I needed to make some very precisely placed holes in some existing furniture parts. After puzzling over how to make a jig on the drill press, it hit me: just use the milling machine instead!
It worked perfectly. I was able to place the holes absolutely centered and on target. The cross-sliding table was a godsend for being able to precisely tweak the position in thousandths of an inch.
For woodworking, you don’t need a very expensive mill. If you’d like to add this kind of capability to your shop, looked for a used Chinese-made mill. They’re not all that great for metalworking, but really fine for wood.
One of the very most popular pages on TheWoodNerd is the Lithium Ion Drills review. While updating the pricing, I found that the Makita drill had gone up 25% recently! Given that I thought it was barely suitable before, I have to remove my recommendation now. At $230, it’s just not worth it. The Bosch 36618-02 is hands-down the best drill AND the best value of that bunch.
I’m new to woodworking and I’m trying to make things happen in a multi unit apartment with a small attached garage…so I’m trying to manage my sound as much as possible. Fortunately the garage is bordered by other garages and a stairway, and seems to have decent sound dampening from the walls.
Finding multiple sanders sanding on the same video without music drowning out the sanding has been challenging so I’m hoping you might be able to provide insight. I about to make my first Festool purchases in the form of a TS 75 + MFT/3 package and a CT 26 E + ??? package. My first thought was to get an RO 150 as a primary general purpose machine., then later add something like an ETS for smoother work when I get there. Further considering also has me wondering about inside corner work (if/when I can’t finish sand before assembly and such) has me considering delta and rectangular sanders.
Do you have a perspective on the RO 150? How much louder it its random orbital mode in comparison to the RO 90 random orbital mode?
If I got the RO 150 I thought of paring it with a RTS 400 for corner, narrow edge and finish sanding…though my Festool rep keeps pushing me towards the Rotex and ETS lines. The largest concern is that some people say the RTS pads will grind up against and scuff materials sticking out perpendicularly of the face you are working on. This argues for consideration of the DTS 400 or RO 90 delta pads.
If I was to try to find one or two sanders for mostly furniture style work what might you consider?
RO 150 + DTS 400 (< 90 degree corner capacity and angled pad edges but can't rotate abrasive sheet)
RO 150 + RTS 400 (90 degree corners but no angled pad edges, good abrasive rotation ability efficiency)
Mirka Ceros 150mm pad/5mm stroke random orbital (Quiet, quiet, and quiet and good for large flat surfaces) + RO 90 (delta for corners, angled pads, abrasive rotation and those cool spacer/bumpers)
RO 90 only, wait to buy something else later if desired?
Hmm, that’s a lot of ground to cover
As for my experience, I own the RO90, ETS150, and LS130 sanders. I also did a week-long test-drive of an RO150 demo model from my local Woodcraft dealer. While I don’t recall specifically if or how much louder the RO150 was vs the RO90, it couldn’t have been substantial or I would have noted that. I did, however, find it substantially more difficult to control and decided that I greatly preferred the RO90, whose only downfall was the small head when working large areas like cabinet sides. The ETS150 filled that gap quite nicely and I’ve been very happy with it.
Given your situation, I think you’d be happy with the same RO90/ETS150 combination, although you should also look into the ETS125 instead of the 150 if you don’t need the extra capacity. You could use the savings towards an RTS400 or even an LS130, which are both sweet little machines. I can’t really recommend the RO150 as a finish sander, although it’ll do the job I found it just too heavy and off-balance for fine control.
On a side note: You should check out the section titled The CT26 versus it’s siblings in my review of the CT 26, specifically that I would recommend the CT 36 instead.
I currently have two big johnson tape measures and have been looking frantically for more. I read your article and agree with you completely. If you know of any sources to locate some it would be greatly appreciated.
I had read a while ago that Big Johnson tapes were actually manufactured by a company in the UK called Fisco Precision Tools. I can’t vouch for that, but their “Big T” tapes certainly look the same. Sears and K-Mart (which are actually the same company) sell them.
“I am looking at picking up exactly what you have, the incra and a sawstop. Do you have a benchdog router top on it? Did everything match up between the incra and saw stop, or did you have to drill holes for anything?”
I’m using a Pinnacle router plate, sold by WoodCraft. It’s solid aluminum vs the phenolic models now being carried. As I recall, it was actually made by another company (Woodpeckers?) and sold under the Pinnacle brand. If I had to buy one now, I’d go for a Bench Dog ProPlate or incorporate an Incra router table top.
The Incra fence system (which I consider without a doubt the best) fits the SawStop perfectly, no modifications necessary on either part. The double-headed version I have, where the saw and router fences share a common positioner, is a custom modification that requires a specially machined adapter and an extra fence. And yes, I’m considering manufacturing and selling the adapter. I get a lot of questions about that
My dad’s old toolboxes have served us well, providing a home for our tools for over 30 years. But they’re a bit rusty and some of the drawers have a funky smell, so I’ve been in the market for some new tool chests. I’ve been prowling craigslist, but the only ones appearing for the last year has been low-end junk or unbelievably expensive Snap-on/Matco boxes (I understand that they’re extremely well-made, but when people tell me they originally paid $8-12,000 for a tool box, I just have to shake my head). Also, all the tool chests I found had a small number of deep drawers, with my hand tools collection I really need lots of shallow drawers.
Just a word of advice: Never buy a tool chest without checking it out in person. Several retailers had boxes that looked nice on the website and had great specs, but just felt cheap when I got my hands on them. In particular, Northern Tools has a line of Homak PRO boxes that looked great but felt a bit flimsy. They also have their Homak H2PRO line, which are much sturdier and feel great, but they only have a few large drawers.
I had been very interested in some 41″ Craftsman boxes. They were on sale at a 50% discount before Christmas, but I just never had a chance to get down there and check them out. After Christmas, the pre-Christmast 50%-off sale price went away and was replaced by an after-Christmas 30% sale. That was just enough to push them out of my price range, so I continued my search.
Then, last week, someone on WoodNet mentioned that Sears was having a blowout sale on Kreg screws. A great deal, many of the screws were 75% off! I added a few boxes to my cart and started checking out.
Then I noticed that my total was over $1500, so I took a closer look. It turns out I had never removed the tool chests from my cart back in December. And they now had the 50% sale price again! Checking back at the product page, it still showed the 30%-off price but if you added them to the cart you got the discount. Not wanting to question a good thing, I hurriedly checked out and got my new tools chests for just $750 each.
(Just FYI, I checked back a few hours later and this secret sale no longer worked)
I’m in the process of assembling them, you can see one set all together with the base of the other being unboxed. A more detailed review will follow, but so far I’m quite pleased. Especially since I “accidentally” saved over $600.
Titanium TIG welding electrodes need to be ground to a point to work properly. However, grinding will always leave small bits of material in the stone and using these wheels for the titanium will contaminate the electrode and affect the quality of your weld. So you really need to dedicate a special wheel just for titanium. In my case, I didn’t want to do wheel swaps, so I was looking out for an inexpensive grinder that I could keep a titanium-only wheel on.
I tried a couple cheap grinders, but they were just so cheap/junky I couldn’t stand it. So I started keeping an eye out for a used, higher-quality grinder. Last weekend at a yard sale, I came across a Northern Tools 8″ 3/4HP grinder with a nice cast-iron stand. Both items were still brand-new in sealed boxes. The grinder normally costs $80 and the stand $70, so getting both for only $10 was a major delight.
However, after assembling and trying out the grinder and stand, it’s a mixed bag. The stand is quite nice, very sturdy and well-made. It would definitely be worth the normal $70 it costs. The grinder, however, ranks right up there as one of the worst tools I’ve ever used. You can see my review for more details.
I’ve been scoring some good stuff lately on Craigslist. The real key is keeping a constant eye out, since good deals go quickly.
I decided a couple days ago that I needed a bigger stepladder, the largest one I have is 8′ and it’s just not enough, especially since my house has 15′ ceilings in some parts (I live in fear of the day the bulbs blow in the part with 24′ ceilings).
Looking at Lowes, I was astounded at the price of stepladders. Even a cheap everyday 6′ model is $60. I wanted a 12-16′ model, which start at $275 and go as high as $600! Sorry, but I don’t want one that badly, I didn’t want to spend more than $125 or so.
So, I started scanning craigslist. Some deals appeared to be out there, but all the inexpensive stepladders turned out to be extension ladders instead. But one person was advertising a 12′ stepladder for only $50. There was no picture, so I figured for sure that it was a cheap extension ladder but I emailed for a photo anyway. It turned out to be a 12′ Werner fiberglass stepladder in almost-new condition, which would have cost me almost $300. It was almost an hour drive away, but well worth it.