Hold Small Stock Securely
In Ireland, where I was taught, the first jig a woodworking apprentice makes is a bench hook—a simple, yet amazingly effective device used to hold small stock for sawing and trimming. The design itself is ancient; bench hooks have been used for centuries. But in the United States, my trusty "third hand" seems to be something of a novelty to my American woodworking friends.
A bench hook allows you to hold workpieces securely on your bench without clamps. It's simply a flat board with cleats attached on opposite ends. During use, one cleat bears against the bench to act as a stop. The other supports the workpiece and provides a square shoulder for sawing and planing. A bench hook is great for cutting small hard-to-hold pieces, like dowels. As easy to set up and store as it is to use, a bench hook is one of my all-time favorite shop helpers. M/
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A friend of mine spent years trying to teach me to carve. Sorry, it just ain't in these hands. But CMT had me carving—sort of1—in minutes. The company's new 3D Router Carver System turns a plunge router into a carving tool. You can get started in the system for around $180.
The key is the unusual router bit. Its cone-shaped nose traces the template, floating up and down within the plunge base. The bottom of the router stays in contact with the template, while the motor floats up and down. Wide valleys in the template allow the V-cutter to cut wide and deep. Narrow valleys force the cutter up to create narrow, shallow cuts.
Templates are trapped within a frame that's fastened to your work using double-faced tape. Lots of designs are available, including large and small frames and templates for both doors and drawers. Template prices range from $26 to $59. Some designs require only one template; others require as many as four. That's why the frame is important. It keeps multiple templates correctly registered to each other.
This is a very cool tool that anybody can use. Even a novice router user can be "carving" in minutes. My only complaint? I'd like to see labels added to the templates so they don't get mixed up.
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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.