One way to tell that you’re getting old is when technology marches forward, providing a replacement for something you think of as new. Non-woven abrasive pads (Scotch-Brite is one brand name) were a great alternative to steel wool, much like cassettes were way better than 8-track tapes. Steel wool leaves behind little bits of metal. … Read more
Tag Archives: Tool Reviews
Way back in 2005, I wrote an article for issue #4 of Woodworking Magazine about holdfasts. At the time, very few woodworkers knew what a holdfast was, and the article reviewed available manufactured holdfasts, as well as a few blacksmith made ones. We recently put the original holdfast article online, and included a link to … Read more
By Matthew Teague
Festool recently released the Domino XL DF 700, big brother to its revolutionary Domino DF 500, one of the most innovative tools of the last few decades. Aside from the size, the loose-tenon joints created by the XL are the same as with the earlier version. From a machine that resembles a biscuit joiner, a router-type bit both plunges and oscillates to cut mortises in mating parts. Into each mortise fits a loose tenon, or “Domino.”
How’s the fit? As good as I’ve seen, whether cut by hand or power. And lining up the joint couldn’t be easier.Cut butt joints on square or angled parts, align the two mating pieces and mark the tenon location on both pieces with one quick swipe of your pencil. Line up the machine and make the plunge cuts. The XL also has an improved indexing system that allows for even less measuring.
For the combination of speed and strength, this joinery system is tough to beat.
By Steve Shanesy
M-Power Tools offers an aftermarket router base that offers a number of features at the very reasonable price of about $90. It can be mounted to any router that has 5/16″-diameter edge-guide holes spaced between 35/64″and 51/8″.
One key feature is an indexed micro-adjusting wheel that lets you dial in the router bit to a measurement or layout line – it’s particularly useful when routing dados or grooves in combination with a guide rail or circle-cutting jig.
And speaking of cutting circles, the base comes with a pivot pin and pre-drilled holes for cutting circles as small as 3/4″ and up to nearly 9″ in diameter.
If you have attended any of the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events in the last year and you have a sharp eye, then you probably noticed an odd-looking low-angle jack plane on one of the benches. It’s much like the No. 62 that Lie-Nielsen has been making for many years, but its sidewalls are open so … Read more
Last week I was at the North American headquarters of Bosch Tools, part of a group of woodworking journalists taking a look at new offerings of the company’s products. The first woodworking tools we were shown were a pair of new jigsaws, the top-handle model JS572EL and the barrel-grip model JS572EBL. My first thoughts were … Read more
by Matthew Teague
The first time I installed knife hinges I did so with an inexpensive pair, thinking it would be a good way to learn the process without wasting a lot of money on what is a notoriously finicky piece of hardware. Instead, I learned why quality knife hinges are worth every cent.
Any play or wiggle in the hinge will show up in the swing of the door, and making adjustments after installation is difficult if not impossible. Knife hinges made of thin, stamped steel, with irregularities in the thickness of the leaves or imperfections in the action of the pivot, simply won’t function as they should. You can’t pay me enough to use cheap ones again.
With that first set of knife hinges in mind, I was hesitant to try the new ones from Lee Valley. Once I got them in my hands, however, I was more hopeful. They have the weight and smooth action of quality hardware, and the brass versions are hard to distinguish from Brusso’s (long the standard by which knife hinges are measured).
Likewise, as far as installation goes, I recently installed a few pairs of Brusso hinges and wouldn’t walk across the street for the difference. Like the Brusso line, the Lee Valley hinges are available in straight and offset orientations and in a wide range of sizes. You have your choice of either brass or stainless steel.And they’re priced notably less than comparable hinges from Brusso, which means Lee Valley will likely become my first stop for knife hinges.
If I have one complaint, it’s that the Lee Valley hinges don’t come with screws. It’s not a huge problem with the brass hinges, but the stainless finish is akin in appearance to brushed nickel, so matching the screws is a challenge. While I love the look of the stainless versions, I wish Lee Valley provided matching screws.