The coolest thing I saw on the opening day of the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers Fair in Las Vegas was an ingenious product that creates a shortcut previously only available with expensive equipment. Beaded face frames can make ordinary cabinets really sparkle, and the Kreg Tool Company’s new Precision Beaded Face-Frame System can make them on any router table.
This system consists of matching router bits, one for cutting the notched mating joint on the rails and stiles, and the other for cutting the bead profile. You get an aluminum reference fence, swiveling mount, clamp, and alignment gauge, all for $500. Eight other bits are available for optional profiles.
Dedicated crosscut tablesaws might seem like a luxury to many woodworkers because of their price and specialized sliding tables. But Grizzly Industrial is trying to bring this European-styled machine into the more affordable range for the hobbyist and professional woodworker. Grizzly’s 10” sliding tablesaw, model G0700, has a sliding table with up to 34” of crosscut capacity, as well as a small scoring blade to make a shallow initial cut through surface fibers to prevent tear-out by the regular blade as it makes the cut. And what separates this saw from others is that it can handle up to a 13/16” stacked dado set, and also its $2,595 price. Sure it’s still a good chunk of money, but it’s less than several saws that don’t have the crosscut features.
Makita’s newest tool for its 18-volt lithium-ion line is an impact driver with unique features. This lightweight driver has a three-speed transmission, something new for impact drivers, and it allows users to prevent overtightening screws, stripping them out in the wood, or breaking them off. The variable speed trigger also gives you options within each range. This driver features 1,420 inch-lbs of torque, a brushless motor, ¼” hex chuck, built-in LED light, and two 3.0 amp-hour batteries and charger.
And let me give you another tablesaw that sells for about $3,000. SawStop has been selling its industrial-level cabinet saw for nearly a decade, but it now starts at $4,000. And the company’s contractor-style saw, launched in early 2008, sells for about $2,000. So SawStop has launched a 3-hp cabinet saw that sells for $2,900 with 36” rip capacity and $3,000 for 52” rip. This saw features the same blade brake safety mechanism as well as a smaller top and lighter-duty trunnions, arbor assembly and rip fence compared to the industrial saw, but it counters that with a cool blade guard that has built-in dust collection.