Wish List - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

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Wish List



GRR-RIPPER:
The Adjustable Push Block System (shown above)
Ripping stock on the table saw, particularly small dimension material, is one of the most likely ways to nip a bit of flesh, or worse. Some woodworkers opt to cobble together their own push sticks or blocks. Others purchase off the shelf items to facilitate this task. One of the drawbacks common to all of these accessories is that your hands are still exposed to the saw blade. Push sticks really don’t hold stock all that securely, even when used in conjunction with a feather board.

Henry Wang, at Micro Jig Inc, has designed what is probably the safest and most versatile push block on the market: the GRR-Ripper. Henry refers to it as a ‘push block system’, and that’s what it is. I’ve been using the GRR-Ripper for the past three months, and really like the product. One of the features that impressed me the most is its ability to feed both parts of a board parallel through the saw blade. You’ll really appreciate this when ripping thin stock or veneer. As configured, it handles stock as narrow as 1/4” wide, and with a bit of improvisation, as narrow as 1/8”. You can cut stock quickly with complete accuracy. All without the use of a feather board! Another superb feature of the GRR-Ripper is the non-slip sole. It’s molded from thermal plastic elastomer and grips stock securely. Because of it’s superb grip, you don’t even have to use your table saw’s splitter. You can also use the GRR-Ripper when profiling small stock on a table-mounted router. Your hands ride on top of the GRR-Ripper. That way they are completely protected from the blade. Notice how the blade runs in a channel between the two support arms. Both sides of the stock are held securely as you cut.

There is a bit of time required to adjust the GRR-Ripper when you use stock of different dimensions. But once you get the knack of adjusting the push block, it goes pretty smoothly. Besides, the significantly increased safety and security easily offsets any extra adjustment time. In fact I’d like to see use of the GRR Ripper mandatory in all school wood shop programs.

I would recommend getting two GRR-Rippers. That way you can use them in tandem for long stock. Durably made, the GRR-Ripper comes with a well written assembly/instruction manual. That’s important, because the unit comes disassembled. The web site is also very informative and shows how to get the most from this innovative, and indispensable shop accessory.

Getting your grip on the GRR-Ripper is easy (call 407-696-6695 or visit www.microjig.com) and affordable (approx. $65.). Warranted for one year.
 
 

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ACCURATE GUIDE:
Self-Centering Dados and Dovetails
‘Not another dado jig!’ you may be thinking. Well, yes, because this one really works. The Accurate Guide makes it easy and effortless to rout precise dadoes and sliding dovetail slots. John La Prest, a woodworker, designed this guide. It allows an exact fit without having to make extra passes or measurements. That virtually eliminates the chances of making a mistake. We all know the hassles of cutting dadoes for plywood of variable thicknesses, or trying to mill stock to closely match a specific bit size. The guide is well machined and easy to attach to your router. The guide comes with either a short or long set of arms, depending upon the router you’re using.
 

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Unfortunately it only mounts to a few routers at this time. If you have a Bosch, Porter Cable, DeWalt, or Milwaukee router you’re in luck. If not, check the web site or call. John will be adding others in the near future.

Using the Accurate Guide is enjoyably easy. It mounts to your router in seconds. Say you want to cut dadoes for a shelf. Attach the guide to your router, make sure the two arms of the guide are closed, and then cut a test dado.
 

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Take a scrap piece of wood from the shelf, cut it in two and use those as shims in the guide. Now rout the same dado again. The results should be a perfect fit, which is the first dado I cut with the Accurate Guide.
 

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I’ve cut dozens of dados since, and haven’t had to make any adjustments. However, if the resulting dado is too tight, then add a piece of paper to each shim. That’s it. Two passes per slot, and you’re done. A quick and easy procedure that always gives precise fitting joints. The method for dovetail slots is similar. You can see on the body of the jig that there are two recessed pockets; use the narrower one for shelf thicknesses of 1/4” to 1/2”, and the other for 1/2” to 1 1/2” shelves. You need either a 1/4” (for the small pocket) or 1/2” (large pocket) straight or spiral bit. I use spiral bits and find that they cut cleaner. The Accurate Guide is the tool for anyone routing dadoes or sliding dovetails. It is priced very reasonably (approx. $78.), and warranted for life.

Call 920-589-4010 for a list of dealers.
 
 
HINGE MATE:
Perfect Hinge Alignment
This item will be loved by anyone who installs a lot of hinges, particularly door hinges. The Hinge Mate II is a finely engineered precision hinge routing jig made of extruded aluminum.
 

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The Hinge Mate clamps securely to cabinet face frames, doors, and doorjambs. In fact, any stock from 1/2” to 1-3/4” thick. It handles butt hinges from 1” to 5” wide, and you can adjust the backset edge from 1/8” to 1/4” by means of a set of plastic shims. Once you’ve used the jig three or four times you’ll find that it can be set up in a couple of minutes. I’ve been using my Makita trim router to rout the hinges, but you could probably use a mid size router as well.
 

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To use the jig you simply insert your hinge into the bottom of the jig and set the opening of the work window. Insert the bit into your router, clamp your stock onto the jig, and set the depth of cut for the bit.
 
Now Go To It!
Cutting a hinge can’t get any quicker or easier than this. Of course you still have to square the corners by hand. If you only occasionally cut hinges, then this is a bit of a luxury. If you do a lot of cabinetry, or install doors for a living, then you’ll really save a lot of time using the Hinge Mate.
 

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The Hinge Mate includes a sturdy carrying case, 1/4” radius carbide router bit with a 1/4” shank, plastic shims for adjusting the backset, and an instruction guide. Available from Lee Valley for $179: 1-800-267-8767 or www.leevalley.com.


CARL DUGUAY is a writer and woodworker from Sidney, British Columbia
Carl Duguay 2