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2015 WOOD Innov8 Awards

We appreciate innovation in woodworking tools and products, especially when it makes a meaningful difference across shops large and small, pro and hobbyist. Among the dozens of new products we considered for this award, these eight intrigue us the most.

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2015 WOOD Innov8 Awards

We appreciate innovation in woodworking tools and products, especially when it makes a meaningful difference across shops large and small, pro and hobbyist. Among the dozens of new products we considered for this award, these eight intrigue us the most.

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Finger-saving tablesaw fence

Pushblocks and pushsticks work great at keeping hands away from a spinning tablesaw blade, but they can actually interfere when ripping narrow stock. The Deulen Safety Fence screws to your existing fence and lets you safely rip stock as narrow as 18 ". Here's how it works: As the tail of the workpiece reaches the edge of the table, you simply crank the handle to kick out the driver foot, which catches the end of your workpiece and feeds it through the blade. Two hold-downs and one hold-in (all included) keep the stock tight to the table and fence for precise rip cuts. You can replace the molded-nylon driver foot for a few bucks.

Deulen Safety Fence
Deulen Tools
Availability: late 2014

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Are you ready for some computer-aided routing?

Next Wave Automation's Ready2Lift system—an electronically controlled router lift that fits into most common table openings—uses an LCD touch-screen controller, shown right, to set bit height accurate to within .001". The same controller also operates the manufacturer's computer-controlled Ready2Rout fence, letting you position and program settings for precise joinery that can be stored and recalled instantly. If you already own the Ready2Rout fence and controller, you can buy the lift alone and simply plug it in.

Next Wave Automation

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Auto-pulse power seats screws slowly

Black & Decker's 20-Volt Max Drill/Driver with Autosense Technology eliminates the need for a multiposition clutch. Instead, when driving screws, this cordless drill automatically detects when a screw is nearly seated in a workpiece, and transitions to a slow, pulsing mode so you can sneak up on the perfect driving depth. (This feature does not engage in drilling mode.)

20-Volt Max Drill/Driver with Autosense Technology, no. BDCDE120C
Black & Decker

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Recharge battery packs on the tool

Wireless charging, also known as inductive charging, has been around for years with small household tools and appliances, but never for serious power tools. Bosch's Power Ready Wireless Charging System works with proprietary battery packs that retrofit to existing 18-volt Bosch lithium-ion powered tools. With this system, you place a pack—even if still in the tool—onto the charging pad, and it tops off the charge automatically.

Power Ready Wireless Charging System
Bosch Tools

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Half-blinds on a router table? You bet!

Until now, no dovetail jig could create one-pass half-blind dovetail joints on a router table—something we've been craving for years. Leigh's RTJ400 16" jig changes that with the capability of three sizes of half-blind joints. In addition, this jig makes nine sizes of through dovetails and four sizes of box joints. (Optional bits are required for some of these joints.) You'll need a guide-bushing insert (above) on your table or router lift to install Leigh's eccentric guide bushing, which adjusts to fine-tune the fit of each joint.

Router-table Dovetail Jig, no. RTJ400
Leigh Industries

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Put an end to noncomforming dust-hose connections

For years, we've asked tool-makers to standardize dust-port sizes on portable power tools. Currently, you have a slim chance of hooking up a tool to a shop-vacuum hose of a different brand without using an adapter (or duct tape). Rockler's new swiveling rubber dust-port nozzles come in three sizes-1", 112 ", and 214 "-and flex to fit on almost any tool. They thread into the included flexible dust hose, which has a standard 2 14 " opening that fits most shop vacuums and dust extractors and stretches up to 15'.

Dust Right Universal Small-Port Hose Kit
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Availability: spring 2015

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Custom-build your own hand plane

Ever wish your bench plane had just one or two things tweaked on it to make it a better performer? Now you can do just that. When you order one of Lee Valley's Veritas Custom Bench Planes, you select each component and have the plane shipped to you fully assembled. Choose from five body styles (4 and 412 smoothers, 5 and 512 jacks, and a 7 jointer); two blade types (O1 and the harder PM-V11 steel); four blade-holding frogs (45°, 50°, and 55°, or a custom angle); three front knobs; and six rear totes.

Veritas Custom Bench Planes
Lee Valley

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Motion-activated, rechargeable LEDs shine brightly

Tired of looking into a dark cabinet or drawer and not seeing what you want? Add a Häfele Loox LED light for instant visibility. These small motion-activated lights come in round, rectangular, and tubular shapes and shut off after 30 seconds of inactivity. You can recharge the built-in lithium-ion battery via a USB cable connected to any device with a matching port. Häfele says each charge nets about 10 hours of "shine" time.

Loox LED Rechargeable Lights, nos. 9003 (round), 9004 (rectangle), and 9005 (tube),

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