CMT 285.080.10M 80 Tooth Crosscut Blade

The next review from the “Battle of the Blades”. The CMT 285.080.10M, 80 tooth crosscut blade.


Was in a Bunnings earlier today to see if any of the Triton Jigsaws were still going for a stupid price. They weren’t but the shop (manager?) had a bit of a chat.

At one point I asked why the Jigsaw was being dropped from the range, and I started getting a whole mess of answers-

1. BECAUSE they are downsizing all the GMC range (including Triton)

2. NOT because of the exclusive deal with Ryobi

3. BECAUSE of the exclusive deal with Ryobi, but in as much as because other outlets won’t be selling Ryobi, they will be selling more GMC and Triton, and so Bunnings are doing GMC a favour dropping their products so they can keep up with the increased demand from the other outlets (that was my favourite answer, but not because it actually was based on fact or reason!!)

4. BECAUSE GMC can’t seem to keep them supplied with sufficient stock

5. BECAUSE there is too much range in GMC – apparently at one stage there were 12 different models of drill. So they (Bunnings) got rid of all of them (almost). When asked why then drop the one Triton Jigsaw, or the one of two Triton Routers, the answer boiled down to “BECAUSE”.

Use-by Dates

There is one thing that I find extremely refreshing about this passion / obsession.  (Well there is more than one thing, but for the sake of this conversation…..)

Unlike many, many other pursuits, you can buy something today, and so long as you bought well, it will last you years without mysteriously becoming obsolete in 6 months (or 6 days) time.  As much as I like new tools, new inventions etc, I also love the fact that I can walk into my workshop, and use a tool that I bought years ago that does exactly the job it was intended to do as well now as the day it was purchased.

I have in my office an old Apple ][e – the first computer I got serious with – teaching myself machine language (at the tender age of 14).  The computer still works, still runs the old software, can still write a letter, manage a database, play a game (and they are still good games!), all with 64kb of memory, and booting from a floppy disk (pretty modern machine actually).  Boy, 25 years is a LONG time in the IT world.

I’m sure many of you will have tools that get regular use that are much older than that, be that a tablesaw, bandsaw, jointer, plane, chisel etc.  And as good today as they were back then, and in 25 years time, I fully expect that many of the tools in my workshop will still be chugging along, perhaps a bit dustier than they are now, perhaps missing a bit more paint, but still good tools.

Router Bit Sortout

For a significantly long time, I have been rather embarrassed by the state of my router bits, and so with the arrival of the new cabinet, I have used it to motivate me to do something about it. Plus, by the time I was able to get out to the shed, it was way too late to turn any of the tools on, so it was a good opportunity to do so other maintenance tasks.

It took some time, despite that many were suffering no more than a bit of a build up of dust. The dust has attracted moisture, which then results in corrosion. It wasn’t too bad, but still, I’d rather them look as pristine as possible. With over 80 router bits in the collection, the old toothbrush still got quite a workout. I really need to be more fastidious about cleaning the bit immediately after using it, and before it gets put away. A router without a good bit is no better than a blunt chisel.

One thing I’d add, is the bits with a surface treatment were in significantly better shape than those without. The Carb-i-tool bits with their black coating required nothing more than a 5 second dust off for them to look like new, whereas the Linbides which have nothing needed some real elbow grease to get them back to a reasonable state. In the end, the quality of the bit comes down to the quality of the carbide, and so long as that portion of the bit is kept in good condition, the bit will pretty much do as expected, but having the body of the bit protected as well makes the job a lot easier.

One thing I’ll add – the bits that for whatever reason I kept in their original packaging were still in perfect condition (other than where I’d used them and put them away dirty 😦 ), so I’m hoping the new cabinet will afford all of them a much better level of protection than the old (and I’ll admit it – intended to be temporary, but temporary solutions have a habit of becoming long-term) storage solution.

What I was using (and will hopefully be able to decommission soon) was the 100 bit storage tray from CMT, which uses 1/2″ and 1/4″ inserts that can be positioned, and repositioned as required.  The main problem I found was the bits were held so tightly that they were (and are) very difficult to remove, and often the whole insert comes out with the bit.  Putting the bits away was also a dangerous affair, again given how tight the fit was, you had to place a lot of pressure down on the bit, and given they have very sharp edges, you didn’t want to slip.  So I started not putting them away, or just dropping them into holes that didn’t have inserts, and so the mess began.  They look like an adequate solution in the images, the reality is something else entirely.

Router Bit Storage

With the end of the sale of individual Triton bits (and no, I’m not getting into the politics of why) the in-store display cabinets have returned to roost, and one has been willing to settle in my shed for the storage of my router bits.  I haven’t actually tried to see how many router bits will actually fit (and I know the storage isn’t optimum) but it’s too cool to pass up.

I like that the stats for each bit is listed, and an example of the profile produced by the bit.

Rockwell Jaw Horse


UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Fascinating what can be found in overseas magazines, and on their websites! This is a brand new release from Rockwell tools, and for those who know the Superjaws will find an amazing similarity in appearance, specifications, and function (and fwiw, design engineers)!

Some more info, including a Product Sheet (pdf) can be found at and at Rockwell Tools

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Latest writeup here: SSYTC009 Rockwell JawHorse

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System – As Seen on TV!
As seen on TV, this heavy-duty hands-free clamp not only secures workpieces with a rock-solid grip, its wide stable frame instantly provides a go-anywhere workstation to make cuts, drill holes, and more. Hold and cut doors, two-by-fours, two-by-twelves, and odd-shaped objects. Mount miter saws, tile saws, grinders and other tools to wood panels and use the Jawhorse as a sturdy stand. Clamp in a vertical support piece and install crown molding all by yourself.

Do it all and more with this incredibly versatile tool that also folds up for simple storage and transportation.

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System – As Seen on TV!

Rockwell Jawhorse HD RK9000 Workbench System - As Seen on TV!
Miter Saw Station for Jawhorse RK9000
Miter Saw Station for Jawhorse RK9000

Work Table for Jawhorse RD9000
Work Table for Jawhorse RD9000

Welding Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Welding Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Log Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Log Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Saddlebag for Jawhorse RK9000
Saddlebag for Jawhorse RK9000

Plywood Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000
Plywood Jaw for Jawhorse RK9000

Tool Preview

I always try to provide participants on one of my courses with as good a value for money as I can, and one of those things is to at least be one place that people can actually get to see, and use some of the range of new Triton tools.

This included the brand-new (yet-to-be-released) 235mm Triton saw which I will be reviewing shortly.

Holmesglen Triton 1

Holmesglen Triton 2

Decommissioning Tools

Been very busy the last few days, so a bit quiet on the posting front!  Had another good course on the weekend, with lots of sawdust made.

Tried my hand at an end-grain chopping board – a simple project but one I’d not gotten around to doing.  Nothing elaborate (I don’t exactly get much time to make things while running a course!), but it was still an interesting 5 minute experiement.

With the overall demise of the Triton demonstrator program (not sure it’s long-term outlook, but certainly it is in stasis for the forseeable future), I’ve decommissioned my “Triton Demonstrator Trailer”, as well as the tools therein.  The trailer is nothing more than one with a cage and a cover, but up until now it wasn’t useable for anything else being full of tools.  When a demonstration was on, all I had to do was throw it on the back of the car and go.  So I’ve now unloaded it completely, and have placed the tools into a storage shed (with some disassembly), and a coating of WD40.  They will get dragged out as required for any applicable videos etc for this site, but I’m seeing really as the end of my Triton Demonstrator era.

It is interesting looking at the shed colour scheme – at one stage it had a strong blue presence – lots of GMC tools (lathe, thicknesser, saw, sanders, drills etc), and that slowly became ‘infected’ by an orange bug that was carried into the workshop by one of the early additions, and the workshop took on a full-blown orange hue.  That is changing again, as each tool gets upgraded to a more serious version.  The transition will be over a long period of time, and I can’t currently imagine a time that there are not still some GMC, and some Triton tools out there, but I wonder if the involvement level of a person in the pursuit of the hobby could be graphed on a colour chart?

GMC 100 Tooth Crosscut Blade

The next review from the “Battle of the Blades”. The GMC 100 Tooth, 100 tooth crosscut blade.

On Course

Been spending the day at Holmesglen Tafe, running another introductory woodworking course.  Always enjoy those – the guys always seem to get a lot out of them, even those who have been doing woodworking for a while.  Always a rewarding experience for me too.

Had one line come up this time which is gold, and I think is one of the best definitions you could use to apply to safe working practices (or the lack of) in your workshop.

It is simply “and what else did you tell the doctor?”

You use it in the context of explaining what you do in the workshop as a practice, and how you justify it to yourself, and others.

Eg, (and this is just hypothetical), “I don’t use guards – they get in my way, and actually make the tablesaw more dangerous”  to which the reply is “and what else did you tell the doctor?”

See how it works?  I think it absolutely nails the whole discussion subtly, but directly enough to make the recipient really think about what they have just said, and how it actually sounds when placed in that context.  Ie, you can use as much justification as you like for doing something a particular way, but if it sounds like it could be used in the context of post-accident and sound then more like an excuse for why something occurred, then perhaps the practice itself deserves reconsideration.

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