Woodworking News
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October 2017

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Updated 10/12/17

Stiles Supports Training Center for Woodworkers

Stiles Machinery Inc. is a strong supporter of a new National Training Center located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL) celebrated its grand opening on October 5th. This is a program dedicated to empowering the next generation of manufacturing professionals, and doing so through advanced training courses in lean manufacturing. In support of these efforts, Stiles Machinery has contributed several state-of-the-art woodworking machines. Those will be used in conjunction with a hands-on training approach that is designed to provide MiLL students with a unique educational experience in modern-day manufacturing. The MiLL is the first national training center of its kind, designed to educating future leaders in wood manufacturing, construction and cabinet finishing.



Weinig Makes Big Investment in Holz-Her

There was a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony at the Holz-Her production facility in Voitsberg, Austria, at the end of September. A new 200,000 square foot facility, budgeted at $5.3M, will be erected for building panel processing machinery. It includes an extension specifically designed for a new CNC milling machine for framework processing. Holz-Her has been part of the Weinig Group since 2010. The company attracted attention at the LIGNA fair this year with its Nextec technology for furniture production (it's basically CNC with no programming). To reflect the significance of the project for the future of the company, the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by both Weinig's Supervisory Board, led by Chairman Thomas Bach, and Weinig’s Management Board.

Reduce Noise, Increase the Chip Caption Degree

In late August, Leuco announced that it had been awarded a European patent for its airStream-System. Tools equipped with this new technology distinguish themselves by a characteristic bore in the body, and are patented by both Leuco and Holz-Her (they are exclusively available for Holz-Her machines). Jointing and edge trimming cutters that have the airStream-System reduce noise and increase the chip caption degree up to 99% on through-feed machines. With standard tools, a high pressure area is created on the face. This in turn creates a low-pressure area behind the cutting edge. Both air pressure areas try to level out. The pressure fluctuations are perceived as noise. With the new tools, an intelligent bore at a precisely defined place on the body prevents the creation of air pressure areas. No pressure fluctuations are caused, and this leads to a sound and noise reduction of 3 dB. Improved chip direction prevents double hogging of the chips, which means longer tool edge lives.



Cordless Saw Uses Two Batteries

Makita® introduced a 36-Volt cordless 6-1/2" plunge circular saw, the XPS01, at the end of July and reviews are very positive. There's an optional guide rail that turns the saw into a jobsite system for reducing panels, trimming doors and so on. According to the company, the variable speed saw "is part of Makita’s expanding 18V LXT® system, which offers 150+ tools and is the world’s largest tool system powered by 18V lithium-ion slide-style batteries [which] have the fastest charge times in their categories". Cut depths are 2-3/16" at 90 degrees and 1-9/16" at 45 degrees, and the base can run as close to a wall as 11/16". There's a brushless motor, soft start, and a built-in depth stop that can be used for scoring. It also has Makita's Star Protection, which allows the saw and battery to 'talk' to each other and protect against overloading, over-discharging and overheating.

Bath Hardware Collection

Emtek introduced its new Transitional Bath Hardware Collection at the end of September. It "offers a sophisticated yet seamless design, with subtle detailing on each stem and accompanying rosette. Forged from brass and available in seven finishes, the collection includes a towel bar in four sizes, a square towel ring, a bar style paper holder, and a single hook with rosette". The finishes are oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel, flat black, polished chrome, polished nickel, satin brass and unlaquered brass. Founded in 1981, Emtek is based in Southern California and encourages customers to mix and match according to taste and needs. Known for high quality, it is a part of the door hardware company ASSA ABLOY.



Leave Your Toolbox at Home

Two new backpacks from Milwaukee Tool are changing the way that woodworkers, especially installers, carry tools, supplies and small items to the jobsite. Designed to replace traditional heavyweight totes and toolboxes, the rugged backpacks come in Low Profile (left) and Ultimate (right) versions. The Low-Profile has 22 pockets and a padded and breathable load-bearing harness that evenly distributes weight. And the Ultimate has a hard molded base plus 48 total pockets, including two hardshell pockets that are designed to protect electronics and equipment from impact. Constructed of 1680D ballistic Material and with rugged metal zippers, these backpacks are "designed for unmatched durability". They're available online at The home Depot, ACME Tools and Toolbarn.


New JLT Clamping System

Shops that produce railings, long posts or face-glued solid wood components up to 16 feet long and 6 inches thick will want to know about JTL's latest system. It's a floorspace saving 52 inches deep and 70 inches tall, and there are up to three levels for increased production. It has heavy-duty steel construction with a 5000 lb capacity, 3-1/2" high jaws and 40" openings; rocker adapter plates for work up to 6" tall; and shim kits for precise clamp alignment. James L. Taylor established his clamp manufacturing company in 1911, and today Taylor Manufacturing, JLT Clamps, and Cameron Automation all reside in the same 100,000 square foot building in Poughkeepsie, New York. The company recently opened a southeast distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia.



Cabinets Trend Toward Rustic Chic

Keeping up with trends in cabinet design can be a harrowing experience, especially if a woodshop is re-doing a showroom. One of the styles that seems to be hot this fall is rustic chic, where flat panel Shaker doors and fronts offer simplicity, while rough materials and earthy color tones - often topped with a glaze - suggest a rural or even frontier pedigree. The two new styles shown here are from Woodland Cabinetry Inc. in Sisseton, South Dakota. Named Rustic Homestead and Rustic Farmstead, the company says that they "bring the slightly weathered look into the modern age. The simple design and natural wood grains give your space a lived-in feeling". The difference between them is in the widths of the styles and rails, the farm-based version having more frame and less panel. Usually paired with wrought or beaten iron pulls, the rustic chic look is often used to add warmth and texture to spaces that might otherwise seem too sterile, contemporary or impersonal.

New 21-Gauge Nailer

Grex USA is known for the quality of its 23-gauge headless pinners, and this new gun fires 21-gauge nails that offer a middle ground between the small holes size left by a 23-gauge pin and the holding strength of an 18-gauge brad nail. The H850LX is the first of its kind to include an integrated edge guide (the darker green item on the bottom of the magazine) that lets a woodworker aim and work faster and more precisely. It has an auto-trigger lockout (prevents dry firing), a large fastener window (to see how many nails are left), a swivel air coupler that helps avoid hose tangles and makes handling a bit easier, and a one-touch lockout override that lets you use the last seven nails. That's handy when you're up a ladder or under a cabinet and the gun tells you that you're almost out. The Posit-Lock™ nose cover dramatically reduces jamming, and a rear exhaust direct air away from you.



20V 4-Tool Kit

A new four-tool kit from Porter-Cable (item PCCK614L4) runs on the company's powerful 20-Volt MAX battery system and contains a really useful collection of tools. There's a 1/2" drill/driver with a two speed gear box that weighs only 3.5 lbs and has a built-in LED light; a circular saw with a high-performance, 3700 RPM motor and a 6-1/2" carbide tooth blade that has 2-1/8" cutting capacity and a 50 degree beveling shoe; a reciprocating saw with a 1" stroke length, tool free blade release, a variable-speed trigger and a compact design that's only 14.5" in length; and a flashlight with four LED bulbs, a comfortable handle and a pivioting head. The kit also includes a standard battery, a Max Pack battery, a standard charger, a bag/tote, one double-ended screwdriver bit, the 6 ½" 18-tooth circular blade and a 6" woodcutting reciprocating saw blade. We found it on Amazon for under $200.

Safety First, and Custom Cords

Founded in 1965, Milspec Industries, Inc. is based in Los Angeles, California and is one of the leading manufacturers of electrical wire and cable products. Among the company's latest offerings is a line of molded, locking extension cords that should be especially appealing to woodshop installers. The Pro Lock™ connector securely locks a tool's plug into the extension cord, so there's no more need to tie knots. The ends light up to let you know you have juice, the material is crack resistant polycarbonate, and these cords will maintain their flexibility even in temperatures well below freezing. They're also UL listed and cUL approved. Milspec also offers a custom print program where its customers can now customize extension cords for free. By printing its name on cords, a woodshop can deter theft, show its business colors and even print additional information such as a telephone number continuously down the length of its extension cords.



Compact Hybrid Sanders From Festool

Available on October 2nd, the new Festool hybrid sanders (models RTSC 400, DTSC 400 and ETSC 125) will run on battery power... or the electric grid! All three are high performance tools with the capacity to remove extensive material - and also deliver excellent cordless endurance, thanks to an 18-Volt battery pack and brushless EC-TEC motor. With low weight and an optimum center of gravity, they promise comfortable, ergonomic handling. And thanks to innovative Plug-It mains adapters, they can be plugged into the wall for continuous electrical operation when needed. These are truly professional sanders, with or without a cord.

Design/Build Workshop Now Open

Drew Skuce is the CEO of a new membership workshop located in Brantford, Ontario, and he describes it as a community makerspace, where people of all abilities come together to learn and create. Facilitating both wood and metal working, there are several levels of membership. The Professional Package includes unlimited use of the workshop space plus unlimited access to the design and prototype studio. It's a month-to-month deal with no long-term contracts, and it's currently on sale for $150 a month (regularly $200). New members are required to take and pass a Basic Operations Setup and Safety (B.O.S.S.) course before using large floor machines, and a Laser Boss class before firing up the laser. There are also Builder, Maker and even Shop Punchcard memberships (5-day passes that are perfect for gifts, the occasional woodworker/maker, or woodworkers visiting from out-of-town.