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Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Tool Repair Problems | 0 comments

Spring Tune Up For Your Power Tools

One of the most annoying things is to the in the middle of a project and have a tool break down. Take a little time and tune up your tools before you get started this spring. Below are a few hints to keep everything humming along with a little TLC.

1) On your handheld tools– sanders, routers and the like unplug your tool, remove the brushes and check the brush length and make sure you have good spring tension,  and using a dry air source, blow out any sawdust in your tool. Really important in a table mounted router.  Shine a light  in the brush holder while turning the motor shaft to inspect the armature.  You are looking for excessive scaring or missing segments on the armature to warn of a problem soon to rear it’s ugly head. Check your bearings and see if there is any play or noise in the bearing that should not be there. A bearing that is beginning to lock up can kill a motor armature quicker than you would believe.

2) On your larger stationary machines, planer, joiner, drill press and of course the table saw-  check the drive belts and lubricate the moving parts. Tri-flow  is our favorite penetrating teflon lubricant which does not contain any oil product which attracts sawdust and dirt. Many owners of 15″ and 20″ planers are not aware but directly above the block that supports the infeed and outfeed roller there is a bolt that is hollow and this is how you lubricate the roller support for the infeed and outfeed roller.

15" planer infeed roller lubrication

15″ planer infeed roller lubrication points

A good way to check your tablesaw blade arbor bearings, remove the belts and spin the blade arbor and listen for any bearing noise.

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Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

How Do I Make a Rabbet Larger than 1/2″

Cutting a 1/4″ or even a 1/2″ rabbet with your router is no big deal but when you need a rabbet larger than 1/2″ then what.

Sure you could do it on the tablesaw with a Dado but what about a radius cut or a piece too large to handle on your table saw.

Amana has a rabbett bit called a Superabbet™. 

The superabbet bit comes set up to do a 5/8″ or 3/4″ rabbet but with an optional  67600 set of collars you can do rabbetts in 1/16″ graduations.  Always looking for a way to do the impossible   

For other tips and tricks  or to ask a question check out our blog @

picture of amana 49360 rabbet bit

Amana 49360 Superabbet

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Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

How Do I Cut Aluminum

We often get this question, but the answer depends on what shape you are cutting and what type of saw you will be using.
While you can use a circular saw or table saw the preferred way is with a miter saw.
First you need a way to clamp the material in place. If the blade grabs the material during the cut it can pinch the blade and damage the blade and can also hurt the operator, for this reason you want it clamped in place.
Always wear safety glasses when cutting or grinding any type of metal.

When cutting aluminum, brass or bronze you need a blade specially designed for cutting non ferrous material. These blades have a special grade of carbide for aluminum, a triple chip top grind and a zero or negative hook angle.
Next you will get better results and longer blade life if you use a lubricant. There are many types but a wax stick which is actually more like a special grease, or WD-40 is easy to apply while the blade is spinning.
All of the major blade manufacturers offer non ferrous blades for cutting Aluminum.  The Amana and Freud are a full kerf of .125″ which reduces the trend to flex if you are cutting a lot, while the Tenryu and Diablo offer blades with a thinner kerf which puts less load on the motor and cuts easier, really useful if your saw is under powered.
Lastly pick the correct tooth count for the thickness of what you are cutting. Blade Manufacturing makes a hss blade with 200 teeth for cutting really thin aluminum, say window screen track, but for most material being cut a carbide blade with 8 teeth per diameter inch will do well, 10″x 80 tooth is a good example.
For cutting 1/16 thru 1/8 material use 10 teeth per diameter inch, 10″ x 100 tooth or a 12″ x 120 teeth.
For 1/8 inch thru 1/4 inch material use a blade with 8 teeth per diameter inch, 10″x80 teeth or a 12″ x 96 teeth.
For material thicker than 1/4 inch use a blade with 6 teeth per diameter inch, 10″ x 60 teeth or 12″ x 72 tooth.

Special note:  Can also be used to cut ACM (Aluminum Composite Material) such as (Alucobond®, Dibond®, etc)  Phenolics and other hard plastics.

For other tips and tricks  or to ask a question check out our blog @


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Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

Do I Need a Hammer Drill or Rotary Hammer

Here on the gulf coast a hammer drill is of little use for drilling into a concrete slab because the rock used in the concrete is very, very hard just as it is in many parts of the country.
A hammer drill works with a larger number of blows per minute but it does not hit hard enough to break thru the rock used along the gulf coast.  It will however work fine in a  brick or cinder block wall.

A rotary hammer hits slower but with an impact force 2 to 3 times over a hammer drill.
One way to know the difference is a hammer drill has a 3 jaw Chuck where a rotary hammer has either a Spline drive or a sds-plus or a sds-max depending on the capacity and many rotary hammers have a three mode operation. Hammer mode for drilling in concrete, a rotation only mode for drilling in wood and a chipping mode for chipping concrete or removing tile and thinset mortar.

A hammer drill has two “hammer dogs” that mechanically “rub” together to make its impact.  Rotary hammers use pneumatic pistons to generate their impact energy, and don’t have metal-on-metal wear and tear.

Bosch is our preferred line of Rotary Hammers the Bosch  11255 VSR  is a great hammer for holes up to 1″ as well as removing tiles and light concrete chipping.

The rotary hammer will outlast even the best hammer drill and the bits have a better grade of carbide for serious concrete work.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

Rabbet Bit Bearing Size

Here is a quick and simple way to know what size bearing to use for different Rabbet Bit depths

To determine the correct bearing size for a Rabbet Bit 
Take the O.D. of the rabbet bit minus the desired rabbet depth times 2
Here is an example:

OD of bit  = 1-3/8″

Desired rabbet times 2
1/2″  rabbet * (x) 2= 1″

1 3/8″ – 1″ = 3/8 bearing od needed  for a 1/2″ rabbet

Of coarse you will need to measure you bit to figure out the correct I.D. of the bearing

Here is a link to Amana Tools List of common router bit bearings

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