Leaving a rather crisp 20 degree morning in Chicago for the near tropical climes of Houston this last weekend in February seemed to make our winter just a bit shorter. The Woodworking Show would be opening its doors on Friday, the 26th, at a new venue in Pasadena. Over the last few seasons we’ve either missed the state entirely or changed dates and locations, so this weekend had me a bit concerned. As it turns out, I had no reason to doubt the tenacity of our woodworking friends or their desire to take advantage of this opportunity and catch up where we all left off. Everything is bigger in Texas and so is the heart of a woodworker. Read more
Okay, so I’m a tool junkie, so sue me. Last week when I was back home in Indiana on vacation—yes, my wife and I sing “Back Home Again In Indiana” when we cross the border; our girls just roll their eyes—I couldn’t help but swing by the U.S. headquarters of the German-based Festool tool company. After originally setting up shop in southern California, Festool moved its offices to Lebanon, Indiana, about an hour northwest of Indianapolis. On a sidenote, Lebanon is famous for producing Rick Mount, one of the best high school and college basketball players (for Purdue) in history.
So on Friday I was welcomed by Rick Bush and Michael Williams, two guys who share my love of tools. Rick showed me around the warehouse where Festool stores and ships all its products as well as parts for all its tools. I was encouraged to see products flying off the shelves and onto trucks—a good sign for the sagging economy we’ve been mired in the past two years. A few points I found intriguing. Read more
Freud has launched several new saw blades for woodworking, further increasing its arsenal of fine woodworking cutting tools. First is a new thin-kerf version of Freud’s acclaimed Premier Fusion 40-tooth general-purpose blade—one of the Top Tool blades in WOOD magazine’s review of 40-tooth blades in 2008. This new model, #P140T, features the same tooth design of the full-kerf blade—30° alternate-top teeth bevels, 18° hook angle, and double-side grind—but with a kerf thickness of only .091”, as well as the red Perma-Shield coating on the body.
Last week while cleaning dirty clothes out of the hamper in my bedroom, I discovered the back of the unit had broken away from the bottom. (That happens when kids stuff more clothes in than it was meant to hold.)
Last Saturday I began another project for my church, this time a storage closet built into a 6×12 alcove in our music room. The primary need was to have a secure place to store the brass handbells and accessories used by our church’s handbell choir. And, since I love to work with wood and have the tools…I couldn’t help but say yes. After all, Jesus was a carpenter, so working for Him is quite an honor. First up was roughing out a design based on what the church folks wanted: room at the bottom—and a double door—to slide in the heavy bell cases and tables without lifting, and shelves for cushions and smaller boxes. I was limited to just over 7 feet high because of a false ceiling and lights overhead.
I made elliptical cutouts in the shelves so nobody bangs his head while reaching into the lower level. Read more
By Day 3 at the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers Fair in Las Vegas new tools and products are getting tougher to find. Still, I’ve got a few more to report on.