February 2018

Lobster & Lumber at Lie-Nielsen Open House

Locked in your summer vacation plans yet? The 2018 Annual Open House & Lobster Bake will be held at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Maine on July 13 and 14. The event is free and open to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM each day, and there's a lobster bake ($45) on Saturday at 6 PM. The keynote address will be given by legendary woodworker Thomas Moser. Tour the shop, watch demos and touch and feel the quality of the tools. Woodworkers can also meet independent toolmakers, representatives from woodworking schools and organizations, and master woodworkers from around the USA. The toolworks are located at 264 Stirling Road, Warren, Maine 04864. Click here for more details.



Turning Supplier Under New Management

Woodturners looking for African blackwood for spindles will be pleased to hear that Tucker's Turnings (formerly Walston Woodworks) has a large quantity of blanks in stock. They are all roughsawn, and range in width from approximately 1-3/8 x 1-3/8 up to 1-5/8 x 1-5/8, with lengths of between 7 and 15 inches. Some squares may have sapwood corners, burly or wild grain, occasional bug holes, or small inclusions, i.e. they have the small defects that are common to Blackwood. When ordering quantities of three or fewer blanks, they will be 8″ or shorter. Quantities of 4 to 20 will be random lengths of 7 to 15 inches. The company also stocks copper and turquoise inlay material in a variety of forms. "The inlay material that I use is not available in small quantities," says company founder Ken Walston. "So I started ordering materials in bulk and selling the extra material to members of our local club. Eventually, I began selling to other turners outside the Tucson area."

Software Update For Shaper Origin

Shaper Tools has announced its first major software update for the Origin handheld CNC since its launch last October. The compact, powerful tool ($2,199) is as intuitive as it is innovative, letting a woodworker plug in and immediately create. The new Berryessa update is based on user feedback and focuses on precise placement and on-tool adjustments. There are many cases, like when placing cabinet hinges for example, where one needs custom spacing with snap points. With an improved grid tool, the operator just enters desired spacing that can be updated at any time without needing to re-probe. Another major improvement is the ability to change the anchor point on a design. And one is now able to change the width and height of a design on the fly, or rotate to a precise degree relative to a grid. The pen tool will now create unclosed shapes. Sortable folders and thumbnails recently added to MyHub are now available on tool. And there's enhanced scanning of large areas.



Tour The Chinese Wood Industrty

This year’s Global Production Experience will take place April 15-20, when Stiles Machinery will lead guests on a tour of some of China’s furniture manufacturing sector. The event is a rare opportunity for American manufacturers to witness China’s innovative production trends for the retail, office and residential furniture industries. The event will include a behind-the-scenes look at high-level global business trends, tours of six industry-leading factories, some rich cultural experiences and invaluable networking opportunities with peers and other industry experts. Stiles notes that as the demand for mass customization continues to rise, the need for advanced technology and automation is crucial to the success of manufacturing industries around the world. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stiles has regional offices in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and California. It is a member of the HOMAG Group.

Biesse's New 'Internet Of Things' App

SOPHIA is a cloud-based tool that provides woodshops with an easy-to-use dashboard that reveals machine status, performance and functionality. It continuously accumulates, monitors and analyzes a CNC machine’s data on a real-time basis. Performance history and operating statistics are filtered and analyzed to provide projections of the machine’s future behavior. A prime example of SOPHIA’s value is its ability to predict an impending failure by constantly being on the lookout for abnormalities such as excessive vibration or high temperature in router spindles. If there's a potential problem (for example, a dull tool or an operator pushing the machine past its limits), the app will trigger an alarm that alerts both Biesse's service department and the woodshop. That can minimize costly downtime. Biesse Group was founded in Pesaro, Italy in 1969 and has 4,000 employees around the world.



Online Magazine For New Woodturners

John Kelsey is the new editor of Woodturning FUNdamentals, a digital publication for new and beginning woodturners. Published by the American Association of Woodturners (AAW), it helps build basic skills and is "an authoritative, practical, and pertinent guide to learning the art and craft of woodturning". There will be four issues of the magazine during 2018, and it's available on the website (link above) to members. Kelsey succeeds Linda Ferber, who founded Woodturning FUNdamentals and served as its editor since its inception. Based in Pennsylvania, he has been the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine, editor and publisher at Cambium Press, and editorial director at Fox Chapel publishing. He has worked as a freelance writer, photographer, and editor since 1992, and is a founding member of the Lancaster Area Woodturners chapter of AAW. That Association is headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and was established in 1986. It currently has nearly 16,000 members and a worldwide network of more than 360 local chapters. It represents professionals, amateurs, gallery owners and collectors, plus wood and tool suppliers. Its award-winning journal, American Woodturner, is the world's foremost publication on the art and craft of woodturning.

Woodcraft Carrying Wide Belt Sanders

It just got a little easier for small shops to sand wide panels. In its new products section, Parkersburg, West Virginia based Woodcraft Supply, LLC is now offering five USA made wide belt sanders from Safety Speed Manufacturing. They range from a 37" wide (36" workable), 10 hp, single phase model at $11,899 to a 43" wide, 30 hp, three phase unit that runs $17,429. In between are a 20 hp, three phase 43", a 10 hp, single phase 43" and a 15 hp, 3 phase 37". The belts are either 60" or 75" long, and Woodcraft says that "the larger 75" belt has 25 per cent more abrasive surface than the 37 x 60 belt machines. Simply said, this translates into increased capacity, less heat accumulation, less maintenance and fewer belt replacements." Woodcraft has stores in more than 70 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. The sanders' manufacturer, Safety Speed Cut, is based in Ham Lake, Minnesota and offers a full line of vertical panel saws, panel routers, wide belt sanders, edgebanders, screw pocket machines and sign making equipment. The company also extends a warranty on parts for wide belt sanders that are sold through Woodcraft.



BESSEY Clamp Update

The 2018 version of Bessey's K BODY REVOlution clamp has some big changes. It now delivers 1,700 lbs of pressure, making it virtually unbreakable. The head won't slide during set-up, meaning most tasks can be done one-handed. There's a system that keeps glued parts off the bars, and removeable pressure caps allow for easy cleaning. A removeable end clip lets you turn the head for spreading. It has a new feel-good, two part handle and includes a steel socket that lets a woodworker use a hex key to add more pressure (for people with wrist issues). They'll start shipping in March.


Rangate Adds How-To Video Page

Professional shops will welcome the new Rangate TV, an online resource that includes a range of videos from the wood tooling and supply business. Specializing in window and door manufacturing machinery (including cabinet doors), the Blaine, Washington company has always emphasized the ability to share knowledge as one of its major assets. Now much of its library is instantly available in video format. There are short movies on various tooling including adjustable groovers, glue joint cutters and lock miter joinery, as well as customer testimonials and info on the company's CutterShare program. That's a way for woodshops to rent Rangate's tools for one to three months for a fraction of the cost of owning. It includes cutters that deliver profiles such as stile and rail, cabinet door, raised panel and various glue joinery. There are also a number of how-to videos on changing knives and a wealth of other info.



350 New Jobs Proposed for Wisconsin

With a planned total investment of thirty-two million dollars, Milwaukee Tool is proposing a major expansion at its global new product development center in Brookfield, Wisconsin. A 114,500 square foot, multi-story building would be built on an existing 3.5 acre lot owned by the company, bringing the headquarters to a proposed total of 504,500 square feet. Over the last several years, Milwaukee Tool has experienced rapid growth, expanding employment at its Brookfield campus from just over 300 jobs in 2011 to almost 1,300 this year. This expansion would lead to the creation of 350 additional new jobs over the next five years. The company is working with the City of Brookfield, Milwaukee 7, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and Waukesha County Center for Growth officials on the proposed expansion. The City of Brookfield is proposing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district which would provide $3.5 million in TIF assistance. While still exploring other options, Milwaukee® would prefer to keep all of its product research, design and development within the campus.

Hitachi Introduces Low Noise Compressor

Hitachi Power Tools has announced the first compressor in a new Low Noise Series. The EC28M is a 1-gallon, oil-free model that runs at a very quiet 59 decibels. A normal conversation can easily take place while it is cycling. It weighs 25.2 lbs. and has a 2.8 Amp direct drive induction motor, for efficient and reliable performance. There's an overload protection circuit designed to prevent overheating. It produces 0.8 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI, and 1.3 at 40. A locking regulator and 90-on/125-off pressure switch prevents pressure wandering, or low pressure at the tool. A steel roll cage protects the control panel, and there's an industrial grade regulator and gauges for simple operation and PSI adjustment. A stainless steel braided discharge hose resists corrosion and remains flexible. There's an easy-to-use ball valve drain cock, shock absorbing feet to reduce vibration and minimize crawling, and a factory installed universal quick coupler. And a rubber carrying handle on the frame makes it easy to tote to the jobsite.


Photo courtesy EIN Presswire.


Handibot - Small Shops Can Use Lockdowel

Lockdowel recently demonstrated using a Handibot® portable CNC to cut panels and drill insertion holes for its tool-less, glue-less fasteners. The demos took place on February 6-8 at the Charles McMurray Bay Area Hardware Shows in California. With Lockdowel's EClips, a woodworker can snap-assemble casework without screws, glue or tools. And Handibot's Smart Power Tool Adventure Edition is an innovative, truly portable and very affordable CNC that runs from any WiFi-enabled device. It performs precise and easily repeatable cutting, carving, machining, and milling operations in the woodshop, or even on the jobsite. It allows one-person shops to build cabinets and furniture using Lockdowel's fasteners, has a working footprint of just 21" x 24" x 14", and weighs only 45 pounds. Lockdowel also supplies drawer slides and hinges for fast and easy installation in cabinets, furniture, closets, and architectural millwork.

Workbench Built in the USA

The exquisite Paul Revere bench has a MSRP of $2,439 and is the latest of several models available from American Workbench, LLC. Each one the team builds is customized. A woodworker can select the length, width, height, color, types and placement of vises, and even choose gold leaf or black lettering. The bench tops are 2-1/4" thick, edge-glued solid maple that's finished with Durakryl 102, and the pine legset is offered in five stains. The Paul Revere has "an American style top that provides a larger contiguous area to support your work, compared to a European-style", and a recessed tool well. There are strategically placed 3/4" round dog holes (dogs sold separately), and an impressive 66" capacity. American Workbench's showroom is located at 403 Fleming Road in Charleston, South Carolina, and it is owned by a Veteran, John Zirpola. Thank you, John.



New Website For Pros

With the recent introduction of several tough yet reasonably priced worm-drive portable saws (including the 10" Heavy Duty jobsite saw at left), Skilsaw is attracting a lot of attention from contractors. Now the company is backing up those products with a new website where woodworkers can stay up to date on the company's latest tools, such as two shown at right - the 16-5/16" Magnesium Super Sawsquatch™, and the 8-1/4" aluminum worm drive.


Happy 90th Birthday, Woodcraft!

Ever wonder why there's a Native American on Woodcraft's logo? It's an homage to the original American craftsman. In 1978 the company commissioned sculptor Armand LaMontagne to create a pine carving called “The First American Woodworker” for its 50th anniversary catalog . Over the past ninety years, woodworking evolved from the earliest circular saws to CNC, and Woodcraft has been there at every step with tools, supplies and knowledge. In 1928, George Eaton and Richard Merrill founded the business in a one-room shop in Boston, Massachusetts. They began by selling new and rebuilt industrial wood machines to professional cabinetmakers and schools. Now based in Parkersburg, West Virginia, the company’s more than 20,000 products are sold at retail stores in over 70 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., through two million catalogs that are distributed annually in all 50 states and 117 countries, and online at woodcraft.com. Woodworking classes are offered at retail stores, the website offers how-to videos, blogs and articles, Woodcraft Magazine is published six times a year, and the comapny also supports The American Woodshop with co-hosts Scott and Suzy Phillips, on PBS.



New Battery System From RIDGID

Coming soon from RIDGID is the Hyper Octane Lithium-Ion battery that promises four times longer run time, more power and some interesting smart technology features. It has Bluetooth™ technology on board that reports the battery charge level, battery maintenance needs, the charge completion time, the total hours used and other data. And it has the ability to locate your battery, and lock and/or disable it if it decides to hitch a ride home with a jobsite visitor. The 18-Volt, 6 Amp Hour version runs $129. And if you need something to run with it, RIDGID is also releasing a new brushless 18-Volt reciprocating saw for $149 that "cuts 80% faster", and has an on/off switch for orbital action. It has a 1-1/8 inch stroke length at 3,200 strokes.


Boise To Host Woodworking Show

The tenth Idaho Artistry in Wood show will be held in Boise's premier new exhibition hall, JUMP, on Saturday, March 17th (9-5) and Sunday the 18th (10-4). The show provides an opportunity for artists working in wood and gourds to participate in a judged competition and display their creations to the public. The show will include special displays, live demonstrators, a sale of wood and gourd art objects, raffles, auctions and a banquet. Treasure Valley Scrollers, Southwest Idaho Woodturners Association, Idaho Gourd Society, Idaho Woodcarvers Guild and Ada County Woodworkers collaborate to make this one of the Northwest’s major cultural attractions. The show will include carving, turning, fine furniture, pyrography, intarsia, gourds, marquetry, scrolling and other wood art. Chris Peters is the featured artist.



Solutions For Jobsite Theft

The idea of tracking stolen power tools across a city has a long way to go, but there are some solutions that will keep track of a tool on a jobsite. DeWALT has introduced Tool Connect™ tools that have integrated Bluetooth®, and this lets a woodworker see who had the tool last; track tools, equipment, and materials across multiple jobsites; monitor battery status and operating temperature; and even set brightness, speed and alerts (like, "your drill is walking off the jobsite!") remotely. Designers at Milwaukee Tools invented the Tick™, which can be glued, screwed, riveted or strapped to a tool and it provides location updates when it comes within 100 feet of any phone with the ONE-KEY™ app. It's powered by a coin cell battery that provides over 1 year of runtime. And Hilti has On!Track, which is more for larger operations and gives a business a complete tool inventory including where they are, who is using them, and when they’ll need maintenance.

Jobsite and Workshop Blower

Bosch's new GBL18V-71N is a powerful 18V cordless blower that makes quick work of some jobsite clean-up tasks. It delivers a lot of volume and speed in a compact format that's easy to haul to the job, so it has outstanding power-to-weight ratio. The airflow is 71 cubic feet per minute (CFM) at an air speed of 167 mph. And the tool comes with some different nozzle choices: there's a standard nozzle that provides basic direction; an extension for the standard nozzle for stand-up work; a small diameter version for getting into tight spots, and a debris collection tube. It also has two speeds so it can be notched down for controlled work, or opened up for larger jobs. The motor is very efficient and has ample runtime, delivering nine minutes of work per battery Amp hour (Ah) on low speed, and five minutes per Ah on high speed. The tool weighs just 2.4 lbs and measures 20.6". It runs at 82 decibels.



Small Shop Dust Collection Updates

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has introduced several new accessories in its Dust Right collection. There's a Vacuum Harness that ties a shop vacuum to the two-stage Dust Right Separator, so they roll around in tandem; two adapters to fit Schedule 40 PVC pipe - one of which will connect 4-inch dust collection fittings (photo insert); the nifty hose mounting bracket shown at left that lets a woodworker attach a hose to a workbench or machine; a 4" Handle Docking Port Kit that has two rubber straps that mount to the wall to hold the hose; a wall-mounted docking port for the handle; a Magnetic Floor Sweep attachment that can filter out errant screws and washers before they enter the system; and a Hose Coupler that allows heavy-duty hoses to be connected end-to-end. The Dust Right system already included a wall-mounted dust collector), a cyclonic dust separator, and quick-connect fittings, tool ports, adapters and expandable hoses that make it easy to move dust collection from tool to tool.


Three New Collections from Top Knobs

The 2018 Top Knobs catalog is now available online as a downloadable PDF. The company has a new logo, too. The three new collections are Lynwood (among which are the Kentfield pulls shown at right), Ash Gray & Honey Bronze, and Devon. The looks run the range from sleek and elegant (such as the Hollin backplates shown at left that add dimension and consequence to the linear pulls) to a hint of retro, and the quality is impressive - "every edge, corner and detail individually inspected, hand polished and made to fit your hand". The company offers a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser.



Maple Burl For Sale

Sweet Home, Oregon is a town of about 9,000 that's located an hour and a half south of Portland. It's at the edge of the Williamette National Forest, on the South Santiam river. The town is sometimes referred to as the Gateway to the Santiam Playground due to its proximity to nearby lakes, rivers and the Cascade Mountains. Turner and woodsman Tim Shipp operates a small mill there, which he has been doing for many years. Tim recently contacted WoodEzine to let us know that he still sells air dried Oregon maple burl to woodturners around the country. He says this is "high quality, inexpensive burl of all shapes and sizes". Tim will cut the wood to your specs, and his prices are very reasonable. He also sells black walnut logs. Contact can be made by phone (five-four-one) 367-3495, @oregongoldmapleburl, through his Facebook page or by email.

Drawer Pulls, From Carnivores to Veggies

New for 2018 from Bainbridge Manufacturing in Waterville, Washington are some fun, kid-themed drawer handles for cabinets and drawers in the company's Hannah's Handles™ line. The Asparagus Drawer Pull (17300) has two pegs with holes spaced 3" apart, is made of urethane rubber and it is packaged individually. The T-Rex-shaped handle (17301) is also made of tough yet flexible urethane rubber, and comes in quantities of 1 or 25. It can be ordered facing left or right and is available in blue, green, gray, orange, purple, red and tan. Bainbridge Manufacturing has released dozens of new products since the AWFS show last summer. The catalog now includes more than five hundred products ranging from braces to grommets, drawer slide sockets, spacers, caps, covers, plugs, shelf supports, mirror and glass clips, vent grills, pole sockets, bumpers, false front hardware and more.



One Busy Guy

On February 17, George Vondriska will be showing people how to use carbide insert lathe tools at the Rockler Store in Schaumburg, Illinois. The demo, featuring Easy Wood Tools, starts at about 1 PM. Then he's off to Stan Houston Equipment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to teach CNC basics and a class in jigs for hand-held routers on February 23 and 24. There will be a morning and afternoon session each day, and George says that the store always puts on a great show. Then it's back to his shop, Vondriska Woodworks, in western Wisconsin (about an hour east of Minneapolis-St Paul) for a Woodworking I class on March 10th, from 9 AM to noon. There, students will build a tool tote while learning to safely use a variety of tools - this is a great entry point into woodworking. And on April 28th he's back on the road, this time to the Buffalo Grove Woodcraft store in Illinois, where he will again be running a lathe to demonstrate Easy Wood Tools. That's a 1 PM start. Prospective students can sign up for all of these classes on George's website, above.

Wildlife Project Extended to March 4

Furniture maker Wendy Maruyama raises awareness about endangered African wildlife with her monumental installation at Oceanside (Calif) Museum of Art. Inspired by her travels in Kenya, Maruyama focuses attention on the devastating effects of poaching, which has decimated the African elephant population. Ranging from 8 to 12 feet tall, her masks mimic the scale and form of real elephants. Stitched together from wood panels, each is distinct, suggesting the individuality of every elephant. The WildLIFE Project is organized by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and made possible by support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.



Florida Woodturners Are Putting On A Show

The Florida Woodturning Symposium (FWS) is the largest turning event in the state, and it takes place this year from February 9th through the 11th. The event will be held at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, which is about an hour northwest of Orlando. It's a self-contained, wooded campus where one can be immersed in nothing but woodturning, and perhaps take the next step in the craft journey. The Symposium began in 2001 through the efforts of three state chapters of the American Association of Woodturners. It now includes the work of seven chapters, and attendance has grown each year because of the high quality of the demonstrators and hands-on workshops. The event includes a large trade show with new tools and a great selection of wood. FWS also features an auction and raffle, and the chance to win an education grant to a national craft school or a one-on-one workshop with a Florida woodturning teacher. To view more of the impressive work from last year's symposium (shown at left), click here.

Rooks Join Pawns, Knights in free CNC Chess Set

Next Wave Automation is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its CNC Shark by using it to build a unique chess set, and offering VCarve files and instructions free to enthusiasts. The set is being revealed as a project each month, and the February one is the Lighthouse Rook. Previously posted (and available on the company website) are the board, the Piranha Pawn and the Seahorse Knight. The set is a really fun project, according to founder and CEO Tim Owens. It perfectly illustrates the intricate detail and creativity that woodworkers can achieve with his CNCs. Since the introduction of the CNC Shark in 2007, Next Wave Automation has introduced an entire line of desktop machines and accessories, and has won several industry awards for its innovative products. The company manufactures CNC machines for hobbyists and small wood shops, ranging from the CNC Piranha to the CNC HD4 Extended. The commemorative chess set can be made using any of the company’s CNC models by taking advantage of the double-sided machining available in Vectric’s New V9 Software. Click here for the free instructions, tool list and design files.



Warmer Metallic Tones in Hardware

Richelieu is launching its new Collection of Decorative Hardware, bringing together its largest and most diverse selection of over 1000 new knobs and pulls. The hardware comes in "distinctive materials and stunning shapes, crafted to offer the utmost in quality and innovative design", and reflects the latest trends. Many of the new items offer a range of pull lengths, and also pulls and knobs in various finishes that make up complete families and give more combination options. There are some more linear, textured and sculpted pulls, as well as an entirely new collection of cup pulls. Offered in chrome and nickel and also in new finishes such as honey bronze, champagne bronze and chocolate bronze, the collection responds to an increase in demand for warmer metallic tones.


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