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  • PennSt:Variable Speed Midi Lathe Conversion Kit: for Turncrafter , Jet & Delta Lathes

    I bought this unit to turn my Turncrafter lathe into a variable speed lathe. In the kit, you get the new brush motor, speed controller, and associated hardware to make the conversion. I bought this unit in Dec 2011. It worked like a dream for 6 mos. Had good linear speed control. Then, during a project I was turning for my sister's birthday this weekend, the unit died. The controller has failed. This was just with occasional use. The motor brushes are fine, the fuse is fine, reset switch is fine etc. I design custom controls for a living, so I knew my way arou...
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  • Stihl 441 w/ mtronic carb

    Stihl 441 w/ mtronic carb

    I know chainsaws aren't exactly considered fine wood working tools but...I gotta share this.

    Took a new Stihl 441 w/mtronic carb and 25" bar and reg chain out for break in this morning. I only ran through several tanks before the weather went south. This thing is smooth and doesn't bog down. I was blocking 20" to 24" round wet cottonwoods and fir.

    I can't wait to see what kind of monster this would be after full break in and skip chain.
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  • Primer on air fittings for the woodshop

    Primer on air fittings for the woodshop

    Most common places to use air fittings in a home shop: Air compressor to hose or female QD fitting QD female fitting or male stud to hose male stud to tool (such as - air nozzle, nailer, screwdriver/drill/impact driver etc, spray painter) any semi-permanent 1/4" NPT to 1/4" NPT fitting To add to the confusion, there's nothing on a 1/4" NPT that really measures 1/4". THe threads are visibly tapered and the overall outside size of the male NPT threaded fitting is around 1/2" to 5/8" diameter. The QD stands for Quick disconnect; Pull back on the outer sleeve of the female QD and you can plug in or release a male stud. A female quick disconnect and a male stud are usually used in a shop to permit rapid, leak free connection and disconnection of tools and hoses. THe QD has a check valve so unconnected, it won't leak air at the end of a hose. The stud is open through and will bleed air from the tool when t...
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  • Rockler-glue-brush-vs-Betty-Crocker-Basting-Brush


    In this corner, we have the Rockler Glue Brush, champion of woodworkers all over, known for it's distinctive "Rockler Blue" design.

    And in this corner, we have the challenger, the Betty Crocker Basting Brush, the darling of cooks everywhere, entering the woodworking ring to become the heavyweight gluing champion of the world! (DING! DING!) Okay, seriously, Both bristles were cut down to about 3/8" to 1/2". Both br...
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  • HF Air impact screwdriver Central Pneumatic #90059

    HF Air impact screwdriver Central Pneumatic #90059

    On a lark I bought this from HF for $14.39 (17.99 less a 20% off coupon), it's currently still $17.99. I have a couple of cordless impact drivers, one 12V from B&D and the other a 19.2V Craftsman C3; keeping batteries is an expensive proposition. The advantages of an impact driver have been discussed before, notably driving high torque screws by impact rotation which is different than constant torque drill drivers for driving screws and fasteners which require you to provide reaction to...
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  • Ryobi JS 480L

    Ryobi JS 480L

    Some time ago, local HD gave me a Ryobi JS 480L as a thank you for finding a pricing error (they slapped a ryobi planer price tag on a Ridgid planer --- wish they would have given me the planer, though!). More recently, my daughter commissioned a woodworking job (a cradle for her doll) - so I finally had a good opportunity to use this saw. The saw has a handy LED light that makes work a little more visible. Newer saws have lasers - which I think are over-hyped. The LED is nice. Another useful feature is the easy blade load/removal lever. I wasn't impressed by the fact the lever is plastic. Still - the feature it...
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  • DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw

    DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw

    There are those who are great scroll saw masters who can make works of art using any scroll saw......then there's me. After trying the Ryobi and the Shop Fox scroll saws, I was beginning to think I could never scroll saw. Ryobi vibrated very badly (I have messed up hands and the vibration wreaks havoc) and the Shop Fox's easy pinless blade change system was a nightmare for me (again, bad hands). LOML just blessed me with the DeWalt DW788. This saw is amazing. Here's my review: Ordered from Amazon and delivered within 3 days undamaged. Upon opening the box, the bag with the wrench, blades, screws to mount the table, and the manual were missing....rats. I called DeWalt and spoke to a very nice...
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  • DIY Router Box Joint Jig for the BT3

    DIY Router Box Joint Jig for the BT3

    It's really not very hard to make your own jig for very little bucks. 1. Buy a wood square dowel 1/4" - they are usually quite square and accurate. Available at Ace, HD, Lowes. A buck or two for 36" 2. Cut two, 4" pieces of the square dowel. 3. Laminate two 1x4 by about 18" and attach this jig to your miter fence to allow moving sideways - easy with the BT3 fence with slot. Also easy with the Rockler fence clamps if you have them (get some if you don't have them) 4. Use the dado blade set to precisely 1/4" wide (check by using the dowel pieces you cut - should be a slip fit) and cut a 1/4" high dado across the bottom of the attac...
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  • Cutting circles with a router - DIY jig

    Cutting circles with a router - DIY jig

    Cutting Circles with your Router
    Copyright 2012 by Loring Chien

    OK, so you need to cut a large circle or arc in a piece of wood or panel. Freehanding with a jigsaw is a possibility, but for a really smooth and accurate circle the router is the best tool.

    There’s a number of jigs on the market for sale and they cost around $40 to $60 like this one from Rockler:

    And this one from Jasper:

    They are nice but unless you do a lot of circles of different sizes then the DIY solution is much cheaper.

    Here’s my solution and it cost me a scrap piece of cedar 5-1/2” x 12” long x 5/8” thick. $0.00. Probably hardwood would be better but this works fine.

    On the long axis I drew a center line. About a inch and a half from the end I drilled a ˝” hole carefully centering the hole (marked”A”) on the centerline and the cro...
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  • Jigsaws; Hitachi CJ110MV vs. the Bosch CJ260

    Jigsaws; Hitachi CJ110MV vs. the Bosch CJ260

    Menard's had both these tools on sale and I bought the Hitachi from them. Lowes price matched on the Bosch tool, plus an extra 10% off, so I ended up getting the Bosch tool for about $1.50 cheaper. It gave me a nice opportunity to compare these tools. I was looking to replace my cheap - and broken - bandsaw and 20 year old B&D jigsaw. I acknowledge that the Bosch 1590 jigsaws are probably best - not that I've ever tried one - but since this is a tool I don't use every month, I was hoping for a cheaper option. At 69.99, these were worth taking a look at. The Hitachi saw has many favora...
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  • Groz #5 (Jack) Plane Review

    Groz #5 (Jack) Plane Review

    Recently posted about the clearance on Groz planes at Woodcraft (in the Bargain Alert forum). That posting received a lot of comments, so I decided to share my results once my jack plane arrived.

    The short story is that the workmanship from the factory was not great. But after a 1/2 hour of tuning it up the plane cuts great and I would not hesitate to do it again. I feel like it was a great value.

    Updated (1/31/2012 - adding text from pdf file to cover for my technical difficulties with posting a pdf...)

    Groz #5 (Jack) Plane Review
    Purchased the Groz #5 Jack plane from Woodcraft (web) and had it shipped to me in Jan. 2012. At that time, Woodcraft had the Groz planes on clearance and the #5 was ...
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  • Rockwell Bladerunner

    Rockwell Bladerunner

    I rec'd the BR for Christmas from my wife. Based on the mixed reviews, I wasn't sure whether I'd like it or not. Finally got time to open it up today and try it out. Here's my 2 cents: 1. I didn't find the blades or allen wrench in the box. I thought they were missed at the factory or I'd rec'd a repackaged unit. I kept looking. After looking longer than I'd care to admit, I finally saw the little bin at the top with the picture of the white blade on it. Can we all say "Eye Exam"? The bin on the bottom is a dust collection bin. So, if you buy this, look for the blades/wrench in the little bin at the top right under the cutting table. I then dropped the little blade bin on the floor and i...
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  • Harbor Freight 2-in-1 18gauge stapler/nailer contractor series

    Harbor Freight 2-in-1 18gauge stapler/nailer contractor series

    I was wanting to get a staple gun and based on some good feedback from another poster here, I decided to give Harbor Freight a try on this model This is the blue contractor series and not the red and silver. The gun is normally $29 and it was on sale for $15.99 so I thought I'd give it a try. Out of the box, the gun feels good in the hand. The trigger is metal as are all other major parts. The gun is slightly heavy for it's size, but not too heavy. It actually...
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  • Grizzly G0555P (Polar Bear series)

    Grizzly G0555P (Polar Bear series)

    My GrizzlyG0555P Polar Bear 14" Bandsaw arrived yesterday (Thursday) from the Muncy, PA warehouse. It was ordered Monday AM. Pretty quick for truck delivery over 1000+ miles. I was called on Tuesday by UPS and given a time between 1PM and 5 PM as delivery by a UPS freight truck (not their normal delivery vans). I was asked if anyone would be here to accept it. I said "SURE!" Well, they were here promptly at 1 PM. Light rain, 45°F, 200 lbs, no lift. I backed my Ranger up to the trailer and we slid it into the bed, almost 2 feet lower. No Problem. Next, I drove to my shop in the back yard and slid it out onto a dolly and rolled it into the shop. I need to note that the Riser Kit arrived Wednesday; I ordered a mobile base (HTC 1000) on Tuesday from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime so I got a free 2 day delivery. It arrived ab...
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  • HF 67241 3-Piece 11 drawer Tool Chest

    HF 67241 3-Piece 11 drawer Tool Chest

    HF had their 67421 3 piece tool chest on sale for $149 Thanksgiving weekend and I have been looking at that model for some time. Since moving back to the States, I have been "space short", especially for my mechanics tools and even woodworking tools. With permission from LOML, I purchased one and happily brought it home. I was a little concerned after reading a review on the HF web site that listed them as being dented and light weight. My impressions: The tools boxes were in great shape, not dents, scratches or warps. The tool box cons...
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Latest Articles


  • A Cure for the Shim Problem on the Ryobi BT3000
    By member twistsol
    Originally written by Norm Havens and re-posted here.

    Editor's Note: The site where this article appeared originally is now gone. I had this article saved as a .pdf file from years ago and resurrected the article from that.

    December 3, 2000 I must be totally star-crossed this week . . .

    "Trouble comes in threes," didn't someone say? This week I've already dinged the blades of my new planer, nearly dropped my router from the accessory table, and now...
    08-29-2018, 12:21 PM
  • McConnel - Lost Shop Tour?
    By member twistsol
    While digging through the old site files, I ran across this PDF file that had no information other than a number of pictures. The file title was McConnell.pdf I can't find any referenct to it on the site....
    08-27-2018, 09:39 PM
  • CBN Wheels - making Tormek Obsolete?
    By member leehljp
    CBN grinders; Are They Making Tormek Obsolete?

    That might seem like a bold statement, but my 20 minutes of use of the CBN wheels accomplished more than a couple of hours did on my Grizzly “Tormek” knock-off. I do know that the Tormek has MUCH better wheel than the Grizzly, but the problem with both is the speed - SLOW.

    Explanation for those not familiar with good grinding systems:
    Most bench grinders come in either of two speeds 1500 RPM (or 2000) or 3500...
    06-07-2018, 08:06 PM
  • Festool Domino Settings for Evenly Spaced Mortises
    By member twistsol
    I was in the shop this weekend and was trying to figure out the math for the settings on the Festool Domino to space the mortices evenly and centered across a cabinet front to back. After a bunch of trial and error with my math, I gave up and got close enough and cut the Domino slots for most of the cabinets before my shop time ran out. It was still bugging me, so I figured it out on the plane on the way to work.

    Very simply, we need to subtract the width of all mortises created from...
    01-29-2018, 01:46 AM

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