Tools

Heatwave tools, edition 2023

The recent heatwave pushed me away from my workshop to my garden, where I could enjoy all the benefits of sunshine and fresh air. It was also a good time to travel and to BBQ. The woodworking and workshop tools were used a little less on behalf of garden tools and garden equipment. Still, some work was done and I didn’t let my tools rust. Please let me present a few of them that joined my tool collection recently.

DeWalt DWE7492 is my 3rd table saw. It is also the largest – it uses a 10″ blade, just like my other saws, but its table is just a bit bigger than its predecessors. The saw is well-made and designed, it can be adjusted in many ways if one’s not happy with the factory settings. For me, it’s important that it uses standard mitre slots and finally, I can use an upgraded mitre gauge! If I want to, I can use some other accessories like feather boards etc. Some clever features have been implemented, like an on-board spanner set and parallel fence storage, rack and pinion fence system and many others. I like its parallel fence, that comes with an extension tab to support larger workpieces and to act like a mini fence too. I also like its cutting capacities and the overall build quality. I equipped it with a soft start module and described that easy upgrade in this post. That saw is a great piece of equipment and with a few small modifications and upgrades does the job well.

Allsome 08400 Dowelling Jig is my new favourite dowelling tool. It’s not self-centering, but it performs well if aligned properly (or rather consistently) with the same (face) side of all workpieces. It can be used in many ways to create a whole variety of dowel joints, like butt, t and l-joints. It was bought cheap and only needed a single adjustment – I had to re-cut the thread on one of the bolts and the corresponding socket, it was operating tight and could snap or damage the jig. Luckily, the rework was quick and simple and I could still give the jig a good review as the price/quality ratio was OK. Just a single imperfection, that could be fixed, didn’t impact my overall satisfaction with this jig. It is a much cheaper imitation of other professional jigs, but still, it’s worth a shot. The only feature I haven’t used yet, and probably will not use any time soon, is the cam dowel feature. I personally don’t need it and would be happier if the jig wasn’t equipped with one, that way it’d look less over-engineered. Having too many features isn’t always the best thing.

Bosch Professional GHO 12V-20 Planer is small and portable. Unlike a small block plane, it can be set up much quicker. That’s why I like it more than block planes – speed and no sharpening involved (if you change the blades regularly). Even though the planer is not built to be adjusted, however, it can be micro-adjusted to set the blade perfectly aligned with the base. That operation is done thanks to micro gaps between the blade and the drum – they can be used in one’s favour by tilting the blade by a microscopic fraction of a degree. It is a convenient little tool, for cleaning up the edges of the boards or for cutting chamfers. It can remove tiny shavings from a workpiece and be used with one hand. It basically replaces a hand plane completely so you never miss one. It’s as portable as the hand plane, lightweight and quicker to set up and operate.

AdvancedVac 20 Bosch Vacuum Cleaner even though it’s been repaired already, due to the electronics failure, it is a very cool tool to have and use in many situations like DIYing, cleaning a house or a car. Both dry and wet applications have been used and I’m very impressed with how good it is for cleaning. The vacuum does a great job in wet cleaning car seats and carpets at home. It’s also easy to prepare for wet cleaning which only involves taking off a sleeve from the filter – the vacuum cleaner can be used with the multi-functional main filter still attached. The main use for it, however, is the dust extraction system in my workshop. A large bucket and the ability to connect the tool through the vacuum and use its auto-switching on function are important to me and save me time. It’s much healthier to work in a clean environment, especially since some sanders and sharpening systems need extraction like this.

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