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The Milwaukee One Key Impact Driver

milwaukee 18 volt impact driverElectric Power Tools have come a long, long way in the past 50 or so years. I remember being amazed that anyone could invent a power drill that ran on batteries, and I'm just as amazed today to see the latest generation of power tools that you can actually control with your Smartphone, and what WILL be the wave of the future ... crazy!
If you think that this is just a trend, or that this is something you would never use, I think you would be a pleasently surprised as I was. It only took me a couple od days to fall in love with this Impact Driver, it's an amazingly versatile tool.
I have often needed in impact driver but never seemed for it to be a high enough priority in my tool selection to actually get one. I told myself I didn't really need one in my woodworking shop and I could  by without one for the DIY projects that often crop up.

When this tool arrived, the first thing I did was take it out of the box, and with what was present for battery power, of course I tried driving some heavy, long woodsrews into a thick piece of Oak I had. Wow, they powered in with very little effort. What was most noticeable was that the driver does not want to twist out of your hand with torque like an 18 volt drill will do. The impacting mechanism really makes a big difference. Much easier to use, and quicker.

Fixing an Air Nailer - 23 Gauge Pinner

23 gauge pinnerPart of being a woodworker is being able to fix, adjust, sharpen and re-utilize. All of these take a certain amount of talent, a little of common sense and a whole lot of self confidence. When ever I find my self embarking on some new repair or method, I always tell myself that whatever I do wrong, it can all get fixed.
And so it was when my inexpensive 23 gauge air pinner died on the first nail on a recent project. The pin jambed in the pinner as it entered the wood and hand to be pulled free. As luck would have it, I have an 18 gauge pinner that finished the job, but that still left me with a broken 23 gauge pinner and the one I seem to use the most because is uses very small, headless pins that once driven into many woods, the nail and hole virtually disappear so it's perfect for temporarily holding pieces together while glue dries and you often don't even need to worry about filling the tiny holes.

Upon putting the pinner back in it's plastic case I noticed there was a spare piston that I had long since forgotten about. There was even 2 Allen Wrenches just the size that fits the pinner, so it looked to me like someone expected this pinner would need to have it's pin-driving-plunger replaced at some point in time. Nice of them to add this component as part of the purchase.

Installing and Tensioning a Bandsaw Blade

I can understand why some people leave dull blades in their bandsaws. If you are uncertain on how to install and tension a new blade, it can be a bit daunting to re-set all the guides, bearings and other setting on a bandsaw, but after you have done it a few times, and you understand the process, it's really not a hard thing to do.

The reason it is so important to know how to change bandsaw blades is because they do become dull quite readily owing to the fact that most of them are made or steel because they need to flex around the bandsaw wheels. Most bandsaw blades for smaller saws, 10, 12 & 14 inch are pure steel blades. These blades heat up during use and over time become dull, and as they become dull, we push harder on the wood, making them even duller and eventually they need to be changed.

The most important step in changing bandsaw blades is to unplug the power to the bandsaw. Some saws have switches in weird and wonderful places that can easily be flipped on by accident when working on the saws. Next the blade tension needs to be released so that the blades is quite loose. At this point you can open the wheel doors to look inside ...

How-To Align a Table Saw Blade to Miter Slot

Before starting any project, it’s important to take a few minutes to make sure all of your equipment has been properly adjusted. Your table saw will give the best results if the miter slot and the rip fence are adjusted parallel to the blade. If either of these are not parallel, your cuts and your finished work will be lower in quality, and the risk of kickback will be increased. Here’s how to make sure your table saw blade is aligned to the miter slot.

  1. Disconnect the saw from the power source: A common sense step that is so easily forgotten when we’re excited to start a new project

 Continued ....

Review of Canadian Tire Dual Base Router - Sponsored

Wood routers have been in use for the better part of 50 years, but for new woodworkers they still represent a bit of mystery. Part of the reason for this is that routers are capable of so many different kinds jobs and there is really no other tool that can replace the work they do. Another part of the confusion comes from the styles of wood routers which is either “fixed base” or “plunge” which always prompts the question, which is best?

I am frequently asked about routers, what brands, what types, what features and in general terms I tell people that a plunge router will do everything a fixed base router can do, and more. Like everything there are trade-offs and the disadvantage with plunge routers is they are bigger and bulkier and actual plunge feature is not really often used so it's really nice to have both. Such is the case with Canadian Tire's exclusive “Maximum” dual base wood router. I comes complete with both a plunge and fixed base and is quick and easy to switch between them.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/MAXIMUM  I must say, whoever designed this router, knew their way around wood routers. It's a nice design and has all the features that anyone would need in a router package.

 The router itself is an 11 AMP, 2 HP unit which means it can handle both 1/4” and 1/2” bits which is important for anyone who wants to use the larger bits for things like making cabinet doors, windows and many of the other larger bits for making things like crown mouldings, base boards and similar items. Almost all of these bigger bits are available only in 1/2” shank size and require routers with higher horse power to drive them.

Comparing Milwaukee 12 & 18 Volt Drills

milwaukee drillsBattery powered hand drills have become a mainstay to almost every aspect of working with wood. In building construction they are an important tool especially for carpenters, plumbers and electricians. For woodworkers who are almost always working in a shop and with electricity, battery powered tools are handy, but not always vital. I like the portability and how handy they are so even though I have a couple of corded drills, my cordless easily gets the bulk of drilling usage.

I purchased a set of 12 volt drill/drivers a few years ago and fell in love with the system. Before long I also had the radio, the multi-tool and recip saw, all of which used the same battery packs. I loved the system but the only tool that I struggled with for power was the drill. I just didn't have the power I needed for a few jobs, especially when I was drilling into oaks and maples.

A short time ago I found myself in one of the home reno box stores ... again looking at Milwaukee drills, but this time 18 volt. I really didn't want to move to another battery size when I have so many great tools that work with the 12 volt. I discovered they had one of the Milwaukee 18 volt drills on sales for $99.95 but the catch is it only comes with one battery, and it is smallest 18 volt at only 1.5 Amp hours ... but still the price was attractive.