A star drill is a specialized chisel used to make holes in stone, concrete, and masonry. Drilling holes with this tool involves hitting it with a hand-held sledge, slightly rotating it, and then hitting it again. Do this enough times, and you will eventually create a hole. How to
Makita recently announced the LS1019L, a new10-inch sliding compound miter saw with cutting capacity similar to that of many 12-inch models. Among its more notable features are a dual inlet dust collection system, a bevel lock that can be accessed from the front, and a slide mechanism that allows the
How do you even measure such a thing and why would you bother? Machinist Tom Lipton shows how and then explains why it might be useful to know the thickness of various colors and types of ink. Different colors have different thicknesses? That's right—red, blue, and black Sharpie lines are not equally thick.
I dislike wallpaper, but this 1963 film almost makes me like it. It's not the aesthetics that appeal to me but the artistry and craft that go into making the product. Except for reproductions of William Morris designs, I don't suppose much wallpaper is made this way anymore. I particularly
My recent saw sharpening video where I demonstrated the Veritas Saw File Holder has generated a lot of emails with questions about saw tooth geometry. I take this as a good sign that lots of people are actually thinking about sharpening their own saws. Not only that but the introduction
I'm a big fan of the desert and have been to Death Valley a number of times. At the ruins of the Harmony Borax Works, not far from the visitor center at Furnace Creek, are two of the original wagons used to haul borax to a railroad 165 miles away.
Most multitools look like what they are—a bunch of tools cobbled together. Not so much the SOG Baton series multitools. Sleek and minimalist, they don't look like tools until you open them up. None of them have the macho aesthetic favored by Rambo; they're designed for the person who
The Accu-Cut Saw Guide is aimed at the woodworker who wants to make clean accurate cuts in sheet goods but can't afford a dedicated plunge cutting track saw setup. Its main components are a two-piece aluminum track or rail and a plastic sled that can be attached to any standard
In my Auto Shop class in high school, we learned to perform basic automotive maintenance on a 1982 'Vette. (Sadly it was a Chevette, not a Corvette.) The benefit of the old clunker was that you could easily reach everything in the uncramped engine compartment and undercarriage. The crowded innards
Suso Caamanho is a woodworker in Spain who has attracted a sizable following on YouTube. One of the more interesting things he has built for his shop is a compact work station that opens to reveal a table saw, router table, and scroll saw It's not one of those builds
Earlier this year, Makita announced a jigsaw-like alternative to the recip saws and spiral cutout tools typically used to cut holes in walls and ceilings. Unlike earlier tools, the Cordless Cutout Saw is easy to control, captures cutting, and can be set to just barely cut through the surface. Shown
We modern-day consumers have inconsistent aesthetic choices that affect certain factory lines in odd ways. For instance, we want our cars, smartphones and appliances to look brand new, but a subset of us want our jeans and furniture to look old and beat-up. This latter preference has resulted in some
Looking for a gift for the tool user who has everything—and I mean everything—how about an Urushi Ratchet Handle? For a mere $2,000-$4,000 you can get one of the handful of these things made each year. Urushi is obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree and is so central
With so many cordless tools to choose from, it's easy to forget what it's like to drive fasteners by hand—or why it's frequently preferable to do so. German hand tool company Wera has not forgotten and continues to develop new and better hand drivers. The Kraftform Kompakt Pistol RA is
For today's woodworker, tool buying is as much a part of the experience as actually working wood. For better or for worse is a matter of opinion—I'm going to stay positive and say that without tool buying much of the economy of woodworking would fall apart. No woodworker can deny
Combination squares come in very handy in the shop. But the thing I hate is that I'll often set the depth, then need to leave it at that setting for various stages in a project, and I basically can't use the square for anything else in the meanwhile. For that
When Zack Dettmore replaced his old work van he went to extremes to organize the interior of the new one, outfitting it with a manufactured bulkhead and home-made shelving designed for the tools he carries. I've seen a video of the setup he once used in his contracting business
I stumbled across this unusual product on the website of a vendor that specializes in German hand tools. It was completely unfamiliar and I was surprised to discover that the original model was patented in 1950. How did I miss seeing these before? It didn't help that Fit Pliers are
Leatherman recently received a 2017 Red Dot Award for the Skeletool RX introduced last year. It's the 4th iteration of the original Skeletool that came out in 2007. Aimed at first responders, it differs from earlier models in that it comes with a carbide tip for breaking glass and
At the Bentley Crewe factory in England, a series of craftspeople with both hand skills and access to high-end production machinery turn out the elaborate wood panels that festoon the cars' interiors. Laser cutters, veneer presses and five-axis CNC mills with automatic tool changers are all put into service alongside
When you woodwork all by hand, you need to find some shortcuts to speed up the processes that normally we would do with power tools. I'm going to show you a shortcut where you can skip shooting the ends of a board and create a new reference surface for all
SB&D recently received a 2017 Red Dot Award for its DeWalt Demo Hammer. Unlike the standard hammers most carpenters use for demolition, this 22-ounce model was specifically designed for that purpose. It has an oversize face and rip claw plus a puller in the side of the head for removing
Lamello just announced the Cabineo, a press-in fitting for connecting butt joints in CNC cut cabinet boxes. A plastic insert with an integral metal screw, it can be installed in the shop and used to assemble the boxes at remote locations. There's no need to ship separate fasteners or parts
Steven M. Johnson's "Patent Depending" series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol' bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we've contracted him to let us publish one every week.
In the past 30 years sharpening with diamond stones has gotten more and more popular. Teachers like Paul Sellers have been huge advocates of the technology, and more folks are using diamonds for some of all or their hand tool sharpening needs. The largest US maker of diamond stones for
Apex Tool Company, one of the first measuring device companies in the United States, invited Sundberg-Ferar to take their precision engineered measuring tools and create a new and visual brad language and innovate on ergonomic factors for a new family of measuring products. The first product in the family to hit store shelves is the 12.5” Lufkin Gear Drive Professional Measuring Wheel which provides precise linear measurements for long distances over uneven terrain.
At the heart of things that can mechanically transform, whether it's Optimus Prime, a sofabed or a scissor lift, are linkages. With a cleverly-designed linkage, you can create cool things like Haefele's Lemans corner cabinet pull-out: Independent of Haefele's invention, a company called Ten Fold Engineering has devised and patented
German hand tool company Wiha recently received a 2017 Red Dot Award for its Ultra Driver 26-in-1 multi-bit driver. As with many such tools, the bits store in the handle. But instead of accessing them by unscrewing a cap, bits pop out with the push of a button. Pressing a
In the Industrial Design Department's shop at school, most of us had the luxury of a shop tech whose job it was to keep the machines tuned up. We didn't have to worry about installing fresh blades or making sure the blades were tracking properly. But if you're now striking
Rasps are not the first tools that come to mind when we think about woodworking. And yet, they are just the thing for shaping curves too tight to be cut with a spoke shave, too irregular to be routed, or where the grain is too squirrelly to be easily carved.
If I could carry a boxcutter with me at all times, I would. But the NYPD is known for hassling even tradesmen carrying conspicuous blades, so a lot of times I find myself trying to cut things with my fingernail or my keys. The Quark Tool looks like a good
"What is the best beginner workbench?" is a loaded question, and one I get all the time. I usually tell beginning woodworkers to hold off on building a bench right away because they don't know what they don't know yet and a workbench isn't actually needed to get started. For
Long popular in Europe, modular storage took a while to catch on the U.S. Festool, Bosch, and DeWalt have offered it for years, and now Milwaukee is entering the category with its soon-to-be-released Packout Modular Storage system. Like other modular systems, Packout offers contractors the ability to stack and connect
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