September 2018



Craftsman Tools Reborn

The Sears brand Craftsman® has been an American icon for more than 90 years, and it looks like it will have a new future with Stanley Black & Decker. The company has announced the launch of a refreshed brand identity and a new generation of tools, products and accessories. Craftsman will introduce more than 1,200 new products over the next year, including many power and hand tools. They will be available at Lowe’s Home Improvement, ACE Hardware stores and other major retailers, including Amazon, beginning this month. Initially, Stanley Black & Decker plans to manufacture, with global materials, approximately 30 percent of the tools in its U.S. facilities, with the goal of increasing that ratio to more than 50 percent over the next few years. Customers will also notice an updated brand identity featuring a new logo and more vibrant color scheme.

Compressor Is Sized For Jobsite

The new P739 from Ryobi is an 18 Volt, 1-gallon air compressor that weighs in at just 14 lbs and costs $99 at The Home Depot (tool only, no battery, charger, guns or hose). It delivers up to 120 PSI max, and comes with a universal push-to-connect quick coupler that facilitates one-hand operation. It's ideal for finish work, and uses the company's standard 18 Volt battery system. There's an on-board metal rack for storing a hose, a 1/4-turn (tool-free) tank drain valve for easy maintenance, and a locking regulator to keep the PSIs exactly where you need them. Reviewers say that it will refill 10 to 15 times on a single battery charge, and do so in about 75 seconds. Its small size and light weight make it attractive to trim carpenters for taking to a jobsite. The P739 comes with a 3 year warranty.



Milwaukee 2


50% More Power From Milwaukee

Milwaukee Tool says that it's new M18™ RedLithium™ high output HD12.0 battery pack provides 50% more power and runs 50% cooler than the company's existing HD9.0 battery packs. That lets woodworkers push their cordless tools harder and longer than ever before. The "massive increase" in power elevates the performance of the entire M18™ system. It also delivers the power of 15Amp corded products. The new battery is fully compatible with most of the one hundred and fifty existing tools in the M18 family. Due to the physical size increase, it won't fit a few tools made prior to a June 1st 2018 manufacturing date without a special service part. And as Milwaukee is committed to protecting end user’s investments, the company says on its website that it is currently offering free service upgrades for those listed products to any customer who purchases a 12.0 battery pack.

Mortise & Tenon Magazine, Issue 5

Lee Valley says it expects to ship the new 144 page issue in late September. This biannual publication, which is more book than magazine, "celebrates the preservation, research and restoration of historic furniture" with a focus on pre-industrial tools and methods. In this issue, Brendan Gaffney examines Appalachian chairmaker Chester Cornett’s remarkable bookcase rocking chair. Kate Fox investigates the intriguing six-board construction of ancient Norse sea chests. A compelling article by Joshua Klein and Michael Updegraff encourages woodworkers to share their passion for their craft with children. In a separate article, Klein shares insights he gained through researching the work of 19th century craftsman Jonathan Fisher. There is also an interview with Spencer Nelson on woodworking in small spaces, and a photo essay examining an 18th century tea table that reveals the skills of the period craftsman. Additional contributors include Marshall Scheetz, Derek Olson, Megan Fitzpatrick and Kim Choy. Priced at $24, it's printed on heavy stock paper and richly illustrated with color photos.





The Next Step in Carbide Turning

Kentucky based Easy Wood Tools offers a series of replaceable carbide cutter woodturning tools that address fatigue, safety and efficiency (they eliminate sharpening of lathe tools). The company has now launched a line of negative rake cutters, which were created to turn manmade materials such as resins and acrylics where they greatly reduce chipping and catches. The new patent pending inserts are designed to fit existing EWT tools with corresponding Ci2, Ci3 and Ci5 bars. The company sent samples out to testers who responded with comments such as "this is a game changer", "cuts like butter" and "this changes everything". Pictured from top down are the Ci5NR ($18.99), Ci3NR ($18.99) and Ci2-R2NR ($16.99) which in addition to the negative rake also has a 2" radius.

New Tool For Installers

A new 3" Compact Cut Off Tool from Milwaukee Tool (model 2522) delivers multi-material cutting capability in an ergonomic package, and it's optimized for one-handed use. Spinning at 20,000 RPM and featuring a Powerstate™ brushless motor, the 2522 delivers fast and accurate cutting performance in a wide range of materials. The unique reversible blade rotation feature provides users ultimate control over material removal, along with the ability to select their desired blade rotation for the direction they need to cut. For ultimate cutting versatility, the 2522 ships with three accessories: a metal cut off wheel, a diamond tile blade, and a carbide abrasive blade. It runs on the company's M12 Fuel™ battery system, and includes a tool free accessory guard and shoe that includes a vacuum adapter for dust collection as well as cut depth adjustment, a tool-free guard adjustment, and an LED light.





A Horse Of A Different Color

In the spirit of last year's celebrated Mobile Project Center from Kreg Tool (which was named one of the top new tools of 2017 by This Old House), the company's new Track Horse is packed with versatility. Sturdy steel and aluminum construction deliver a capacity of 2,200 lbs. (997 kg) per pair to handle large, heavy materials and cabinet assemblies with ease. Dual-mode clamping (with an included Kreg Bench Clamp) makes it easy to secure items on the Track Horse by holding them down on the long track on top, or else by using keyhole brackets on the ends for vise-style clamping. The track in the top also accepts a sacrificial surface, which allows cutting without damaging the Track Horse or the saw. Adjustable legs feature six working heights, and the legs also fold completely away. That means it can be used as a ground-level work platform, and it also makes it easy to transport to the jobsite, and store it in a compact manner in the workshop.

A New Man At The Helm

California based Lockdowel has named Stephen P. Anderson as its new CEO. The company is a manufacturer of glue-less, tool-less fasteners and snap-in drawer slides and hinges. Mr. Anderson has deep experience leading private and publicly owned building and wood product companies, including Enkeboll Designs, Pergo, and Wellborn Forest Products. He believes that lean principles and practices can be applied to any business and process, and is looking forward to making Lockdowel the preferred source for woodworking fastening systems. He holds a Masters of Management and an M.B.A. from the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, and a B.S. in Psychology from Adams State University in Colorado. Of Lockdowel, he says that a fastening solution which can increase a company’s capacity by 60% without adding headcount can change the industry paradigm. Disclosure: Lockdowel is a WoodEzine advertiser.





Trade Up To Festool and Get Cash Back

Woodworkers can receive a prepaid Mastercard in the amount of $100 (or $120 Canadian) when they trade an old tool for one of several brand new Festool models before october 31st. The offer applies to the Festool 55 circular saw or any of the company's plunge routers (here's the list... TS 55 REQ, TSC 55 REB, HK 55 EQ, HKC 55 EB, OF 1010 EQ, OF 1400 EQ and OF 2200 EB). If you purchase a qualifying tool between August 1st and October 31st, you'll need to complete a rebate form (available here). The company will then send you a pre-paid shipping label that lets you send in an old tool - which can be from any other manufacturer, and in any condition. The rebate will arrive within 4-6 weeks of Festool's receiving your trade-in tool.

A 'Green' Countertop Option

CaraGreen, a sustainable architectural materials supplier, now offers IceStone, which is made in the USA. This is a collection of tough surfaces made from 100% recycled glass and cement, which create a highly durable concrete surface. IceStone surfaces are cut, installed, and maintained just like mined stone. The product is available in a variety of shades that range from soft earth-toned neutrals to rich, vibrant colors. It is ideal for kitchen countertops, backsplashes, bathrooms, tabletops, bar tops, fireplace surrounds, conference tables and reception areas. For woodshops whose clients are environmentally conscious, this brings social value and sound economics to the mix. CaraGreen is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and distributes across the U.S.





Curved Cabinet Doors

Quebec-based Saint-Georges Doors now offers curved cabinet doors and matching millwork, all machined on CNCs (there's a video on the website showing the process). Woodworkers can order these in most wood species including plantation teak, and they can be either convex or concave. The company also offers a 'crossbow' style door - looking down from the top, the profile resembles a longbow. And their impressive Uraeus style doors offer the curve flowing from top to bottom, rather than side-to-side (shown at left). Saint-Georges Doors will ship anywhere in North America.

Shop Visits in October

On October 17th, the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) will host a one-day event during which attendees will tour manufacturing facilities in the Lancaster, PA area. The day will start with a networking breakfast before the bus departs for Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry. The next stop will be Keystone Wood Specialties for a tour and lunch. The day will conclude with a visit to the Cabinetmaking and Wood Technology Program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. The CMA has been hosting high-value events like this since 1998, to encourage networking by providing an opportunity to talk shop and share issues, solutions, and even projects. Registration is $55 for current CMA members and $75 for non-members. Student/Instructor members are free, while non-member students/instructors are $25. Registration includes group transportation, breakfast and lunch.



John Beaver


California Artist Inspired By Waves

The exquisite turnings at left are the work of John Beaver, who lives in Pacific Palisades, California with his wife and two daughters.
"I have always lived near the ocean," he says, "and was inspired to bring the motion and rhythm of the waves to a round object. The exploration of that concept led to the 'wavy' design which is still the core element of my work today. I started by placing the design on bowls, because that’s kind of the obvious thing to make on a lathe, but as I developed new techniques I found that I could remove the restriction of the vessel and let the design stand alone as a sculptural form." John will be demonstrating at the Alamo Woodturners in San Antonio, Texas on October 18th, and then in Quebec, Canada on November 17th. And he'll be doing classes and a demonstration in Ancorage at the Alaska Woodturners from January 14th through the 19th 2019. Visit his website for more info.

Making RTA More Consumer Friendly

The Titus Group includes 17 companies in Europe, America, Asia and Australia, and it has just launched a new website. One of the goals of its cabinet hardware division is to create products that reduce the time and effort required in furniture assembly, whether by a woodshop or a consumer. Its hardware "improves furniture quality and makes it easy to assemble, giving an important competitive advantage to furniture producers and installers". Titus makes cabinet connectors, concealed hinges, door/drawer dampers, and complete drawer systems. Its Consumer Assembly Friendliness (CAF) is a quick way to assess how easy assembly will be. Simply add the total quantity of parts required to assemble a cabinet and the number of actions it takes to assemble it, and then multiply that by the number of types of parts. The lower the result, the better.





A New Type Of Countertop

Last year, several sustainable surfacing brands combined to create PaperStone®, a new product made from recycled paper and a non-petroleum resin. It's both durable and easy to install, making it a favorite choice for homes, restaurants, office buildings and institutions such as museums. Manufactured in Washington state with all American raw materials, most PaperStone products are certified recycled by the Rainforest Alliance as meeting Forest Stewardship Council standards, and are certified food safe by NSF International. PaperStone has just introduced a new color, Azure, which it describes as "the sea viewed from the beach on a summer day". PaperStone colors are solid throughout including the edges, and the company has posted a fabrication and finishing guide

Edge Guide Makes Nailing Faster, More Precise

Grex Power Tools advertises its new H850LX as "the most advanced 21 guage nailer on the planet". The design draws on more than sixteen years of experience building world-class, professional grade, 23 gauge headless pinners. The company says that 21 gauge nails offer a middle ground between the small hole size left by a 23 gauge pin and the holding strength of an 18 gauge brad nail. The new gun is equipped with all the latest features found in Grex tools, including an innovative edge guide that lets a woodworker go faster, and do so with more precision. It will drive 2" brads into hardwoods, has a one-piece driver, an automatic trigger lockout, large window to check on the nail supply, and a swivel air coupler. The narrow nose gets into very tight spots such as window mullions, and leaves a minimal hole to fill. The Posit-Lock™ nose cover dramatically reduces jamming, and there's rear exhaust and a belt hook, too.





Hurricane Florence

Our thoughts, deepest concerns, and most sincere hopes are with the people of the Carolinas and Georgia, and folks all along the coast and inland who must endure this coming hurricane. We are posting this on Wednesday morning (September 12th), a day or so before landfall, so hopefully everyone is already evacuating. This region is perhaps more familiar to woodworkers nationwide than most as it has been a historical center of the furniture industry. Because of its proximity to hardwoods and potential markets, it is also home to many accomplished wood artists. And while we may feel helpless watching this monster approach, there is one thing that most of us can do: we can make a donation to the American Red Cross or another non-profit as early as possible, so that funds are available when needed. The dramatic NASA image at left is a "Top down look at Florence from the International Space Station".

European Connectors Enter US Market

Knapp Connectors, an Austrian company that makes furniture and millwork connectors, showcased its catalog at IWF in Atlanta. Knapp is well known in Europe but is new to the US and Canadian markets. The company has developed more than fifty patented connecting systems over the past thirty years and has begun to focus on the U.S. sector over the past couple of years. As opposed to traditional nails, screws, nuts and bolts, all of the connectors are concealed, self-tightening and can simply be snapped together for fast assembly. They are designed to save time, labor and equipment costs while retaining the perfect look of a workpiece. The office and warehouse is located in Fort Mill, SC, and woodworkers can order sample packs online.





This Reciprocating Saw... Worx!

The new 20 Volt saw from Worx (WX508L) comes with a tool-free blade change system, a pendulum function (you can dial from 0 through III for a more aggressive orbit and improved cutting efficiency), and an adjustable pivot foot plate that provides a larger contact surface for stability and control. There's an LED light for clear cutting, and variable speed control for working on a variety of materials. The company's Powershare™ battery is interchangeable with other 20V WORX tools. The package (on the Worx website in early September for $99.00 with free shipping) includes the tool, a battery, two blades and a charger. Even with the battery installed, the reciprocating saw weighs only 5.7 lbs. and uses standard T or U shank blades.

Furniture Design Finalists

The American Society of Furniture Designers recently rebranded as the International society and on September 6th announced the finalists for its 2018 Pinnacle Awards. The winners will be crowned at the twenty-third annual ISFD Gala on October 15th at High Point University’s Congdon School of Health Sciences. There are 18 categories, including a healthy corps of student entries.
"We are also pleased to see intense competition in our newest category, Maker/Designer," says executive director John Conrad. That division is of special interest to studio woodworkers, and it was created to "recognize the builders/makers who create one-of-a-kind pieces for sale in galleries and stores, as well as client-specific products".
You can see the full press release in PDF format.





Two-Way Drawer Slides Update

Accuride International showcased several products at IWF including the company's 0363 Two-Way Travel slides that can be accessed from either side of a counter, island or peninsula. The recent addition of four lengths to this family of products provides greater versatility for kitchen islands, dining or entertainment bars, workstations and other cabinetry that benefits from two-sided access. With a load rating of us to 100 lbs (45.5 kg), they offer full extension from the center point in both directions. They are 0.85" (21.6 mm) thick, and have been tested to 80,000 cycles. The steel ball bearing slides now come in 12", 14", 16", 18". 20", 22", 24" and 28" lengths, in a clear zinc finish. There's a hold-in detent at the center to keep drawers in position until use, and a non-disconnect to ensure they don't drop out. And there's a short two-minute movie on YouTube.

CADD, CAM and CNC Workshop

The stairbuilders & Manufacturers Association (SMA) is scheduling an event called "Man Vs. Machine" for Friday November 9 and Saturday the 10th in Keene, NH. They're billing is as "everything you wanted to know about CADD, CAM, and CNC manufacturing." The seminar is designed to answer shop owners' questions such as is CNC faster? Will it save me money, or help me to grow my business? Can it be scaled to suit my business plan and meet my customers expectations? Do I need this to remain competitive. Will my craftsman feel defeated or dispensable? Should I take the leap? How many Axes? Will it fit in my shop? And what about programming, tooling, vacuum, dust collection, fixturing and positioning? Experienced association members (not salespeople) will be on hand with both 5 and 3 axis machines, and live demonstrtations. Limited to 35 people - apply now.





Organize your drawers

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has introduced a modular drawer organization system that can be customized to fit tool, craft and desk drawers of almost any size. The Rockler Lock-Align drawer organizer system features interlocking tray sections, bins and dividers that enable users to construct a grid of compartments tailored to fit both the drawer and its contents. The tray sections are made from synthetic rubber, so they offer protection for tool edges, and they can easily be cut to size. It's a little spendy - the starter kit runs $24.99 and includes three tray sections, a tray extension, three dividers and two removable gray bins - but its modular nature means that a woodworker can do a little organizing now, and more as needed. The trays interlock side-to-side and line up end-to-end, to fill out drawers of any width or depth. There are pictures and a video on the Rockler website.

400 Ft Laser Measure is Now Available

Back in June, Bosch announced the BLAZE™ Outdoor GLM400CL connected laser measure that has a camera built in, and this week it hit the stores. The company said that using a standard laser measure outside is often a hit or miss affair, with natural sunlight diluting the laser beam and creating shortened range or a complete lack of visibility. But laser measure performance issues in sunlight are now history thanks to the advanced technology and versatility of the GLM400C with Viewfinder and the GLM400CL with Camera. Both outdoor laser measures rely on an adjustable zoom camera with scratch-proof screen to find the laser target at up to 400 ft. in bright conditions, or in expansive indoor space or against busy backdrops. The CL version can take photos and remembers 50 measurements and up to 200 images. There's a video on YouTube.





2018 Wood Diamond Award Winners

The Cabinet Makers Association announced its 2018 award winners at IWF in Atlanta, and the results are now posted on the group's website. The “Best Of” award went to Woodland Furniture of Idaho Falls, Idaho for their outstanding project submitted in the category of Kitchen: Finish, Over $50,000 (shown). The CMA awards program was first offered to members in 2010 as a means for them to be recognized by their peers. Not only does this program create a means to promote excellence in woodworking and cabinetry, but the members who participate and win awards are able to use their achievement in local marketing programs to promote their respective businesses. The CMA allows small to mid-size shops to network and help each other grow profitably. Members include cabinet shops, millworkers, furniture makers and suppliers.

Grizzly Lists Tariff Amounts

On July 6th, the United States Government implemented new trade tariffs aimed at various products that are imported from China. How much difference do these new taxes make to the cost of an imported woodworking machine? At least one supplier, Grizzly Industrial, is now listing the actual tariff fee on Chinese made machines in its online catalog, rather than absorbing them silently and invisibly into a price increase. For example, WoodEzine's editor recently ordered a 3 HP lathe that is listed at $1,795 plus $169 freight (click on the image). But the government's new import duties have added another $269.25 to the price that a U.S. woodworker now has to pay, and Grizzly is showing this as a separate line item. (Ed note: Our editor says the machine is well worth it, and turners who would like to read a short summary of John's opinion of his new toy can click here.)





The Challengers Award Winners

The 2018 winners of the coveted Challengers Award at IWF in Atlanta were Doucet Machinery (the ALYX Automatic Loader for the company's Clamp Carrier); Eagle Machinery (the EagleEye TalonVision Optimizing Crosscut Saw); LignoLoc® (wooden nails); Felder Group (the creator 950 compact CNC machining center), RSA Solutions (Production Coach software); SCM Group (the morbidelli p200 machining center); and Shaper Tools' new Shaper Origin. The purpose of the Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award ® is "to encourage and promote the development of innovative new technology in the field of woodworking machinery, supplies, and services for the furniture, kitchen cabinets, architectural woodwork, store fixture, upholstery, or specialty and general wood product industries". Entries are evaluated by a panel of ten distinguished judges who are all woodworking industry professionals, and they represent a broad cross-section of the sector.


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