August 2018

Festool Takes to the Road

The Festool Roadshow is exactly that - a mobile showcase that visits dealerships across the country to demonstrate the company's line of professional grade power tools. Next month, it will be working its way down the West Coast from Bellevue, Washington to Stockton, California. One attendee at each stop will win an ETS 125 REQ random orbit sander, but the real business here is a chance to see and touch the line which includes the newly redesigned CT Dust Extractors, some new cordless sanders, the Kapex compound sliding miter track saws, the HKC 55 carpentry saws, the Vac Sys suction clamp system, Conturo edgebander, plus several routers, sanders and cordless drills. There's a short video about the Roadshow on the Festool website.





Magnetic Cordless Core Drill

The next time you need to drill into a steel beam on a jobsite, think of FEIN's new core drill (model AJMU 137 PMQW). It's a small, long-stroke, magnetic cordless core drill with forward/reverse and electronic speed control. This is basically a low speed, high torque, very accurate portable drill press that handles bits up to 1-3/8" diameter. It has MT2 tool mounting, and the base has a powerful magnet built in. Equipped with FEIN's HighPower 18 Volt Li-ion battery (it comes with two and a charger, plus there's a charge indicator on each battery), it has a tilt sensor and the brushless motor has a coolant pump. FEIN's 3-year warranty includes the batteries.

Rotating Laser Level

DeWALT's new Red Tough rotary laser level (model DW080LRS, $1,599) has an IP67 debris/water resistance rating and 2-meter drop protection. It operates on the company's 20V MAX battery system, and it can be connected to the Tool Connect™ app to track the device and receive bump, fall, and drop indications, plus read the slope and line direction. It's accurate to 1/16th of an inch at 100 feet, and has a 2,000 foot range with the detector (250 feet without). It includes scan modes at 15, 45 and 90 degrees, self-leveling up to 5 degrees, and has easy-to-see up and down plumb dots. The laser beam color is red, and the tool weighs in at 2 lbs. The rotation speed is 150 to 2,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). It comes with a 5/8" bracket/tripod adaptor, a detector, carrying case, battery, charger, enhancement glasses, a target card, the ceiling and detector brackets and a 3-year limited warranty.





SCM Group Helps Win Solar Challenge

Familiar to woodworkers as a supplier of fine Italian machinery, SCM Group celebrated a different kind of technological triumph in July. The company was intricately involved in the development and building of Emilia 4, the solar car that won the Multi Occupant Vehicle (MOV) class in this year's American Solar Challenge road race. The course covered 1,700 miles from Omaha, Nebraska to Bend, Oregon. The car was designed and built by the University of Bologna with the technological support of SCM Group as the project's principal industrial partner. The Italian team also won two major technological awards for the best mechanical design and use of composites, and for the best battery design.

Contour Bander Upgrade

SNX has updated its optional banding and trimming tables for the nVision series of contour banders. In place of the previous black phenolic, the new white version provides a smoother surface and better visibility. Each table is mounted on the same fabricated steel frame, and is able to be positioned up and down on the machine via a locking lever. The trimming station version also maintains the ability to swing clear of the cutting position in order to use a vacuum pod arm. These tables are quite useful for positioning small parts for banding, particularly when the vacuum pod diameter may interfere with placement of the part close enough to the banding spindles. Closet and furniture company customers report that the tables have also been very effective for banding long, narrow parts.





Building Windows?

Colorado based Soukup America has spent much of the last few years focusing on upgrading its compact Crafter, which can produce 10 to 15 windows per shift. Now new software is being used to collect data on production, state of the technology and service intervals. The Crafter can produce a frame for a wooden window or for a window with an AL cladding, and during machining each end tenon or counter-profile can be machined up to four times - handy where the end of the part is profiled. What used to be possible only on larger machines is now possible with Crafter - it eliminates snipe, and can produce very slender, minimalist profiles for traditional double-windows. And when connected to a Versa CNC boring machine, Crafter can create a compact and efficient production cell.

Pallet Rotating

For woodshops that flat pack cabinets, the new PalletPal® rotator inverter from Southworth Products Corp offers a fast, safe and easy way to invert a fully loaded pallet without the need for manual restacking. The most common use of the inverter is to switch loads from in-house pallets to shipping pallets. Other uses include replacing broken pallets, replacing damaged boxes or bags (at the bottom of the load), or turning inventory for mixing. In operation, the load is placed into the unit with a forklift or stacker. The operator then engages the powered clamping mechanism to secure the load. At the touch of a button, a massive anti-friction turret bearing rotates the load a full 180° in about 15 seconds. The rotation can be stopped at any point during the process. The clamping mechanism features adjustable pressure to prevent crushing of lighter loads. Models are available with a load capacity of 4,400 lbs and pallets as large as 48" x 48" x 84".





Scoring is Now Standard

The new Striebig Standard S model incorporates scoring as a standard feature, for clean cuts on both faces. The saw also sports a sleek new control panel, delivering functionality and ergonomics through a new comfort premium package. It includes four popular features straight from the factory - automatic, pneumatic locking rollers; a Y-axis digital measuring system; a pneumatic saw head lock with motorized fine adjustment to within 0.005"; and a laser light horizontal cut indicator. There are more than 20 additional options and accessories such as a wooden support wall and X-axis digital measuring system. Colonial Saw, Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Striebig vertical panel saws.

Pneumatic Vacuum

VacuPress is familiar to shops that do a lot of veneer work because the New Brunswick, Maine company offers both bag and frame laminating systems. Among several new items in its latest catalog is the Total Air pump, which is completely pneumatic (no electricity required). It uses a venturi vacuum pump driven by standard compressed air. This is a full flow, single stage pump for maximum draw through the entire process, delivering short evacuation time and low overall compressed air usage. This model also features a dual power switch for both vacuum pressing and vacuum clamping. In the press mode, compressed airflow stops when the proper vacuum level is reached. In the clamp mode, the pump operates continuously for holding down wooden parts. The Total Air pump's pneumatically controlled vacuum switch is easily adjustable for setting vacuum levels, and a see-through filter jar provides easy access for periodic dust removal. The full-flow 6 CFM pump runs cool and quiet with no moving parts, and it can be used for veneering both flat and curved work.





TigerStop's Product Configurator

It's a clever idea. TigerStop's new product Configurator is currently in beta and was on display at IWF in Atlanta this month. A woodshop looking for a repetitive solution (the company's products automate the cutting, drilling, shearing, boring, and overall processing of parts, among other tasks) can go to or click on the Configurator button located on Once there, a customer can click a machine image and is taken to an interactive online product builder. We clicked on SawGear and the Configurator first asked what machine tool will be automated, then what kinds of materials will be processed (hardwoods, vinyl etc.), and which side of the tool will the SawGear be. As you make choices, a display keeps pace and adds an image of your machine, the TigerStop product, and the controls. The Configurator next asks which language, measurement system and the level of automation - will the stop alone move, or do you want your device to also push or pull material through the machine? Then it asks the length you need, and if you select a device that doesn't quite match the material you'll be cutting, a video pops up that explains why you might want to change the choice. The Configurator is fun, easy to use, very informative and quite helpful.

Recruiting Future Cabinetmakers

This year's Manufacturing Day is Friday, October 5th. This is a project of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute. On that day, companies across North America will open their doors to show the public what modern manufacturing looks like, and to inspire the next generation of skilled workers. Woodshops interested in joining in and hosting an official MFG Day event can do so in many ways. For example, they can offer a tour of the shop, conduct a student-invite event such as designing or milling a cabinet, conduct a small jobs fair or career day event, or perhaps demo CNC manufacturing processes. There are 859 events planned already this year, and shop managers or students can find a local one on the Manufacturing Day website.





Flat Pack Your RTA Cabinets, Furniture

The Irish connector manufacturer OVVO introduced several new products at IWF, including OVVO for cabonet assembly. These connectors allow cabinet and furniture shops to ship flat-pack, ready-to-assemble (RTA) products without the need for tools, glue or screws. And the new OVVO for drawer slide insertion is a unique system for mounting drawers to processed panels with no need for any measuring or alingnment tools. No stranger to big woodworking shows, OVVO won the Best of the Best award at Interzum in Cologne, Germany, in 2017 and was a semi-finalist for the Challengers Award at IWF 2016. The U.S. distributor of OVVO products is E.B. Bradley Co. in Los Angeles (800-533-3030, click here for catalog).

New Line of Furniture Components

Professional cabinetmakers and furniture builders are already familiar with the Designs of Distinction® and Made-to-Spec® lines of hardware accents from Illinois based Brown Wood, Inc. |Now the Lincolnwood company is introducing a new brand called Furniture Findings. The unveiling took place at IWF in Atlanta, and the line features furniture components for the artisan maker. There are legs from 4.5" to 29" tall in contemporary and traditional styles. Stocked species include walnut, ash, maple and white oak. The anodized metal ferrules are available in five colors and multiple styles. Stock orders ship in 24 to 48 hours and they are made in America. Custom manufacturing is also available from 1to 10,000 units. Brown Wood also announced it has a new website coming soon.





A Freaky Contest

On August 21st, Bosch Power Tools announced the biggest giveaway in its history - two thousand CORE18V batteries along with the Freak, the company's impressive two-in-one impact wrench/impact driver. To enter the contest, participants must submit a video explaining why they want to change their battery platform to advanced Bosch CORE18V, using the hashtag #FreakNContest. The contest will end September 14. The Freak combines a 1/4" hex and a 1/2" drive in a single tool, so it eliminates the need for users to ownboth an impact wrench and a driver. It also eliminates the need for socket adapters. The Bosch CORE18V battery offers maximum power and performance while minimizing weight. It employs advanced Lithium-ion technology to deliver 80 per cent more power than previous generation Bosch batteries.

Top Knobs Wins KBB Awards

For the sixth consecutive year, Top Knobs has been announced as a winner of the Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine Readers' Choice Awards. Over 20,000 votes were cast online by KBB readers, who selected their favorite brands and manufacturers in 25 categories. Top Knobs has come out on top in two categories, Bath Accessories and Decorative Hardware. Voters were asked to select their choices based on specific criteria in each category. In the Bath Accessories category they assessed overall design, while in the Decorative Hardware category they focused on aesthetics and style. Both categories also put emphasis on the ability of products to coordinate with kitchen and bath fixtures. Top Knobs has been selected as a winner every year since the start of the award program in 2013.





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 Rhino 3D (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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