Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 28

Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 28

Tool Test

New Porter-Cable Dovetail Jigs are Simpler to Use

I've yet to find a dovetail jig that I find simple. That includes the Porter-Cable Omnijig, which has been a mainstay among dovetail jigs for decades. But the Omni-jig's new little brother makes things easier than many.

The new jig (we call it the "LittleOmni") is smaller, handling a maximum 12"-wide board, but is capable of handling stock V4" to 1V8" thick. There are actually two model numbers for this j ig (4210 and 4212) with the only difference being the number of templates included. The 4210 comes with a half-blind dovetail and dado template, while the 4212 also includes a through-dovetail/box-joint template.

The jig actually works much like the Omni-jig. But they've added alignment lines on the templates and j ig, and a router bit depth stop that takes the math and set-up out of the equation. The clamps have also been simplified and sandpaper has been added to the locking bars to improve the gripping power.

The jigs are also capable (templates permitting) of cutting rabbeted half-blind dovetails,

SPECIFICATIONS

Porter-Cable 12" Dovetail Jigs Street price: #4212: $150, #4210: $110 Materials: Stamped steel and aluminum Performance: ••••O Price range: $$$$ Porter-Cable: 800-321-9443 or porter-cable.com

and sliding dovetails. Additional templates are also available to create miniature dovetails.

This is a better dovetail j ig. It's well made, competitively priced and easier to operate with good results. But I'm still looking for a jig that makes dovetails simple. — DT

For more information, circle #164 on Free Information Card.

Glen-Drake Hammer for Dovetailing and Carving

Cutting dovetails by hand involves a lot of personal choices - from the saw to the chisel to even which part of the joint you cut first. So it was with great trepidation that I tried the Tite-Hammer from Glen-Drake Toolworks.

However, after a couple sets of dovetails, I was sold. The Tite-Hammer offers a level of control and sensitivity that traditional wooden mallets don't give me. The small size of the hammer allows you to wrap your index finger over the head of the tool with the handle nestled in your palm.

In fact, the tool feels like a smooth river stone in your hand and directs your force exactly where you want it.

The hammer has two faces (one for striking wooden-handled chisels; the other for plastic) and it is available in four weights. I'm an aggressive chopper and cut lots of case dovetails, so I chose the heaviest hammer, the No. 4, at 14 ounces. If your wooden mallet is a bit of a wild card, the Tite-Hammer will put you back in charge. PW — CS

For more information, circle #165 on Free Information Card.

SPECIFICATIONS

Tite-Hammer Street price: $40 to $50 Head weights: 6, 9, 11 and 14 ounces Total length: 4V2" Handle: Tanoak Performance: ••••O Price range: $$$$ Glen-Drake: 800-961-1569 or glen-drake.com

LITHIUM ION CORDLESS

A few years ago 24-volt tools were introduced and we were wondering just how far cordless technology could go. Now Milwaukee (milwaukeetool.com) has announced a 28-volt cordless tool line that uses lithium ion battery technology.

With this new technology, Milwaukee is promising twice the run time, more power and less weight than that found with a standard 18-volt NiCad battery. Some other advantages of lithium ion, according to the company, include higher performance in a wider temperature range, fade-free power throughout the entire discharge cycle, and because the batteries use no cadmium, they're more eco-friendly.

The new tools also include a smart battery with an on-board fuel gauge to show you how much charge is remaining.

Lithium ion batteries have been used for years in cell phones and digital cameras, but the technology was never a good fit for high-current draw applications such as power tools.

Milwaukee partnered with E-One Moli Energy of Canada to develop a battery cell utilizing lithium manganese to overcome the high-draw hurdle.

The new line will initially include a portable band saw, drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw and standard drill/ driver. More tools are already in the development stage. — DT

ABOUT OUR TOOL RATINGS

Performance is rated on a one-to-five scale. You won't see a low rating ("one or two") because we don't publicize inferior tools. "Five" indicates the leader in the category. Five dollar signs indicates highest price in the category. Three indicates an average price. if you have tool questions, call me at 513531-2690 ext. 1255, or e-mail me at david. thiel@fwpubs.com. Or visit our web site at popwood.com to sign up for our free e-mail newsletter.

—David Thiel, senior editor

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Popular Woodworking June 2005

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