We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of wood!

Yes, it is woodworking show season once again in Melbourne!  Can’t wait :)

Along with all the usual suspects, and the restocking that I find I do a lot at the shows, an interesting development from Carbatec:  the big catalogue is back! (Finally!!)

But it is bigger than ever – previous ‘full’ catalogues were around 150 pages.  The latest one is massive – 384 pages!  Of course, going that large does come at a price – literally.  A whopping $5.  Or free if you spend over $100.

Do hope the show has some new stuff to see – as much as I enjoy catching up with people, and restocking consumables, the show should be about new products, new techniques (and not just the same old).  As much as sales are needed to justify the huge expense of a stand, the show itself needs to encourage more than that.

Check out a Maker Faire, or the AWFS for how other shows do it.

Shed Magazine Oct/Nov 14

The latest issue of The Shed magazine has just came out

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and it includes my take on a mobile device charging station.

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From The Shed website, a sneak peek (there is a bit more than this screen shot on their site), but if you want the full 9 page article, check out your local newsagent.

FWIW, the workgear seen in the article is the Mascot gear from Proskill that I picked up from their stand at the recent Home Ideas show.

Woodworking Warehouse

Been some rumours flying about over the past year or so about the Woodworking Warehouse (Melbourne) closing its doors.

Guess what – complete fabrication.  Dropped in there today to pick up a replacement starting capacitor for my drill press, and had a bit of a sticky beak at the Jet drill press which they have on special, and the Laguna range they now stock.

For a business that is meant to have gone, their doors are still wide open.

Granted their website has had an issue recently (still being resolved, although it is up again), and they have had a change of email address because of it, but they are still there in Citrus Street, Braeside.

You can also contact them via email at their new address sales@wwwh.net.au

Commissioned!

With a little more time, and some minor changes to the layout once the dust extractor was relocated to the mezzanine, the dust extraction ducting was finished.

At least the first stage!

Stage 1 – connect up a functional dust extraction run from each of the main machines to the dust extractor, with blast gates isolating each machine.

Further work to be done as time, energy and motivation permits:

Modify base of dust extractor so it fits properly in the available space.  This may also involve shortening the legs by a couple of inches to assist with clearances (to be assessed).

Capture dust from the tablesaw dust guard.

Improve (straighten) path from thicknesser to vertical ducting.

Break into existing ducting to add a run towards the wood turning area.  Includes a pickup from the bench for the bench-mounted tools, and a quick coupling connector for the superflex hosing for cleanups.

Set up extraction as appropriate from the lathes.

Increase diameter of trunking from the dust extractor along the main run to 6″

Add a cyclone separator if possible.

The Super Dust Deputy is $US239, or $A626 for the metal version.

snapz-pro-xscreensnapz001Alternately, the latest version has a standard size, or an XL size for larger HP extractors.

Not sure if and when they will be available in Oz, but they cost $US239 for the XL version, and $US169 for the standard version. It will be interesting to see how the price compares.

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Sliding Crosscut Table for SawStop

I haven’t paid too much attention to sliding tables before, although the Sliding Extension Table on the Triton was rather handy.

The latest offering from SawStop looks rather interesting, and I’ll be giving it serious consideration when it becomes available down under.

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Aluminum Extrusions: T-6 Aircraft Grade
Table Depth: 47.25″
Table Travel: 55″
Table Crosscut Capacity: 48″
Table Crosscut Capacity (flush mount): 36″
Fence Width: 43″
Fence Extends To: 58″
Fence Scale: Imperial / Metric
Fence Scale Pressure: Adjustable
Miter Gauge Measurement Range: +- 60 degrees
Mounting Type: Pre-drilled holes for SawStop saws

No doubt it will be able to be fitted to other tablesaws.

I do wonder if anything has been added to insulate the fence from the operator- I would imagine that if you cut the fence accidentally while you were contacting it, the brake would activate.

In any respect, I can well see how useful an add-on it would be- very tempting indeed.

I Wood Like

The guys down at I Wood Like have done a lot of work recently, and have done a complete rebuild of their site.  It looks much like it did before, but has had a significant upgrade, especially around the new online store.

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For those that don’t know, they are the importer/reseller of the SawStop tablesaw, so I have been working closely with them on the video front, providing footage about the SawStop.

At this stage, they have my video of the assembly of the saw, the video of the saw in use, including the brake, and a short of the blade brake in action.

Upcoming footage on their site includes my video about the guard & riving knife and using the dado blade (and a short video of the same).  The next video after that will be about fitting the genuine SawStop wheel kit, which is a much better solution than the standard machine wheel kit I have been using.

As the I Wood Like site grows, it will be interesting to see their next round of developments.

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The online store that is now up not only covers the SawStop and the related accessories, but also a range of other machines, including the MiniMax bandsaw, panel saws, combo machines and more.  That includes a range of BSP Blue sawblades.  Not sure what they are like yet, compared to the blades I know, but will be interested to find out, and the SawStop Titanium blades measure up.

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Will also be interested in seeing how some of the other machines measure up to those we are familiar with.  So many tools, so little time!

Rail Saw

I’ve been flat out recently getting the next magazine articles together (so sorry for being so quiet here – the combination of everything has been overwhelming, so I had to let some areas slip right).

One of the projects has involved making quite a bit of use of a rail saw, and in this case it was the Festool Tracksaw system, including the MFT/3 (multifunction table) that was extensively used, and as much as some are going to hate hearing it, it is bloody awesome!

This was the first time I had a chance to start putting them through their paces, and I was doing jobs on it that I would have struggled to work out another way, at least finding another way that was as easy.  The more I use it, the more it becomes apparent that it is incredibly useful in the workshop.  It doesn’t remove the need for a good tablesaw, or a SCMS, and both the SawStop and the Kapex got a heavy workout as well, but it was a real pleasure to use the right tool for each job.

hb_mft3_495315_p_01aThe MFT/3 with the rail that flips out of the way was brilliant.  Being able to drop the rail down in a consistent location meant that at one point I needed to shave off about 1/2mm, and I was able to set up for that accurately, and quickly.

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If the MFT/3 was good, the TS55 running on the rail was even better.  Precision height adjustment, accurate tracking made very easy given the saw is captive on the track.

I’ll shoot some videos of these doing their thing soon – cool tools.  There are always many ways to skin a cat, some just make it so quick, easy and accurate.  When I used to look at a circular saw, I saw a rough machining tool, inaccurate, noisy and dangerous.  (My old man almost killed himself one year with a circular saw).

The Festool version is like comparing this:

Lada 2103 1300 1978 frontwith this:

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Both will get you from A to B.  Sort of.

Some people can’t see the point to anything more than the Lada.  Or justify the price difference (the cost of a good coffee, vs a small house!)  Although they both have 4 wheels and a motor, but that is about where the simularity ends, and the same applies to the difference between a basic Bunnings $50 circular saw, and a $1000 Festool.  The longevity of one tool over the other is just one small factor in the decision.

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