start building or improving your shop, starting with this Rust-Oleum based nonslip, epoxy paint and sealed floor.  Great for resurfacing a concrete floor, this project will allow for easy clean-up leaving a show room finish.  But don’t keep it clean, fill it with sawdust made from your handiwork and enjoy it!  Create a two-wall workshop and outfit it with four outstanding shop projects using the Cut Lists and Convenience-Plus Buying Guides, all in the August/September Issue #54 of Woodcraft Magazine.  We’ve never packed this much information all in one publication, so this issue is a must have!

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The four projects consist of a Mobile Mitersaw Stand, a Compact All-Purpose Workbench with Tool Cabinet, a Planer Cart and a Power Tower to help organize your new or existing shop.

Woodcraft_2013_05_21-1795cVertically thinking, the Power Tower can be used to hold and house most medium to small portable and bench top tools. Putting it on casters will save you much needed space where you may be trying to have a shop and save parking space for the vehicles.  Using the vertical storage unit with the Planer Cart and the NEW WoodRiver Wall Mount Folding Tool Stand, you’ll be maximizing every square inch of your shop.

Horizontally thinking, the mobile mitersaw stand includes drop-down wings for easy storing, built-in dust collection, adjustments for customizing the fence, shelf, and wings to your specific saw model.  Also on casters for mobility, you can add Leg Levelers to handle uneven floor surfaces.

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Every shop needs a workbench.  Build your very own Compact All-Purpose Workbench with Woodcraft’s Laminated Maple Bench Tops.

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There is an additional project also included to make your workbench a real added value with a Tool Cabinet Storage and Drawer System.

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In addition, you will find a Dream Shop Planner to help you outline your shop.  Lay out your cabinets and storage by using the machinery cutout templates for positioning.  By using an acetate sheet  placed over your shop grid, you can plan for duct work, electricity, lighting and HVAC.  After your sketch work is complete, break down the shop build into individual steps for time and budgeting constraints.  Just like measuring twice and cutting once, this plan can help you build your shop the way you want it, when you want it, without missing a step.

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This video covers all the details within Issue #54, with an up close look at this new shop.

In additional to all the projects in this issue, you will also find Ready-To-Assemble Cabinets from Cabinotch.  Just add your own doors and drawers to complete the project.

WM Cabinotch G 115

 

Additional setup products for this shop install include Triton’s Durable Wall Storage solutions, a Wall-Mounted Lumber Rack, Ceramic Infrared Space Heater, a LED Task Light, an A-Frame Clamp Rack, 10-Drawer Tool Chest, Hardware Organizers, Kreg’s Portable Benchtop Router Table, a Portable QuikBENCH, a Retro Shop Stool, and an Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat.

Hot New Tools features the NEW Micro-Jig GRR-Rip Block.  This tool combines the rubber-soled pushblock technology with the notched pushstick products by adding flip-up feet, giving you the advantage of holding your stock firmly against the table while providing enough friction to push it forward keeping your digits at a safe distance from the blade on your tablesaw or router table.

Also featured is the Whiteside Pro Pen Mandrels.  Whiteside has incorporated the CNC collet technology that has been used by machinists for years. With an adjustable shaft, turning is made easier from key chains to pens with out the need for spacers.  The set includes a 1/4″ collet, collet nut, mandrel shaft, and brass knurled nut. Available in #1 MT and #2 MT.

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Some new Tips & Tricks have been added, featuring a bottomless tablesaw crosscut jig, a Wedge Cutting Jig, Improvised Edge Clamp, and an easier way of removing those disposable gloves that are a hassle to take off.

All this and more packed into another great issue from Woodcraft Magazine can be found at your local Woodcraft store, online, and now through digital subscriptions for your iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC.

See you around the shop,

auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kreg Automaxx Technology Sets New “Klamping” Standard

158507Tired of re-adjusting your clamps to hold different wood thickness or having multiple clamp setups?  Still not enough pressure held once adjusted?  Well, Kreg and Woodcraft have the answer for that.  The new Automaxx™ Bench Klamps adjust automatically to hold materials that are thin, thick, or anywhere in between.  Set the clamping pressure once, using an easy-to-regulate thumbscrew, and the Automaxx™ Bench Clamps do the rest.  They lock closed easily and consistently every time and with every thickness. Compatible with Kreg Jig®, Kreg Portable Base, and Kreg Jig® Jr.

  • Automatically adjusts to any material thickness up to 2-7/8″
  • 3″ reach for face members 2″ and narrower
  • Simple thumbscrew adjustment for clamping pressure
  • Comfortable handle grips for reduced hand fatigue
  • Large pivoting jaws with added pads for aligning face joints

Watch this quick video to get the idea, and head to Woodcraft to get your Automaxx™ Bench Clamps today.

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Additionally, check out the new Kreg 3-Inch and 6-Inch Automaxx™ Face Clamps, now available at your local Woodcraft store or online. These Face Clamps work in the same manner and technology as the Bench Klamps, adjusting automatically to clamp materials that are thin, thick, or in between.   You can clamp a 2×4 and then a 1/2″ piece of plywood without
ever re-adjusting the clamp.  Kreg joinery just got a little easier, thanks to the versatility and simplicity of Automaxx™ Face Clamps.  Below, Dave Stone, Kreg’s social media guy, demos the Face Clamps showing you all the capabilities.

So stop cranking, fumbling and re-adjusting, get these new clamps and enjoy a better clamping method today!

auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

The Custom Workbench by Rob Cosman

Recently (left to right below) Jake; Rob’s shop assistant, Dave; Rob, and Rob’s son-in-law, Chris “Frick” Wetmore built this custom workbench.  Frick was more involved on the social media side of things doing site management, videography and editing.  According to Rob, the need for a bench arose when he realized most of his online students were working on the end of their table saw or worse yet, a shop mate!  Rob said, “I have a friend/customer that had been asking me to make him a super-duper bench so what better time!  I use to make and sell benches but the selling price missed the actual cost by a few miles!  I really enjoy making benches so I would entertain making another one.  I bought back a bench I made 12 years ago and recently upgraded it and re-sold it.  Point is, the market may be ready for a few custom benches.  The hardware available has been a real downer so the chance to redesign and have a better mouse trap made was a big motivator.  I ended up having new hardware made for the two benches in my shop plus the one I recently refurbished and sold, made a huge improvement.  I think this latest bench is a bit over the top, I would not want to be the one to make the first “ding” in it!”

(see Rob’s workbench video below) Jake_Dave_Rob_Chris

The bench is made from Mahogany and Hard Maple; all the horizontal Maple surfaces are veneered with ¼” thick Birdseye.  The base is actually Spanish Cedar, looks like Mahogany and a lot less expensive.  It even has a sharpening station!tail vise sharpening station

The bench dogs have “T”shaped slots cut in them and “T” shaped pieces held in place with two springs from ball point pens.  This provides enough tension to hold the dog in place over a greater range of heights.  Works very nice.

bench dogsshoulder vise detail

Rob designed a better knuckle for connecting the threaded rod to the movable vise.  It allows some horizontal movement to account for pieces that don’t have parallel sides however there is no vertical slop.

DSC_0090 improved vise knuckle

Over the top! Nah! Dovetail corners, Mahogany ramp, a tool tray, stretcher wedge…

mahogany and birdseye dovetail mahogany ramptool traystretcher wedge

Adjustable hinged height block features a 3″ lift.  Rob said, “The older you get the harder it is to bend over.  Using a plane it is advantageous to lean over the plane and use your body weight, especially when cutting dovetails.  It is better done at a higher, more comfortable stance.  You want the bench low for hand planing and high for cutting dovetails. Young folks can adapt, older folks don’t want to!  For the finish, I applied several coats of thinned Tung oil on the top and sprayed the rest with lacquer.  I did not want the excessively slippery surface lacquer leaves on the top, also wanted a surface that was easy to repair/refresh.”

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Here is a brand new video, just YouTube posted at the time of this blog posting, by Rob on the build of this fine workbench…

Online Workshop Involves Both Cosmans
In 2011, Rob launched an online hand-tool workshop that was followed the next year by a second hand/power tool workshop, both projects aimed at reducing Rob’s need for travel away from home allowing him to spend more time with his family.  Jake has been the cameraman for both workshops, as well as doubling as the featured apprentice, working through the hand skills as the student for his dad, the instructor. “I film five days a week. We try to keep the price really low so people can participate,” Rob said.  “I have an online forum.  If someone asks a really good question, Jake goes in and films the answer.  My son-in-law downloads the videos to the website.  We try to make the experience as if the person is standing right there.  The audience likes our casual approach, we don’t cut anything and we work through the mistakes.”  Here is more about Rob’s online workshop program:

Today Rob sees woodworking as an enjoyable hobby, but a difficult career.  He speaks from experience.  A college graduate, he launched a 12-year career as a custom furnituremaker trying to support a growing family.  “I did all sorts of things to make it work. I sold graduation rings.  I insulated basements.”  In 1999, it became clear to Rob that he could never charge enough to make the income he needed.  “I realized that the only people who would appreciate my work were the people who wanted to learn how to do it.”

From Tool Demos to DVDs to Teaching
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In 2000, the opportunity to import a line of tools and sell them in Canada led Rob to produce instructional DVDs.  “I recognized as I was selling these tools that many of these people had no experience in how to use them,”  Rob said, “I started making DVDs to help them learn how to use the tools.  As a result of the DVDs, I began to receive invitations to teach.  I now have the perfect scenario.  

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Teaching is challenging and fun, and I am getting paid to pursue my hobby, which is building furniture.”  Rob also continues to add to his line of premium hand tools. When asked what prompted him to design and make tools, he said: “Guilt!  I was demonstrating to the audience with tools I had either modified or made.  A lot of what I do is made easier because of these tools.  As students recognized this, the demand for my tools became apparent.  I could not find anyone willing to build them so I decided I would have to do it myself.”

To learn more about Rob, his workshops, DVDs and tools, visit www.robsworkshop.com and http://www.robcosman.com.

In conclusion, it is an honor to know and learn from Rob in both woodworking and his views on life in general.  Look for Rob at most Woodcraft shows and stores near you!  You’ll be glad you did.
Thanks Rob, we appreciate all you do!
auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

The New Festool TS 55 REQ Track Saw Now at Woodcraft

What is a plunge cut track saw and guide rail system? This Festool TS 55 REQ high-quality plunge cut track saw and guide rail combine for a system that generates precision cuts anywhere on a panel quickly and safe, cuts that should never be attempted with a traditional circular saw.

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The smooth pivoting action, and minimal blade exposure during the cut is ideal for starting a cut in the middle of a panel.  This design allows the blade to pivot into the material smoothly and accurately. Precision cuts starting from any point are easily accomplished. The track saw can be used for many common tasks: Ripping sheet goods, creating straight edges on rough stock, jointing boards, cutting to scribe lines on doors and cabinets, cross-cutting, and creating openings in panels, sections of flooring, and cabinets.

Now available at your local Woodcraft store or on-line,  the TS REQ is accurate and versatile.  It is not your typical circular saw when compared to the most advanced table saws, miter saws or panel saws available.  Add in its incredible portability and ease of use, you have a precision-cutting solution like no other, at home in the highest-end cabinet shop as well as an onsite remodel.  With the addition of micro-adjustable depth controls and a flat housing for flush-cutting against walls or adjacent surfaces, the TS 55 REQ is Festool’s most advanced plunge cut saw ever.  Take the tool to the work and replace large stationary equipment with an incredibly precise, handheld unit.  You’ll save your back, while getting more out of your expensive materials.

Electronic variable-speed control automatically maintains a constant blade speed under load, and the soft start and automatic idle cut down on operator fatigue and noise. Surprisingly, the Festool TS 55 REQ uses a 6-1/4″-diameter blade, but still provides a 1-15/16″ cut at 90° and a 1-7/16″ cut at 45°. Festool TS 55 REQ includes a T-LOC Systainer SYS 4 storage box, 48-tooth carbide tipped blade, 55″ guide rail, limit stop, and chip deflector.

Features & Benefits:

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  • When used with Festool guide rails, you can achieve perfectly straight and splinter-free cuts that reduce waste.
  • Spring-loaded riving knife (splitter) retracts automatically, keeping the cut kerf open so that the material does not pinch the blade, reducing the chance of kickback.
  • The slip clutch helps to minimize the risk of a kickback and minimizes wear on the blade, gear case, and motor.

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  • Blade changes are easier and safer using the FastFix system which locks the switch and arbor simultaneously for easy arbor bolt removal.
  • Rotating dust port keeps hose out of the way
  • 3-bearing motor for smoother operation

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Here’s a demonstration of the all-new Festool TS 55 REQ including the quick and easy blade change,

To purchase the TS 55 for $585, and find out more information including an additional video, click on this link, Festool TS 55 at Woodcraft.

Now go make some serious sawdust,
auf Wiedersehen…Frank