Spike Carlsen

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portraying a good likeness of the father. As Fred generated a full-size drawing from which to work, he had a friend model, so he could get the correct folds in the shirt.

Because carving is a subtractive process, where material is taken away rather than added, Fred is constantly wary of making commitments that can't be modified. "The temptation to round things off or undercut them prematurely is always present. Doing so makes them look correct in the short run, but it dooms them to be mediocre or outright wrong in the end."

And though parts of the process can be learned, Fred clearly has the eye of a master. Referring to a recent sculpture, Fred explains, "When I'm out there with a chainsaw, I can already see the cowboy in the tree."

Deck of 51

2010 Butternut

Advice for rookies

Fred suggests whittling as a way to learn about tools, and splitting firewood as a way to learn about wood's grain. As for subject matter, he says, "Do something you're familiar with. If you like messing around with cars, do cars. If you like bird watching, do birds."

He's hesitant to recommend any particular set of tools. His advice for those interested in testing the waters is to find a carving or casting in a style they'd like to attempt and bring it to a place that sells carving tools, so that they can ask what tools they'll need and experiment with different types.

"Be mindful that any motion that cuts without use of a prying effort is legitimate, be it straight on, rotational or gliding," Fred explains. "Keep your tools sharp and remember that a cool tool is a happy tool. And think of your tools as an extension of your hands, in the same way figure skaters think of skates as an extension of their feet." If that's true, Fred Cogelow has won Olympic gold.

Spike Carlsen is the author of A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers and Baseball Bats, now available through Harper Perennial ($15.99, ISBN 978-0-06-137357-2).

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Our Pick of the Latest Tools

12" Glider that's right—glider, not slider. This innovative new miter saw from Bosch has the same huge capacity as a 12" slider—without the rails. The blade assembly glides on a set of articulated arms rather than sliding on a set of rails. The result is a saw that can be tucked up tight against a wall—ideal for a small workshop.

The Glide Miter Saw has a horizontal cutting capacity of 14" and a vertical cutting capacity of 6-1/2" against the fence. The vertical cutting capacity is 6-1/2" when the blade is tilted to 45". All of the saw's controls are on the front, including the bevel lock lever. Unlike many sliders, you don't have to reach around back to tilt the blade. The saw tilts 47° left and right, and the bevel scale is large and easy to read. The turntable swings 52° to the left and 60° to the right. Using a front-mounted lever, you can override the detents to finesse an angle.

Pull out the ends of the saw and you have a worktable up to 40" across. The saw has two dust ports that accept 1-1/4" hose, and it weighs 65 lbs.

Source: Bosch, www.boschtools.com, (877) 267-2499, Glide Miter Saw, GCM12SD, $699.

Two Nail Sets in One stanley's reversible nail set features a double-ended insert that stores inside a handy cartridge. One end of the insert is a 1/32" nail set; the other is a 2/32" nail set. Swapping between the two is simply a matter of removing and flipping the insert which is secured by a locking collar.

You can also use this tool as a screwdriver, in a pinch. It accepts all hex bits.

Source: Stanley, wwwjtanleytools.com. (800) 262-2161. FatMax Nail Set, 58-501, $9.99.

Extra-Long Quick-Action Clamp how do you turn a

6" clamp into a 65" clamp? Bessey has the answer: Use the 6" clamp to tighten a second, auxiliary clamp—the new DKX DuoKlamp Extender.

Here's how the Extender works: its outer jaws are connected to separate rails that slide past one another. The inner jaws—the ones that you tighten with the short clamp—pull on the rails. You can adjust the inner jaws to any position on the rails, so the Extender can be as long or as short as you require. No extra tools are needed—the short clamp, a quick-action Bessey DuoKlamp, mounts directly to the Extender.

The result is one of the longest quick-action clamps we've seen,

Source: Bessey, www.besseytools.com, (800) 828-1004, DKX DuoKlamp Extender. $25, DuoKlamp. $21 $31

An Extra Hand combine a vise with a sawhorse and what do you get? Rockwell's Jawhorse—an all-steel, three-legged sawhorse with a built-in 37" capacity vise. To tighten the vise you just push down on a foot pedal. This frees your hands to support and position the work, whether it's a wide plank, a cabinet or an entryway door.

The Jawhorse is basically a compact, portable workbench that folds up for storage. While you might think of it as just a jobsite tool, we can imagine dozens of uses for a Jawhorse right in the shop.

With additional attachments, the Jawhorse can become a miter saw station, a stand for holding logs or a work table. Another accessory expands the Jawhorse's clamping width to 48" for holding sheet goods.

Source: Rockwell Tools, www.rockwelltools.com, (866) 514-7625, Jawhorse, $ 159.99; Miter Saw Station. $79.99; Plywood Jaw, $49.99; Log Jaw with Chainsaw Vise, $39.99; Work Table, $49.99.

Multi-Functional Dremel dremel keeps pushing the bounds of what a rotary tool can do. The new Dremel Trio performs three different types of jobs: it plunge-cuts, routs and sands.

The Trio features a telescoping plunge-router-style base. Its handle can be positioned horizontally (as shown above) or vertically (like a trim router). This compact design is particularly useful for the extra control you need for delicate routing and sanding jobs. The Trio has a 2 amp motor and a variable-speed range of 10,000-20,000 rpm. A button latch allows you to lock the Trio in the "on" position so you can use both hands for difficult maneuvers.

The Trio comes with a carbide hardwood/sheet metal bit a sanding mandrel with six 5/8" dia. sanding drums in three grits and a 1 /4" straight bit for routing. The Trio only accepts Dremel 6800 3/16" shank bits.

Available accessories include a dust port adapter (for hooking up a hose), a depth guide and a circle/ edge guide.

Source: Dremel. www.dremel.com, (800) 437-3635, Dremel 6800 Trio, $99.99.

Picture Frame Clamp

IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE PICTURE FRAMES—particularly with pre-made moldings—be warned: Aligning those miters can drive you nuts. What you'll need is a special non-marring corner clamp, such as this new one from Rockier. Unlike similar devices that merely hold the pieces in place, this one actually pushes the joint together as you tighten it guaranteeing a snug fit.

Turning the large black knob on this clamp simultaneously tightens both jaws onto frames from 5/8" to 2-7/8" wide. Turning the white knobs tilts the outer jaws up to 1° to correct joints that are slightly out of square. The open design of the clamp allows easy access to outside corners and back surfaces for quick fastening with brads or staples. The clamp is made from cast aluminum and includes two offset jaws for standard rabbets.

Source: Rockier, www.rockler.com, (800) 279-4441, Miter Tight Picture Frame Clamp. 30108, $69.99.

Source: DeWalt www.dewalt.com, (800) 433-9258,12V Max-Screwdriver, DCF610S2. $139; 12V Max* Drill/Driver, DCD710S2, $159; 12V Max* Impact Driver, DCF815S2, $159.

The Well-Equipped Shop continued

3 Subcompacts small is in—again. A few years ago, drill manufacturers seemed to be in a race to make the biggest, baddest NiCad drill on the market. Now, using lightweight lithium-ion batteries, they're competing in a new field: 12 volt subcompacts. DeWalt has just issued three new ones—their 12V Max* series. (The asterisk is Dewalt's. It indicates that the initial battery pack voltage is 12 volts, but under load, the nominal voltage is 10.8 volts).

For woodworkers, subcompacts are a whole new experience. They deliver more than enough power to drill the holes and drive the screws woodworkers typically use. Thanks to their small size and light weight (about 2 lbs. each), these drills are very easy to aim and hold steady. We think they're really going to catch on.

Our favorites from the new 12V Max* platform include a 3/8" drill/driver, an impact driver and a type of specialized drill called a "screwdriver." The screwdriver caught our attention right away. It has a collet-type chuck that accepts 1 /4" hex-shank drivers and bits. Swapping bits is a snap—literally. To remove or install a bit, you just pull the spring-loaded collet sleeve forward, which is far easier than using a standard drill chuck. The screwdriver has just one speed range, from 0-1,050 rpm, which is ideal for driving screws and OK for drilling holes, too. Of course, you'll need a set of hex-shank bits. The screwdriver includes three LED lights arranged around the collet for shadow-free illumination. We've been using a drill similar to this for more than a year now, and we're hooked.

The 12V Max* drill/driver features a sleeveless chuck, a two-speed transmission that delivers 0-400 and 0-1,500 rpm and an LED light for illuminating your work. The 12V Max* impact driver delivers 950 in-lb of torque, and three LED lights arranged around the collet to provide shadow-free illumination.

All three tools come with two lithium-ion batteries, a 40-minute charger and a soft case.

Helical-Head Planer the latest twist in small planers is in the cutterhead—a helical twist. Rather than long, straight knives, this new 13" 15 amp planer from General International has 26 HSS knives arranged in a spiral pattern around the cutterhead. According to the manufacturer, this design creates less tearout and less noise than a standard 3-knife head.

Each of the knives has four edges. When one edge on all the knives gets dull, you just rotate the knives to a fresh edge. Similarly, if a few of the knives get nicked, you just rotate or replace them and you're good to go again.

The cutterhead moves on four widely spaced posts to minimize snipe. Front and rear fold-down extension tables and top-mounted rollers provide support and stability for large pieces. One rotation of the depth-of-cut adjustment handle moves the cutterhead 1/16" (a feature we really like—in some planers, the amount is an awkward 2 mm). The planer also has a scale that indicates how much you're taking off with each pass.

Source: General International, www.general.ca. (888) 949-1161,13" Single Surface Planer, 30-00S Ml, $649.99.

Source: DeWalt www.dewalt.com, (800) 433-9258,12V Max-Screwdriver, DCF610S2. $139; 12V Max* Drill/Driver, DCD710S2, $159; 12V Max* Impact Driver, DCF815S2, $159.

30 AmcrlcaaWoodworket.com october/November 2010

Quick Sawhorses working with large panels and cabinets often requires lots of sawhorses of different sizes. Which raises two problems: How can you keep enough on hand for every situation? And what do you do with them when you're done? One solution is to go modular, using these new brackets from Taskhorse. With this hardware, you can build or disassemble a complete sawhorse in minutes.

Knockdown sawhorse brackets using 2x4s aren't a new idea, but the Taskhorse brackets are different. First, the top stretcher is horizontal, offering a wider area of support that's easier to clamp to. Second, they use fewer pieces: The legs only require two pieces of wood, not four.

Two versions of Taskhorse brackets are available. The Classic features a two-part base and top brackets, which enable you to build the sawhorse from any 2x material (2x4,2x6,2x8, etc.)._

The Tradesman features a one-piece base bracket and an adjustable, clamping top bracket that will hold 4x4s and 2x4s in a horizontal or vertical position and pipe up to 2" dia.The Tradesman's base bracket also has pre-drilled holes for securing the sawhorse to the floor so you know you aren't going to knock it over when you're sliding those 4x8 sheets around.

Source: Taskhorse, www.taskhorsebrackets.com, (509) 745-8983, Two Complete Classic Sawhorses, $ 125; Two Complete Tradesman Sawhorses, $150.

120V SawStop you've probably heard of the hot dog saw by now—you know, the one whose blade stops and drops the instant it contacts a hot dog—or flesh. It's called a SawStop, and there's a new one out that we're pretty excited about: a 120 volt 15 amp, 1 -3/4 hp cabinet saw.

This new model features the same heavy-duty cast-iron table and wings, steel cabinet and cast-iron

trunnions found on SawStop's 3 hp Professional Cabinet Saw. It weighs more than 360 lbs. in its lightest configuration—plenty of mass to dampen vibration.

SawStop also makes a 120 volt contractor's-style saw, but a cabinet-style saw has two big advantages-accuracy and dust collection. First, adjusting the blade to be parallel to the miter slot is much easier on a cabinet saw. In addition, the blade of a cabinet saw will almost certainly stay parallel when it's tilted to 45°. On many contractor's saws with top-mounted trunnions, the blade goes out of parallel when it's tilted. Second, the sealed base of a cabinet saw captures and contains dust and debris, unlike the open legs of most contractor's saws.

If you don't need a 3 hp motor—and most work doesn't require that much power—this saw would be a great addition to a small shop. It has just about every feature we'd want.

Source: SawStop, www.sawstop.com, (503) 570-3200,1.75 hp Professional Cabinet Saw, 30" Rails, PCS 175, $2,299.

The Well-Equipped Shop continued

Skew Block Plane

Hand planes are making a dramatic comeback. Here's the latest: a low-angle block plane that excels at trimming tenons, rabbets and end grain. It's the newest member of Lee Valley's exceptionally well-made family of Veritas planes.

When you pick up this plane, you'll notice that the blade is skewed at 15°, side to side. When using a regular plane, you've probably noted that holding it at a skewed angle to the work makes the plane easier to push. Skewing the blade—as this block plane does—produces the same effect.

How does that work? Consider this: It's easier to ride a bike up a hill if you go on a slant, right? The lower the angle of attack, the less effort is required. The same is true when planing wood: The lower the blade's angle of attack, the easier it is to push the plane. Skewing the blade, or the plane, essentially lowers the blade's attack angle, just like skewing your bike to the face of that hill.

While this plane can perform all the functions of a standard block plane, such as trimming doors, it will really come in handy for paring tenons, when you only have to take off a shaving or two to make the joint fit. A standard plane won't work, because it can't cut right up to the tenon's shoulder. This block plane will work, because it has one open side, like a rabbeting plane. It will take a shaving up to 1-1/2" wide, so you can shave the entire width of most tenons in one pass, unlike a standard rabbet plane.

Additional features of the plane include an adjustable mouth, a removable fence, a retractable scoring spur, lateral adjustment, and a choice of A2 or 01 blades. It's available in left- or right-hand versions—the right-hand version is shown below.

Source: Lee Valley Tools, www.leevalley.com, (800) 871-8158, Skew Block Plane. Right-Hand. A2 blade, »05P76.01. $209.

Power in Small Packages


They're lightweight, easy to maneuver and fit in tight spaces. The latest 12 volt offerings from Craftsman give you almost everything we like in these drills at a good price.

The compact 12V drill/driver delivers 195 in-lb of torque (plenty for most drilling applications). It has two speed ranges: 0-400 rpm for high-torque driving and 0—1300 rpm for fast drilling. The drill also features an 18-position clutch, a 3/8" keyless chuck, a trigger-activated worklight, a 1.3 amp-hr battery and a 30-minute charger. Weighing in at 2.2 lbs., it's easy on your arms.

The 12V compact impact driver is surprisingly powerful for its size. It provides 830 in-lb of torque in both forward and reverse—very handy for those times when you need more power than a standard drill. It weighs 2.1 lbs. Other features include an electric brake, a 1/4" collet, a variable-speed trigger with integrated LED worklight, a 1.3 amp-hr battery and a 30-minute charger.

www.craftsman.com, (800) 377-7414, NEXTEC 12V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver, #11812, $89.99; NEXTEC 12V Impact Driver, #17428, $109.99."/>
Source: Craftsman, www.craftsman.com, (800) 377-7414, NEXTEC 12V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver, #11812, $89.99; NEXTEC 12V Impact Driver, #17428, $109.99.

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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