SSYTC067 PA Doors

A disturbing trend

I tend to avoid YouTube. Over the past few years, it has become significantly geared towards revenue raising, and for something like YouTube, that means ads. Lots and lots of ads.

But unfortunately, more and more “free” video content is being hosted there, and so I have been venturing on there occasionally, and seeing…..woodworkers advertising their YouTube channels, by forcing their videos upon us.

Does it work? Well I’m sure it does, looking at their subscriber numbers. But I still see it as sad. The best content isn’t getting rewarded, but those who spend money to force their content in front of you. I know, it is the way of the world, but it still is not where I’d like to see the woodworking world going.



One day I might be tempted to join the evil empire to seek the higher subscriber rates, but until then, I’m staying well clear and hoping that good content will be rewarded over advertising. I know, it is not a battle I can win.

But I still rather give content away than sell it to subscribers, or surround it with ads, and I still prefer to give away the products from the shed, than turn it into a commercial venture.

In saying that, I will still be writing magazine articles of course- love seeing the articles in print! And the income helps make my hobby self supporting. I’d still like to write a book or two as well, and strangely, I see that in a different light to providing similar content on the web for free. I’m certainly not without sin here, but I’d still like to think that the readers I have enjoy the overall lack of advertising (banner farm, and video preroll ads) on this site.

Unilifts and Triton Routers

Had an interesting question the other day, and thought my response might be useful to others as well.

Hi Stuart. I just purchased a brand new TRA001 and have plans to fit it to my existing Woodpecker Unilft. Some feedback received from an online forum gave the following:

“You don’t need a Unilift.

There is no way to engage/lock the shaft if you can't raise the router up into the footplate. As the TRA001 router rises, a small rod is shoved into the spindle. The rod lives near the spindle, but it’s the action of the footplate moving up that slides it across.

Raising the Unilift may expose the shaft, but it doesn’t raise the router into its own footplate.

You can’t poke your finger in (or screwdriver) to manually engage the locking rod, nor is there a convenient hex nut on the spindle to use another spanner on.”

I know this as I was terribly excited to see the Unilift, but found all this out when I ran it all through my head. It is a brilliant bit of gear, but it seems more suited to routers that use two spanners to unlock the collet, or a Festool OF1400 (or similar) where you press the green switch to engage the lock.

I understand that you have installed a TRA001 to a Woodpecker Unilft. Was the TRA you fitted the newer model with the Micro winder or the earlier version . Did you encounter any issues in getting the router spindle lock to function correctly when fitted to the Unilift.

My response:


It is strictly true, sure.  But written by someone who themselves does not own a Unilift with a Triton attached- I’d (almost) put money on it.

Firstly, to your question.  The Triton I have well predates the through-table winder of the later models.  And if I had started with one of those, I wouldn’t also have a Unilift.  And I would have missed out on things because of it.

Being a Triton router owner, I know exactly what you mean about the collet locking mechanism btw.

When I want to change router bits, I go through the following steps:

1. Reach under the table and switch off the router (it is irrelevant whether I use a starter box or not, turning off at the router is a good safety step), and unlock the plunge lock.

2. Grab the macro-height adjuster, and with one quick turn, raise the router to full height, engaging the shaft lock.

3. If necessary, use the unilift handle to further raise the router so the collet is above the table.

4. Change router bits, using one spanner, one handed.  Still no other router lets you do that, above the table as well!

5. Reach under the table, using the macro adjuster, drop the router enough to disengage the shaft lock, and engage the plunge lock.

6. Switch on the router, and choose a router speed (the router isn’t running, as I have the remote starter box)

7. Use the Unilift handle to finetune the height as required.

If you didn’t have the Unilift, you would pretty much do all the above steps as well, except for #3.  So not a really big deal between them at this point, and I don’t find #3 is that big a deal.

So the Unilift hasn’t really lost you functionality, but has it gained any?

If I was to do the same steps with the Triton router, each time I wanted to micro-adjust the height, I’d have to reach under the table to release, then re-engage the plunge lock.  I bet most Triton owners (particularly with the new Triton) don’t use the plunge lock – it affects their functionality.  Hang on- not having a Unilift means a potential extra step elsewhere in the process, or a degraded functionality.

So what is is that extra step, and why can it be useful?

Take the Unilift out of the table, and sit it on the bench, next to the Triton.  Have a look at that mechanism.  4 posts, gears, chain wrapped around the circumference, all that weight, all that strength, all that rigidity.  Now look at the Triton router, and work out how you’d fit all that strength inside that router.  Doesn’t go, does it!   Now if you took your router apart, you would find the micro adjustment gear.  One small, flimsy nylon thread ( or metal in the new router- not sure about that?). It is a significant difference between the two mechanisms.

Sure, both do the same job, and one is internal, and one external, but boy, is there a difference in the build quality.  Which one is going to wear over time. Which one is going to get increased gear backlash over time, to the eventual point of failure?  Using the plunge lock removes inaccuracies caused by gear backlash.

What you have, is a very solid height adjustment system that will far outlast the built-in option.  Sure, there is redundancy there, but the Unilift will outlast the Triton router.  Your accuracy will be better, you won’t get any slippage in height for not using the plunge lock.

Enjoy, and work with the setup you have- it is a much heavier engineered solution than those who don’t have one.

Want to win some router bits? are holding a quick woodworking comp through their Facebook page.

If you follow this link, you will come across the page, and where you can submit the photo of your project.  The winner gets $US250 to spend on their website.


And the winner is!

You’ll just have to watch the ManSpace TV finale!

Not a bad prize though :)

HNT Gordon makes its YouTube debut

Terry and Colen have been working towards production of videos for their new YouTube channel.

If you have some of Terry’s planes already, and want some reminders from the expert how to get the best from these tools, or have been tempted to buy some and need a little more encouragement, follow the link to the HNT Gordon Channel

Looks like I am the very first subscriber- bet there will be a fair few more soon!

In Terry’s words from the mailing list email:

Hello Fellow Woodworkers

We have been asked for quite a few years to do some short videos of using our planes and we thank you for your patience in this regard. Other people have done videos of our tools and posted them on youtube and we certainly appreciate that fact, so thankyou to them. We have been taking some videos of using our tools at wood shows over the last year or so and we have finally put some together and loaded them on to youtube. Its nice to have some younger people in our business that know how to do this. We have started out with videos of setting up using a our original planes but we do intend to make other videos of using some of our latest planes. However, we are working on the quality of the videos before doing more complex shoots.

Doing the videos at the wood shows is good in most respects, but the background noise does detract from the voice quality, however you can easily follow what is going on. I hope you find it OK and feel free to get back to us with comments. It sounds a bit like a large workshop with lots of machines working in the backgound. To my delight though you can clearly hear that beautiful music a sharp plane makes as it cuts a shaving.

ManSpace Finale

I am here at the filming of the final episode of Season 1 of ManSpace TV.

Rent-a-crowd is present (and growing), the new space is all set up with the various trinkets the lucky bugger will win.

Thought the address was familiar- a (literal) stone’s throw to Carbitool.

A good looking room- just needs tools, timber and sawdust! (Does come with a large complement of Kincrome, a Polaris, Summit vehicle hoist etc etc.


More to come…….


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