M Power Bench Stones
When I accept tools for review I agree to test them in real shop use for at least 20 hours. This doesn’t sound like a long time and in many cases it’s considerably more than necessary. Twenty hours of sharpening with a new system is a bit much but this is what we choose to do to find potential flaws in a tool.
Over the last five months we have tested a new set of diamond stones from M-Power Tools. The generously sized new 8” Diamond Cross Bench Stones are wonderfully made as are most of the tools we have tested from M Power. In this lot were a set of double sided, laminated diamond plates with a 300 grit coarse side and a 1000 grit fine side, along with a couple of double side files and cards with a 300 grit coarse side and a 600 grit fine side.
Straight Flush Saw
By Cuz-D Industries
In the world of woodworking, situations often arise where we are asked to build, or help with the building of homes, sheds, and other structures, and when asked it is something we typically don’t shy away from. When we build homes with the current materials of the trades today we make a choice of what type of tools we will use and I have seen hundreds of tool Ideas come and go over the years. Some good, some OK, and occasionally something great in its class. In the latter category I would place the first worm drive Skill Saw (circular saw) and it soon found its way onto almost every jobsite. Later smaller men have switched to the sidewinder saws and while these are OK I would not consider them a great advancement. In fact circular saws have been in an innovative stagnant swamp for about 50 years with the only exception being the new track saws we love so much.
For several years now Rockwell has been developing good tools and we have enjoyed many of them. From the 3RILL 12V 3-in-1 Drill to the Sonicrafter F50 Oscillating Multi-Tool, we have found that the tools are very well built and offer good features at a fair price.
In many avenues of life, camaraderie bolsters the soul, hones skill, and enlivens new passion. To that end, lets talk (well I guess I'll write and you read) about the new appreciation I've found for woodworking guilds.
I've been woodworking since 2003 where I really got my start by apprenticing with a luthier. During this time, I learned the ins and outs of instrument making, which started with learning how to sharpen tools by hand. We used water stones and did this work on the floor. I'm not kidding... Anyways, to the point. This was a very exciting time for me as a young woodworker. The most important thing I learned was that no man is an island. We can read magazines and follow plans or watch YouTube videos, but nothing replaces the gain of one-on-one learning.
Fast forward to a time after my collegiate career and before moving into a house where I could set up shop. I was lusting for a place to work. If I had joined a guild or community woodworking program, that yearning could have been realized. It wasn't until my wife and I moved into our current home that woodworking would make an appearance once again. I began setting up shop ASAP and got back to making dust. Along the way, I restored an old Tannewitz Model FDS table saw. For some unknown reason, I also started building my wood lathe, Big Blue, at the same time.
There are so many cool pen blanks available for purchase. Any pen maker's website sells them. From basic wood blanks, to acrylic blanks, to more complicated carbon fiber blanks and circuit board blanks. From only a few cents, to over $20 per blank. Even my customers would agree, the pen blank is more important than the pen kit.
When I began the test on the DeWalt DWS 780 12” double bevel sliding compound miter saw the classic yellow and black colors carried with it a prejudice towards quality and durability due to my experience with their tools in the past. I did my best to clear these expectations from my mind in order to give this tool a proper test. So I pulled up my sleeves to tackle it with a clear mind and did my best to remove all expectations from my head.
For the last 14 years or so, I have been struggling through my woodworking projects using an old Craftsman table saw from the early 1960s. Nearly as old as I am, the old saw just can't cut anything harder than a sheet of three-quarter inch plywood so I began my hunt for a suitable replacement. Of the top table saw brands in my price range I was attracted to the Jet ProShop 10 inch for its versatile hybrid design without the limitations of a contractor's saw and without the cost and size of a full cabinet saw.
The Dado is one of those commonplace cuts that add strength to joinery. As with most things all Dado sets are not created equal. The other saying that comes to mind is, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately this is all too true when it comes to Dado sets, as well as with most saw blades when you get right down to it.
In September I picked up the Ridgid R9601 X4 18-Volt Hyper Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit (3-Tool) with Radio set so I could do some work on my friend’s cabin up in the Olympic Peninsula where we had no power. I was attracted to the set for its compact size, price and the knowledge that Ridgid is a solid brand. So I must say I had higher expectations for these tools so right away they were up against some powerful scrutiny.
Every once in a while I get to be pleasantly surprised by a new tool it actually works better than I expect. I have to say the new Double-Sided Dia-Sharp MagnaBase System from DMT was one of those times. After a recent review on the lapping plate I have to say I should not be surprised by the performance of other DMT products but this set has risen the bar on what I would expect from diamond sharpening all together. These plates are well constructed and I was provided with two 12 inch x 3 inch double-sided plates and a single base.
Back around 2003 I reviewed Incra’s TS-III fence system. It got a great review from me and it has been a prize piece of equipment for all these years. Last year when I updated my table saw to the Jet 708492 10 inch I installed the Incra TS-III onto it and was in business once again. Since then I also added the Incra router table that installs in place of one of the wings of the table saw.
If you are in the market for a miter gauge with amazing accuracy then the incremental tools miter 5000 is something to consider. My friend told me the typical woodworker makes about 3 different angled cuts 90, 45, and maybe a 72 degree if they make a 5 sided frame, but I tend to require more than that myself and if you do as well then you will want to have a look at this tool.
Here I’ll review two of the most popular plate joiners on the market, the Porter Cable 557 and the DeWalt 682K. Before we even get into picking these tools apart, I’ll start by saying that both of these products are top notch and either of them will serve you well. The major differences are the placement of adjustment knobs and a few additional features found on the 557. These tools are both similarly sized, easy to use, and fully capable of handling whatever you throw there way.
The new Dia-Flat® Lapping Plate from DMT (Model DIAFLAT) is a remarkably flat and accurate surface of monocrystalline diamonds used to flatten other sharpening stones, and waterstones in particular.
Enter for a chance to win TWO sets of the ultimate Rockwell tool collection. Not only will you win a full collection of awesome Rockwell tools, but you can gift the same incredible set to a person in your life who rocks. Skip giving gadgets this year and let Rockwell tools help you celebrate the people who rock in your life. Five first prize winners will receive TWO Sonicrafter F50s, one for you and one to give to someone else.
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Daniel discover's some amazing work at the NW Woodworker's Gallery in Seattle Washington.
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