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Woodworking Joints

keep in mind that a right-angle unit with a 5-in. pad will jerk around less than one with a 6-in. pad, and you'll only be sacrificing a small amount of aggressiveness.

For fine finish work, the palm-grip sanders are the best, and our choice here was the new DeWalt DW421.

For all-around use, we recommend the in-line sanders because thev will m work well for both aggressive and fine sanding. Two sanders won our nod here: the Bosch 3283 DVS and the AEG TXE 150. A

While random-orbit sanders can't sand right to the edge of a drawer or cabinet, the convenient cutout on Metabo's dust skirt lets you sand closer than other models with a dust skirt.

moved a sander from one workpiece to another or lifted it to inspect your work, the sander would jerk as you set it down, leaving swirl marks. And it meant that when you were done sanding, you had to wait until the sander stopped completely before you could set it down.

Freewheeling is still a problem with some of today's sanders, (The chart shows how long each tool took to stop after it was turned off.) However, several manufacturers have addressed the problem by introducing models with pad brakes (see chart) that slow the sanding pads' freewheeling speed to just a few hundred rpm. We found this to be a useful feature, and we particularly liked the pad brake on the

DeWalt DW421, which slowed the pad to a near standstill until you set it on the work.

Variable Speed—This feature is handy for slowing down the orbits per minute (opm) to perform delicate sanding tasks such as feathering a finish or buffing (some sanders offer accessory polishing pads). The best slow-speed sanders were the Bosch 3283 DVS and the Metabo, which ran smoothly at even the slowest speeds. We liked the variable speed controls on the B&D Quantum BD5200, Bosch 1370 DEVS, and Porter-Cable right-angle models, and on the new DeWalt DW443 right-angle model, best: These controls are separate from the trigger switch, so you can easily change speed while sanding.

Switches—We found the switches on all these tools were easy to reach and comfortable to control, with a couple notable exceptions. The small rocker switches on the two Ryobi and two Sears units were covered with a dust seal that made them difficult to turn on and off. The exposed rocker switch on the Makita was too easy to bump with your fingers, inadvertently turning the sander on or off. In general, we liked units with switches that could be locked on: They gave us freedom to alter the way we held the tool, reducing fatigue.

The Bosch 1370 DEVS deserves special mention for two of its innovative features. It has a "soft-start" switch that accclcrates the disc slowlv with-

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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