Archive for September, 2011

Porter Cable Pocket Screw Quik Jig

September 13th, 2011

Pocket screws are a great joinery method for everything from cabinets to tables, and almost everyone who uses them in a non-production environment uses one of Kreg’s jigs.  While they’re jigs are excellent, well made, precise, easy to use and reliable, a bit of competition is always welcome.  Porter Cable has just launched their own pocket screw jig, which looks quite a bit fancier.  Most of the Kreg jigs use a locking pliers type clamp to hold the jig to the workpiece.  This method works fairly well, but require another piece, and needs to be adjusted for each thickness of wood.  The Quik Jig uses a self adjust clamp, that firmly holds the jig in place without the need for any adjustment.  The jig also has built in storage for the drill bit, making it harder to lose.  The Quik Jig has a n automatic depth control system removing yet another step, and potential for mistake.  Lastly the jig has a great hole spacing adjustment system to provide lots of flexibility on hole placement.  The only down side is the price, which at $179 is rather steep.

Source: Porter Cable

Milwaukee’s New Reaming Pliers

September 8th, 2011

Milwaukee has just announced an interesting new set of pliers, designed mostly for electricians.   At first glance they appear to be fairly standard push-to-adjust pliers.  They have nice V-groove jaws which are sized to perfectly fit on electrical connectors.  The jaws are also meant to be thin enough to easily work in electrical boxes.   All pretty standard stuff.   The party trick of the new pliers however is the tip of the handles and the back of the head.  Electricians will frequently just strip the plastic off the handles of their pliers and use that to ream conduit.  Milwaukee has taken this to heart and designed the pliers to be used like that from the start.  The tip of the handles are bare metal and shaped to ream out up to 1″ conduit.   For larger pipes this can be awkward though, so the back of the head is also specifically designed to deburr 1-1/2″ to 2-3/4″ conduit.  Look for them to show up in stores in October.

Source: Milwaukee

Dealamanjaro: Hitachi 35 pc. Impact Rated Torsion Bit Set

September 6th, 2011

I’m constantly in need of more driver bits, either from them breaking or more often, getting lost.  It’s therefore always great when a nice set  comes along for dirt cheap.  Sears is selling this Hitachi 35 piece set for just $7.50.  Its a nice little set with a few less common bits like square drive and torx in addition to a bunch of Phillips bits.   Best part is they are all impact rated so they’re good to go in all applications.

Source: Sears

Festool Previews Domino XL DF 700

September 2nd, 2011

Festool’s Domino has been a huge star ever since its release in 2007.  Everyone who has used one has only great things to say about it  Its an incredibly versatile tool, allowing for mortises to be cut in a variety of size ranges for use in everything from face frames to doors.   It speeds up construction and is stronger than many other similar joining methods.  The legendary Festool dust collection also makes it a pleasure to use.  The only complait that we’ve heard about it  (well besides for the price of course) is that it can’t be used on really large projects, as the Domino DF500 maxes out at about a 1″ deep slot and about a half inch thick tenon.  It’s always been possible to use multiple domino’s for a stronger joint, but this can be tedious and still not provide sufficient strength.

Now Festool is addressing that issue with an XL version of the Domino.  Full details aren’t available yet, however the tenons for it look to be huge, and the tool will use a cutter as large as 14mm.  Pricing is obviously yet to be determined, but considering the DF 500 is $800, look for this tool to run well over a grand.  Rumors have it that it will be showing up in the US in 2012, as it is shipping in Germany this month.  Check out the source for some more pictures.

Source: Festool Owners Group

Makita’s introduces JR3070CT AVT Reciprocating Saw

September 1st, 2011

Makita’s got a new reciprocating saw, the JR3070CT.  Most of its features are pretty standard for a big corded reciprocating saw.  It has a 15 Amp motor, goes from 0-2800 SPM, and has tool-less blade changes.  The saw features a stroke of 1-1/4″ which is a bit longer than average, and makes for smoother, faster cutting.  It has some nice controls, which allow you to set a max speed,  as well as adjust the cutting action between orbital and straight cutting.  To prolong the tools life it features a mechanical clutch that will disengage the drive if the saw binds up.

The headline feature here though (which you can tell from the giant AVT emblazoned onto the side of the saw) is the Anti-Vibration Technology (AVT).  This is a counter weight system that Makita claims will reduce the vibrations by half.  Vibration is a big deal as it is one of the primary factors in fatigue.  A saw that is shaking around alot will cause you to get tired very quickly, as your arms will try and hold it in place.  Therefore AVT should make this saw alot easier to use for long periods of time than other comparable saws.