Woodworking News
(May, 2017)



State-of-the-art Saw Sharpening

On May 17th, Connecticut Saw & Tool announced that it has invested almost $250,000 in new equipment for its saw blade sharpening department. The purchase of two Vollmer CP200 carbide saw grinders and one Loroch Ekostar 760 HSS / Cold Saw grinder brings the company's total sharpening capacity to over 1,000 saw blades per shift per week, with sixteen automatic saw grinders. In addition, its Vollmer CX100 machines were upgraded from water-based grinding coolant to fully synthetic oil, and each was equipped with 5 micron filtration systems. The filtered oil, coupled with 1200-grit grinding wheels, provides a mirrorlike surface finish on carbide teeth for ultra smooth cuts and long life between sharpenings. Connecticut Saw & Tool is a family owned and operated business that provides both tooling sales and service.

Design Software Update

Microvellum unveiled its latest release of Fluid Designer at the KBIS 2017 trade show in Orlando, Florida. The product is a kitchen,bath and closet design solution that provides users with the tools to lay out, render, animate and present interior spaces. The Blender-based software is currently being sold on Microvellum’s website as a one-time purchase, or a monthly subscription of $80 per month. The Fluid Designer free edition is open-source software that is built on Blenders 3D software (v2.78). Fluid Designer provides users with unrestricted access to the complete functionality and power of Blender, including the Cycles Render Engine for photo-realistic images, 3D modeling, realistic materials animations and more. Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that supports modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, including video editing.





Seven New Profiles for CNC Routing

Freud has just introduced a new series of CNC router bits that are optimized for smaller CNC machines. The only manufacturer that produces its own carbide, Freud specifically designed these new bits with unique cutting geometries and its Perma-SHIELD® non-stick coating. They are ideal for creating detailed inlays, decorative projects, or sign making in hardwoods, softwoods, aluminum and plastics. (The image that accompanied this press release doesn't seem to quite match the list of bits...)
70-103 - 7.5° x 3/16" CD Engraving V-Groove CNC Bit
71-101 - 1/2" Up Cut Spiral Ball Nose, 1/4" Shank
72-202 - 1-1/8" Up Cut Spiral Ball Nose Solid Carbide Bit
72-300 - 6.2° 1/32" CD, 1/4" Shank Tapered Ball Tip CNC Bit
72-400 - 5.4° x 1/16" CD Tapered Ball Tip CNC Bit
73-762 - 1/2" O-Flute Up Spiral Bit Solid Carbide Bit
TM1465 1/2" Shank Spoilboard Surfacing Insert Cutter

ETP's G2 Combo 16/30 HSK 63F

The new G2 Combo lets a woodshop enjoy all the benefits of using a hydraulic chuck for router bits and a hydraulic arbor for profile tools, at the same time. Perfectly centered and balanced, it delivers quick and easy tool changes independently for each router bit or profile tool. The G2 Combo lets the woodworker optimize a tool's design for maximum performance and cost effectiveness. One can also use reduction sleeves in the 16 mm chuck, and run several smaller, frequently used, shaft sizes. The company, ETP Transmission AB, has been in business for more than 35 years.





A Kinetic Dust Extractor from CMT

CMT Orange Tools has introduced a device that throws dust up from a CNC cutter into an extractor hose. Known as a KDE, it can be easily installed and removed as a clamping nut. The health and safety benefits are obvious, and it also improves tool performance and cut quality by removing excess waste that the tool doesn't have to re-cut numerous times. It's recommended for nesting and routing operations, and simply replaces the standard clamping nut. It works on many standard collet chucks and router bits, and is available for some specialty collets. A thick ceramic coat gives KDE an anti-corrosion, anti-friction and ant-static surface. The tool body is a light alloy, and the device delivers good results even at low revolutions: it works from 6,000 RPM up to 20,000 RPM in chipboard, coated chipboard, MDF, solid surfaces, plasterboard, OSB and HPL.




Flooring Cutter Brochure

New Jersey-based Charles G. G. Schmidt & Co. has taken all of the tools they manufacture to produce flooring and put them in a single, easy-to-read brochure. Whether a shop runs a shaper of a moulder, the brochure has the cutters and heads to produce what you need, including brazed cutters, corrugated back knives and heads, dedicated insert-style cutters for long production runs, the company's line of 2-knife and 4-knife corrugated heads, and HSK heads for today's newest moulders. The new #1100 catalog is also now available, and can be viewed online.





Are You Sanding Finishes On Curves?

A new facility that was opened by Abrapower USA, Inc. in Florence, Kentucky now offers woodworkers the opportunity to buy abrasive sponges directly from the manufacturer. And the company recently released Magic Sander, which is a pad with two melamine abrasive foam faces sandwiched onto a base of flexible foam. The 320 grit pad is 3/4" x 2-3/4" x 3-1/2" and can be rinsed and resused, wet or dry. It is crease resistant and bounces back to shape without cracking, and comes in various colors in case a shop is working with more than one finish and needs to keep track. Abrapower was born in the U.K. in 2003 and offers a variety of sanding sponges. For woodshops concerned with their carbon footprints, the company offers customers the choice of having products made with traditional polyurethane foam, or soy-based foam.

Choose Your Accessories Package

Three new oscillating multi-tool kits from Bosch are designed around the GOP55-36B StarlockMax®, a tool that features the company's Starlock® 3-D tool-accessory interface and a 5.5-amp motor. "With more contact surface area between the tool and accessory, the Starlock interface is a cupped 3-D tool-accessory connection that delivers greater torque transfer." The tool delivers up to 20,000 oscillations per minute (variable speed), with a wide 3.6° oscillating arc for greater productivity in cutting, grinding, scraping and other tasks. The no-touch blade-change system makes it easy to attach, remove or reposition blades. Constant Response circuitry maintains the desired speed under load. At under four pounds, it is compatible with all Starlock and StarlockPlus® accessories, in addition to the industrial-grade StarlockMax accessories for extreme-duty applications. Installers and builders can choose from 3 kits: the GOP55-36B (bottom right), GOP55-36C1 (top right) and GOP55-36C2 (left).





Colonial Saw Debuts New Connector

The company, which is based in Kingston, Mass., announced on May 16th that it has introduced the new Cabineo, an innovative and time-saving one-piece RTA cabinet connector. Cabineo was developed by Lamello AG (Switzerland), for which Colonial Saw is the exclusive U.S. importer. The new connector requires fewer processes than the standard cam and dowel fitting. There is no more need for edge drilling or wooden dowels. Cabineo is inserted into a surface-only routed shape on the cabinet components during production, or at the final destination. When factory-installed, they are easily flat-packed for transport, and end-users don't need to install loose fittings. Cabineo can be used with all kinds of CNC machines, including very simple 3-axis and nested-based machines. Installers can install the finished product with just a cordless drill in seconds. Optional decorative cover caps are also available in a variety of colors. Product testers report dramatically reduced set-up time, and absolutely zero mistakes during assembly. Cabineo will be demonstated at AWFS Booth #9211.

Free CNC Basics Course

Carbide 3D now offers a free 5-day email course in the basics of CNC. Just visit the site, scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up. This is an engineering and product design firm based in Torrance, California that has been around for about a decade. It builds a couple of small, very simple CNC machines. The company's size and expertize are ideally suited to the needs of a woodshop that is looking to transition into CNC for making short runs of accents or small parts. It's also a very useful resource for schools, colleges and technical institutions. The company currently sells an enclosed desktop machine, the Nomad 883 Pro, for $2,499 (shown at right, top), and a kit for a 33" x 33" cutting platform router for $1,499. The entry-level Shapeoko 3 router kit (at right, bottom) starts at $1,099. In addition, the team packages its own easy-to-learn design software package, called Carbide Create, with all of its machines.





Visual Promt System for Altendorf Saws.

Altendorf has introduced the first digital, mobile operator guidance system for a sliding table saw. It shows the cutting sequence for optimised panel processing. It simplifies the operator's job and, being mobile, can be used with any Altendorf sliding table saw. It also helps to enhance safety in the workplace, and reduces the time required to complete a defined job at the machine. MAGIS consists of software, a tablet and a mount. It is not a cut optimisation program, but rather a visual prompting system - so intelligent that it can acquire the relevant data from the cut optimisation package, detect the saw specs, and then incorporate this information into prompts. The clearly displayed uploaded dimension settings for manual stops and automatic adjustment for motorised stops simplify the cutting process from the very beginning. The display guides the operator step-by-step through cutting plans involving even the most complex nesting, using easily understood symbols. The system can also be used to apply labels to finished workpieces, detailing subsequent processing instructions.

Extreme Tool-Life Coating on New Compression Bit

Amana Tool's new 46167 CNC solid carbide Spektra brand compression spiral bit comes with a 3/8 diameter cutter that's 7/8" long, on a 3/8" shank. It's designed for a significantly longer lifetime in abrasive material such as MDF and laminate. Built for CNC applications that require high feed rates and a clean finish, it is particularly well-suited to handle double-sided melamine. The bit delivers flawless compression cuts and, as with all Spektra bits, it features a nanocomposite coating (nACo®) with extreme hardness and heat resistance. With a brilliantly distinctive tinted coloring, nACo is a micro-thin ceramic coating that enables the tool's cutting edge to retain crucial sharpness and lubrication. The coating prevents high heat and oxidation, which are detrimental to a cutting tool's performance. The multi-colored hues will dissipate upon use, but the coating will remain fully effective. nACo offers approximately 4,500 Vickers for impressive solid hardness on cutting areas of the tool, which Amana says delivers "an increase up to 2.5 times compared to uncoated bits".





Alphacam Features New Key Automation Capabilities

The new release of Alphacam from Vero Software is named 2017 R2 and it focuses on automating key CAD/CAM operations to improve manufacturing productivity and efficiency. Automation Manager now includes enhancements to simplify workflow, including Multi-drill control, new Styles functionality, and further support for additional CAD file formats. The introduction of Automation Manager Plus across all levels of the program now allows advanced automation to support the processing of Constrained Drawings and Parametric Sketches, and also Part Grain Direction through sheet Grain Direction and Alignment Vector options. 2017 R2 also includes the Cabinet Door Manufacture (CDM) module, and sees the first release of integration with robot simulation software. That means that output toolpaths generated within Alphacam can be passed directly to RoboDK’s Offline Programming (OLP) to simulate robot kinematics, along with a range of applications and activities such as robot milling. RoboDK then outputs the OLP to the robot controller. Read more...

Woodworking Fairs Around The World

LIGNA in Hanover, Germany 5/22/17
AWFS in Las Vegas, USA 7/19/17
Reprolignum in Zagreb, Croatia 9/4/17
BIFE SIM in Bucharest, Romania 9/13/17
Drema in Posen, Poland 9/12/17
Lisderevmash in Kiev, Ukraine 9/26/17
Wood Processing Machinery in Istanbul, Turkey 10/14/17
Woodworking in Minsk, Belarus 10/25/17
Furniture Fair in Belgrade, Serbia 11/8/17
Woodex in Moscow, Russia 11/14/17





New Turning Blanks Added

Advantage Trim & Lumber, with mills in Florida, North Carolina, California, New York and Brazil, has just added a large array of turning blanks to its inventory. Some of the lathe species now available are Australian beefwood, bishopwood, eucalyptus, camphor, cocobolo, Indian rosewood, jave plum, lacewood, live oak, monkey pod, Norfolk Island pine, silk oak, amboyna burl, kingwood, tulipwood, Mexican bocote, Honduran rosewood pen blanks, pink ivory, African blackwood and briar burl.


New Embossed Moldings

A. Lewis Manufacturing Co. in Baltimore, Maryland, has recently introduced a couple of dozen new moldings, two of which are shown at right. The company produces embossed moldings in a very large array of styles and sizes (an online catalog is available), and all products are produced to order with no minimum requirements. Moldings are available in most Appalachian hardwoods plus alder, mahogany and pine. Lewis also manufactures custom profiles, and produces rosettes and a number of rope moldings. Most patterns can be embossed in commonly used kiln dried cabinet woods, in random lengths from 5-14 feet unless otherwise specified. Furniture builders might also want to scroll down to the themed millwork near the end of the catalog.





New long-life Chrome Carbide Inserts

Grasche USA, based in Hickory, N.C., has introduced what it calls "a new grade of corrosion-resistant chrome carbide insert". Manufactured by the Luxembourg based Ceratizit Group, the chrome carbide inserts are engineered with a new submicron chrome binder that improves performance and can double the cutting life of the finished tool - at a price point that’s comparable to current conventional grades. According to the company, cobalt in the inserts is replaced with "a corrosion-resistant chrome binder that reduces premature tool wear (that is) created by acids present in wood cutting", making it very resistant to impact and chipping.

Louisiana-Pacific Launches 'Architect’s Corner'

Architect’s Corner is a new resource for architects, engineers and specifiers from LP Products. It provides specs, advice and background on some of the company's products that "will help determine the most appropriate building solutions". So far, Architect's Corner leverages products that are most applicable to multifamily and light commercial projects, including the company's FlameBlock® fire-rated OSB sheathing and SmartSide® trim and siding. But as it evolves, LP plans to include additional products, resources and design updates.





Undermount Slide for Drawers Up To 60" Wide

The 3160EC Eclipse from Accuride is a commercial-grade drawer slide that can accommodate a 60 inch wide drawer. To allow that, the company added lower spacer clips with extra plastic ball bearings. These give additional lateral support, and reduce drawer migration. The unique anti-racking system allows the 3160EC to prevent side-to-side movement. The end result is a full extension, 100-pound rated slide. It's also equipped with Accuride's new interior Easy-Close system that reduces noise and increases soft-close reliability. Drawers come to a smooth and gentle close, while fluid dampeners resist slam without adding bounce-back. Installers will like that the 3160EC has multiple drawer front-adjustment features on the engagement/disconnect lever. This makes horizontal, vertical, and front-to-back adjustments easier and faster. Plus, in-and-out adjustments up to 3/16" can be done without removing the drawer.

A New Old Hardwood Option

A new exhibitor at IWF (booth 1425) is a company called Rubberwood USA. With warehousing in High Point, N.C., it is a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Jayakas Corp and its only commodity is wood harvested and processed from rubber trees (hevea brasiliensis). According to the company, this species can be used for almost any interior application and is a cost-effective replacement for maple. A hardwood, it has a slightly yellowish appearance with open grain texture. It is eco-friendly and readily accessible, will resist re-absorbing moisture after it had been kiln dried, and has good staining properties. The species can be found extensively in South East Asia, in large part because of a history of plantation farming for rubber latex, and it is marketed under several more attractive-sounding names such as Malaysian Oak, White Mahogany and Hevea Wood. The company's website seems to have some glitches, but there's contact info at the bottom of each page.





Interchangeable Cutters for Shapers, CNC

Vexor, located in Denver, Colorado, has a relatively new line of tooling for both shapers and CNC. Called the Multi-Pro series, the tools are designed with maximum flexibility in mind, and for use on a variety of machines. What's unusual is that the shaper inserts and backers are interchangeable within several of the company's tooling lines, such as Micro-Pro, Mikron Pro, And Multi-Pro-CNC router bits. The Multi Pro shaper head is available with bore sizes from 1-1/4” - 2-1/8” diameter, and the Micro pro goes down to 3/4" and 1". The Multi-Pro-CNC insert router tool is available in a variety of widths (35mm, 40mm, 50mm and 60mm), and in right and left hand rotations. It is also available with 3/4”, and 1” diameter shanks. Also check out the Multi-Panel-CNC tool.

A New Family of Edgebanders

NEXTech Machinery in North Carolina has introduced three new lines of edgebanders designed for simple, heavy-duty, trouble-free operation. The EB200 Series features a simple, straightforward setup and heavy-duty, well-engineered components like a strong, heat-treated, solid frame, which guarantees stability and provides excellent finish quality of the final product. The EB300 Series (shown) is a heavy-duty, simple-to-operate edgebander designed to complement woodworking shops of any size. It is scalable, allowing the addition of pre-milling machining units, top and bottom trimming units and scraping units, as well as precision horizontal and/or vertical grooving. And the EB400 series includes a corner rounding unit with two motors, optional precision grooving, pre milling, addition trimming stations and other units.





Next Generation Stud Detection

Here's a great little tool for anyone installing cabinetry. Ryobi's new ESF5000 LED Whole Stud Detector doesn't just reveal the middle of a hidden stud: it has a bank of LED lights that let you to see the entire width of the 2X. The center indicator LED ring will light up when the center of a stud is found. It also uses technology that determines the thickness of the drywall (up to 1.5 inches), and that helps a woodworker choose the right length screws for the job. The bottom is shaped so you can run a pencil across and mark the stud on the wall. Plus, with its material detection capabilities, it can tell you when you are scanning metals (non-ferrous), wood and AC wire behind the drywall. It comes with a AA battery (just one is required) plus instructions, and retails for $29.97 at stores such as Home Depot.

Thermwood 5-Axis CNC Router

The new Multi-Purpose 90 is a heavy-duty, five-axis CNC designed for high-speed trimming and pattern machining. It's aavailable in single or dual moving aluminum tables and is capable of full 5-axis simultaneous motions with extremely fast accelerations. It is 3D laser-calibrated to assure the most accurate absolute positioning and repeatability. There's a 12HP HSD tool change spindle (3,000-24,000 RPM) and larger spindle sizes are available. Single aluminum table sizes available are 5'x'5, 5'x'10' and 10'x5'. The dual tables are 5'x'5, 5'x'10 and 5'x12'. The Multi-purpose 90 is capable of 3500 IPM, and there's continuous C-Axis Rotation. It has an impact-resistant head, a moving aluminum table and a fixed gantry with 24" Z as standard (available up to 60"). There are Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives throughout and it comes with Thermwood's QCore SuperControl. It is also equipped with 5-Axis chip collection and a 10-position rotary tool changer.




A New Portable Edgebander From Grizzly

The new G0825 from Grizzly.com can apply edgebanding from 3/8" to 2-1/2" wide along straight runs, around bends, and even inside corners. It's designed for on-site or in-shop, combining the features of a stationary edgebanding machine (hot melt glue application, speed feeding, and temperature control) with the convenience and portability of a handheld tool. The company also offers the optional T1188 Edgeband Trimmer Router and T1189 Dual End Cutter which "were specially designed for this machine to ensure perfectly aligned seams and professional-looking mitered edges on all your finished work". The edgebander can also be mounted in the optional T1187 Table for stationary work. The G0825 comes with a deluxe hard case, which has an extension handle and roller wheels. (Listed at $1,150.00 as of 5/2/17)

KCD Users Can Now Specify Cabinotch Cabinets

The Cabinotch® full access Cabinet Library has just been made available to cabinet and furniture woodshops that design with KCD software. This is a complete array of cabinets and parts that are manufactured by Cabinotch and can be dropped into a KCD kitchen, bath or office design with pricing and ordering info attached. Woodshops using KCD need to have the 'Maintain KCD Automatically' checkbox checked to access the library. To do so, go to Help, About KCD and then look in the bottom left hand corner of that dialog box. Or one can click on the Online Update option under Help in the File Menu. If a designer is unsure about whether he/she has received the update, look at the splash screen when KCD opens: a banner will indicate the library's presence. The package includes integrated 3D design, pricing and ordering - plus 100% American made 3/4" veneer core hardwood plywood construction. Cabinotch is located in Owensboro, Kentucky.






Adapter For Benches with 3/4" Holes

Holding work on a bench - especially on many smaller jobsite ones - just got a bit easier. A simple steel adapter lets woodshops use their existing clamps in a whole new way. The W16AW19 adapter from BESSEY® Tools North America allows the company's standard TWV and TW clamps (which were originally designed for a 16mm hole system) to now be used on workbenches with a 3⁄4" hole system. That means that a woodworker can adapt clamps with a flexible (TVW) or fixed throat depth (TW), in three different handle configurations for use in workbenches, and do so without tools. The adaptor pops into the table and the clamps slides home.