Woodworking Warehouse

Been some rumours flying about over the past year or so about the Woodworking Warehouse (Melbourne) closing its doors.

Guess what – complete fabrication.  Dropped in there today to pick up a replacement starting capacitor for my drill press, and had a bit of a sticky beak at the Jet drill press which they have on special, and the Laguna range they now stock.

For a business that is meant to have gone, their doors are still wide open.

Granted their website has had an issue recently (still being resolved, although it is up again), and they have had a change of email address because of it, but they are still there in Citrus Street, Braeside.

You can also contact them via email at their new address sales@wwwh.net.au

Oktoberfest!

The Woodfest show starts tomorrow at the Woodworking Warehouse.  Professional Woodworkers Supplies are set up and ready to go

Woodfest

Woodfest

and there are a number of items they have exclusively that will not be available at the Melbourne Show next weekend.  Sales, giveaways, and free sausages!

It is only on tomorrow and Saturday – don’t plan a Sunday trip, you’ll be disappointed!

 

An alternative to the Wood Show Weekend

On the weekend before the Melbourne Timber and Working with Wood Show, a number of companies have opted to have their own weekend instead of trucking their gear/displays etc to the showgrounds.  It is on Friday October 9 (10 to 4pm) and Saturday (10 to 3pm).

They are coining the move as

octoberand so on the weekend before the Melbourne Show, an alternative one is running in Braeside, South East Melbourne.  (Is that something like the Fringe Festival, an alternate to the mainstream Comedy Festival, which became successful it is an institution in its own right?)

It is at the Woodworking Warehouse, 11 Citrus Street, and will be attended by Woodworking Warehouse (obviously), Professional Woodworkers Supplies and Ideal Tools. (I also heard a rumour of Australian Furniture Timbers being there)

Combining the product ranges of these companies and there will be a whole stack of Woodman Group tools, Incra, Festool, Trupro, Wixey, Bench Dog, Tormek, Linbide, Woodpeckers and on (and on!)  That will obviously include quite a few of the tools I have reviewed on this site (and a whole bunch I am hoping to get to review one day……. 😉 )

It has been a very successful occasion in the past (there was one earlier this year), although I also heard a possibility that the BBQ sausages might get replaced with a spit roast (and after the little BBQ fire last time……..) but I may be wrong, the BBQ might be back in working order!  One way or another there will be something to partake of to keep one’s energy up!

And after all, who feels tired or hungry when there are lots of tools to look at, play with, see demonstrated, and take home!

A Freudian Slip?

There has been some discussion around woodworking circles about the availability of Freud blades (and router bits etc), as one of the importers have decided to not bring them into Australia any longer.

However, as I have discovered, despite it being reported that ‘the’ importer has stopped importing, they were not the sole importer, and the blades are still readily available through the Woodman Group, which includes one of my typical haunts in Melbourne (who kindly supplied the Freuds I have been testing in the Battle of the Blades) – The Woodworking Warehouse.

So, for example, the blade that has really impressed me to date (being the Freud LU2B 0700 Crosscut Blade)

is still being imported and sold in Australia.

Linbide 320 Rip Blade Review

Here is the first review from the “Battle of the Blades”. The Linbide 320 – 24 tooth ripping blade

I am particularly interested to know if this review (which is the first of many!) actually provides the sort of detail and data that you require to make a judgment about whether this blade would be of use to you.

If not – what is missing?

As the reviews are done, they will all be indexed from a common page, and there will be a separate page for each of the cuts with the photos side-by-side so you can compare the results from each blade.

Battle of the Blades

Over the next few weeks I will start running the various saw blades that I have gathered through their paces in a number of different cutting situations to see how they compare, and handle the typical sorts of tasks woodworkers would require of them. I don’t want to pedestal any particular blade or brand, but the results could potentially elevate one above the rest – we’ll see when the cuts begin. I haven’t finalised the battery of tests that I’ll run each blade through, but there will be sawdust!

Once I’ve come up with a list, future blades can be run through the same set to be able to compare them to this current batch.

These are the blades available for testing so far, and my sincere thanks to the respective companies for allowing their product to be included here. In alphabetical order by blade brand we have:

CMT
from Carbatec

290.250.24M 24T Rip $47
285.048.10M 48T Combo $64
285.080.10M 80T Cross $97
271.250.43M 42T Combo
thin kerf
$69

Freud
from Woodworking Warehouse

LP20M 25 24T Rip $69
LP30M 25 40T Combo $88
LP60M 001 80T Cross $140
LU2B 0700 60T Cross $110

GMC

36T 36T Combo $N/A
40T 40T Combo $N/A
100T 100T Cross
thin kerf
$N/A

Linbide
from Woodworking Warehouse

320 ATB 24T Rip $85
336 4+1 50T Combo $115
360 ATB 100T Cross $148

Northwood Premium
from Northwood Tool Company

ZH-1024 24T Rip $29
ZH-1080 80T Cross $33

Triton

Premium 40 40T Combo $N/A
Premium 60 60T Cross $N/A
Triple Cut 24 24T Rip $N/A
Triple Cut 36 36T Combo $N/A
Triple Cut 60 60T Cross $N/A

I know the photos don’t make the situation particularly clear, but as I actually review each brand of blades I’ll take more detailed photos of the blades themselves, including their particular tooth design.

Looking at the set, and how similar they look here, it makes you wonder just what distinguishes between one blade and the next. Other than some having a distinctive colour, they all look the same. I can assure you they are not, as the review of the various cut situations I’m sure will show.

BTW, the image manipulations done here could be done in Photoshop etc, but for a quick, easy application I gave Picturesque a try out.  Written by a couple of students in Sydney, it won the prestigious Apple Design Award in San Francisco in 2007.  I’ve been in communication with them recently with their release of version 2.0

If you are a Mac user, and are looking for a quick image manipulation program that can finish the job of beautifying the image and have it resized and saved before Photoshop has time to open, it is worth checking out.  I have no association with the company btw.

Tool of-the-Month (April 08)

The tool for this month is the MagSwitch. An Australian invention, the MagSwitch is both a very simple concept, and an ingenious one. The basis of the invention is a switchable magnet – one that can be turned on and off with a quarter turn of the handle. Sure, the ability to switch off a magnetic field has been around for ages with electromagnets, but these are permanent magnets, and with no power requirements, the ability to turn them on and off is pretty cool. They also have significant holding strength, so now we have a strong magnet that can be turned on and off at will.

This leads to all sorts of possibilities!

This is just one application of the MagSwitch, and it came about because one of the engineers was also a keen woodworker, and saw a superb application of the technology. This featherboard (and the vertical attachment) are now part of the range that MagSwitch make for woodworkers.

There are also MagJigs – a MagSwitch magnet in a style that makes it simplicity to incorporate into your own jigs. I’ve had an idea that I will detail further in the near future that includes 2 MagJigs to hold down the Incra fence system, allowing the Incra Fence to be used on the tablesaw. I will document this further, but it might finally be a quick and easy way to fit an Incra fence onto the Triton Workcentre.

There are also MagSquares, which are a jig in themselves. You can use them as stops, as fences, and well, the interesting thing about the technology is trying to think of different ways that it can be used.

In fact MagSwitch run an ongoing competition where you can win a Pro Featherboard by coming up with a useful and unique application of MagSwitch.

My latest idea is I want a MagSwitch broom. I have dropped so many screws etc into the sawdust during my shed upgrade, that being able to ‘sweep’ through with a MagSwitch broom would be great. I’ve tested the MagSwitch on iron shavings, and when switched on will pick up a whole stack, yet holds onto next to nothing when switched off. Even if MagSwitch don’t make one, I might rig one up for myself anyway!

I will cover this cool product further, but they are definitely worth checking out!

So far, I am aware that they are available through Carbatec, Woodworking Warehouse, Professional Woodworker Supplies and Carroll’s Woodcraft Supplies

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