August 2018
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Biesse Showcases Robotics

With the largest exhibit at IWF in Atlanta this month, Biesse America is demonstrating three integrated processes using six robots. The company is offering "unrivaled levels of system customization and flexibility, two key requirements in today’s world of production". Among the systems being shown is an automated cell with loading, unloading and sorting, plus processing of up to 300 sheets of material per shift, with one operator. Biesse is also showcasing an edgebanding cell with a sorting robot that demonstrates true batch-one production as it allows one operator to manage loading, banding, unloading and sorting. And there's an integrated robotic sanding cell that lets a single operator process up to 1200 MDF shaker style kitchen cabinet doors, or either 2000 solid wood kitchen cabinet doors or 400 solid wood entry doors for cross grain removal.

Wood Industry Meets In Atlanta

The International Woodworking Fair (IWF 2018) is one of the largest wood industry shows on the planet. It brings together cabinetmakers, furniture builders, millwork manufacturers, sheet stock and hardwood suppliers, machine and tool sellers and, of course, buyers - all under a single roof. It takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, and happens every other August in the even years. This year's event is from August 22 to 25. What is especially appealing about IWF is that a one-man shop is as welcome as the largest industrial manufacturer of furniture. There are more than a thousand exhibitors, half a million square feet of exhibits, and tens of thousands of attendees. So, the booths cater to every aspect, size and type of woodworking operation. To see our quick intro, click here.





American Made Tooling

Wisconsin-based and family-owned Vortex Tool has launched a new website with a complete online, instantly downloadable catalog and several new products, too. The company manufactures and sharpens a full range of custom cutting tools, and distributes major cutting tool brands. Among its new in-house offerings is the 6610 (shown), which is a 2" x 0.125" kerf, 3-wing slotting cutter with a 1/2" shank. Vortex's slot cutters are constructed from a precision machined, one-piece alloy steel body with brazed carbide tips. They're suitable for flush trimming and horizontal slots in materials up to 3/4" deep, and are designed to cut wood, wood composites and plastic. The company also offers a downloadable app that is designed to help woodworkers find and order the right tooling for each task, and is currently running a special on HSK 63F toolholders.

Murphy Door Uses Lockdowel

In addition to its new snap-together chair system, California based Lockdowel is also working with Murphy Door™, a Utah manufacturer that creates doors that serve as usable storage with shelving or hidden compartments. The company uses Lockdowel's slide-to-lock fastening technology to expedite the assembly of its Flush Mounted Bookcase, Surface Mounted Bifolding Bookcase and Flush Mounted French Style Bookcase doors. The CEO, Jeremy Barker, says that using Lockdowel's snap-in fasteners reduces assembly time for a full-sized bookshelf hidden door to about two hours for the average person with no carpentry experience. This is 60% faster than the company's old fastener technology. Last year, The Home Depot started selling Murphy Door products nationally. The deal was partially enabled by the use of Lockdowel fasteners, which allowed the company to flat pack ship the doors nationwide. Murphy Door creates doors that take advantage of doorway and wall space that is normally wasted. Its products add storage to a home or office, and it has been featured in This Old House and other respected publications.





Cope With High Dust Volume

On October 1st, Festool USA will release the new CT Cyclone pre-separator that promises woodworkers they will spend less time changing filter bags. It's designed to increase the efficiency of a CT Dust Extractor and minimize the lifetime cost of ownership. And it does so within a compact solution that fits seamlessly into the Festool mobility system. Compliant with OSHA’s Table 1 when used with a HEPA-certified CT Dust Extractor, this is an anti-static, three-step filtration system that separates and collects large debris and coarse dust before it reaches the mobile dust extractor. That decreases the number of filters and dust bags that a woodworker needs to purchase to keep a CT running smoothly. The CT Cyclone also reduces the overall dust load on the main filter, and ensures consistently high suction power throughout the work process. Compatible with all CT Dust Extractors, it is a highly portable and compact cyclone solution..

Two New Stud Tapes

Milwaukee Tool says it is "delivering ground-breaking innovation in tape measure durability" with the introduction of its new Stud™ tape measures. The company says that the 16 foot (48-22-9916) and 25 foot (48-22-9925) models are the industry's most durable, long lasting measuring tapes. They're equipped with proprietary EXO360™ blade technology, which is designed to protect the blade from rip and wear damage with a high-density coating. It wraps 360 degrees around, resulting in the longest lasting blade. The heavy duty blade is ten times more abrasion resistant, so the printed numbers won't wear out or fade. The Stud tape measures are also fully encased in a reinforced frame and an impact resistant overmold, allowing them to survive an 80 foot drop. Both the 16 ft and the 25ft version have a 10 ft standout for measuring wide openings. The larger version weighs 1.13 lbs. and the smaller one is just 0.9 lbs.





Hitachi is Becoming Metabo

Hitachi Power Tools is renaming its tools, fasteners, accessories and outdoor equipment in North America to Metabo HPT. The transition will start in September 2018 with the launch of MultiVolt, while the majority of products will change after December. Products will retain current brand identity (same color, model numbers, warranties and batteries), and will be made by the same people with the same specifications and focus on innovation that customers have come to expect. All products will continue to be covered and supported by the same industry-leading warranties and service. Hitachi Power Tools will be interchangeable with Metabo HPT products, and packaging and signage during the transition will feature both of the names and logos.

Dremel's Maker Days Prizes

From now through Sept. 8, woodworkers can visit Dremel online to get deals, daily prizes and a chance at a couple of big prizes - the new DigiLab Laser Cutter and the 3D45 3D Printer. Tool offers include specials on the new Stylo+, Versa, 4300, Saw-Max, Hatch Project Kit and more. One of the prize packs includes tools from Dremel and RotoZip, valued at over $3,000. The second and biggest grand prize giveaway will feature the Dremel DigiLab suite of products, a prize value of nearly $10,000. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation in Mount Prospect,Illinois, Dremel has been in business for 85 years.





Price Reduction

The Home Depot has reduced the price of two popular Ryobi power tools from $129. Currently available at just $99 each are two 18 Volt, One+ brand, tools, the P1812 and the P881. The former is a hammer drill/driver kit that delivers 600 inch pounds and includes two 18 Volt compact Li-ion batteries, a 30-minute charger and a tool bag. And the latter is an impact driver kit that delivers 1,500 inch pounds, and includes a 1/4" quick connect, a socket adapter, a tool bag, Mag Tray® for storing screws and bits, and weighs in at just 2.64 lbs..

ASFD is Rebranding

The American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD) has become the International Society of Furniture Designers (ISFD), but is still devoted to advancing, improving and supporting the practice of furniture design. Globally celebrated product designer Carsten Astheimer will be among those representing the international design community at the 23rd Annual Pinnacle Awards Gala, the premiere home furnishings industry event set for October 15 at High Point University’s Congdon School of Health Sciences. Astheimer will deliver the keynote address at the gala, which will include a jazz trio and a moveable feast created to encourage interaction between design students, design stars, the media and other industry notables, as well as manufacturers interested in renewing relationships and meeting new talent.





Power Tool Institute

The Power Tool Institute is "the leading organization for power tool safety resources, information and education". Its new campaign, 'Take Charge of your Battery', encourages woodworkers and other trades to buy replacement batteries from the original tool manufacturer, and provides guidelines on proper storage and transportation. It also covers figuring out when a battery is about done, and where to dispose of it responsibly. On May 21, PTI uploaded a video to YouTube™. Founded in 1968, PTI’s primary objectives are to promote the common business interests of the power tool industry; to represent the industry before government; to educate the public as to the usefulness and importance of power tools; to encourage high standards of safety in the manufacture of power tools; and to prepare and distribute information about safe use of power tools.

Atlantic is Now Distributing Fravol

The Master M200-23 edgebander is a semi-automatic machine created to meet space needs without giving up edge quality. It has a mix of solutions, applications, and technologies in just a 3-meter space. With a fresh design and compact shape, it is versatile and easy to use. The Master M200-23 has multi-profile units for rapid set-up, a color touch screen, and a PLC electronic control. This edgebander features the Fravoli patented Syncro Plus corner rounding unit. This innovative tool is used twice: for end trimming to work with thin thickness edges and for end trimming and corner rounding process when the edge has a bigger thickness. Atlantic Machinery Sales in New Milford, Connecticut is the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor for the Italian company Fravol's edgebanders.



Lots of New Ideas from Vero

The Leica Disto S910 is a laser distance-measuring tool by Leica Geosystems that lets Vero Software's Cabinet Vision directly import room measurements. Both companies are subsidiaries of Hexagon AB. The group also makes the ROMER Absolute Arm - a portable and lightweight laser scanner that can be used for part inspection and verification, as well as reverse engineering. Vero's Alphacam 2018 R2 has a new nesting engine that delivers significant improvements in material yield. Using proprietary technology to deliver best-in-class geometry and toolpath optimization, the engine also provides faster calculation times, along with improved feedback and graphics. And the company's Cabinet Vision Version 11 now includes new rendering technology that provides users with nearly photo-like images, which woodshops can use as a sales tool. Plus, Vero's WorkPLAN software for ERP works with Cabinet Vision to let users organize workshop operations from design to completion.

Jobsite Portable Router Table

A new benchtop router table from Rockler (item 54628) is lightweight, tough, and extremely well thought out. Its greatest advantage is that you can lift the router out of the table and use it as a portable, without having to remove the plate. The plate is round at one end for contours, and square at the other for use with straightedges. The two-part design of the plate allows the router to be rotated during mounting, so the handles fit easily into the table's opening during installation. The table can be clamped or screwed to a bench, or screwed to a stud wall on a jobsite, or clamped to a tailgate, or just set up on the floor. Both standard size and trimmer bases are available. There's a 1-1/8" thick melamine-coated MDF top, standard miter slot to fit a miter gauge and jigs, a sturdy aluminum fence with included 2-1/2" dust port and bit guard, adjustable fence faces with T-slots for featherboards and jigs, and tall ergonomic knobs that make adjustments easy on the knuckles.



Grass Adds Tipmatic to Dynapro

Woodshops that have been using the Dynapro undermount drawer system from Grass America can now offers their customers an upgrade on that already sound product. Grass has added its exclusive Tipmatic soft-close, touch-to-open system as an option. The new Tipmatic system provides easy opening and soft closing with one mechanism, and Dynapro hardware can be retrofitted. There's an improved liquid damper that's designed for smoother closing transition, along with a front locking device. Dynapro offers a flanged and non-flanged version, with or without depth adjusters. Tipmatic soft-close for handle-free drawers can be a real experience in everyday use. It combines the benefits of a mechanical opening with 3-tier adjustment of the opening force, plus the smooth closure of the drawer. The size and weight of the drawer are of virtually no consequence, and the large activation zone means ease of operation. Tipmatic can also be combined with the Vionaro drawer system to offer a slim double-wall drawer.

Turning Symposium in Georgia

The Georgia Association of Woodturners (GAW) is holding its annual Turning Southern Style symposium from Friday, September 21 through Sunday the 23rd. This year’s event will again be held at the Convention Center in Dalton, which is about an hour north of Atlanta. With an impressive slate of demonstrators, a large group of vendors and a great facility, the group expects that this will be "one of the largest, most informative and enjoyable symposiums in our 23 year history". There are four demonstration rooms, a large gallery of work (some for sale), a vendor trade area and a banquet and auction. Demonstrators include Nick Agar, Graeme Priddle and Melissa Engler, Mark Palma, Peggy Schmid, Frank Bowers and Mike Peace. Advance registration closes on August 21, or register in-person at the event.



Making Hardware Choices Easier

The Blum website recently got a lot easier to navigate through a portal called The Product World of Blum. Woodworkers can click on a room (there's a list across the bottom of the screen) and an image of a kitchen, bedroom, office etc. appears. Then, the hardware shopper can click on an orange dot and see how various doors, drawers etc. are being operated. An interactive box appears that lists the name of the product and adds a very brief description (for example, LegraBox Pure is described as "Elegant drawer side design combined with advanced technology"). At the bottom of the dialog box there's a Show Me button that leads to a larger picture, a slightly longer description and a number of links to the hardware. It's all very intuitive, and it's elegant enough to sit down with a cabinet client in front of a computer and share the decision-making process (without prices showing).

An Introduction to Rhino and CNC

Rochester, NY furniture artist Fabiano Sarra will be conducting a week-long workshop at the Anderson Ranch in Snowmass village (a stone's throw from Aspen, Colorado) from August 20th through the 24th. The cost of the course is $1,120 and includes an exploration of the fundamental applications of the CNC router. Students learn the process of drawing and preparing digital models in Rhino3D (CAD), and outputting them (CAM). They learn how to design 2-D and 3-D models, plus the process of generating a tool path with CAM software and then run that on a CNC machine. Demonstrations and one-on-one assistance are given, in conjunction with morning and afternoon exercises in using the CNC and a variety of software. To sign up or see more detailed information, visit the Ranch's website.



Fighting Back Against Ash Borers

Reaction to an invasive bug has grown into a movement. Over the past sixteen years, Michigan has suffered an infestation of emerald ash borers, an Asian beetle whose larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees. They cut off the trees' ability to send water and nutrients from roots to canopy. It was first discovered near Detroit in 2002, and has since spread to kill hundreds of millions of trees in North America. U.S. Forest Service funding has helped to launch local networks in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and these have now formed the Urban Wood Network. Its goals are to build regional and national awareness; increase the amount of urban wood that can be reclaimed, processed, and sold; and build a brand for the urban wood marketplace. The Network is providing a free seminar at IWF, and land owners, arborists, sawyers and woodworkers are invited.

Make A Chair From A Tree Auther Dies

Jennie (John) Alexander spent much of her adult life designing, building and teaching projects such as two-slat post and rung chairs, all from green wood. From a base on Light Street in Baltimore, her shop Greenwoodworking grew out of a complex life that included playing jazz professionally, practicing as a divorce trial lawyer and attending AA meetings for decades. Born in 1930, she transitioned from male to female in 2007 at the age of 77. And along the way, she became one of the cornerstones of a movement that explored furniture building in green wood. In 1878, Taunton published her book on green woodworking, and she spent many years teaching at venues such as Drew Langsner's Country Workshops, in the woods of North Carolina.


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