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2011 WOOD Magazine Innov8 Awards

Tool manufacturers live and die by the innovations they bring to the woodworking marketplace. Here are the eight new products we judge most innovative for 2011.

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  • 11 WOOD Magazine Innov8 Awards

    Tool manufacturers live and die by the innovations they bring to the woodworking marketplace. Here are the eight new products we judge most innovative for 2011.

  • It's a glider, not a slider

    Take one look at Bosch's new 12" saw, and what you don't see reveals the innovation. Bosch replaced the traditional tubular rails that the saw head slides on with an articulated-arm system that yields a super-smooth glide forward and back. Another big benefit: You can position this saw tightly against a shop wall because it doesn't need the extra space at the rear for the rails.

    Bosch 12" Axial-Glide Mitersaw, #GCM12SD, $800


  • Glue up perfect box joints with these handy cauls

    Box joints have been a staple of woodworking for centuries, but the slightly proud fingers (which will be sanded flush later) prevent you from applying the necessary clamping force where you need it most-directly at the joint. Rockler's Box-Joint Clamping Cauls deliver the solution with corner blocks that have matching fingers. Simply clamp one caul on each corner with a band clamp or two for perfect glue-ups. The cauls come in 4-packs for 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" fingers.

    Rockler Box-Joint Clamping Cauls, $10 per 4-pack.


  • Compact router kit gives you lightweight options

    We savor small routers--call'em trim routers or compact routers; we don't care--for light-duty jobs where even a midsize 2-hp router proves cumbersome. So we love the flexibility DeWalt's DW611PK two-base kit provides. You can swap the 1-1/4-hp variable-speed motor between the fixed and plunge bases quickly to fit the task at hand. Weighing just under 6 pounds in its plunge base, this lightweight router works great for sign-making and routing inlays, stopped flutes, and hinge mortises. It uses only a 1/4" collet, limiting you to 1/4"-shank bits. It includes an edge guide for the plunge base. (Porter-Cable will offer a similar kit with a single-speed motor for $189.)

    DeWalt Two-Base Compact Router Kit, #DW611PK, $199


  • Beefy drill press solves common problems

    Delta's new 18" drill press delivers solutions to two common complaints: difficult-to-set drive-belt tension and inadequate quill stroke. Instead of wrenching on the motor every time you change speeds, a quick-release idler roller on the 18-900L retracts without tools for quick belt changes among its 16 speeds, and when reengaged maintains the right level of belt tension. This machine also features an industry-leading 6" quill stroke with just one rotation of the handle. Its large table tilts 90° side-to-side and 45° forward. Cross-hair lasers and an LED task light illuminate the work area.

    Delta 18" Drill Press, #18-900L, $829


  • Portable cyclone adjusts airflow automatically

    Add this to the "Why didn't I think of that?" category. Oneida's Smart Dust Collector works, essentially, as a variable speed cyclone collector. It measures the amount of resistance (static pressure) in the ductwork, and then adjusts the impeller speed automatically to generate the maximum amount of suction. This allows it to work effectively on 2-1/2" flex-hose and 6" smooth-wall duct. It has a remote-control power switch, 6" inlet, HEPA filter with flame-guard protection, and an infrared sensor to alert you when the 35-gallon steel collection drum needs emptying.

    Oneida Air Systems Smart Dust Collectors

    2-hp #XXS020100, $1,987; 3-hp #XXS030100, $2,360


  • Sharpen those spade bits rather than toss them

    Most people use spade-type drill bits until they're dull or rusty, then toss them aside. Now you can sharpen dull spade bits, from 1/4" to 1-1/2" wide, on the Drill Doctor DDSB. To sharpen a spade bit, slip it into the holder, turn the power on, and press the gray housing down to engage the grinding wheel. Then use the finger lever to slide the wheel back and forth along the bit's flute. (The tapered wheel matches the angles for rim spurs.) Like predecessor Drill Doctor models, this unit also sharpens standard twist bits from 3/32" to 1/2".

    Drill Doctor DDSB, $99


  • Electric router lift makes precise adjustments

    The MLCS PowerLift's DC motor moves your mounted router up or down through a 4-1/2" range, giving you full access to the collet nut and spindle to change bits above the table. Premounted to a 1/4"-thick aluminum insert, this lift features digital readout depth adjustments accurate to .001". And you can vary the adjustment speed by hand on the control panel, or with a foot pedal. Slow it down to make fine adjustments, then speed it up to raise the bit for above-the-table changes. The PowerLift comes ready to fit a 3-1/2"-diameter router motor, which includes most midsize 1-1/2- to 2-1/4-hp routers.

    MLCS PowerLift Router Lift, #9450, $390

  • Auto-adjust jig makes quick work of pocket holes

    Just when you thought there was nothing left to invent in pocket-hole joinery, the folks at Porter-Cable come out with this beefy jig. The mostly-metal QuikJig differs from other pocket-hole jigs in that you set the bit's drilling depth once and never change it. The drilling guide snugs up against your workpiece, automatically adjusting for thicknesses from 5/8" to 1-1/2". When you drill, the bit's stop collar hits the top of the guides to give you the perfect depth. And for long workpieces, simply rotate the jig 90°, remove the chip-collection tray, and feed stock horizontally.

    Porter-Cable QuikJig Pocket-Hole Joinery System, #560, $229


  • See many of these tools in action with free videos

    Many of the products shown in this slide show were demonstrated by the manufacturers at the 2010 International Woodworking Fair. Watch free videos of those demos in our Tool School at

    Click on Tool School, then "2010 International Woodworking Show" in the left column.

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