January 2019
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Recycled Batteries Power A Mobile Woodshop

Nissan has unveiled a new NV300 concept-van at the Brussels (Belgium) Motor Show this week that has been kitted out as a mobile woodshop. It contains numerous practical and innovative features, including energy self-sufficiency via the addition of Nissan Energy ROAM. This is an integrated portable battery solution - an all-in-one, weatherproof power pack that provides convenient, emission-free and silent power while on the go. It has storage capacity of 700Wh and maximum power output of 1kW. For a woodworker moving regularly between jobs, it would allow him/her to power anything from tools to tablets in a highly efficient and eco-friendly way. It's built around second-life batteries recovered from Nissan LEAF electric vehicles that have come to the end of their life. The power pack can be recharged using a solar panel accessory.


Nissan NV300

Vesper Tools


Magnificent Hand Tools

Australian master toolmaker Chris Vesper, well known to U.S. hand tool aficionados, has posted that he's going to take a few months to regroup while he catches up on orders. There are still many gorgeous tools for sale on his website - he's just not going to make any more for a little while until the back orders are cleared. Shown here is his ultimate Sliding Bevels set (about $1,050 US). These "have infills cut from the same block of timber and kept together through the production process to not mix them up with general production". Chris celebrated twenty years in business last year. He has a passion for fine woodworking, and the tools that make it possible, and he operates"a dream workshop" in an industrial area in south east Melbourne.

Mortise & Tenon Joint Video

New at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Inc. is a two-DVD or streaming video on mortise and tenon joints. The company says that "an amateur is unlikely to saw as well as the apprentice trained professional of the past. The hand cutting of mortises is shown in detail as well as a quick look at a hollow chisel mortising machine. David explores techniques for producing accurate tenon cheeks. These are needed for good glue joints. This precise work is achieved with the aid of the No. 71 router plane. The video covers small draw bore mortise and tenon joints, and wedged through tenons, which are often a feature of Arts and Crafts work. Mitred through tenons and table leg mortises are also shown. David Charlesworth has taught woodworking since 1973 and is widely respected in England as a writer for Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine."





Set-Up blocks

Quality is in the details, so iGaging has introduced two new sets of set-up blocks for woodworkers. The company is based in San Clemente, California and distributes through retailers such as Rockler and Grizzly, and its own store. One set is standard (inch) and the other is metric, and either can be used on most shop equipment, including setting up the Z on a CNC. The blocks in each 15-piece set are extremely precise, and are designed for accurately setting up blades, bits and fences. The "Right On" blocks have solid aluminum construction with a blue anodized finish and bright white numbering so they are easy to read. Each set comes in its own protective case, and there is one base block for large increments. In the standard set, this is 1" x 2" x 3", and in the metric it's 25 x 50 x 75 mm. The interim blocks run from 1/16" thickness to 3/4", and from 1 mm to 20 mm.

Design & Construction Week® in Las Vegas

After a two year stint in Orlando, Florida, the sixth annual Design & Construction Week (DCW) will return to Las Vegas, Nevada in February. The show brings together more than 85,000 design and construction professionals in the largest annual gathering of the residential design and construction industry. This year's event will be from February 19 to 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The two founding partners, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Kitchen and Bath Association will continue driving the possibilities of home with this co-location of the NAHB International Builders' Show® (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS). DCW is considered a must-attend annual industry event for everyone involved in the design and construction industries. Tickets are available online.





Woodshop Air Quality Experts Renamed

Nortec Humidity is now Condair. With manufacturing facilities in Ottawa and Wisconsin and worldwide distribution, the company specializes in air treatment including humidification and evaporative cooling. There's an interesting article on its website about the need for humidity control in the woodshop. Condair's stated goal is "to create the ideal indoor climate while keeping energy consumption low and reducing impact on the environment". The Condair Group has been the world's leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial humidification and evaporative cooling products for more than 65 years. WoodEzine mentioned Nortec's natural gas fueled GS Series condensing high efficiency humidifier in its most recent AWFS special.

New Fastener is Earning Confidence

OVVO's new V-1230 invisible connector has a deeper profile than the company's award-winning V-0930, and it significantly increases the holding strength delivered in chipboard materials. It works best in thicker, high-grade chipboard and materials such as high-pressure laminates, composite material and solid woods. Biesse has named OVVO as one of its Selected Partners (shown here at the Biesse InHouse held in Pesaro, Italy in October), and describes OVVO as "a young, innovative company that has designed a concealed jointing system that allows woodworkers to combine two elements of a material in an easy and fast way, without the use of work tools, glues, nails or screws". OVVO fasteners are available in the U.S. through the E. B. Bradley company in Los Angeles.


OVVO Biesse

Federal Brace


Floating Shelf or Cabinet Supports

Need to "float" shelves or cabinets the way they are shown in the photo, with no visible means of support? Federal Brace, which has locations in both North Carolina and Utah, has introduced five new brackets that allow such an installation. Included are (top to bottom) a U bracket with 8" long arms in four widths; a stud mounted bracket with a 10" arm; a stud mounted rod with arm lengths of 10" or 6"; a floating shelf rod in 10" and 6" lengths; and a single arm unit in an 8" length. The two stud mounted supports have a heavy duty carrying capacity of 100 pounds each. One can slide a box style or low profile shelf over these supports for a completely floating look.

Budget, Beefy Corner Clamps

For woodworkers who are working alone, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Minnesota has come up with a simple, inexpensive ($9.99 for 4) and ergonomic solution to holding panels at 90 degrees during assembly. The new Clamp-It Clips (at top in the inset photo) provide a welcome helping hand as they slip over the top corner of any two panels, holding them in perfect alignment while you drive the nails, screws or apply clamping pressure. They are available for two stock thicknesses - 1/2'' (58225) and 3/4'' (58849). The 1/2'' Clips are useful for drawer and small box construction, and also for cabinets with thinner 1/2'' sides, while the 3/4'' clips are ideal for cabinet construction with typical 3/4'' panel stock. For larger open cabinets and boxes, the company also makes the Clamp-It® Corner Clamping Jig (#58918), shown at right as it secures the bottom corner and prevents the panels from tipping.



Vero Software


Vero Software is Evolving

Furniture and casework designers who use Vero Software packages such as AlphaCam and Cabinet Vision may soon see some technological advances. The Swedish parent company, Hexagon, has just announced the formation of a division called Production Software which includes Vero Software, FASys and SPRING Technologies. The move sees the three acquisitions adopting Hexagon’s corporate identity, and reflects the corporation's broadening expertise in production technology. Hexagon acquired Vero Software, a specialist in CAD CAM software, in 2014. The 2017 acquisition of FASys brought tooling and resource management software, plus shop-floor automation and integration expertise, into the portfolio. And SPRING Technologies, acquired in 2018, provides CNC simulation technology for G-code verification and workflow optimization.

Light, Strong and Versatile New Slides

Accuride has introduced three new aluminum slides. The AL4160 Super Heavy-Duty Slide is a powerful yet light solution that combines a full aluminum body with stainless steel components for transportation and industrial applications. It has a high load rating (661 lbs./300 kg), lightweight components and a corrosion-resistant design. It's low-profile and full extension. With ADA-compliant linear motion and design, the 116RC model is an innovative breakthrough for sliding doors, large screens, panels, movable walls, barn doors, and more. It supports loads up to 793 lbs. And the versatile 115RC has lightweight, corrosion-resistant tracks that can be side, flat, or vertically mounted, offering reliable guidance to movable walls, sliding racks, screens, panels, partitions, and even assembly lines. It supports loads up to 265 lbs.



Pollmeier BauBuche


BauBache Line Is Expanding To Spruce

In 2012, the German hardwood company Pollmeier began building the world’s first hardwood laminated veneer lumber plant. North American woodshops may be familiar with the beech product from Pollmeier known as BauBuche, which is "the only construction material industrially manufactured from hardwood". Now Pollmeier is adding spruce laminated veneer lumber, which is used for non-visible standard components in structural timber construction. By contrast, beech laminated veneer lumber is primarily chosen for visible timber structures. The company plans to switch to three-shift operation in 2019 (photo courtesy of Pollmeier), and will soon offer the spruce product in various strength classes in longitudinal as well as cross plies. The new spruce LVL is being presented to the public at the Bau in Munich this month, where the company is one of 2,250 exhibitors.

Barbaric GmbH Opens Subsidiary in Raleigh

Barbaric GmbH of Linz, Austria has announced the opening of a new subsidiary, Barbaric North America, Inc., in Raleigh, NC. IMA Schelling Group USA (ISG) will serve as the sales and support partner for Barbaric’s full range of material handling systems including return conveyors, linear feeders, and automated storage retrieval systems. Barbaric North America will handle after-sales support for the product lines with factory trained technicians and a local spare parts inventory, operating from ISG offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and Mississauga, Ontario. Barbaric automation easily integrates with Schelling saws and IMA edgebanders, and ISG offers live demonstrations of Barbaric equipment in their 10,000-square-foot showroom. Barbaric GmbH was founded in 1995 to develop manual vacuum lifting systems for heavy goods. To schedule a demo in the showroom, contact ISG.


IMA Schelling

Richelieu Hardware


Hands-Free Base Door Opener

Richelieu has introduced a hands-free option for recycling and waste bins called the Libero. It pushes out the waste bin when the cook just waves a foot in front of a sensor in the kickboard. That then triggers the release and opening of the cabinet or drawer. An integrated LED light indicates the sensor’s position. The low voltage device can be installed in the bottom of a base cabinet once a cut-out is made, and it is secured using only four screws. Extensions vary based on content weight and cabinet width. As a safety feature and to avoid any unintended openings, the device is equipped with a control that identifies obstacles. Settings for the lighting sensor and ejection force can be adjusted using the available smart phone app.

Pop In Some Power

Among the latest ideas from Doug Mockett & Company, Inc. is this perfect addition to a kitchen counter. The surface mountable PCS103A/EE kitchen counter receptacle pops up when your customer needs it, and presses down to the surface when they don't. It delivers a clean and stylish look, is UL listed for countertop installations, and has water and tamper resistant receptacles. Each unit has two power outlets and installation is easy. Just drill or rout a 3-13/32" diameter hole, drop the unit in from the top, and then hand tighten the locking ring underneath to secure it in place. Most building authorities will require that a licensed electrician hardwires the device into a GFCI circuit to finish the job. Your client can then enjoy the convenience of water-tight power directly on the countertop. It's also available in a flush mount version (PCS103B) that is countersunk into the worktop for a completely seamless look.


Doug Mockett

Handle Rite Pliers


Get A Grip!

Here's an idea that's long past due. The Oregon company Handle Rite Tools has come out with what it describes as "the first and only Loop Handle Pliers". They have handles that resemble those on scissors, so the action is much more controlled. Inventor and fishing guide Bob Roberts was tired of loosing pliers overboard and developed the idea while fishing, but anyone who works with tools will appreciate the concept. It's hard to open a pair of pliers with one hand... well, it used to be until these came along. So far, there's a 9" needle nose, an 8" nips (which the company calls a side cutter), an 8" lineman's, a 6" needle nose and an 8" standard slip joint. Handle Rite's ergonomic take on handles is combined with a non-slip grip, which makes it quite difficult to drop the tools. The company sells the tools individually, or in a 5-piece set for $78.00, on its website.

Running Out Of Hands?

Woodpeckers is based in Strongville, Ohio and the company makes router lifts, router fences, measuring and layout tools, and many useful clamping accessories. A recent update in that category is the Clamping Square Plus that allows a woodworker to keep large panel projects perfectly aligned while installing fasteners, adding additional features, or simply visualizing a design. The new Clamping Square Plus is longer, wider and stronger than the company's original design, offering better performance for the same price. This new version incorporates a series of 3/8" holes that accept Woodpeckers' new CSP Clamp. The latter can drop easily into any of the holes and secure the square to an assembly faster and easier than separate F or C style clamps.



Hedgehog featherboard


The Hedgehog Can Now Be Stacked

The best ideas are often very simple, and always simple to use. One of the best new products for woodworking, the Hedgehog spiral featherboard, just got a little better with the addition of another simple upgrade. now offers a pack of two Hedgehogs with a simple connector that allows a woodshop to stack them. That delivers a working height of 1-1/4", which makes the device usable on router tables for holding panels and small doors or drawerfronts against a fence, or for ripping thicker stock on a table saw, and it can even be adapted for re-sawing on a bandsaw. The original featherboard features a high-impact nylon body, a cast aluminum miter clamp that rides in the machine's standard miter slot, and a single large grip for adjustment. The idea here was that being able to move and re-align the device with just one knob in a couple of seconds would encourage woodworkers to use it, and stay safer by avoiding kickback.

A New Generation of Squares

Empire Level in Mukwonago, Wisconsin is celebrating 100 years in business in 2019. The company has just introduced the next generation of its industry-leading TRUE BLUE® rafter, framing and combination squares. The new products are designed with an array of best-in-class enhancements, such as permanent laser etched markings and advanced scribing features, for maximum life and accuracy. All of Empire's squares are designed and manufactured in the United States. In addition to being laser etched, the squares have the clever SCRIBE-GUIDE™ scribe notch pattern molded in which makes quick work of scribing lines on materials.


Empire Squares

Incra Jig


Routing, Jointing Just Got Safer

The new INCRA PushGuard combines an oversized push block with both an integrated hand guard and a removable clear debris shield. The hand guard portion is always between one's hand and the cutter, offering protection for situations where a traditional guard can't be attached to the fence. The removable clear deflector shield blocks flying debris to help protect eyes as well as hands. The rubber pad on the bottom of the push block is thick, grippy, and generously-sized at more than 7" x 3", which is the perfect grip surface for smooth or rough cut lumber. The PushGuard’s handle has a large diameter and it’s big enough to get both hands on. The handle has been smoothed all the way around with deep ribbing on both sides for a comfortable, powerful grip. It's also slightly offset from vertical to better align with one's shoulder and provide extra clearance between the woodworker and the cutter. Online at $19.95.

Dust Collection For Porter-Cable Dovetail Jig

Leigh Industries, Ltd., known for its own superior dovetail jigs, has released a new router support and dust collection device that can be attached to any 4200 series Porter-Cable dovetail jig. The patented Leigh VRS1200 was designed exclusively for these jigs to provide almost dust-free routing and sturdy router support. As woodworkers know, routing dovetails produces a lot of waste. The new support delivers almost dust-free routing and it supports the full width of the router base. That ensures the router always sits flat for safer, easier and more accurate routing, and it can also be securely parked out of the way when the woodworker is clamping boards in the jig. One-time setup of the VRS1200 takes only 15 minutes. After that, you can place it on the support brackets, set your router over the vacuum dust collection port, and you’re ready to rout.


Leigh Dovetail



Making 6,500 Cabinets With Lockdowel

Indiana based Bella IMC has won a contract to build the cabinets for a 25-story, multi-family, luxury housing unit in Washington D.C. The order will be completed by March 12th, using the tool-less, slide-to-lock Lockdowel fastening system. Deadlines and high quality requirements could only be met using this hardware as it can be 60% faster than traditional methods. An overseas company had been chosen for the job, but it was failing to meet deadlines. Bella IMC (Innovative Modern Cabinetry) is leading an industry move toward cabinets that can be assembled on site (AOS), a direction that has been enabled by Lockdowel's snap-in fasteners. AOS allows for quick changes in looks and designs by easily replacing doors and hardware.

Sign Your Work With Style

California artisan Gary Anderson has a suggestion for woodworkers who wish to sign their work - don't buy a branding iron! His company, Signature Medallions, supplies furniture makers and turners with customized 1" and 1-1/4" diameter metal medallions. The wood artist's signature can be done in any font, and any logo can be used. Woodworkers can also add a phone number or email address to generate additional sales. Finishes available include shiny gold, antique gold, copper and silver. The medallions are inexpensive (starting at $1.99 each, minimum 100, and hthere are quantity discounts). A typical order takes three weeks, and installation is a snap. Just touch the wood item with a Forstner bit to create a shallow hole, add a dab of epoxy or Super Glue, and set the medallion flush with the surface.


Signature Medallions

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