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Product Reviews

Product Review: Flexcut Chisels & Knives

Don Powell shares his experience and knowledge of Flexcut Chisels & Knives.

I have been carving with Flexcut palm tools for years and my experience with them has been very positive. They are a high quality tool. Their design with their flat, thin shafts is a little unusual and a trademark characteristic. They are a good size for palm tools and the handles are well designed, compact and comfortable. The thin tool blades have no excess of metal around the bevels, no prominent heels and they slice through the wood without drag. They come very sharp and I have used them on an extensive range of woods and found them to cope well. 

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Product Review: SawStop

Woodworking machinery is inherently dangerous. Reports suggest that someone loses a finger in the United States alone every nine minutes through operating woodworking machinery and the humble table saw is right there front and centre as one of the main perpertrators. Why is it that people are so often injured when working with machinery? Dodgy equipment no doubt plays a role. Lack of guarding and improper use would also be contributing factors. However complacency is a major, yet greatly unappreciated factor in people seriously injuring themselves when working with machinery.

I still remember old Mr Smith working on our property some thirty years ago driving fence posts. Mr Smith would have driven hundreds of posts in his life, however on this day he took his mind off the job for a split second and lost all the fingers on his right hand. No one expects that an injury can happen to them, however the reality is that serious injuries occur randomly, unexpectedly, instantaneously and the consequences are usually permanent. 

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Product Review: Book - Handmade Furniture Projects II

Rafael Nathan’s second edition of furniture projects is full of great projects and techniques for woodworkers of all skill levels. As you progress through the book there are more complex projects to tackle. This collection follows on from the first collection that Rafael published in 2004. It’s made up from the best projects that have previously featured in the Australian Wood Review.
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Product Review: Triton TRI-TRA001B Router

Triton has directly addressed the difficulties in using a product upside down that has been primarily designed to be used right side up. The Triton TRI-TRA001B Router fulfils its design brief and really adds something special to your workshop.

I use a shop-made router table to cut a lot of my joinery but I have never been entirely happy with any of the routers that I have fitted to it. They were all good quality, but they were primarily designed to be used upright or hand-held. Using them in a table always involved a good deal of hassle when changing bits and when precision was needed in the set-up of particular cutters. However, you work with what you have and make allowances for its shortcomings. Until now!

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Product Review: The Marquetry Course

There is something mysterious about a finished piece of furniture that contains well- executed marquetry. You peer in at the detail and marvel at the skill of the maker, to a novice that level of expertise seems unachievable. This book by Jack Metcalfe and John Apps succeeds in de-mystifying the process in a series of step-by-step projects. Metcalfe and Apps have set the book out in ‘progressive educational order‘. It begins with a comprehensive chapter on equipment, the pros and cons of particular materials, scalpel and cutting techniques and how to make some essential jigs. There is a great section on veneer and how it is cut, I found this very interesting and gives you a good understanding of your material.

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Product Review: Tormek SJ-250 Waterstone

Don Powell shares his interest in the SJ 250 4000 grit Japanese Waterstone.  When I recently saw the SJ 250 4000 grit Japanese Waterstone, I was immediately interested. I like to achieve premium sharpness and I would sharpen my tools on the 220 standard grit wheel, then use the stone grader SP-650 accessory to achieve a more refined edge, then move to a translucent white Arkansas stone to finish the blade before finally honing on the leather wheel. So for me, the SJ-250 was a positive step forward.

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Product Review: DVD Mortise and Tenon

This DVD is part of Jim Kingshott’s World of Woodwork Series and deals with that fundamental of all woodworking joints, the mortise and tenon. It’s a bit like spending some time in the workshop with a master craftsman. 

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