Popular Woodworking 2001-06 № 122, страница 23




Popular Woodworking 2001-06 № 122, страница 23

Makita 3901

Though an older design, this tool still offers many nice features.The fence is a two-piece design with an auxiliary fence that adjusts using an efficient and accurate single rack-and-pinion mechanism. The height scale is easily read, though the angle scale is less so.The knobs to tighten and loosen the angle and height adjustments are a toggled cam-style, unique in the tested models and easy to maneuver.The cut of this machine was very smooth, and the ergonomics were nice.All-in-all the 3901 is a very pleasant and accurate machine to use.The price is a little higher than some low-priced machines, but it's worth the extra cash.

Porter-Cable 557Type 2

The 557 offers a unique two-position flip-down fence that adjusts between 0° and 90°, or will adjust beyond to I35°.The fence is well-designed, easy to operate and all the scales are easy to read.The fence height is adjusted by a threaded screw. It moves smoothly, and the fence stays parallel and accurate.Another unique feature is that the top handle is attached to the fence assembly rather than the motor body, making it easier to support the front of the machine during a cut.The paddle switch is convenient, with an easy lock-on.We found the model we tested to have no blade runout. Slight concerns with this machine include the fence redesign, which causes an awkward offset (see our website at www.pop-wood.com for how to fix this), and the air exhaust design that directs air into your face during a cut. Otherwise it's our favorite tool.

Ryobi JM80K

This tool is similar to the Craftsman 17501. A couple of features are better than the Craftsman, but the flaws remain the same.The fence is steel rather than plastic, so the fence is less likely to twist when you lock it down.The two dual-function adjustment knobs are still tricky to adjust for height without affecting the angle setting.The scales are difficult to read and there is no lock-on for the switch.While better than its Craftsman variant and sold with a plastic case, the JM80K is $15 more than the Craftsman, and still not a tool we can comfortably recommend.

biscuits costs between $l8 and $20. Call 800-487-8665 for a distributor near you.

Tied for second place were the Lamellos and the Kaisers. Out of the 100 biscuits tested, 99 were usable. Both brands swelled adequately (the

the beef on biscuits

Kaisers swelled the most of any tested). Lamellos cost about $32 for a box of 1,000. Call 800-252-6355. Kaisers cost about $30 for a box of 1,000. Call 800-847-8839.

After I soaked all the biscuits in water, I decided to test a couple strategies for shrinking biscuits that had swelled due to humidity and were too

MANUFACTURER

FIT PERFECT

PRESS FIT

DIDN'T FIT

DRY SIZE

WET SIZE

FINAL SIZE

Freud

87

7

6

.156"

.165"

.168"

Kaiser

98

l

l

.l50

.l65

.l73

Lamello

97

2

1

.154

.159

.162

Porter-Cable

99

l

0

.l53

.l58

.l66

Ryobi*

9l

5

3

.l54

.l57

.l59

BBBTB**

95

1

4

NA

NA

NA

Notes:"Dry size"is the largest size measured on the biscuit straight from the box."Wet size"is the size of the biscuit after soaking it in water for one minute and then letting it sit for one minute."Final size" is the size of the biscuit five minutes after the soaking.

Notes:"Dry size"is the largest size measured on the biscuit straight from the box."Wet size"is the size of the biscuit after soaking it in water for one minute and then letting it sit for one minute."Final size" is the size of the biscuit five minutes after the soaking.

* There were only 99 Ryobi biscuits in our sample size.

** "Big Box of BadlyTreated Biscuits." To see what effect poor storage has on biscuits, we also tested our shop's box of biscuits, which is a mix of all the types tested here.The biscuits are not kept in a sealed environment, though our shop is pretty dry in the winter, which is when this test was performed. Oddly, these biscuits fared pretty well.

big for their slots. One suggestion was to squeeze them in a vise. I tried that with several of the swollen biscuits and it seemed to work, but only some of the time. It took a lot of effort for meager results. Save this trick for when you're down to your last biscuit.

Another suggestion I hear all the time is to microwave the faulty biscuits to shrink the misfitting miscreants. I put four biscuits in our commercial-grade microwave here at work and pressed the button for reheating two large sandwiches.After about a minute of cooking, some of the biscuits began to stink and scorch, and my co-workers evacuated the cafeteria.The good news, however, is that the biscuits did indeed shrink, somewhere in the neighborhood of .001" and .013", depending on the amount of initial swelling.

Next time I shrink biscuits in the microwave, I'm going to use the button for reheating a dinner roll.That just seems fitting somehow.

- Christopher Schwarz

www.popwood.com 33



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