Yes, I’m poking fun at Chris Schwarz and his “Anarchist’s Gift Guide,” but also at ourselves (in a tiny nutshell: a hegemonic government is one in which imperial dominance (the corporation) over subordinate states (us and others) is regulated by threat of force…such as, one could presume, a pink slip).*
Below you’ll find our “Highly Recommended” choices from the 2013 issues of the magazine, along with links to buy them – I think they’re excellent additions to your holiday wish list. Or your anytime wish list.
I purchased the 1⁄8″-thick carbide-tipped Benchcrafted Skraper with the intent of using it to scrape glue off panels, particularly in corners, where its eight sharp corners excel at the task. But the tool has proven far more versatile than a mere shop tool. I’ve used it for paint and mastic removal on many surfaces, to scrape hard-water deposits off the bottom of my glass shower door, and to remove small areas of rust from a table saw top. At $35, it’s more than paid for itself in the four years I’ve owned it (benchcrafted.com).
—Megan Fitzpatrick, November 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #207
Gramercy Tools Veneer Saw
The Gramercy veneer saw, with its handle directly over the cutting edge of the sawplate, eliminates problems experienced with the offset handle of traditional English veneer saws. I’ve used a Gramercy saw for a couple of years and find the grip better for maintaining even downward pressure as I cut veneers. It also helps the saw track a straightedge better than its English counterpart. And interchangeable blades make this saw versatile (toolsforworkingwood.com).
— Chuck Bender, December 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #208
Routers are made in different sizes for a good reason. Some tasks call for a monster, but many good things can be accomplished with a small router. For those duties, the Bosch Colt (PR20EVSK) is hard to beat. The lightweight format combines versatility, power and ease of use.
We have several Colts in the magazine shop and in our home shops. After years of regular use for forming edges, trimming patterns and making mortises, the Colt has yet to let us down ($99 at lowes.com).
— Robert W. Lang, October 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #206
Shinwa 6″ Rule
For accuracy in woodworking, a 6″ steel rule is a must. I’ll take my Shinwa rule over other comparable tools. Its 3⁄4″ width makes it easy to handle, it’s rigid enough for heavy use, and the satin finish cuts glare to make it easy to read the measurements (which extend completely to the end of the rule).
Shinwa rules are marked in increments of 1⁄8″, 1⁄16″, 1⁄32″ and 1⁄64″, which cover most necessary woodworking needs, and the ends are marked in increments of 1⁄32″ – perfect for router setups ($11.50 at leevalley.com).
— Glen D. Huey, August 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #205
Collins Tool Miter Clamp
The biggest problem with miter joints isn’t cutting perfect angles, it’s clamping the joints together. Collins Tool miter clamps pinch the ends and apply pressure in the right direction and the right place.
These wire gizmos have been an essential part of my tool kit since I first saw them. They are inexpensive, made by an American company and were developed by a carpenter. They’re available through various suppliers, or directly from the manufacturer ($33/dozen, $12.75/four; collinstool.com).
— Robert W. Lang, June 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #204
I’m no Japanese tool junkie. And I didn’t buy this pair of garnish awls from Garrett Wade because I thought they’d be superior to others. I just liked their look and that they’re small enough to travel easily. But there’s something about them that outshines others: They fit perfectly in my palm so using them feels like making an indentation with my finger. They also come to a finer point and taper more gradually than other awls, so I can make tiny, precise holes or lean a little harder if I need to start a screw or twist drill ($32.50/pair at garrettwade.com).
—Matthew Teague, April 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #203
Woodjoy Tools Precision Dovetail TemplateEvery time my dovetail gauge shows up in a picture or video on the blog, I get questions about it (and it recently showed up in a free video on dovetail layout).
I’ve had this Woodjoy Tools brass and black oxide “Precision Dovetail Template” for seven years now, and it’s been worth every bit of the $25 it cost. The gauge allows me to mark dovetails up to 13⁄8″ deep, with one side for 1:8 angles, the other for 1:6. The tool is available (and it’s still $25) at woodjoytools.com.
— Megan Fitzpatrick, February 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine, Issue #202
— Megan Fitzpatrick
* I consider this a test to discover how far up our corporate chain people read our blog 😉 Also, apologies for the reductive definition to any political theorists and philosopher who are reading.