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Milwaukee Tools have been around for quite some time ... actually ... well over 100 years. Several years ago they were purchased by Techtronic Industries (TTI), who also own Ryobi, AEG, Homelite and others. The Milwaukee brand in the complex of businesses is considered to be the serious tool owners preference because of the high quality of Milwaukee tools.
If you get a chance to look at their website ... if the quality of their tools is anything like the high quality of their website you will be in for a treat of having a well made tool. Not only do they describe all their tools on the website (the same as everyone else) they ALSO provide excellent information on parts ... too bad others don't take this hint.
We tested some of the components of the M12 System which is their 12 volt cordless system, which consists of a drill, a driver, recip saw, rotary tool, inspection and camera viewers, lights, temperature measuring guns, a palm nailer, PVC shearing tool, a multi tool, and even a very cool radio/MP3 Player (that can withstand the rigors of a construction site).
The tools we looked at primarily were the drill and driver as we felt these would be among the most popular tools in the lineup. The 12 volt system is NOT for everyone. The power is ... well, 12 volts, which is great for driving smaller nuts and bolts and screws, or for drilling a smaller number of holes. The 12 volt system is not going to drill multiple holes though 2" fir beams if you happen to be running new power feeds from your 110 electrical panel. The 12 volt system is perfectly suited for smaller applications of drilling multiple smaller holes, or driving screws into a woodworking project. What we liked was that the 12 volt system is light but still packs enough punch to drive larger screws into Oak without any difficulty.
What was of particular interest is that these new tools are all using the same lithium ion battery system which recharges in something like 30 minutes.
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Many woodworkers dream of making woodworking their livelihood, and a good number do, but there is also a whole universe of opportunity out there for part-time-woodworking jobs, often smaller jobs that the "big shops" don't want to do.
In an ideal world we would all get to use our own woodworking tools and make lovely furniture and sell it for a nice profit and make a living. Sadly, reality says - this isn't going to happen for most of us - SO what are the alternatives.
One industry that I have always felt there was extra work in, and a good part-time business as well, is the CNC woodworking business. For those of you who need a quick refresher, a CNC machine is nothing more than a computer controlled router. On a computer you create some sort of a graphic, like lettering for a sign for example, send that information to the router through the computer and in a while the router carves out the exact same drawing you input into the computer.
There are a number of different types of CNC machines and they have different capabilities and sizes of wood that they can accommodate, so there can be some restrictions. For example, all CNC routers will go back and forth and up and down, but some have even more control, and could for example turn the bit to 90 degrees or more to actually make three dimensional items. But all that is detail, for now we want to look at the business of creating a CNC router business.
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Sanding is one of the necessary but often most hated parts of woodworking. I have seen many different woodworkers go to great lengths to try to avoid sanding and sandpaper ... and I'm one of them. I know how important sanding is because I can see and feel the results on my projects, I just HATE sanding ... the noise ... the dust ... the repeated sandings and most of all the trying to sort out my pile of sandpaper grits, all contribute to this dreaded job.
I don't have any fancy sanding machines so all my sanding is done by hand and almost always outside so I can keep the dust away from my lungs and the rest of the shop.
Today I have decided to at make a new effort at trying to organize my sanding sheets, sanding discs and my sharpening sheets. I store these in all different locations then have trouble finding them so end up leaving them all piled on a small shelf in front of what is my slot shelves for sand paper. It's just not working.
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Setting jointer knives appears to be universally every woodworkers worst duty. When I talk to woodworkers, the one thing they hate doing most is setting jointer knives (although many also hated setting planer knives, but that`s another article).
One of the biggest problems is many did not know what height the knives should be set at. Many woodworkers believed that jointer knives should be set at the exact height of the outfeed table. Which in theory would be correct but in practice is not the best idea. I even had some woodworkers who adamantly believed the jointer knives should be even with the infeed table. This is the WORST thing you can do if you EVER want to get straight, flat boards.
If you set jointer knives BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE OUTFEED TABLE, the boards you run through your planer will be bowed like the lower runners of a rocking chair. The more you run them through the jointer the more bowed they will get ... to the point, the only way to correct the bowing is to mark a straight line down the length of the board and run the board through a table saw - freehand. THEN adjust your jointer knives correctly and start all over again runing the board through the jointer.
- Read Time: 7 mins
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Restoring antique furniture is not for the faint of heart !!!
If you are an avid watcher of the television show The Antiques Road Show or other similar shows, you will know that it is a BIG no, no to do any work, as in re-finishing, re-building or re-storing to old antiques. Apparently collectors would rather have antiques that are in what ever shape they are, good or bad and they do not want anyone to alter the original object. In the event an item is re-finished or re-built the value plummets like lead balloon ... and I can understand that. What I don't understand is when I see very nice old furniture that is in terrible shape, that no one will do anything with because it "might" de-value the piece of furniture. In many cases some lovely old furniture has come un-glued, pieces missing or just simply badly abused over the millenia and now it needs some work to put it back together and maybe even a re-finish job to make the piece as close to it's original shape as possible.
The truth is, there are hundreds of furniture restores all over the world who fix, repair and re-finish old and antique furniture every day. I believe these restores do a service by preserving these valuables by making them able to withstand the next 100 years. The question I had, was what to do with an antique rocking chair that I was commissioned to restore.
- Read Time: 2 mins
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One of the first things we noticed about the Bosch saw during initial testing was the vast difference in its appearance against the other saws available for the woodworking market. The company has chosen to integrate a 2-axis multi joint arm system with 12 sealed precision ball bearings which results in awesomely smooth traveling and fine control. Bosch has taken the sliding rail system and gone ballistic with its implementation bringing out a product that can, in our opinion, easily handle 1/32" accuracy. With its sealed ball bearings, you can forget about its performance degrading or the sawing becoming any less smooth over time. The saw also comes with an integrated "glide damper" allowing woodworkers to manoeuvre to different glide actions increasing or decreasing resistance, but the default mode is just fine too. Another key advantage of the kit is its unbelievable space saving capacity: it saves up to 12" of workspace, its arm flush folding into the back of the saw so no matter how small or cramped your shop is you'll always have space for this beauty.
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