AWFS 2015 Tools to Talk About
I’m just back from the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers show (www.awfsfair.org) in Las Vegas where there were many woodworking products worth talking about – too many in fact, to include all of them here. I’ve narrowed the list below to include just a few that elicited a “Cool!” from me, and I hope you’ll agree.
Veritas Miter Plane & Shop Knife
Two new products from Lee Valley/Veritas (www.leevalley.com) are a miter plane and a shop knife.The miter plane (05P56.51, price to come) is inspired by antique Scottish miter planes and can be used flat (as shown) or on its side as a shooting plane. A side-mounted shooting horn can be used on either the left- or ride-side of the plane depending on the user or the operation. The plane weighs in at a solid 5 lb. which provides good inertia beneficial in a shooting operation. The mouth is adjustable and the 25° bevel-up blade is bedded at 12°, for a combined cutting angle of 37°.
The shop knife (05D21.01, $36.50) is specifically shaped for use in either a pistol grip, or pencil grip (shown), depending on the force required, or the user’s preference. Made of a zinc alloy, the handle had a surprising solid feel in the hand that gives you a sense of comfort and rigidity transferring through the length of the tool.The removable spear-tip blade (flush on one side) is reversible and projects 1” from the handle. Both the miter plane and shop knife are listed as being available in July.
Senco 21-gauge Nailer
Senco (www.senco.com) has a nailer that is in a new category for the North American market. The 21LXP is a 21-gauge nailer that falls between the standard 18-gauge brad nailer and the headless 23 gauge pinners. Offering better holding power than the headless pinners, the smaller head of the 21 gauge nails require little to no filling. The fastener range is 5/8” to 2” and the tool is priced at $249 retail.
Sharpdraw Carpenter Pencil
I know for a fact there are any number of shops out there with carpenter’s pencils on the bench. It’s tough to get a very precise line with a carpenter’s pencil, but they’re handy and easy to grip. With the new Sharpdraw Carpenter’s Pencil you can keep the shape (that doesn’t roll off the bench) and grip, but still get a decent line for woodworking. They’ve taken the technology behind the “snap-off” razor knife and wedded it to the carpenter’s pencil to give you a 9mm pencil that stays pretty darn sharp. The graphite in the pencil is also impregnated with carbon fiber that keeps your line from smudging. So if you’re in love with a carpenter’s pencil, take a look at this clever option that’ll keep you drawing sharp! (www.speedtac.com, $6).
Piranha Fx Carver/Engraver/3D Printer
Finally, from Next Wave Automation (www.NextWaveAutomation.com) is the Piranha Fx, a CNC-based tool that operates as a carver, laser engraver and 3D printer. Recipient of this year’s AWFS Product Innovation Award in Machinery (under $50,000), the Piranha performs multiple operations with one basic machine all for around $3,200. The machine is complete with software that functions with each application and uses either a Bosch, DeWalt, Porter-Cable or similar palm router as the locating base for each operation. If you’re considering the world of CNC, this is a great place to start.
p.s. If you’re looking for all our tool reviews, free, click here: Popularwoodworking.com/tools.