Wood Shop News Portability : Page 43
SPECIAL MARKETING SECTION Portability – working the job site PORTABILITY – working the job site Compiled by BHSW Inc. If a task can be done at the jobsite, then there’s no need to haul materials to the shop first, and then make a second trip to haul the completed parts from the shop to the job. Eliminating that time-consuming step can save a lot of time and, of course, money. Several companies make a special effort to support woodshops in this area. Some manu-facturers have designed new portable tools that replace bench-top or floor model machines, al-lowing installers to do things at remote loca-tions that, until now, were only possible in the shop. Others build tools that are specifically designed to be extremely light yet very power-ful, so they can be used on site all day without fatigue, or failure. Finding a single online retailer who offers thousands of major brand tools can also be a huge time (and money) saver, especially when their sales are supported by decades of experi-ence, support services such as sharpening, and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the products they carry. Speaking of knowledge, we also found a cabi-net design program that can be brought on a lap-top to the client’s office or the jobsite, where the latest changes can instantly be shared with both the customer and the person building the project. Now, that’s a portable tool for the woodshop! www.amsna.net .....................................................45 www.burnstools.com .............................................46 www.bostitch.com .................................................47 www.festooldomino.com ........................................44 MAY 2012 WWW.WOODSHOPNEWS.COM 43
Portability – working the job site
If a task can be done at the jobsite, then there’s no need to haul materials to the shop first, and then make a second trip to haul the completed parts from the shop to the job. Eliminating that time-consuming step can save a lot of time and, of course, money. <br /> <br /> Several companies make a special effort to support woodshops in this area. Some manufacturers have designed new portable tools that replace bench-top or floor model machines, allowing installers to do things at remote locations that, until now, were only possible in the shop. Others build tools that are specifically designed to be extremely light yet very powerful, so they can be used on site all day without fatigue, or failure. <br /> <br /> Finding a single online retailer who offers thousands of major brand tools can also be a huge time (and money) saver, especially when their sales are supported by decades of experience, support services such as sharpening, and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the products they carry. <br /> <br /> Speaking of knowledge, we also found a cabinet design program that can be brought on a laptop to the client’s office or the jobsite, where the latest changes can instantly be shared with both the customer and the person building the project. Now, that’s a portable tool for the woodshop! <br /> <br /> Bring the machine to the wood <br /> <br /> There’s nothing like a mortise and tenon joint for strength, but traditional methods take a lot of time to execute properly. Cabinetmakers and furniture builders breathed a communal sigh of relief when Festool® introduced the Domino DF 500 Joiner a few years ago. It has revolutionized joinery for thousands of shops by saving man-hours and money, but what’s most important to craftsmen is that it delivers a repeatable, reliable, real-wood joint time after time. <br /> <br /> Now Festool stands ready to introduce the Domino XL DF 700 Joiner. Designed for bigger jobs (the maximum tenon size is a whopping five and a half inches long!), the new Domino XL reaches the US market this June. Thanks to a special advance-testing program introduced by Festool, a couple of dozen lucky users have already begun putting it through its paces. We had a chance to talk to a few of them to get their take. <br /> <br /> First, while its capacity is definitely bigger, we hear the new tool feels… right. At less than 12 lbs, it fits in the hand perfectly and has great balance, giving the user an unusual sense of control and confidence. <br /> <br /> “What a great idea, bringing the machine to the wood instead of the wood to the machine,” says Jason Renz of Long Beach, California. “This tool has changed how I think about the projects that I’m willing to take on. It lets me consider some that seemed out of my league before.” <br /> <br /> The Domino XL is ideal for shops that build entry doors, stairs, gates and other large millwork projects where quick, accurate mortise and tenon joinery is a good fit. <br /> <br /> “It’s great for edge laminating big timber slabs for tabletops,” says California woodworker Robby Myer. <br /> <br /> An obvious question here is: does the XL replace the original DF 500? <br /> <br /> “No,” says John Ferandin, who owns a door and window shop in Hawaii. “They complement each other. If you’re a furniture maker, then the 500 is probably quite adequate. But if you’re making larger pieces where structural strength becomes an issue, then the XL is the unit to use.” <br /> <br /> The tool is designed for intuitive, efficient use on a wide range of projects. For example, it accommodates different sized joints for different sized projects. There are four tenon sizes (8, 10, 12, and 14mm). The 8mm tenon is just right size for cabinet face frames, while a massive 14mm tenon provides long lasting support for bigger scale projects like doors and tables. Switching between tenon sizes is literally as simple as screwing a different sized cutter into the machine, and changeover takes just seconds thanks to a one-button release that removes the fence for easy bit access. <br /> <br /> Next, spring-loaded steel locating pins in the front face can be popped in or out, one at a time, allowing the user to place precise mortises a set distance from the end of the stock, or even registered from a previous mortise. This simplicity helps eliminate mistakes associated with measuring, marking, or even just trying to move the tool into position. <br /> <br /> For edge-joining operations like large panels, there’s an adjustment for the mortise width that lets you create a loose fit for more maneuverability during assembly. And for complex joinery that requires angled tenons, the XL adjusts from 0-90°, with positive stops at 0°, 22.5°, 45° and 67.5°. Thick stock is no challenge either, with an adjustable fence (10 to 50mm or 13/32” to 1-31/32”) that allows you to place offset or perfectly centered tenons with ease. Height adjustment is as simple as releasing a lever, sliding the fence up or down through a series of presets, and then re-locking the lever. <br /> <br /> There’s a lot to be said for superior, system oriented engineering, an opinion shared by British woodworker Peter Parfitt, who has been using the XL for a few months now. His analysis: “This is one of the most brilliant, well-engineered, rugged, safe to use, and joyful machines that I have ever had in my hands.” <br /> <br /> Design at the shop… or the jobsite! <br /> <br /> In a crowded field of cabinet software packages, All Master is simple, painless to learn and easy to master. It can build, well… pretty much anything that a shop or a customer can imagine. <br /> <br /> Even though technology’s function is to simplify our lives, much of the time it’s confusing and a little intimidating. AMS understands that, and has designed software that is the most user-friendly, fully featured design and manufacturing package available. The company’s Customer Care program gives users unlimited access to all of the latest updates. AMS’s watchword in “intuitive”, and they frequently receive customer feedback saying things along the lines of: “This is the first program I could use without spending hours trying to figure it out!” <br /> <br /> So, what does this have to do with portability and working the jobsite? Well, AMS is an incredibly effective on site tool. The program is modular, which allows it to be used on multiple computers, eliminating the need for repeated data entry and the errors that can introduce. At the jobsite, AMS installed on a laptop allows a designer to record a reliable take-off, create a design, get instant customer approval, verify changes in real time, and do all of this with the confidence that the construction details and pricing have been handled correctly. <br /> <br /> This ability to work with customers on site or in the office (theirs or yours) leads directly to more sales and increased production, because AMS’s powerful rendering tools make it simple to show the finished product to a client – or a woodworker on the shop floor. And the program helps you to create stunning Walkthrough animations that allow customers to view their new kitchen as if it has already been built. These movies are Internet-ready, and can be viewed independently of the program. AMS also has an iPhone app that can share your designs with customers – and future customers, too, which turns your standard portfolio into a multimedia experience. <br /> <br /> One-stop shopping for portable tools <br /> <br /> Imagine a tool store that stocks more than 37,000 items, including all of a woodworker’s favorite brands such as Festool, Makita and Saw Stop? And then imagine being able to find exactly what you need in just seconds. That’s the reality of shopping at Burns Tools, where a guy doesn’t have to physically visit their Fall River, Massachusetts store, because everything he needs is available online. For more than three-quarters of a century, this family run business has been supporting woodshops and understanding our unique challenges. Today, they provide industrial power tools, heavy-duty machinery, full service sharpening, repairs and related accessories to customers all over the US, and they do it all through their online store. The company philosophy is summed up in a statement on their Web site: <br /> <br /> “Our loyal customers know that if they buy a tool from Burns, they’ll have no worries because the loyalty goes both ways. We’ll take care of it if it breaks down, we’ll provide help and advice on application problems, and we’ll offer pick up and delivery.” <br /> <br /> Burns’ customer Jay Smith, who runs East Coast Interiors in Warwick, Rhode Island, understands the value of that commitment. <br /> <br /> “We have been using Burns Power Tools for purchasing our portable tools, pneumatic fasteners and job-site supplies for over a year now,” he says. “Their product availability and lead times have been excellent, and the service that they give us is second to none.” <br /> <br /> The N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer <br /> <br /> It’s the Sugar Ray Leonard of nailers, a welterweight with a heavyweight’s punch. At just 4.15 lbs, the Bostitch N62FNK-2 is the ultimate choice for job-site portability. Think of fatiguefree days, especially when working on ceilings, ladders, scaffolding and in tight spaces. The whole nailer is less than 15” long, but the real magic is in the lightweight and incredibly durable magnesium housing. Packing an awesome 370 in/lbs of power, this nailer will work in dense hardwoods and most manmade materials all day long. The N62FNK-2 is oil-free, so it won’t contaminate freshly sanded parts, and of course there’s no need to remember to lube it every morning. <br /> <br /> This is the world’s first 15-gauge nailer to feature an ultra-quiet rear exhaust that directs air away from the woodworker. There’s a built-in LED work-light for illuminating under stairs, inside cabinets and in all those tricky little spots where accuracy is especially important. The nailer has a patent-pending feature that lets an installer or finish carpenter blow away debris, and a simply ingenious 16” guide that flips out and helps you center the nails on studs (that patent is pending, too).<br /> <br /> And there are lots of other features that one expects from a top quality Bostitch product, such as an adjustable trigger with a safety lockout that lets the user choose between single or multiple nailing, and dial-a-depth adjustment for precise control in furniture, cabinets, molding or trim. <br /> <br /> The N62FNK-2 kit includes the nailer, a carrying case, a thousand 2” nails, a couple of standard no-mar tips, four profile tips, a swivel air fitting, a steel belt hook, and a hex wrench. The easyload magazine can hold up to 130 nails, and it uses Bostitch brand 28° fasteners, available in lengths from 1-1/4” to 2-1/2”. The nailer works with any standard air compressor (70-120 PSI), and is backed by a seven-year limited warranty.