Tool Reviews

A woodworker is only as good as his tools. In a world with enough woodworking tools to fill entire big-box stores, it’s important to know what you should buy (and what to avoid) so you can produce the best pieces possible and save money. Our tool reviews are different. Rather than use pseudo-science, we use the tools in the shop (we’re all experienced woodworkers), and report back how they perform. So whether you are in the market for a new set of chisels or a powerful table saw, we’ve got the best tools covered.

mitretooltest

‘The Secret Mitre Dovetail’

David Charlesworth’s new video is groundbreaking instruction. by Christopher Schwarz p. 14 The “secret miter” dovetail is considered the most elegant and difficult of all the dovetail joints to make. As a result, many woodworkers hesitate to even attempt the joint, which can seamlessly wrap the grain around a furniture carcase to a beautiful...

trammeltooltest

Veritas Stainless Steel Trammel Points

by Megan Fitzpatrick p. 16 These clever stainless steel trammel points (for scribing large arcs and circles) from Veritas work a little differently than my vintage set, which fit only on a fixed-sized beam. The narrow-bodied heads are open on one side, and can thus be attached to any flat piece of material up...

FCtooltest

Sterling Tool Works Stainless Steel French Curves

by Christopher Schwarz p. 16 I like using French curves for laying out hyperbolas, ellipses and parabolas when designing furniture details. These curves are not static arcs – they are segments of the Euler spiral – and so the shapes they create have more spring and life. The typical set of French curves consists...

TTRoutertable_aug_2015

Kreg Precision Router Table

Simple micro-adjust feature and a solid base make this one a contender. by Christopher Schwarz page 14 Some router tables have gotten so complex and expensive that they actually rival a decent shaper. I’ve always preferred simple router tables, so I was curious to assemble and use the new Kreg Precision Router Table. Like...

TTRoll_aug_2015

Texas Heritage Woodworks Auger Bit Roll

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 I’ve been looking for a long time for the perfect storage and transport solution for my auger bits. For a while, they were wrapped in kitchen towels – less than ideal. I have two of my grandfather’s old canvas tool rolls, but they both have holes in them where...

TTHoning_Aug_2015

Trend Diamond Whetstone Honing & Polishing Kit

by Christopher Schwarz page 16 To be frank, I’m not a fan of sharpening hand tools using diamond systems because I don’t find the final edge as ideal as one produced on oilstones or waterstones. That said, the new Trend Diamond Honing & Polishing kit (DWS/KIT/B) gets so many things bang-on correct that it...

1506-earlex

Earlex Steam Generator for Steam-bending

Steam-bending has always required a certain amount of jury-rigging to make the steam: adapting a propane burner, retrofitting a kettle or tweaking a wallpaper steamer. Now Earlex has made steam-bending a little easier by offering a steam generator that is simple to hook up to any steam box via a 1⁄2″-diameter hole. In essence,...

ArbortechContourRandomSander06

Arbortech Contour Random Sander

I I’ve been building a stacked-lamination piece with plenty of concave and convex curves that require a good deal of sanding. Arbortech’s new Contour Random Sander has helped. Out of the bag, the sander includes everything you need – a metal stem containing two independently rotating shafts that produce the “random” action, a flexible...

PW_Grizzly Track Saw

Grizzly Track Saw ‘Master Pack’

I’ve long been a fan of the track saw. For me, there’s no faster, safer or more reliable way to break down sheet goods into sizes I can handle. While I can wrestle a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3⁄4″ plywood onto the cabinet saw if I must, it’s not easy and there’s every...