A Jaw Horse is on its way!

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Was speaking with the manufacturers of the Jaw Horse yesterday, and apparently there is one on the high seas at the moment, floating its way down under so I can review it and put it through its paces!

Given that it is (literally) on the slow boat from China, it will take a couple of weeks or so so arrive in Oz, (and add whatever fudge factor to that), then clear customs, be unpacked etc etc, so some time in the next month.  If at all possible, I would like to aim to have a review of it out before Christmas (yeah – isn’t that scary – only a month of so away already), but there are too many factors that are out of my control to be able to say that with any certainty.

However, it does mean that Stu’s Shed will be able to give it’s independent opinion on the product, and given that I have had (3 or 4) Superjaws in my shed for years now…… (no, I don’t use them up and need another – I actually have about 3 Superjaws out there – awesome tool) Given that the Jaw Horse is fundamentally the same tool, and was designed by the same Australian engineers that came up with it, I have high expectations that the Jaw Horse will be at least their equal.

That Battle of the Jaws I was suggesting for the Melbourne Show next year will actually be a rematch, as the inaugural cage match will happen here :)

Hmm – I’m thinking of a sculpture – each Jaw hanging onto a bit of 4×2, clamped in the jaw of another.  Modern Art :)

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Laser Guided Hand Tools

I might have to truck down to Bunnings for one of these, just so I can photograph it…

Reported on the Australian Woodwork Forums, Bunnings are actually selling a handsaw with attached laser.  Not one to knock something before I’ve even seen it….b   u    t…….if things are getting that bad that you need a laser on a handsaw, it might be worth considering a trip to Ikea for your furniture – doesn’t sound like a shed is the safest place for you…..

Episode 33 Review of Triton 2300W Circular Saw

Episode 33 Review of Triton 2300W Circular Saw

Power Tool Buyers Guide

The Australian Wood Review is bringing out the Power Tool Buyers Guide, expected in shops around the 31st of July.

There are around 110 tools reviewed in it, with brands including AEG, Archer, Bosch, Carba-Tec, CMT, DeWalt, Festool, GMC, Hitachi, Makita, Metabo, Professional Woodworkers Supplies, Ryobi and Triton. (No, I don’t have any reviews in this one, next time perhaps. Actually, speaking of which, keep an eye out for the next issue of Australian Wood Review, as my Pro Drill Press Table review will be in there :) ).

Anyway, back to the Buyers Guide, it is going to be $9.95, and you can have a pre-ordered copy delivered directly if you wish for $2 p/h.

Contact Australian Wood Review on 07 3806 2288 if you want to pre-order your own copy.

(BTW, if you take out a 2 year sub of Australian Wood Review, you can get the PTBG for only $6, inc postage)

Rockwell Jaw Horse

JawHorse

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Fascinating what can be found in overseas magazines, and on their websites! This is a brand new release from Rockwell tools, and for those who know the Superjaws will find an amazing similarity in appearance, specifications, and function (and fwiw, design engineers)!

Some more info, including a Product Sheet (pdf) can be found at Jaw-horse.com and at Rockwell Tools

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Latest writeup here: SSYTC009 Rockwell JawHorse

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System – As Seen on TV!
As seen on TV, this heavy-duty hands-free clamp not only secures workpieces with a rock-solid grip, its wide stable frame instantly provides a go-anywhere workstation to make cuts, drill holes, and more. Hold and cut doors, two-by-fours, two-by-twelves, and odd-shaped objects. Mount miter saws, tile saws, grinders and other tools to wood panels and use the Jawhorse as a sturdy stand. Clamp in a vertical support piece and install crown molding all by yourself.

Do it all and more with this incredibly versatile tool that also folds up for simple storage and transportation.

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System – As Seen on TV!

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System - As Seen on TV!
Miter Saw Station for Jawhorse RK9000
Miter Saw Station for Jawhorse RK9000

Work Table for Jawhorse RD9000
Work Table for Jawhorse RD9000

Welding Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Welding Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Log Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Log Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Saddlebag for Jawhorse RK9000
Saddlebag for Jawhorse RK9000

Plywood Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Plywood Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Tool Preview

I always try to provide participants on one of my courses with as good a value for money as I can, and one of those things is to at least be one place that people can actually get to see, and use some of the range of new Triton tools.

This included the brand-new (yet-to-be-released) 235mm Triton saw which I will be reviewing shortly.

Holmesglen Triton 1

Holmesglen Triton 2

Decommissioning Tools

Been very busy the last few days, so a bit quiet on the posting front!  Had another good course on the weekend, with lots of sawdust made.

Tried my hand at an end-grain chopping board – a simple project but one I’d not gotten around to doing.  Nothing elaborate (I don’t exactly get much time to make things while running a course!), but it was still an interesting 5 minute experiement.

With the overall demise of the Triton demonstrator program (not sure it’s long-term outlook, but certainly it is in stasis for the forseeable future), I’ve decommissioned my “Triton Demonstrator Trailer”, as well as the tools therein.  The trailer is nothing more than one with a cage and a cover, but up until now it wasn’t useable for anything else being full of tools.  When a demonstration was on, all I had to do was throw it on the back of the car and go.  So I’ve now unloaded it completely, and have placed the tools into a storage shed (with some disassembly), and a coating of WD40.  They will get dragged out as required for any applicable videos etc for this site, but I’m seeing really as the end of my Triton Demonstrator era.

It is interesting looking at the shed colour scheme – at one stage it had a strong blue presence – lots of GMC tools (lathe, thicknesser, saw, sanders, drills etc), and that slowly became ‘infected’ by an orange bug that was carried into the workshop by one of the early additions, and the workshop took on a full-blown orange hue.  That is changing again, as each tool gets upgraded to a more serious version.  The transition will be over a long period of time, and I can’t currently imagine a time that there are not still some GMC, and some Triton tools out there, but I wonder if the involvement level of a person in the pursuit of the hobby could be graphed on a colour chart?

Episode 30 Pro Drill Press Table

Episode 30 Pro Drill Press Table from Professional Woodworkers Supplies
The Pro Drill Press Table has been created to address some of the deficiencies of existing drill presses.  This video is a detailed look at the assembly and features of this $A199 offering from Professional Woodworkers Supplies
(Right-click, and select “Save Link As”) Best video quality is achieved by downloading then playing the mp4 version.

Review of Carbatec CHF-1000 Air Cleaner

As I’ve discussed recently, I went through a bit of a decision process to come to the point that I chose to purchase this unit.

The very first thing I found as I opened the box was as unexpected as it was welcome – a remote control. There was no mention in any of the advertising about this unit that there was a remote control, and I was wishing there was, so this was a nice surprise! ***Update*** Ok, so I’m as blind as a bat. It is in there – first line, and I never saw it – oh well. It was still a nice surprise.***

The unit itself wasn’t quite what I expected – it looks a bit different to the in-store unit – although it has the same power ratings, air flow etc, the motor looks to be physically smaller, and there is a different filtering system. I’m guessing that I have a newer version given its build date. I’m not unhappy with the version I have, just pointing out that there is a difference. The inlet filter has a different mounting system, and is metal framed rather than paper, which was a point of concern with the original design. So I’m happy :)

***Update*** Yes, it is a newer model. The filters are now washable which couldn’t be done with the older paper based ones (for some strange reason…. ;) )***

Had to chuckle when I got the unit out of the box. On the side of the unit is the standard sort of safety sticker that says to read the instruction manual before operating. Unfortunately, it should say to read the non-existent instruction manual. This may not seem like a big deal – after all, the unit turns on and filters air, however, there are a bunch of questions I’d like to have answers to, which should have been in the manual. Such as:

- can the unit be wall mounted, or are the motor bearings designed for it to be run flat?

- a quick graph calculator indicating what speed the cleaner should run at for the room size.

- where should it be mounted – how close to walls, how to avoid dead spots in the room etc?

- how often, and how should the filters be cleaned, and how often do they require replacement?

- the filter says on it that if roof mounted, that it should be at least 7 feet off the ground – why?

- the unit always seems to revert to the lowest fan speed when it is first switched on – is there any way of changing it to remain at the setting which is correct for the size of the room?

I’m sure I’ll think of some more. I am aware that Carbatec are working through their machines and getting a lot of the manuals rewritten (which is never a bad thing!!), but given the number of tools involved, its going to take some man-hours!

In the meantime, I have been looking at the Jet equivalent, and these machines are strikingly similar in appearance and specifications, so I’m surmising that the Jet manual will suffice for my needs. The filters are a little different in appearance, but that’s neither here or there. Sourced from the Jet tools website here fwiw. The motor orientation looks to be 90 degrees different – in other words the shaft of the fan is vertical in the Jet, and horizontal in the Carbatec. Both the Jet unit, and the Carbatec catalog says wall mounting is an option, I’d still tend to investigate this further – motor bearings in balanced devices such as fans tend not to like being at the wrong orientation unless specifically engineered to cope with it – you can significantly shorten the motor life.

The unit itself looks pretty tidy, and it is whisper quiet which I am very pleased about. You can hold a quiet conversation standing right next to the it. I’m still debating where to mount it, and that is partly about whether I can wall or ceiling mount it. I’m also debating if it could hang under the rail of the tablesaw, but I don’t think that is optimum, and I have other plans for that space.

It comes with two different mounting options – either hooks for suspending it, and brackets for direct mounting. I’m going with the second option for my shed layout – I’d need much higher ceilings to get away with suspending it. The mounting brackets and bolts initially look as if they’d get in the way of the filters during removal, but the interference is only slight, and the soft padding affected gets past them easily.

Carbatec Air Filter

The brackets are tapped, so the bolts provided screw directly into the bracket, rather than needing the extra bolt length to require a nut at the other end, which would seriously block the filter removal. Going to the trouble of tapping a thread into the hole of the bracket is a nice touch.

Carbatec Air Filter outlet

The unit has the (minimal) controls on the outlet side – 3 speeds, and 3 timing options (actually 4 – the unit can be left to stay on until you switch it off).

Carbatec Air Filter inlet

The inlet filter has 2 stages. The first, coarse filter stage looks to be easily cleaned, and is not the paper based version of the earlier model. The second stage is a three bag arrangement to increase surface area, and also looks to be cleanable. You can also add a carbon filter if your circumstances require it.

Carbatec Air Filter inlet filter

This filter stage is also easily removed, to reveal the cavity of the unit, and the motor.

Carbatec Air Filter motor

Doesn’t look like a lot, but the job this unit has to do is also very simple. It has to move a large body of air through the two filter stages. I’m a bit surprised about how exposed the control circuits are, but I guess that the air by that stage (sic) is meant to be clean.

As far as its air cleaning performance, I will wait until the unit is properly mounted before seeing how effectively it cleans the room after a dusty job. Of course, the finest particles are too small to see, and can still be dangerous – I will have to investigate dust monitoring equipment – see if I can borrow one for a test. It is listed as cleaning almost 100% of particles 5 microns or larger, and 85% of particles 1 micron in size.

***Update*** Forgot to mention sizing – from the photos you can see it is sitting on top of the Triton 15″ thicknesser, so it isn’t a small A4 sized unit or anything! It is 610x310x770 mm and weights approx 20kg

1/6HP, with speeds of 450, 550 and 650 cfm (cubic feet/minute)

$A369 I think***

Northwood Premium ZH-1024 Rip Blade Review

The next review from the “Battle of the Blades”. The Northwood Premium ZH-1024  24 tooth ripping blade

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