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6/6/2007

New Gear for the New Year


New Gear for the New Year
By Edited by George Vondriska; Art Direction: Barbara Pederson; Photography: Courtesy of Manufacturers
12/1/2001

Big Bandsaw in a Small Package
Laguna’s new LT14 bandsaw ($895) packs big-saw features into the footprint of a 14-in. saw. Its welded-steel frame is built for heavy work like resawing, and the table, trunnions and wheels are solid cast iron for extra weight and vibration control. The saw table is a generous 15-in. deep by 19-in. wide.

The LT14 also features an innovative guide system. Ceramic blocks (instead of steel or phenolic plastic) provide both side and rear blade support. According to Laguna, these blocks can be run directly against the blade without creating heat build up (which is a problem with steel blocks). This dramatically reduces blade twist and drift, making resawing easier. The closely set blocks are said to constantly clear pitch from the side of the bladeÑa big deal if you cut lots of wet wood. This saw has just become available through retailers, so we haven’t had a chance to test these claims.

The throat capacity (the maximum width you can cut) is 13-1/4 in. and the maximum thickness you can cut is 8-5/8 in. For comparison, most 14-in. saws have 6-in. thickness capacity, and 12 in. if you add a riser block. The LT14 takes 105-in. blades from 1/4-in. to 3/4-in. wide and is driven by a substantial 1.7-hp, 220-volt, 8.2-amp motor. Most 14-in. saws come with a 1-hp motor. A fence comes standard with this saw.

According to Laguna, dust collection on the LT14 is improved over other bandsaws by the dust box; a confined area directly under the table that you connect to a dust collector. The only problem is the odd-sized 3-1/8-in. dust port, for which you’ll need to buy an adapter.

Laguna Tools, LT14; $895.
(800) 965 3533
www.lagunatools.com


Fast, Strong Glue
Combine the fast setup of hot-melt glue with the strength of polyurethane and you’ve got Franklin’s new glue system. According to the folks at Franklin, you can use this glue almost any place you currently use brads or pin nails.

The glue uses a cordless, heated gun (like regular hot-melt), that costs a rather steep $120. (That’s the price you pay for cutting-edge technology, I guess.) The gun stays hot out of the base for about 20 minutes. After you squeeze out the glue, it grabs and cools in 30 to 75 seconds. If you screw up, you can reheat the joint with a heat gun and separate the parts. After that first minute or so, the glue reacts to moisture in the air to cure. It reaches full strength in about 24 hours. When the bond is complete, the strength is amazing. It can even securely bond end grain to end grain.

Glue cartridges cost $8 each and there are different glues available for different applications. WW30 is woodworking glue that sets up in 30 seconds. WW60 fills gaps and sets up in 60 seconds. MP75 is multi-purpose and works on melamine, ceramics, metal, marble, glass, brick and more.

This may not be a must-have tool, but you can use it to instantly set glue blocks, build jigs, and even fasten trim to cabinets without nail holes. You can haul it to the bathroom to stick a soap dish on ceramic tile, or to the garage to reattach the weather strip on your car door. HighPURformer glue won’t completely replace white or yellow glue, but it’s a handy addition to your adhesive arsenal.

Franklin International
Hot-melt glue gun; $120
Glue cartridges; $8
(800) 347-4583
www.titebond.com

Four 18-Volt Cordless Tools at a Great Price
Now you can arm yourself with the tools you need for woodworking and home repair without breaking the bank. Ryobi’s 18-volt Super Combo Kit has a cordless drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw and flashlight, all for $200!

The drill/driver features a 1/2-in. keyless chuck, 24-position clutch, two-speed gearbox and a powerful magnet on top for holding screws and bits (it works better than your mouth!).

The 5-1/2-in. circular saw has a maximum cutting depth of 1-9/16-in., so it can handle 2x4s. The variable-speed reciprocating saw has a 3/4-in. stroke.

The kit comes with two 18-volt batteries and a one-hour charger. The Super Combo Kit is available only at The Home Depot.

Ryobi, 18-volt Super Combo Kit; $200.
(800) 323-4615
www.ryobi.com


Battery-Powered Brad Nailer
The cordless revolution is alive and well. This time Porter-Cable has marched into the nail gun arena, and the result is pretty cool.

This 7-lb. gun ($260) has an on-board mini compressor that runs off a rechargeable 12-volt battery. If you’re near an air compressor, take out the battery, hook up a hose, and run the gun the old fashioned way. Either way, the gun shoots 18-gauge brads from 3/4-in. to 2-in. long. Under battery power, the nailer will drive about 300 brads before it needs a charge.

The mini compressor makes the gun a little heavy toward the back, but it’s not much more awkward than 25 feet of air hose dangling behind you.

If all your brad nailing is done in the shop, the on-board compressor is not a big deal. But if your needs take you away from a conventional compressor, you’ll like the portability of this tool.

Porter-Cable, BN200V12; $260
(800) 487-8665
www.porter-cable.com



Two-Stage Collector on a Can
Jet’s new two-stage dust collector ($300) fits on a 20-gallon steel or a 32- or 42-gallon plastic garbage can. When the can is full, lift the dust collector off the top and haul the can out to the curb. No messy bags to empty.

Jet couples this convenience with innovative filter cartridges. These cartridges filter to 2 microns and provide the same filtration surface area as a huge bag (about 48 in. x 48 in.), without taking up nearly as much space. According to Jet, you’ll also find it easier to clean the cartridge than you would a filter bag with a zipper. Just slide off the cartridge, bang it inside a barrel (like the one under the dust collector), and slip it back on.

This collector’s 1-hp motor pulls 650 cfm of air through its 4-in. port, comparable to other 1-hp collectors, and it weighs only 38 lbs. Its compactness makes it a good choice for woodworkers who are really short on space.

Jet Tools, DC 650TS; $300.
(800) 274-6848
www.jettools.com


Notice of Recall:
Ryobi, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling to repair about 125,000 circular saws. The lower blade guards on these saws can stick in the open position, posing a risk of serious injury to the operator and bystanders.

Ryobi has not received any reports of incidents. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The recalled 7-1/4-in. circular saws have a blue plastic body and a metal blade guard. The recalled model numbers CSB120, CSB130, CSB1308, CSB130K and CSB130JS can be found on a white label on the motor housing. Any Ryobi circular saw with a green dot on the warning label on the power cord, or on the product’s packing, is not included in this recall.

Consumers should stop using the saws and contact Ryobi’s consumer Response Team for a free repair kit. Consumers should call (800) 867-9624 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, visit www.ryobitools.com, or write to Ryobi Technologies, Inc., P.O. Box 1207, Anderson, SC 29622, Attn: Consumer Response Team.


Monstrous Lathe
Delta’s rugged new 46-745 variable-speed lathe ($1,800) is made for big work. This behemoth features:
- a 16-in. swing
- 42-in. between centers
- 11/4-in. (8 tpi) spindle, driven by a 1-1/2-hp motor
- electronic speed control
- three speed ranges (0-1100, 0-2200, and 0-3200 rpm)
- a spindle lock that has a 24-division index for ornamental work like flutes or reeds.

You can add mass to this already hefty 400-lb. machine by pouring sand, concrete, or other ballast into the hollow legs and bed. The open design of the feet also allows you to slide a 4x4 through to increase the machine’s footprint. This is one BIG lathe.

Delta Machinery, 46-745; $1,800.
(800) 438-2486
www.deltawoodworking.com

Modular Workshop Stations
If you’d prefer to buy your shop cabinets and give yourself that much more time for building other projects, Waterloo has a product you’ll be interested in.

The Tool Dock is a heavily built system. You can buy one station or a shop full, depending on your needs. Prices range from $260 to $550 per station.

In the Tool Station (shown below, $350), a removable insert ($19 each) gets fastened to each tool. Done with the planer? Unlock the insert, pluck out the planer, and drop in your miter saw. Each tool keeps its own insert. Tools you’re not using can go into the Tool Rack (shown below, $300), a vertical storage bin that accepts the inserts.

Interchangeable parts are key to this plug-and-play system. Most of the units come with drawers and casters. They all require assembly.

Waterloo Industries, Tool Dock; $260 to $550
(866) 573-0335
www.tooldock.com

Stripped-Screw Remover
Argh! No matter how hard you push, your driver just won’t grip that blasted stripped screw. You stripped it, and you stripped it good.

The Craftsman Screw-Out ($20) may save the day. Unlike some screw extractors, it doesn’t require drilling into the stripped screw. Simply chuck the bit into a reversible drill and place it in the center of the damaged screw head. The bit tip grabs the screw head when you reverse the drill. The three bits in the set will handle screws from #6 to #14 with Phillips, slotted, Torx, or square-recess heads.

Note: This remover isn’t for broken screws, just stripped ones.

Sears, Screw-Out; $20
Sears retail store
www.sears.com

Instant Organization
You don’t need a tidy shop to produce fabulous projects, but if you’ve lost sight of your workbench top and have not seen your belt sander in months, consider trying the storeWALL.

One piece of storeWALL, 15-in. wide and 48-in. long, costs $35. Hooks, baskets and storage bins are available for $6 to $33 and you can also use standard 1/4-in. Peg-Board hooks. StoreWALL is available in a variety of colors and faux wood grains.The Wall Workshop package puts together a group of commonly used hangers and two pieces of storeWALL for $200.

A huge advantage of storeWALL is its strength. Properly secured to the wall, it’ll handle tools from chisels to routers with ease. It’s made from plastic, so it isn’t affected by moisture like wall storage products made of MDF. If you turn into a hyper neatnick, you could hose the whole thing down with water.

storeWALL; $35 to $220.
(866) 889-2502
www.storewall.com


Reprinted with permission from American Woodworker magazine, ©2001 Home Service Publications, Inc., an affiliate of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Suite 700, 2915 Commers Drive, Eagan, MN 55121. All rights reserved.