Olly Writes

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Category Archives: Tool Reviews

Veritas Small Blade Holder

As mentioned briefly in my previous post, I recently purchased Veritas’ Small Blade Holder from Rutlands, which is designed to solve the common problem applying the right amount of pressure to a small blade or iron when sharpening or honing. I don’t know about you but, I’ve always struggled to get a good edge on spokeshave blades unless they’re crudely fitted in to a slot cut in to the end of a length of 2x2in, for example. So, I was waiting eagerly for this product to arrive; to see if it would solve all those other issues. Veritas are renown for producing top-quality goods with a hint of innovation and it’s claimed that these holders will fit in to a honing guide for repeat angles and accuracy…

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Post Christmas Purchases

January is often seen as a good time of year to grab a bargain on, well, anything – but, here, I’m talking about woodworking tools, of course! Well, not exactly spinning circular saws or routers but the recent seasonal discounts offered by Axminster and Rutlands have allowed me to stock up on a few essential purchases, in addition to the brand-new Bench Cookies I recently added. These aren’t all intended to be used solely in the workshop; several items have been purchased with scribing and on-site fitting in mind and for general carpentry jobs that could become the ‘bread and butter‘ of my future furniture making business.

It all started with this set of Stabila spirit levels

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I Do Love Cookies!

Anyone who’s been following this blog for the past year will know that I’m a fan of Rockler’s work-holding Bench Cookies [if not then, see this post, from almost one-year to the day!]. Back in the autumn, I noticed that the Bench Cookie range had extended over in the US. Thankfully, the new ‘Plus‘ range of accessories made it in to Rutlands’ 2011 catalogue at the dawn  of this year and they’re now available to the UK market (certain products were even on special offer, recently…). It’s taken about three-weeks but, I finally got my order in and, earlier this week, I got to try them out for myself.

Brand new to the UK!

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‘Dart’ Circular Saw Blades

A few weeks after purchasing my PK200 table saw back in September, I took a chance on a couple of new German-made saw blades from SawShop.co.uk. I’d not heard of either company at the time but spotted an ad in the back of Good Woodworking magazine for “German quality circular saw blades“. At only £30 for a pair of 210mm blades for my saw (one with 28t, the other 60t), I decided it was worth a punt.

Before Christmas, I managed to film the following low-quality footage while ripping some timber for my Secret Santa gifts and the MDF for some workshop accessories. I have more comments to add further down and, as always, would welcome any from yourselves.

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Cheap Veneering and Laminating

Another tip from “the mind of Maskery” for you, today! 😉

These cheap (<£6) vacuum bags; designed for the compressed storage of clothes and other compactable household items; provide an affordable alternative to producing laminated pieces and veneered panels, for those of us without the funds spare to splash on an AirPress kit, for example. This tip was originally featured in one of Steve’s [dubbed “The Jig” in the current issue] many British Woodworking articles, a few months ago, where he used such a bag as a ‘press’ to veneer some MDF panels.

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PK200 Table Saw – First Look

Seeing as I’ve had this Elektra Beckum PK200 table saw in my workshop for a week now, I felt this would be a good time to take a glance some of the main features; things I’ve noticed so far; perhaps even some things I don’t like…

Great access for blade changing.

I haven’t yet had a chance to give it a good workout or even build its own stand, yet – now, I’m contemplating giving the right-hand table extension a dual-function by turning it in to a router table… I know I’m going to struggle to find space to store my current, stand-alone, benchtop router table otherwise. I’m gradually homing in towards a decision on which blades to buy and, by quite simple rotating the “commutator“, it seems as though the motor startup issues are now resolved [I’ll try to detail that in a future post].

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Pillar Drill Preview

Over the weekend, I got my new pillar drill all cleaned up and ready to run. With the help of “some old man“, I was also able to get it in to position on its new stand – it’s only 2in shorter than my previous drill but, it just seems like a lot more…

Axminster ED16B.

Although I haven’t yet had a chance to put it through its paces yet, I think it would be good at this time to take a closer look at many of this drill’s features and see how it compares and, hopefully, improves on the offerings of my former Clarke CDP201B.

Clarke CDP201B.

(You see it now – it really is too tall for your average 900mm bench!)

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Planer Knife-Setting Jigs

A couple of years ago, Rutlands introduced a new knife-setting jig to their range for setting the blades accurately on surface planing and thicknessing machines (I guess you might also be able to use it on some spindle tooling as well). Since its first appearance in their catalogue, I hadn’t been able to find a single review or even a few brief comments from someone who might have bought one… They’re currently on special offer for this week and so, I decided to take a punt!

My new knife-setting jig.

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