July 2018
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Keep the Power, Lose the Weight

Using new 21700 Lithium-ion cell technology, Bosch has developed the GBA18V40. This is a 4.0 Ah battery that combines all of the capability of the original CORE battery into a smaller, lighter package. It's designed to make day-to-day work easier, particularly repetitive applications and overhead tasks. The power cells are arranged in a single layer, which makes a smaller and lighter pack possible. And Bosch's CoolPack 2.0 technology increases the lifetime of the battery as well, delivering up to 135 percent longer life. Heat is the enemy of any battery and this design ensures heat dissipation is maximized thanks to a housing that completely encases each cell. Optimized cell connectors made of copper versus copper-coated galvanized steel offer lower resistance, which means increased power output over a longer period of time.



Richard Wedler has a New Website

The inventor of MicroFence, Rich has been an avid woodworker for half a century, and his new site is described as "a scrapbook from a 50-year furniture making career". Rich is a very creative person with accomplishments in the fields of music, engineering, designing and building. The site showcases many of his projects over the years, most of them built in his Hollywood workshop and many for movie industry celbrities. Two elements - his engineering background, and a father who was a machinis - have informed his woodworking and also led to his developing the MicroFence system. The device "makes your hand-held router into the precision milling machine it’s capable of being, in all straight line, circular and elliptical woodworking applications. Bringing its concept of precision directly from the machine-tool trade, it provides micrometer-adjusted measuring capability that streamlines set-ups by maximizing accuracy and efficiency."

Hang and Move Your Cords, Hoses

An affordable new ceiling track system from Rockler can suspend cords, hoses and other items from above, but still allow them to be moved. It's a collection of interchangeable ring and hook attachments that thread into two available types of small wheeled trolleys, which in turn roll along in the ceiling-mounted track. Adjustable stops limit the trolleys' movement and stop them rolling out of the ends. All components are available individually or in combo packages, so users can customize a setup. Uses include suspending cabinet doors so all sides can be spray finished at once; getting electric cords out of the way; and placing lights or dust hoses where they're needed. The PVC track is sold in 4' sections (they can be cut), and each section is rated for 60 pounds and comes with mounting hardware and instructions.



Sawmill Workers Consider Strike

About 1,200 wood industry workers who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) will vote on whether they will go on strike at Weyerhaeuser Co. next week. The face-off is taking place in the Northwest, and has been in negotiations for some time. The company has made what it calls a final offer, and the vote next week will either resolve the dispute, or close some sawmill gates. The big issue is the number of union loggers Weyerhaeuser hires to bring in raw material, as opposed to the number of independent operators it buys from. In an effort to control costs, the company has gradually been tilting toward more independents over the past few decades. Many logs are harvested and exported, so they never see the inside of a U.S. sawmill. Also at issue are healthcare, wages, vacation days and mandatory overtime.

Innovative Load Handling Company Expands

CombiLift is an Irish company with U.S. headquarters in Greensboro, NC.Its incredibly versatile forklifts are available in 85 countries. Last month, the company opened a new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland, and also announced that it will be significantly expanding its workforce with the creation of 200 new jobs in the next three years. The new 500,000 square foot facility will allow Combilift to double production within the next five years. The company currently exports 98% of its products, which include multi-directional forklifts that combine the features of a counterbalanced forklift, side loader and a very narrow aisle truck in one vehicle; sideloader forklifts for long loads such as glue lams; and a number of other unique load handling solutions.



Fine Detail Work Just Got Easier

Easy Wood Tools in Kentucky has introduced a new turning tool, and also a new cutter. The tool is a mid-sized micro detailer (item 7700, with a malpe handle) that complements existing larger and smaller versions. And the cutter is the Ci7 micro detailer (at bottom in photo), which offers turners the opportunity to make very fine cuts in detailed turnings such as finials. The company manufactures replaceable carbide cutter woodturning tools that address fatigue, safety and efficiency issues. They eliminate the need for sharpening, and are designed with support directly beneath the cutting edge to transfer pressure downward. That allows the lathe to absorb pressure that normally would be handled by the hands and body. Due to neutral cutting angles, the tools are easy to use and have a much reduced possibility of kick-back or catches over traditional tools.

Robots In The Small Shop, Seminar

The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) will present a number of workshops at IWF in Atlanta. Among these is Robots in the Small to Medium-Sized Shop, which will be led by John Park from SCM Group, and Matt Krig of Northland Woodworks. This session will explore the not-so-distant future of robots in the woodworking shop, and attendees will learn what they should be thinking about now to prepare for the future. Click here for a complete list of the eleven seminars, which also include The Art of Pricing Profitably, Boundary-pushing with your Nested-based Router, and Acing that Modern Job. The Association is also organizing shop tours of local cabinet manufacturers on Tuesday, August 21st. That begins at 7:30 am with breakfast and continues throughout the entire day. Registration is $55 for current CMA members and $75 for non-members. In fact, prospective members are invited to all of the CMA events before and during the show. The image of the robot shown here is from CNC Robotics Ltd., a specialised robotic machining company based in Durban, South Africa and Liverpool in the U.K.



Wooden Nails Win Award

LignoLoc® wooden nails have been awarded a German industrial innovation prize, the MaterialPREIS 2018. The revolutionary nails are made from indigenous beech wood and boast a tensile strength similar to aluminium nails. Their mechanical properties allow the nails to be driven into solid structural timber, using Fasco's LignoLoc® pneumatic nailer. They require no pre-drilling, and form an inseparable bond with the timber. The prize-giving and presentation ceremony took place in Stuttgart., and a total of 31 materials and their manufacturers from the world of industry, trades and design were honoured with this prestigious award for special materials. The nail system has also made it into the list of Green Product Award Winners for 2018. Public voting begins for that prize in mid-July, and the award ceremony takes place in October.

A New Dust Collector

The FM10 READY is a new 10 HP, 5000 CFM indoor dust collector from Coral S.p.A. of Italy. It has a total filtration area of 510 square feet and is in full compliance with the latest NFPA rules & regulations. With its space-saving design, high performance, and extremely low noise level, Atlantic Machinery says that "it is the most affordable and practical solution for your wood dust extraction needs". Coral is becoming a household name in the woodworking field, with hundreds of portable and stationary dust collectors plus spray booths, cartridge filters and downdraft tables. The company's innovations (it was the first to introduce high efficiency cartridge filter systems, and wet spray booths) have made them a leader in the industry. Woodworkers can top by Atlantic Machinery’s IWF booth (6713) to view demonstrations and talk with a Coral representative about the FM10 READY and other Coral offerings. Atlantic Machinery Corporation is located in New Milford.



Two New Laser Measures

What do you get when you upgrade a laser measure with a 5-megapixel camera, full-color screen and accuracy up to 400 feet, even in bright light? Say hello to the two new lasers in the Bosch Power Tools BLAZE lineup, the GLM400C and GLM400CL. Both outdoor laser measures are equipped with a 5 MP, 8X zoom camera with scratch-proof screen. They can find the laser target at up to 400 ft. in bright conditions, or in an expansive indoor space, or even against busy backdrops. The easy-to-read color display illuminates large numbers, and all measurements can easily be transferred to a smartphone project planning app. The difference between the models is that the GLM400C is powered by three AA batteries, and the GLM400CL with Camera includes an integrated, rechargeable 3.1 Ah Lithium-ion battery. Both are priced under $300 USD.

Dream Team is Launched

Festool has announced a new media and content partnership with This Old House that will include PBS television underwriting spots, video content creation and distribution, events, category exclusivity on the New Yankee Workshop channel, and participation by leading TOH talent. The partnership will debut this fall. Festool Tool School will be a series of videos to stream on FestoolUSA.com, thisoldhouse.com, and select online retailers. In addition, TOH experts will join the faculty of Festool training classes. Festool now becomes the exclusive tool sponsor of the New Yankee Workshop (NYW) channel on thisoldhouse.com. Launched online April 30, 2018, that channel provides hobbyists with a robust and significant increase to the TOH video library.



Woodshop Saved From Fire

The Chattanooga Woodworking Academy is a non-profit professional woodworking school with a four-year course of study where the training is hands-on, and students participate in professional commission work from the beginning. Director Bill Carney was interviewed on WRCB television on June 29th after an off-duty firefighter riding his bike (Chattanooga Fire Department captain Jonathan Lehman) noticed smoke that was apparently generated in a sawdust barrel, perhaps from an oily rag. The front door of the woodshop was destroyed along with a piece that had just been completed by a student. It was a tall cabinet with a door and drawers in walnut and maple that Carney described as "just gorgeous". The building was empty as classes were out for the summer. Four fire companies responded and forced entry. The fire was contained to the shop area and was extinguished in a few minutes.

Construction Slowdown Approaching?

In the first week of July, the retail price of a standard 2x4-8 stud at Lowes.com in Rapid City, South Dakota was $4.38. And at The Home Depot in Stadium, Florida it was $4.07. Construction prices are soaring thanks to fires out West last year, the demand created by hurricanes, and a trade war with Canada. Steel and other commodities are also being affected as the U.S. begins a new trade war with China and the EU. The Turner Building Cost Index is published quarterly by Turner Construction in New York. The company has 5,200 employees and does $10 billion of construction a year. The Index reports that non-residential construction costs are up 5.63% over a year ago in the second quarter. And Randy Noel, the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said on June 19th that this year's rising lumber prices "have increased the price of an average single-family home by nearly $9,000". It doesn't look like the increases will stop soon.



Two Edgebanders from Fravol

Atlantic Machinery Corporation has been named exclusive importer and distributor in North America of Fravol Export Srl of Vigonza, Italy. Since 1963, Fravol has offered high-quality and innovative edgebanding machines. Two of them will be showcased in Atlanta (booth #6713). The Master M200-23 (shown) is a semi-automatic machine that meets space needs without giving up edge quality. It has rapid set-up, a color touch screen and a PLC control, plus Fravoli's patented Syncro Plus corner rounding unit for end trimming to work with thin thickness edges, and for end trimming and corner rounding when the edge has more thickness. And the Model VSB is a machine for straight, round, and curved panels. It has a new patented working table with nylon glides.

Thinking of Buying a Big Machine?

On the first day of IWF in Atlanta, the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) and KCD Software will present a session on exactly that. It will feature a lively discussion among four small shop owners who will tell their stories of taking the leap and buying $50k to $250k machines. They'll share what they've learned, what they wish they had known, and what they'd do differently if they had to do it again. This session will cover it all – selection, negotiation, financing, moving, set-up, processes, compressed air, power, dust collection, tooling, the learning curve and all of the surprises that come with integrating a big machine into your shop. IWF will take place August 22-25, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia World Congress Center. Attendees can register for sessions online.

(Photo courtesy Laguna Tools.)



Still Looking For Quality Employees?

There's a critical shortage of trained workers in woodworking-related fields, and a limited number of training programs dedicated to filling that need. The New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW) offers a five-month program that prepares both beginning and experienced woodworkers for careers in the field. Instructors work to standards set by the Architectural Woodwork Institute. After learning cabinetmaking fundamentals, students work directly with local shops to design, draw, plan, build, finish and install projects, which are usually kitchens. This exposes students to the entire project life-cycle and prepares them for a range of jobs within the industry, or for self-employment. The school also arranges several field trips. Administrators are currently looking for feedback from woodshops on ways to make the program better fit their needs. So, they're inviting professionals to an Employer Roundtable on July 11th in Easthampton, Mass. Contact Greg Larsen (info-at-nesaw.com) for details.


The Spirit of Woodworking

At just about the exact center of Minnesota, the town of Collegeville is home to St. John's Abbey. The Benedictine monastery is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to more than 130 monks... and a woodshop. It's also the location of St. John's University, which was founded in 1883. The Abbey and its wards suffered through the child abuse nightmare during the last century, and have spent the past couple of decades moving forward. The woodshop helps fund operations by building and selling a selection of crosses, laser engraved plaques, kitchen accessories (at right), urns, coffins and caskets (at left). The monks work in solid maple, oak and pine. "Daily Work among the Benedictine monks," the Abbey says, "articulates and punctuates the spiritual life of the community, giving physical expression to the spiritual fruits of a life of worship".


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