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Save on Makita & Bosch!

Filed under: Tools

Amazon is offering a $25 gift certificate with Makita purchases over $100 and $25 off all Bosch purchases over $100.

Update to the drill review

Filed under: Tools

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.

Ignorant advice

Filed under: Site news

Two different people have sent me emails in the last few days, saying I should do a particular thing to improve the site’s traffic. Complaining about it, in fact.

Let’s see: I used to do what you suggested. Then I stopped entirely. Traffic has doubled. Why on earth would I go back to doing what you suggest?

If you don’t like the way the site is managed, you’re welcome to go elsewhere.

Up another 10%

Filed under: Site news

September was the busiest month ever here at TheWoodNerd. And then came October. Visitors to the site increased another 10% to well over 11,500.

The first three months of the year was a real disaster because of our abortive attempt to use a new domain name. We almost had as many visitors in October as we had in January-March combined. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of 100,000 visitors for the year. Crazy as it seems, we have an outside chance to still do that even with severely depressed traffic for almost the entire first quarter.

Once again, thank you!

The records continue to fall

Filed under: Site news

Wow, we continue to get record numbers of visitors. Just last year, 6000 visitors in a month was a real shocker. But in the last few months, 8-9000 has become the norm. Then came September, which was 20% over August and over 100% better than last fall’s numbers. Over 10,500 people visited the site in September and viewed over 16,000 pages, making it the busiest month (by far) we’ve ever had. And in the first half of Oct we’re on the same pace!

Whole ‘lotta traffic goin’ on

Filed under: Site news

Wow, traffic to the site has really been heavy the last couple weeks. For the longest time, we had a steady average of around 275 visitors per day. Lately, it’s been well over 300 with spikes up near 600!

And we just surpassed 2011′s visitor count in less than nine months. And that’s including the fiasco with the domain name during the first quarter. Since straightening out that mess, we’ve consistently been clocking around 9000 visitors per month, which would have pushed us well over 100,000 for the year. Considering that there was a big surge in traffic last fall (Christmas buying season?) we may come darn close anyway.

The economy has hit my family very hard this year, so I’ve been forced to pay very little attention to the site. I’m very grateful that my previous efforts continue to draw attention. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the web …

A question on Festool sanders

Filed under: Tools

Erik writes:

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.

Cosmoline on guns

Filed under: Cleaning

Ray writes …

Will WD40 strip Cosmoline from a firearm?

I can’t say for sure if the protective coating on a firearm is the same as what’s used on woodworking equipment. Folks have described the coatings, especially on old parts from military surpus, as being amazingly resistent to cleaners so it sure sounds like cosmoline.

I’ve seen people suggest a variety of concoctions and techniques to get rid of the coatings, most commonly to boil a rifle barrel to make sure you get that junk out of the rifling. I’d say that it certainly couldn’t hurt to try WD40. It’s a gentle, general-purpose solvent that shouldn’t harm anything like a wooden stock or aluminum components. And it’ll probably work. Let me know what you find!

A Big Johnson by another name …

Filed under: Tools

Chad writes:

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.

150hp lathe

Filed under: Funny

This is hysterical, I love the guy’s commentary. The money quote: “You may not want your wife to be at home when you’re doing this”

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