George and I were back at AWFS 2013 in Las Vegas again this year. The show was spectacular as usual. I’m always struck by the international flavor of the event. I heard languages from all over the world as customers negotiated with vendors over some pretty amazing machinery. I saw everything from robots finishing cabinets to simple jigs being peddled by individual inventors.
AWFS has always been a show geared towards industry. Nevertheless, I find there’s a lot to be gained for the average one-man-shop woodworker. Leading edge technology is often brought first to industrial users and later trickles down to folks like you and I. A show like AWFS can give you a sneak peak at what’s coming down the consumer pipeline.
Surprisingly, there were some hand power tool manufacturers absent from this year’s show. Still I have much to share with you about at AWFS 2013. This article is designed to give an overview of some of the more interesting new products I discovered while walking the floor of the show. Look for a future article that covers the non-vendor events at the show including a student show competition and the ever popular beltsander races.
This all new sander from General International is a unique belt/disc sander combo that offers two belt sizes (1″ and 2″) along with an 8″ disc sander. This sander can tackle a host of intricate sanding jobs plus dry sharpening, all in one machine. Powered by a 1/2 HP motor, the sander has two interchangeable 1″ and 2″ sanding platens. A quick release tension lever makes belt and platen changes quick and hassle free. The 10-1/4″ x 6″ cast aluminum belt table tilts out 0 – 45-degrees. For beveled sanding applications the 10-3/4″ x 7″ disc table tilts out 0 – 45-degrees and in 10-degrees. The machine includes two 1-1/2″ dust ports for easy shop vacuum hook up.
Oneida Air Systems Super Dust Deputy
The Super Dust Deputy promises to improve the performance of single stage dust collectors in the same way its little brother, the original Dust Deputy, did for shop vacuums. The Super Dust Deputy transforms your inefficient 1/2 HP to 3 HP single stage dust collector into a high efficiency cyclone collector. According to the manufacturer the Super Dust Deputy removes 99% of wood waste before it ever reaches your filter. The result is a cleaner filter that will not impair airflow so your system operates at max cfm. The compact 17” x 15” footprint makes it an easy fit over your collection barrel. A stock 17-gallon barrel is also available from Oneida for $89.
Rockler Glue Bottle Applicator Kit
Rockler’s new Glue Bottle Applicator Kit complements their line of silicon glue brushes and is designed to meet all your glue up needs. The kit includes an 8 oz. glue bottle with a standard easy to clean spout and cap, a glue line centering attachment, silicone brush applicator, glue roller applicator, mortise glue applicator, glue funnel and a cleaning brush to keep the kit spotless.
The glue roller applicator allows you to spread glue evenly over a large surface. A fold away tip plug keeps the applicator clog free and the angled head allows you to visually gauge glue flow onto the roller.
All parts are made from easy to clean HDPE, polypropylene or silicone. Threaded attachments use the same thread pattern as found on Titebond’s 16 and 32 oz. bottles.
The glue line centering attachment makes it easy to run a bead right down the middle of boards up to 1-1/8” thick.
A polypropylene funnel threads onto the bottle for drip free glue transfers.
Rockler’s famous silicone glue brush head is mounted on a threaded cap for easy glue spreads without having to dip a brush into a cup of glue.
The mortise glue applicator is designed to fit into mortises for biscuits, dominos or traditional tenons.
Bioformix, Inc. NEXABOND 2500
Nexabond 2500 is a truly revolutionary new wood glue. At first glance, Nexabond 2500 looks like another CA glue. And indeed it is a CA glue but with a distinct difference. Nexabond uses the natural salts in wood as a catalyst instead of the moisture cure other CA glues employ. That means no worries about moisture contamination ruining the glue in the bottle or effecting cure times. If you’re worried about the hassles an instant bond can create, worry no more. Nexabond comes in three levels of handling or open time; short (1-3minutes), medium (3-5minutes), and long (5-10 minutes). Nexabond lets you take apart and reposition stock during the handling time frame without degrading the bond. And because there’s no water in the formula, there’s no need to let swollen joints shrink back down before sanding. According to the manufacturer an edge-glued tabletop can go from the glue table to the sander in minutes instead of hours. The salt cure formulation allows you to glue oily exotics without worry. Plus, it will bond metal, plastic, just about anything, to wood. It can be used sparingly so squeeze out is minimized. The dried glue readily accepts stain. Give this friendlier CA glue a try and you may never go back to a water-activated product.
Panel Buddies are a big improvement over the old bouncy ball inserts. Made from specially sized foam rubber, panel buddies allow maximum expansion and contraction without placing excessive pressure on the joints like the hard rubber used in other panel spacers. The rectangular foam inserts fit snuggly in the panel groove and won’t roll or fall out during assembly. The foam centers the door and eliminates the rattle caused by a loose panel. Several more stock sizes and quantities are available plus special order custom sizes.
ShopBot made its mark bringing CNC technology to the small shop. With the Handibot, ShopBot has taken CNC routing one step further, right to the job site. Designed as a handheld unit, the Hadibot can be placed right where its needed; on a sheet of plywood, a stair stringer or a wall. Instead of taking the material to the machine, you take the machine to the material. Rails are available to help the Shopbot move along a given path. To cut stair stringers, mount the rails on the stringer blank, set the Handibot on the rails, download the appropriate app for stringer cutting, plug in the numbers you need and let it go. You can move on to your work while the Handibot does its work. Same is true for wall cutouts; a rack holds the Handibot vertically against a wall. Just flip the switch and away it goes. You can use the Handibot to carve patterns in panels, tables, walls, you name it.
“You can put your Handibot tool to work on a table, the floor, the ceiling, the wall, wherever you need to precisely cut, drill, or carve. Armed with a software application developed just for the kind of job you need to do, a Handibot tool is ready to go to work on your job, task, or project with a squeeze of the “Start” button.”
The software application comes in the form of job specific apps that you download to your smart phone or tablet. ShopBot hopes to be able to take orders for these machines sometime in December
Accutrax Pencil Blade
Here’s a unique find and one that’s sure to prove useful to the pro or DIY woodworker/carpenter. The Acutrax Pencil Blade is a fiberglass reinforced graphite product shaped like a utility knife blade. It fits into any utility knife transforming it into a marking tool that delivers a consistent thin line without ever needing to be sharpened. You can even write notes with it. With the Pencil Blade, you don’t have to compensate for pencil thickness when scribing a line. The blade hugs the straight edge for consistent results.
Currently only available in black, an array of colors will be available within the year.
At $5 for a pack of three, it’s hard to not give this new product a try.
Rev-A-Shelf T5 Trescent LED Series
Rev-A-Shelf is well known for their cabinet hardware. But they now carry a line of outstanding cabinet lighting systems. Their latest product is an LED lighting system that uses 30% less electricity than the old T-5 fluorescent bulbs. The fixtures come in 13-1/3”, 22-1/2”, 35-1/2” and 47-1/2” lengths and can be daisy chained together for a total of 150 watts or 10 light fixtures, whichever comes first. The lights can be ordered in 4W – 18W intensity and are available in warm, cool and daylight color temperatures. The ultra thin end cap design eliminates dead spots where fixtures join together.
General Tools And Instruments CROWN KING
General’s Crown King is a simple and elegant a solution to the conundrum of crown molding cuts. There’s no assembly or huge up-front cost involved. The jig takes the mystery out of precise miter cuts in crown molding. No more upside down and backwards gymnastics or complicated compound miter settings. The Crown King allows you to make interior and exterior corner joints using the three most common crown molding spring angles, 45-degrees, 38-degrees and 53-degrees.
The Crown King consists of two pieces: the jig itself which is used for 45-degree spring angle and a yellow insert for cutting both 38 and 52-degree spring angles. Simply measure the corner angle, divide it by half, set your miter saw to that angle, use the jig to position the molding on your saw, cut and fit. It’s that simple.
The Miter Aid is just what the doctor ordered for trim work around a window or doorframe or even picture framing. It takes all the guesswork out of measuring inside miter distances. Simply clip it on with the integral spring clamp, and the Miter Aid provides a slot for your tape measure that’s perfectly aligned with the inside corner of a 45° miter. The Miter Aid also features a built in 1/4” reveal fence for marking reveals on jambs, sills and headers.
A contractor with over 25 years experience in trim carpentry invented Miter Aid. “He took it upon himself to design a tool that allows anyone to precisely measure even the longest pieces of trim the first time and every time, thus eliminating the need for multiple cuts and wasted trim.” Designed for 45-degree miters only and made in the USA.
Rikon 14″ Bandsaw Model 10-321
Rikon has extended its line of bandsaws with their new 10-32, 14″ bandsaw. What makes this saw a standout is the1 HP motor that requires a basic, 120-volt, 15 amp household circuit. No need to rewire the shop or basement to use this bandsaw.
Beyond the accommodating power requirements, this new saw offers a host of great features such as two speed settings, (1,620 or 3,340 ft./min.) allowing you to cut anything from non-ferrous metals to resawing logs; ball bearing blade guides and thrust bearings; 8″ resaw capacity, an ample 15-3/4″ x 20-3/8″ cast-iron table with a micro adjust on the table trunion for easy table to blade squaring. The 10-321 takes a 99-3/4” blade and accommodates blade widths from 1/4” – 3/4”.
Woodtek Picture Frame Jig and V-Corner Fastener
If picture framing is something you do a lot of, then Woodteks Picture Frame Jig and V corner nailer will make the job faster and easier. No alignment hassles or worries about errant nails popping through your carefully crafted miter joint. The jig has a 90° fence that easily adjusts in and out to accommodate different molding widths up to 3-1/4” wide. The miter is held tight at a perfect right angle while the gun drives in a specialized V-corner fastener that aligns with the grain and pulls the miter tight. Stop collars in the fence allow repositioning of the molding for multiple fastener insertion in each mitered corner. V-nails come in 1/4”, 3/8”, 7/16” and 11/16” lengths and are sold in packs of 8000 ($61-$89 per pack depending on length).