Woodworking News
(March 2017)

Impact-rated bits for the DuraSpin auto-feed screw system

In March, Ohio-based SENCO introduced new impact-rated bits for its DuraSpin auto-feed screw systems. DuraSpin is particularly popular with deck installers who can use an extension to drive screws without getting down on their knees. Manufactured from high-grade tool steel that is tempered with a custom heat treatment, the new impact-rated bits are designed to reduce breakage and extend bit life up to five times longer than standard bits. The shaft narrows just above the hex profile to absorb excess torque and impact energy that would otherwise transfer to the tip, causing it to fracture. A variety of bits including #2 Phillips, #2 square and Rex Drive are available, in sizes ranging from 7-3/4” to 9” long. The bits are available in 25-piece bulk packages.




An old friend of WoodEzine has a new store...

Keller & Co. is located in Petaluma, California and the dovetail jig manufacturer has just introduced a new online store. The jigs, designed for hobbyists and small pro shops, all come with both the standard dovetail and the straight carbide-tipped industrial bits, with ball-bearing template guides and illustrated instructions. Shown at left is Dave's model 1601, which is the most popular model in the company's Pro Series. It was first introduced in 1984. Each Keller Dovetail System consists of two templates and the router bits.

General International's Newest Maxi Lathe

The new 25-114A from General is available through retailers such as Home Depot and is in the $800 price range. It has a speed range from 250 to 3500 rpm and can handle projects up to 14" in diameter (10-3/4" over the tool rest), and 17" between centers (or up to 40" with the optional 23" bed extension, item 25-116). The spindle thread is standard 1"x8 so it fits most accessories, and the motor is beefy enough at 1HP, 6 Amps. The lathe weighs 93 lbs, which is enough stability for onsite demos and shows. The variable speed ranges are 200 to 900, 350 to 1600 and 700 to 3500. The machine also features positive indexing in 15° increments (so, 24 indexing positions). The tool rest and banjo are substantial, and optional accessories from General include centers, face plates (3" and 6"), a metal stand and a self-centering pen blank vise.



Affordable Power Feeder

In December, Washington state's Grizzly Industrial introduced a new power feeder, the G0826. It's powered by a 400 Watt (1/2 HP), 220V, 1.8 Amp, brushless motor, and comes with a variable-speed feed adjustment dial for a speed range from 7 to72 feet per minute (FPM). There's a large digital readout, push-button ON/OFF and both sforward and reverse feed directions. The feeder has three rubber rollers, each with 3⁄4" of suspension travel. Overall, there's 6-11⁄16" of vertical adjustment, 17" of horizontal movement, and a 360° swing, so it can be adjusted to a number of tasks. It weighs approximately 117 lbs and sells for $795.00 direct from the company with a one-year warranty.


The Great Lakes Woodworking Festival

The first annual GLWF will take place at the Sam Beauford Woodshop in Adrian, southern Michigan on Sunday May 7th. More than thirty wood artists take part in the free festival, which features both kid and adult activities that touch on everything from woodturning (shown with Lynn Southward, at left) to making a toolbox, canoes, Shaker boxes and Windsor chairs. GLWF is also an opportunity for woodworkers to sell handmade goods. There will be music and food available, too. For artisans in and aroun the area (Adrian is halfway between Detroit and Fort Wayne, near Toledo), the organizers are "always looking to collaborate with woodworkers, media outlets, sponsors, and like-minded individuals who can bring something new to the table".

Virtual Reality Kitchen Preview

Several big box stores such as Lowe's are offering the latest trend in design software - a virtual reality tour for casework customers who can now 'walk' through a room in three dimensions and get a real feel for the new space. One supplier of the technology, Marxent/VisualCommerce offers a 45-second video on its website that gives one an idea of just how effective 3D product visualization can be. The customer can operate - and even choose - different hardware at the touch of a finger. The company says that the tool "makes it easier for buyers to visualize and configure custom cabinets, surfaces and other home improvement products at full-scale in their intended environments".


(Photo courtesy Marxentlabs.com)

3D printing at the 2015 Interzum show (Photo courtesy Koelnmesse)

Several Global Trade Shows in May

The fun begins in Las Vegas with the National Hardware Show from the 9th through the 11th, where 83% of the attendees say that new products are their primary reason to attend. Then it's off to Cologne from the 16th through the 19th for Interzum, the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design. And staying in Germany, the LIGNA show takes place in Hanover from May 22nd through the 26th. This is billed as "the #1 marketplace for the woodworking and timber processing industry", and the numbers are impressive - 1,500 exhibitors and more than 90,000 attendees from around the globe. HOMAG Group will present the Innovation Center, which showcases not just technology but also business methods - mostly lean - that are at the forefront of growth in the woodworking world.


CNC Classes Becoming The Norm

Used to be a woodshop had to train its own personnel in-house on CNC programming and operations, with a little help from the router's supplier. Then a few major colleges began to offer comprehensive courses and shops in larger markets could bring in knowledgeable applicants and go from there. Now high schools and junior colleges are working hard to train students in this essential art. For example, Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas announced on March 24th that it will be offering training on its Sulphur Springs campus. The continuing education course will be conducted from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday from April 3rd through the 14th. And on March 22nd. The Minden Courier in Nebraska reported that “woodshop students at Minden High School can anticipate more than just a new shop next year. A Laguna Swift CNC wood router was recently purchased with funds donated from area businesses and foundations, to be used by the department in the new high school.”



Mereen-Johnson is Expanding

Located in eastern South Dakota, the company manufactures an assortment of machinery including stationary and moving blade multiple rip saws, rip optimizing and material handling systems, single and double end tenoners, CNC dovetailers, panel sizing systems, plus I-joist and other structural wood production lines. This May, for the first time in over 15 years, the company will be displaying working machines at LIGNA, the huge woodworking show in Germany. "Our strong presence at LIGNA is another indication of the growth in demand for our machines," said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson's CEO. He's talking about the fact that his company has doubled its sales over the past five years in both new machines and parts. So it broke ground on a new addition this March that will increase the size of the assembly and machining area by 20%, and upgrade several aspects of processes and plant equipment.

HOMAG Ambition 1100 and 1200

February saw the release of two new entry-level Brandt edge banders from HOMAG, both of which are designed to ensure that even the smallest of workshops are able to invest in the latest technology. They provide "flexible production whether it is for batch size 1, bespoke products or mass panel production". The 1110 to 1120 FC (shown) series can be configured with EVA or PUR precision gluing units, and its automatic fixed length magazine can be used for coiled and strip material of up to 3mm thickness, for flexible edgebanding. And the 1210-1230 FC models offer a complete processing solution that was previously only available on larger machines - including a tiltable end trimming unit for both straight and chamfer trimming and a top/bottom trimming unit for perfect edge finishing. It can also be configured with a joint trimming unit, contour trimming unit, radius scraper, glue joint scraper or a buffing unit to eliminate the need for hand finishing.



Laguna Tools' impressive new Lock Dowel solution

A new boring/inserting machine for use by cabinet manufacturers that use Lock Dowel fasteners is faster and more precise when drilling and inserting these products. It's perfect for cabinets, drawer boxes, closets, desks, solid wood furniture and many other applications. According to Laguna, "the fully-automatic machine is expected to revolutionize the manufacture of cabinets of all types". The new SmartShop LD4 automatic boring/inserting machine drills and inserts Lock Dowel E clip products. And when used in conjunction with a SmartShop CNC router, it creates a complete fastening solution. The LD4 has four zones and two drilling units; one for 5mm and one for 8mm. Its two vibratory barrels have the ability to insert 30mm or 40mm spring pins and Lock Dowel E clips, H-clips, or channel locks. The SmartShop is listed at $59,995.