The 10 Best of 2001 - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Woodworking Tools 

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The 10 Best of 2001



Here is what I believe to be the best tools of 2001. I would like to stress that the tools are listed in random order and there is no first or last. They are all great tools.

Vaughan & Bushnell (shown in lead photo)

The Perfect Saw Guide from Vaughan & Bushnell is one of the finest hand tools that we tested in 2001. Simple yet accurate, this Dozuki style, thin kerf handsaw cuts on the pull stroke. The saw cuts like a hot knife through butter and, with the guide, it makes compound miter cuts a breeze. If you want to master hand cut dovetail joints quickly, this is the tool to use.

Porter-Cable Delta

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Of the major manufacturers, Porter-Cable Delta (the same company, Delta making stationary tools and the Porter-Cable making portable tools) have produced many of the new and innovative tools of 2001.
 
Porter-Cable recently released a Cordless Router powered by a 19.2 v NiCAD battery. The 9290 has a 600 watt, 23,000 RPM motor (compatible with the P.C. model 690 router). It can use the optional plunge base or the standard fixed base. The advantage is that you do not have a power cord trailing and you can do your routing without the concern of being close to a power supply.


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Speaking of cordless, Porter-Cable has also added another first: a Cordless Brad Nailer. You may not think that is really innovative, but consider this: the BN200V12 is both a 12 v cordless and a pneumatic nailer. A great idea if you are refinishing a room and don’t want to lug 50 feet of air hose along with you. The BN200V12 is a 12v tool and accepts ¾” - 2” 18 gauge nails.

 

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From Delta we get another first: adding a second speed to a Thickness Planer.

Why would you want two speeds in a thickness planer? Well, the slower speed will bring the boards down to size and the higher finishing speed will give you an ultra-smooth finish. This new planer is a 13” model with a ⅛” to 6 ½” capacity. It also has a depth stop for more convenience. The head lock virtually eliminates snipe, that pesky little dip on the ends of the boards.


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Craftsman

Craftsman has a neat new tool they call the 3-D Sander. The sander is small and comfortable and has three small rotating sanding discs that adapt to contours like railing tops. The 3-D will also hug concave surfaces and has a variable speed motor. It is about the size of an electric razor and the 3-D is priced under $80. As with all Craftsman tools, they are only available at Sears.









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Franklin

Franklin International are the people who bring you Titebond adhesives that are considered the best in the woodworking industry. Franklin recently introduced a new product called the HiPURformer. The HiPURformer is a cordless hot-melt glue gun. The adhesive range for this new tool consists of hot polyurethane adhesives that have tremendous strength. You can glue end grain to end grain without even thinking about joint failure. (See Tool Test article)


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C. H. Hansen

Sharpening a carpenter’s pencil has always been a hassle for me. Inevitably you get the lead point almost right but it needs just one more cut. That “one more cut” usually cuts the lead off as well. Very soon you are down to sharpening a “stubby”.
 
C.H. Hansen in the US has solved the problem with an ingenious $4 tool. A Carpenter’s Pencil Sharpener. Put it on a string and tie it to your shop apron. This little tool will keep a nice sharp point on your pencil. It’s available at Home Depot.


Wizard

Another product line from the US is the Wizard line of Metal Detectors. Perhaps there is nothing new about metal detectors as such, but these are made especially for woodworkers. The two that I think deserve mention are the Lumber Wizard and the Wood Wizard. The former is about 18” long and looks like an airport security wand. It will beep and/or vibrate to detect metal up to a depth of six inches in wood.


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The latter is a rectangular frame that will scan a board 12 ½” x 6 ½” x (any length) and pick up the smallest trace of metal. A loud, audible beep and LED lamps light up in both units to pinpoint the tool damaging metal. See www.wizardtools.com for more information.





Boa Constrictor

What a great idea! The Boa Constrictor will open just about anything from jam jars to those stuck vacuum cleaner wands. It has a rubber belt attached to a handle and is fully adjustable. The Boa Constrictor is sold in two sizes, either separately or in pairs. It is available at Canadian Tire stores.


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GRAHAM McCULLOCH is a woodworker and writer living in Halifax, NS
Graham McCulloch

(902) 479-0221