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

Choosing a tablesaw

Quite the tough decision really – almost worse than buying a car, because you’d expect to have the same tablesaw even after buying, and selling a number of cars! So it is a purchase that you want to get right, and be happy with. Any purchase is always a compromise – a trade-off between quality, features and price.

As I eluded to earlier, this is a list of features I’d want to see on a new saw, in no real order, and not necessarily with any locked in – after all, everything is a compromise!

10″ blade (minimum). Upgrading from the Triton, which runs a 9 1/4″ blade which on the Triton gives a maximum cutting height of 64mm. Having a 10″ blade doesn’t add much to that, but passing the magic 75mm mark is a good start (means I can split a 150mm post in half in 2 passes)

Dado blade capable. Not quite sure whether I need this, but I see dado blades used all the time on woodwork shows, and I do have one so would be good to see it being used!

Decent motor 2.5HP or greater. I rarely need all that power, but using a Triton saw (3.25HP) for so long, and you get used to all that grunt. There is a reason why some people opt for 3 phase machines, and one is power. A saw that comes out in a 1 phase model could have 3HP, the 3 phase version is 5HP. Seeing as I would be extremely hard-pushed to justify the expense of installing 3 phase power.

Full cast (cast iron) top, with 1 and preferably 2 mitre channels.

Quality fence

Riving knife, which is easily removed, and rises and falls with the blade. To this (ideally) there would also be the blade guard.

Left-tilting blade. Lots of controversy here, but after seeing some photos of ripping with the blade tilted over to the right, I can see why left-tilt wins some friends. Granted that you can move the fence to the other side of the blade, I’d rather not have to.

So, where does that leave us?

Gabbett Machinery: Saw Stop

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 79mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 57mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph 230V 13A)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size:1118x762mm
Weight: 240kg
Price: $5500

Other features: Saw Stop, heavy duty castings

Carbatec: TS10L

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 15mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 78mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1075x740mm
Weight: 230kg
Price: $2200
Other features: Heavy duty trunnions, quick release riving knife, spindle lock

Carbatec: TSC-10HB

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 15mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 77mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 58mm
Direction of Cut: Right
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1015x685mm
Weight: 190kg
Price: $1700
Other features: includes router table extension wing

Woodworking Warehouse: Jet SuperSaw

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 84mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 1.75HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 705x685mm
Weight: 210kg
Price: $2475
Other features: sliding table

Woodworking Warehouse: Powermatic PM2000

jetpm2000_000.jpg
Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 79mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1067x775mm
Weight: 210kg
Price: $3415
Other features: (shown with extension table- other tables also have this), spindle lock, quick release riving knife, cast iron base w built in raise-able castors.

Ledacraft MJ-2325CB 10″

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: ??
Depth of Cut 90°: 75mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 60mm
Direction of Cut: Right
Motor: 2HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 25.4mm
Table Size: 1170x800mm
Weight: 189kg
Price: $1232
Other features:

(I’ve not listed 3 phase motors as it is not in most sheds)

I’ve amended this list with a couple more models – there are just too many saws out there to provide a comprehensive list, and there are still all the 12″ saws etc that I haven’t tried looking through.

Where possible, I have listed the price of including a Biesemeyer Style fence.

Table Saw Research

I’ve been doing some research about the various cabinet saws out there, specifically looking for something to upgrade to after selling my Triton after many years of reliable service. I’m sure this will be a recurring theme until the final decision is made, but here are some initial observations and considerations.

I have not had an opportunity to actually use any of these tools in anger, so my opinions and observations at this point are tempered by that.

I’m not looking at the contractor’s saw – they are a compromise, minimising weight and cost in preference for portability. They certainly have their place, and many perfectly successful workshops have them, but I am strongly influenced to head towards a full cabinet saw (personal preference, and perhaps because I have done my time with a Triton Workcentre, I’m looking for that quantum leap in this upgrade, and not just another short step).

For the top, (other than a select few unusually made from granite, which I’m not sure if they are even in Australia, and then can’t use that incredible MagSwitch technology!), they should be cast iron, with ideally 2 mitre slots, one either side of the blade. The blade itself will typically be 10″ or 12″ (at additional cost), with a splitter (and/or riving knife), and guard. Power ranges from 1.75HP to 3Hp (and beyond if you have 3 phase power available – I don’t).

There are some fundamentals that the unit MUST comply with:

Click here to read full article

One Day Router Course – The Wrap

I was very fortunate to be generously invited to attend the One Day Router Workshop, run by a very recognisable personality in Australian Woodworking – Richard Vaughan. The course was organised by Professional Woodworker Supplies and the Woodworking Warehouse.

pict6481.jpg

The course was well attended (and fully booked), so it was not only a good day to pick the brains of a professional woodworker, buy lots of well discounted tools, but also just have an enjoyable day hanging out with and meeting fellow woodworking aficionados.

pict6482.jpg

There were jigs, jigs, door prizes, more jigs, more door prizes, many sighs of enlightenment, and a few more jigs.

Click here to read full article

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