Big Steel City News

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A couple of new items from the Steel City line, Todd Damon, David Campagna & Lucas Chang

The folks over at Steel City Tool Works (SCTW) have teamed up with Columbus, Ohio woodworking icon WoodWerks’ Todd Damon to revitalize and energize their line of tools. I spoke with the managing partners (David Campagna & Damon) and president of SCTW (Lucas Chang) about the formation of the Axiom Tool Group (ATG) and what it means to the woodworking world. ATG is setting the pace and direction of both SCTW and the newly formed Axion Precision, a company focused on precision woodworking technology (CNC and so much more).

ATG has pared down the SCTW line to just 21 tools that are improved and can be delivered to customers quickly (something that SCTW has had trouble doing in the past). But changing the look of the tools and how quickly you can get them in your shop is only part of the changes to the line. There’s some real innovation taking place at SCTW.

steelcitytiltedOne of the newest items introduced is a drill press. “What’s so special about a drill press?” you ask. Not only does this drill press have greater capacity than most others on the market, but it has a new, patented, table just for woodworkers. This is a product I’ve been waiting 35 years for. The table not only tilts left and right but can also tilt up and down; making compound angles a snap to drill. I’m promised one of the first models arriving in the States in the next couple of weeks. Once I get it in my hands (or more accurately the PopWood shop) you’ll get a much deeper look at why I think this workshop standard has been forever changed by Steel City.

There’s lots more to come from the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, GA. Stay tuned!

— Chuck Bender

12 thoughts on “Big Steel City News

  1. gumpbelly

    Chuck, I have had my Shop Fox W1670 for 8 or 9 years, while it’s table only tilts left and right, the entire head is radial, and not only moves along it’s top shaft, but will spin around it as well, so doing compound drilling is no chore at all. I can also put the head down flat, and make it a horizontal boring machine, really handy. Some own a ShopSmith just for that function, and with a MK V that task has severe limitations that I don;t have to suffer through. Today it can be purchased at Amazon Supply for $414.00 Free S&H. It brings new meaning to, all that and a bag of chips

    http://www.amazonsupply.com/w1670-2-horsepower-floor-radial-drill/dp/B001R23SOU

    Woodworking, isn’t it always about how best to skin that cat :-)

    1. Chuck BenderChuck Bender Post author

      I’ve seen and used radial drill presses before for this, but I’ve always been less than enthused. I’ve found them hard to set up and even harder to return to the basic position. That’s why I’m so excited to get the SCTW model in to test. At the show, the tilt mechanism worked smoothly and easily. They also offer the ability to have both the two axis tilt woodworking table as well as a standard metalworking table on the same drill press. For the space conscious, this might not be an option. But, if you have a need, you can do both.

  2. redguy

    Guys, really, forget about Delta, the company today is not the company you have known in the past. Other than vintage Delta, Powermatic is about the only game in town now unless SCTW can rise up (and I hope vey much that they do).

    1. DrMikesFan

      The Delta has variable speed via belt change. It does not have electronic variable speed like the Powermatic. A minor inconvenience in my experience.

        1. Chuck BenderChuck Bender Post author

          It does not have an electronic variable speed (yet). A simple locking lever on the side of the head does all the speed changes – much easier than lifting the lid and moving belts. I imagine you’ll see lots of new tech being added to SCTW tools in the next year or two given their new company Axiom Precision.

        1. DrMikesFan

          I guess it would depend on your use versus mine. No doubt electronic variable speed control is a time saver.

          Regardless, it looks like Steel City won’t offer you anything you can’t get in the Delta model. The price point could lead people to Steel City. That remains to be seen.

  3. DrMikesFan

    Chuck, maybe I misunderstand, but my Delta 18-900L has a 14×20 inch table and tilts forward and sideways. It doesn’t come with a tee-track table at the SCTW seems to have. I’ve had it for three years, so it isn’t exactly new. It sells for under $1,000. AFAIK Powermatic does not yet have a drill with a dual axis table.

    So maybe ‘forever changed’ needs a bit more explanation, or perhaps you just didn’t know about Delta’s offering?

    Mark

    1. Chuck BenderChuck Bender Post author

      Mark,

      I was not aware of the Delta drill press. The SCTW table is the first I’ve seen that tilts easily for compound angle drilling. I will look into the Delta and see if I can get one in for comparison. The price being nearly double the SCTW model might be a huge sticking point for some folks – of course there might be differences in manufacture and tolerance as well. I’ll let you know what I find.

      Thanks,

      Chuck Bender

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