Popular Woodworking 2002-10 № 130, страница 6

Popular Woodworking 2002-10 № 130, страница 6


Out on a Limb



What Cell Phones Can Teach You About Woodworking

I think I must have been about the last person in the country to get a cell phone. Until I bought one last month I kept asking myself: If I had one, when would I use it? I must not be very creative because my list was pretty short. Those other folks must be modern-day Michelangelos.

But I finally got one when my wife spotted a great deal (buy one, get one free). That was the motivation I needed, and I admit there have been times when the phone has come in quite handy.

I could say the same thing about cordless tool technology. I know I was the last one in the country to own a cordless drill. Heck, I had a great corded drill, a workhorse Milwaukee Hole Shooter. It was all the power and all the torque I ever needed.

But then I got a nice 12-volt cordless drill and you know what? I just about never use the corded drill now. The cordless tool weighs less, I'm not dragging a cord around the shop or the house, the keyless chuck is terrific; dual speeds along with variable speed offer a complete range of drilling and screw-driving options, and the clutch settings take the guesswork out of countersinking screws.

Telling you about cell phones and cordless drills is a roundabout way of saying that in woodworking there are two camps when it comes to new tools and technologies. One group is content with the equipment in their shops and never thinks twice about it until it stops working. Then there's the other group that always has to have, or wishes for, or at least has to know about the latest new, new thing. I clearly fit into the first group. Fortunately for me, I have Senior Editor David Thiel on staff to keep track of the staggering array of new products that pass through our shop every year. He's in the other camp.

For me, woodworking is about working with wood, about making things, how to do it as easily and accurately as possible while ending up with quality results. The tools are simply a means to an end. My expectation

is that my tools will work when I turn them on and they will perform as advertised. When my interest in tools gets deeper it usually involves a new or better way to use a tool, to get more out of it.

For those of you in my camp, the downside is that we miss out on some really stunning and worthwhile tool innovations. While we "don't miss what we don't know," we do short ourselves on tools or technologies that may not only make our woodworking easier or safer, but more enjoyable as well. For me, cordless drills are a perfect example. For some of you, biscuit joiners or dust collectors may be examples. New features on plunge routers are certainly worth looking into.

As we started planning this annual Tool Buying Guide issue, we wanted to make sure we were satisfying both camps of woodworkers, those whose shops are sufficiently equipped but may be missing out on some worthwhile innovations, and those who want to be in the know about the latest stuff.

We've included articles on some outstanding jigs. And each category of tools covers important aspects of tool setup or use that woodworkers in both camps will find helpful. And, of course, it wouldn't be a buying guide if we didn't give you comprehensive lists of equipment with their specs.

Importantly, we continue to make our recommendations about what tools you can expect reliable service from, regardless of what kind of woodworker you may be, from occasional light-duty user to everyday pro. We're sure you'll find this one of our most useful issues of the year.

Oops, I've got to go now, my cell phone is ringing.... PW

Steve Shanesy Editor and publisher


Steve Shanesy

Editor & Publisher Specialties: Projects, techniques, article and project selection 513-531-2690 ext. 1238 steve.shanesy@fwpubs.com

David Thiel

Senior Editor Specialties: Projects, new products and tools, tricks of the trade 513-531-2690 ext. 1255 david.thiel@fwpubs.com

Christopher Schwarz

Senior Editor Specialties: Author liaison, website, projects, hand tool techniques 513-531-2690 ext. 1407 chris.schwarz@fwpubs.com

Kara Gebhart

Assistant Editor

Specialties: Special issues, author liaison, copyediting 513-531-2690 ext. 1348 kara.gebhart@fwpubs.com

Linda Watts_

Art Director

Specialties: Magazine and cover design, photo direction 513-531-2690 ext. 1396 linda.watts@fwpubs.com

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Safety is your responsibility. Manufacturers place safety devices on their equipment for a reason. In many photos you see in Popular Woodworking, these have been removed to provide clarity. In some cases we'll use an awkward body position so you can better see what's being demonstrated. Don't copy us. Think about each procedure you're going to perform beforehand. Safety First!


Popular Woodworking October 2002

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