Wood Shop News WSN_1111_Advertorial : Page 1
Retooling Your Workshop For 2012
In any manufacturing process, managing time is the number one key to profitability. Cutting a few minutes off each of several different tasks can quickly add up to real man-hour savings.In the woodworking and flooring industries, that process begins with eliminating rejects.Checking moisture levels in boards being used for panels, tabletops and other wide parts can mean that one doesn’t end up re-doing a job because something shifted after all the work was done. Inexpensive moisture meters from Lignomat USA pay will for themselves several times over when they detect just a single problem before it becomes one. That’s smart re-tooling.<br /> <br /> Once the boards are checked for moisture and planed, it’s time to cut them. Ripping and crosscutting operations on a table saw can be substantially improved by choosing the right saw blade. A dime-thin Micro-Kerf 40 blade with built-in stabilizers, made in a state-of-the-art robotics factory right here in the USA, cuts down on airborne sawdust, decibels in the shop and even sanding, because it delivers such a clean cut. Changing just the blade and not the saw - now, that’s smart re-tooling.<br /> <br /> What if the cut isn’t straight? The downright impressive two-speed Deluxe 14” Bandsaw from General International has a quick release Blade tension lever (saving several minutes on blade changes), and a built in foot brake that saves several seconds. And for smaller cuts, there’s the Excalibur scroll saw, the only one that has a tilting blade instead of a tilting table. That’s very smart re-tooling.<br /> <br /> And to hold jigs and fixtures on all of these great tools, Bessey has introduced a new line of self-adjusting toggle clamps. A woodworker can go from one material thickness to the next without having to adjust anything, and the clamp never changes the amount of pressure being exerted. Re-fit every jig in the shop with this inexpensive clamp and it will save time on every set-up all the way through 2012.<br /> <br /> Now, that’s re-tooling that really makes sense…<br /> <br /> Auto-Adjust Toggle Clamps<br /> <br /> Jig building just got a whole lot easier!<br /> <br /> A new series of clamps from Bessey Tools is something that pattern makers and cabinet builders have dreamed of for decades. These are toggle clamps with muscle (up to 550 lbs clamping pressure and 700 lbs of holding capacity), but what’s truly exciting is that they actually self adjust.Dial up the amount of pressure you need (there’s a handy adjustment screw under the handle), and then the clamp doesn’t care what thickness of material it is asked to hold. Without having to grab a wrench and adjust the nut on the spindle (that’s the threaded rod that holds the pad), the clamp will automatically hold anything from the thickness of a piece of paper to 3/4” stock, or even wood up to 2-3/4” thick, depending on the model. You can go from one material thickness to the next without having to adjust anything, and the clamp never changes the amount of pressure being exerted.<br /> <br /> These tools are ideal for anyone working with several different plywood or countertop thicknesses or with doors, drawer parts, faceframes – any application where a series of parts has always eaten up time changing clamps for different thicknesses. Bessey describes this action as “automatic, continuously variable adjustment”.Just one of these Auto-Adjust toggle Clamps can replace several of the old style ones, which not only saves time, but money, too.<br /> <br /> There are three clamps in the series. Two are horizontal (they push down), and one is inline (push/pull), so it can be used to push against a vertical wall, or hold parts against a fence. The two horizontal models can handle stock up to 2” and 2-3/4” respectively. All three clamps have the same big base with 1/4” holes and slots placed just right for attaching the clamps to counters, jigs, workbenches, etc. That makes it easy to change from one clamp to another without drilling new holes in a jig.<br /> <br /> The adjustment screw on these Auto-Adjust clamps can dial up an incredible range of clamping force, all the way from 25 to 550 lbs. A removable, non-marring plastic cap is included on the 7/8” diameter pads, and those extra large handles make it easy for just about anyone to engage the clamp.<br /> <br /> A Curve Cutting Duo<br /> <br /> The engineers at General International didn’t cut any corners when they added their Deluxe 14” Bandsaw (model 90-170B M1) to the company’s extensive line. It has a heavy-duty, one-piece frame that lends it lots of stability (the complete saw weighs in at 293 lbs), and its cast iron wheels are dynamically balanced with replaceable rubber tires. Work travels across an extremely solid, cast iron, 16’’ x 20’’ table, which is equipped with 45° right tilting action. There’s a metal miter gauge and a genuine Excalibur ™ brand rip fence, complete with a curved re-sawing guide block. There’s even on-board storage for the gauge and fence.<br /> <br /> This saw comes with two cutting speeds (2300 and 3250 linear feet per minute), making it ideal for furniture makers and wood turners who work in thick or exotic stock. It has 12’’ re-saw capacity and runs 112’’ blades from 1/8’’ to 3/4’’ width. The blade guard rides on a rack and pinion, and the saw has a quick release blade tension lever for fast blade changes. There’s a foot brake that simultaneously slows down the blade and disconnects the electricity .Two 4’’ dust ports help keep things clean, and the 1-1/2 HP motor can be wired for 110 or 220 Volts.<br /> <br /> General International also offer woodworkers a full line of Excalibur scroll saws, including the model EX-16 shown here with Its unique tilting head that makes it ideal for marquetry. (On all other scroll saws, the operator has to work on a tilted table.)The head tilts 45° left and right, and the saw has adjustable variable speed, with both the power switch and speed dial right up front – a real boon when working with Larger pieces. It comes with a built-in blower and quick-release blade tensioner that can be micro-adjusted. As the name implies, the EX-16 has a 16” throat capacity and will cut through stock up to 2” thick. The table is a generous 12’’ x 18-1/2’’, and the variable speed range is from 400 to 1400 strokes per minute.<br /> <br /> To watch a video that demonstrates an Excalibur Scroll Saw, visit the link below. And to see the rest of General’s extensive line of band saws and scroll saws, visit them online.<br /> <br /> Why Are More And More Woodworkers Investing In Moisture Meters?<br /> <br /> One reason is that the vast majority of lumber available today is new (second) growth that has been harvested from relatively small, young trees. The old growth lumber that our grandfathers used had tight growth rings that were evenly spaced, so it was a lot more stable. Today’s second growth lumber, with more space between the growth rings, is akin to a sponge.It absorbs and loses moisture quickly, and misbehaves accordingly. A craftsman who doesn’t check moisture levels before an install or manufacturing process leaves the job open to problems such as loose joints, cupped floors, cracked tabletops and foggy finishes. While folks in the past didn’t seem to get too upset about cracks in a floor or tabletop, these days everything is expected to be perfect, and stay perfect.<br /> <br /> For furniture builders, turners, cabinetmakers and hardwood floor installers who want To learn more about the way wood moves in response to changes in humidity, Lignomat USA Ltd. Has created a new online resource.The company, based in Portland, Oregon, has developed “moisture problems.Info” specifically for craftsmen who need to know more about moisture and its impact on their work. The site has a Q&A format that recognizes areas where woodworkers have questions, and then supplies appropriate and accurate answers based on decades of experience in this market.<br /> <br /> Lignomat offers pin and pinless moisture meters for wood, moisture meters for concrete,Controls for lumber dry kilns, and a variety of wireless monitoring devices for moisture and humidity conditions. For example, their DX/C model has a perfectly designed case with builtin pins, a wide measuring range for wood, built-in corrections for forty wood groups, and a large display with easy-to-read numbers. It’s even available with a connector for external electrode or in-kiln probes.<br /> <br /> Lignomat’s very affordable pinless models are essential when checking finished products such as cabinet doors, tabletops and ready-to-sell furniture, where pins would leave visible marks. And these Ligno-Scanners give true wood moisture readings as “per cent” readings, using built-in corrections for different species.<br /> <br /> All the hard work, money and time invested in a project cannot prevent wood from shrinking and expanding. If the moisture content isn’t right to begin with, the wood will eventually let you know.<br /> <br /> The Thinnest Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade In The World<br /> <br /> If part of a woodshop’s plan for retooling is to save material, reduce energy consumption, cut down on airborne dust, lower the decibels in the shop, and do all this with a single table saw upgrade, then it’s time to take a look at the thinnest cutting carbide tipped 10” table saw blade in the world. The Micro-Kerf 40 is manufactured in Wisconsin by Total Saw Solutions, and all of the manufacturing components – from the steel to the packaging – are purchased right here in the USA.<br /> <br /> This superb blade is built using the most sophisticated robotic machinery in the industry, virtually eliminating human error. It replaces over twenty different styles and thicknesses of 10” table saw blades, essentially does away with sanding, has the ability to cut paper thin strips of wood and cuts through knots with ease. Cuts are as thin as a dime (.062k). The plate is fully hardened, laser cut, precision ground, and tensioned with a run-out that is less than half the thickness of a human hair.This remarkable blade also has a built in dampening system that reduces vibrations, making cuts quieter and more precise, and thus causing the saw blade to remain sharper Longer. The dampening system also acts as a heat sink.<br /> <br /> The Micro-Kerf 40 comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and, because of the quality of its steel, it can be re-tipped many times. It can also be sharpened ten to fifteen times, and the cost to have the factory do it (recommended) is just $20 and takes about a week.<br /> <br /> The goal of Total Saw Solutions is to stand behind America’s craftsmen and deliver the level of quality shops need in a saw blade.The company’s ability to sharpen and repair a shop’s old blades (most brands, not just their own) is a big part of that. They’re not interested in being the biggest manufacturer of table saw blades, just the best. That’s why the Micro-Kerf 40 was developed as an all-purpose blade for hardwoods and softwoods, and the best choice for both glue-line ripping and crosscutting applications.It was specifically designed for solid wood cutting applications.<br /> <br /> The Micro-Kerf 40 comes with an instructional DVD that includes videos.