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Editor's New Tool Pick of the Week

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Editor's New Tool Pick of the Week


Akeda 24-in. Dovetail Jig

We gave the 16-in. Akeda dovetail jig our Editor's Choice award last year because it was precise and easy to use. Akeda has recently introduced a 24-in. model, suitable for a blanket chest or other large casework, using the same clever system of snap-in, indexed guide fingers. The Akeda DC16 and BC24 jigs excel at creating variable-spaced half-blind or through dovetails. (Variable-spaced dovetails generally have wide tails and narrow pins, following the tradition of hand-cut work.) The guide fingers may be positioned anywhere along the jig in 1/8-in. increments. These jigs offer five different dovetail angles, from 7 degrees to 20 degrees, for 1/4-in. to 3/4-in.-thick  stock. (A new 6-degree bit and pin guide for 1 in. stock will be available sometime this year.) Why all the choices? Akeda suggests that dovetails with a wide angle look best in thin stock, and are stronger, while dovetails with a narrow angle are best used for thick stock. These angles are produced by using five matched sets of guide fingers and dovetail bits.

 

 Using the Akeda is very simple. You don't have to adjust the jig or do a lot of trial-and-error cutting to get the joint to fit right. The key to this simplicity is a set of dovetail bits and Porter-Cable-style guide bushings manufactured by Akeda. Standard bits and bushings won't work. The basic jigs do not come with any bits, however; they're available in various sets to suit your needs. Akeda bits have 8 mm shanks, which produce less vibration than bits with smaller 1/4-in. shanks. You'll need a reducer, available from Akeda, to use them in a 1/2-in. collet. The dust collection port, which works very well, is a $30 accessory.

Source
Akeda, www.akeda.com, (877) 387-6544, Akeda BC24 Blanket Chest Jig, $440;  BC24 Jig, 7 pc. Bit Set and Dust Collector Kit, $499.


 

Current Pick of the Week Tool

Previous Pick of the Week Tools
Onedia Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector
Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC
Fein Multimaster
Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener

Editor's Pick of the Week


Oneida Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector


Oneida's Portable XXP020100, is the only dual-cyclonic roll-around collector on the market. This collector is perfect for workshops with height and space constraints or shops that need the flexibility and mobility not offered by a central dust collection system. The Portable stands 64-in. tall with a footprint of 4-ft. by 20-in. The collector has a 6-in.-dia. inlet and includes two high-efficiency cyclones, a 2-1/2-hp, 230-volt, 11.5-amp Baldor Motor, two high efficiency spun-bond filters that capture 99.9-percent of test material from 0.2 to 2 microns, crank style filter cleaners, 15-feet of 5-in.-dia. flex hose and twin drums for easy handling. The Portable requires minimal assembly and no wiring. You'll be up and running in under an hour.
Performance statistics: 780 CFM with 15' of 5” flexhose, 6-1/2 Inches W/C Static Pressure, 76 dBA @ 10'. The Portable is made in the USA.

Source:
Oneida Air Systems, www.oneida-air.com (800) 732-4065, The Portable, #XXP020100, $1200.


 

Current Pick of the Week Tool

Previous Pick of the Week Tools
Oneida Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector
Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC
Fein Multimaster
Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener

 

Editor's Pick of the Week


Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC

 



The new, compact, BT 32 “Buddy” systems from ShopBot have the same technology and mechanicals of their bigger brothers, but are scaled down for use in garage or basement workshops. They weigh in at less than 600-lbs. occupy less than 16-sq.-ft. of floor space and can cost less than $4,000.
The new compacts come in two models, depending on motor and drive system configuration: the PRSalpha BT32 “Buddy” or PRSstandard BT32 “Buddy”.
The PRSalpha features advanced closed-loop stepper motors for fast, reliable positioning.  The PRSstandard uses slower and thus less expensive stepper motors. The PRSstandard is ideal when high-speed positioning is not a priority. The PRSstandard can always be upgraded to a PRSalpha, so it's a great place to start.
ShopBot CNC systems are designed for ease of use. But, like any new skill, learning CNC technology requires time and practice. ShopBot offers several ways to help you get up to speed. For starters there's free customer support, including nights and weekends. Monthly training classes are offered at ShopBot's facility in Durham, NC, or at your own shop.There's also the ShopBot Jamboree: an annual gathering of Shopbotters from around the world. Attendees learn about new products, software and better ways to increase profits.  If that's not enough, you can attend Camp ShopBot. These informal regional gatherings are a perfect setting for ShopBot owners (or wannabees) to meet and learn from other ShopBotters. ShopBot also hosts an online forum, www.talkshopbot.com. It's a virtual meeting place for ShopBotters to connect. The PRSstandard compact CNC, $4,000, includes CAD/CAM software and a Windows-based, full-feature control software.  

Source
ShopBot, www.shopbottools.com (919) 680-4800,
PRS Standard Compact CNC, $4,000.


Current Pick of the Week Tool

Previous Pick of the Week Tools
Oneida Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector
Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC
Fein Multimaster
Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener

Editor's Pick of the Week


Fein Multimaster



 No doubt you've seen the Fein MultiMaster before–a tool with an oscillating head and lots of attachments for sanding, sawing and scraping. It just got better.
The new MultiMaster has a new tool-free system that's much more convenient to use for changing attachments.  Just open the clamping lever on top of the tool to remove an accessory, pop in a new one, and you're ready to go back to work in 5 to 10 seconds. The new MultiMaster is also more powerful than older models and comes with a wider range of accessories in four different kits.
For woodworkers, Fein has added a new HSS saw blade, 3-9/16-in. dia., that's perfect for hardwoods and laminates. It turns the MultiMaster into an oscillating saw that can get you out of a jam in tight places. Fein has also designed a new bench-mounted jig for stationary applications. It allows you to position the MultiMaster at multiple angles, and should be a boon to any woodworker filing or sanding small parts. 

Source

Fein, www.feinus.com (800) 441-9878, MultiMaster sets from $199 to $399.


Current Pick of the Week Tool

Previous Pick of the Week Tools
Onedia Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector
Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC
Fein Multimaster
Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener

Editor's Pick of the Week


Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener

 This machine does it all. You can lap, grind, and hone chisels, plane blades, scrapers, carving tools, turning tools and even jointer and planer knives to the sharpest edge possible on any machine. The basic Lap-Sharp doesn't come with guides for holding these tools, however­­­­–they're available as separate accessories.

The Lap-Sharp differs from the other machines: it uses water with the finer abrasives.  Sprayed or dripped on the discs, water cools a tool's edge and carries away sharpening debris (Photo 1). For purists, cooling with water is a big deal. Makers and users of high-end Japanese tools contend that heating a tool while dry-grinding or honing decreases its ability to hold an edge. We all know that dramatically overheating a tool, to the point that the metal changes color, causes this effect. These folks contend this damage occurs at lower temperatures, too. While no one to our knowledge has scientifically tested this theory, it's hard to ignore years of experience. Some independent experts in the field of testing edge tools believe this degradation occurs with Western tools as well.

The Lap-Sharp is a beautiful piece of engineering, well thought out. To help lapping, you use a foot pedal to turn on the machine. This allows you to precisely position the tool before the disc starts spinning. The result is a flatter surface than one you can make using the other power sharpeners. The Lap-Sharp's 8-in. dia. discs spin at about 200 rpm, much slower than other machines. It will go clockwise or counterclockwise. The discs are color-coded; each one holds a single grit on one side. A wide variety of grits and types of sandpaper are available, each tailored for specific applications. In general, these are higher-quality abrasives than those used by other machines. They last longer and have a more uniform grit.

The basic Lap-Sharp is designed for freehand sharpening. That's fine if you sharpen your tools using just one bevel. But if you prefer two bevels or a microbevel to speed up the sharpening process, you're better off using the Lap-Sharp tool support and tool holder ($80). The tool holder is OK, but Lap-Sharp will soon introduce a more sophisticated model that promises to be easier to set up.
An enhanced Lap-Sharp LS-600VS ($1,295) offers variable speed (from 100 to 600 rpm) and soft start. A higher speed reduces the amount of time it takes to sharpen jointer and planer blades. Soft start helps make lapping and honing even more precise.

Source
Wood Artistry, www.woodartistry.com (707) 473-0593, Lap-Sharp
LS-200, $595; LS-600VS, $1,295.


Current Pick of the Week Tool

Previous Pick of the Week Tools
Oneida Roll-Around Cyclone Dust Collector
Shopbot "Buddy" Small Shop CNC
Fein Multimaster
Lap-Sharp Power Sharpener