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Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Show off your latest project | 0 comments

Drum Sander Advantages

I know how much everyone loves hand sanding; but, if you want to reduce the tedious job of hand sanding consider a drum sander. You will be amazed at how fast a drum sander finishes the job and what a uniform finish you can get.

While the Jet and Supermax Sanders attach the paper by wrapping on a smooth drum and attaching the paper at the ends with a self adjusting spring loaded clip. The Grizzly and Shop Fox use Hook and Loop paper.

One of the beautiful advantages of the Jet Drum Sander is what they call SandSmart Technology.  This feature actually senses load on the motor and when it goes beyond a certain point indicating a harder than normal section of wood or a knot, it automatically reduces the conveyor speed to allow the drum to have longer to sand the harder or denser wood. Once the amp load is reduced the conveyor automatically returns to the normal speed you have selected. Both Jet and Supermax offer an open ended sander that allows you to double the sanding width by flipping the piece end for end. A lot cheaper than buying the larger machine.

For production operations  Supermax offers drum sanders that are supported on both ends and run two drums at the same time. Start with 100 grit on the front drum and 120 grit on the rear drum. The rear drum is height adjustable to offset for the change in height the front drum removes

Our tips for Drum Sanders


Choose a premium paper, buy cheap and you will double your frustration


If you are sanding anything that you have pinned together make sure you do not sand through to the brads. Doing so will leave lines in your paper and will transfer to the next piece you sand, just like what happens when you hit a staple or brad with your joiner or planer.


A drum sander is not a planer, take your time for the best results. I prefer to set the conveyor feed rate at the fastest speed and take super light cuts. I find I complete the task faster this way


Use a dust collector. This is not a recommendation, it is a must. Skip this step and the inside of the drum will get loaded with dust and resins and cause a vibration and balance problem. In addition you will be sanding the dust and get less than beautiful results.


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Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Show off your latest project | 0 comments

Riving Knife vs Splitters

All table saws manufactured for sale these days are required to have a riving knife instead of a splitter. The difference between the two is that a riving  knife moves up and down with the blade keeping the same distance from the blade, while a splitter mounted guard remains at a fixed height in relationship to the blade.

In addition the new requirements say the riving knife must be able to be removed easily, installed easily and when installed it will be in line with the blade without any adjustment needed.

Why? Research shows that when a splitter is used it is often times removed, say to make a dado cut. Seldom, if ever, was the splitter reinstalled. Research further reveals that most table saw injuries are the result of kickbacks. The importance of using effective safety procedures cannot be overemphasized.

Kickbacks are generally caused by a fence that is not aligned properly, burning on one side of the blade is a warning your fence may need adjustment. Sometimes kickbacks can occur when ripping a board, sometimes the material wants to spring back together due to stresses in the grain of the wood causing it to pinch on the back side of the blade.

Both riving knives and splitters are designed to keep the wood forced open to reduce this from happening; but, a riving knife  is always a fixed distance from the blade usually 1/4-3/8″  whereas a splitter can be a good 2″ from the blade. The thinner the stock the larger this gap becomes.

Realizing most woodworkers will remove the blade guard most new designs allow you to either remove or raise the guard easily while leaving the riving knife in place.

Think for a moment. Was your last close call or injury caused by a kickback?

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Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in New Tool Info, Show off your latest project, Tool Repair Problems, Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

IMPORTANT! Porter-Cable Recall

We’ve just learned that Porter-Cable has determined that because the handles on the 3 H.P fixed based routers are not insulated, a user could be shocked. Clearly, this represents a serious potential hazard which has prompted Porter Cable to issue this recall. The following models are affected by this recall:

  • 7518 5-speed
  • 7519 1-speed
  • 7519 EC 1-speed/has an extended chuck22
  • 7519-60 1-speed/uses 220-volt power source
How to resolve:

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled routers and router bases, unplug the routers and contact Porter-Cable for a free replacement router base with insulation on the handles. Porter-Cable can be contacted toll-free at (888) 344-7973 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday; by email at , or online at On the website you will need to click on Important Safety Notice/Recalls (at the very bottom of the page), then select 2014 for more information

Porter Cable Recalls 3-1/4 H.P. Routers

Porter Cable Recalls 3-1/4 H.P. Routers

Courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Show off your latest project | 0 comments

Festool Domino Mortise Cutter

festool domino 574432

Festool Domino

FAIR WARNING – Don’t Buy Festool!


I would be remiss if I did not warn you that there are numerous problems with buying Festool:

1. You might have too much fun; 2.  You might get finished too fast and have time to make more money; 3.  Even worse you might enjoy woodworking again.

Whether it is a track saw that cuts cabinet grade plywood without chipping, a dual mode gear drive/finishing sander, a domino mortise cutter or any number of their other fine German manufactured tools, Festool products have a quality that will amaze you

The problem is, you can’t stop with just one tool.

OK, you are still reading so you must not believe me; just remember you’ve been warned!

Just like a biscuit cutter the domino is great for leveling and aligning two or more pieces, but that is where the likeness to a biscuit joinery ends.

#1) Total Precision

Unlike most biscuit cutters that have slack between the slide mechanism and the cutter head, the domino has no slack at all. None. Zero. Nada. Total precision.

2) Zero Height or Length Limits

Unlike a tenoning  jig that can be hard to use on longer pieces, the domino does not have length restrictions. Say you want to create a table 3 Ft by 8Ft with mortise and tenor joinery, no problem at all.

3) Speed and Ease of Use With preset depth stops for the thickness of material you are working on, set up time is quick and easy. No more layout gauges or jigs. Simple, quick and easy height set up as well. Simply, mark the center line of your mortise and your layout is complete. 4) Cutting the Mortise

Now that you know where the mortise needs to be, start your cutting with simple reference marking on the domino for centering of cuts; this puts your mortise exactly where it needs to be. Imagine, only 5 seconds on average per mortise – even on the hardest materials. See, I told you you were going to enjoy woodworking again and you won’t be pulling your hair out.

5) Glueup

Since the domino cuts using an oscillating motion you can, if you choose to, have it cut a mortise slightly wider than the pre made tenon you are using; this will make alignment of multiple mortises more forgiving during alignment and glueup.

6) Strength

Choose from the standard beech hardwood tenon which is an incredibly hard wood or the mahogany tenon and you have a super strong mortise and tenon joint.

So, now you know the risks of buying Festool – ok, they’re really rewards and not risks. Don’t you think it’s time you invested in yourself?



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