Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 21

Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 21

Brese Planes: Custom De

I don't think there's a tool out there that has a wider range of prices than a smoothing plane. You can pick one up for $5 at a flea market, spend a few hundred on a Lie-Nielsen or Veritas, or drop $5,000 on a Karl Holtey.

For those woodworkers who want all the benefits of a custom infill plane (so named because it's a metal shell filled with wood), but can't justify the top end, there's Ron Brese.

Brese's planes look fantastic and work at an extremely high level. But the price tag is lower: $500 to $1,300 on average. I tested one of his 800-255 smoothing planes with the iron bedded at 55° for a few months, and here are some of my impressions.

The body is an enormous chunk of brass, with W' sidewalls that are riveted to the 3/s" brass sole. Riveting requires less labor than dovetailing, and it produces a remarkably strong shell. The metalwork is very nice - on par with many of the other custom planes I've seen, with tight joints and fair chamfers.

The walnut infill in this 8"-long plane isjust

-■ Tool Test ■-

lils at a Fair Price

about perfect, which is no surprise because Brese is a talented furniture maker.

In fact, 1 think his skill at woodworking has clearly helped his toolmaking skills. This tool is eminently suited for smoothing difficult woods. Its tight mouth, steeply pitched V4"-thick iron and solid construction allowed it to plane every thing we threw at it, from severely interlocked mahogany to curly maple to cherry with a lot of reverse grain. This isn't an everyday smoothing plane - it is the tool you call in when your regular smoothing plane won't do and you don't want to sand.

My only quibble with the tool is there is no proper way to retract the cutter with hammer taps. I wish the iron had a full sneck - a horizontal bar of metal - which would make the iron easier to retract.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Brese plane - its stunning looks, its craftsmanship and its outstanding performance. This is definitely a tool for your short list.

—Christopher Schwarz

Brese Planes ■ 706-647-8082 or

breseplane.com Street price-$1,285

Bosch Jigsaw: Good Performance With Minimal Investment

From cuttinga fancy apron on a high chest to breaking down lumber for a project, jigsaws tackle manyjobs around the shop. But for the average woodworker, a jigsaw is not going to be the most-used tool in the cabinet. Why spend a considerable amount of your tool budget for such a saw provided you could find a reasonably priced - if not downright inexpensive - equally capable jigsaw?

That's exactly the jigsaw Bosch- the leader in the catagory - has launched with the JS5. It's a 5.7-amp, variable-speed jigsaw with four orbital settings. TheJS5 features Bosch's "One Touch" tool-less blade changingsystem. There is a rubberized grip for comfort and a blower switch to clear debris from a cut - or you can leave the blower off and connect the jigsaw to an optional vacuum hose through a rear-vented dust port.

The variable speed is adjustable in two ways: via a dial located near the back of the saw or by the amount of "squeeze" you apply to the trigger. I find setting the speed with the dial the best. Then I can fully squeeze the trigger (six speed settings allow you to fine-tune the cut for different tasks) and make use of a "lock-on" button located adjacent to the trigger, which holds the saw in the on position as

you cut. A tap of the trigger releases the button and stops the saw action.

Changingjigsaw blades withasimple flip ofa lever is the only way to work. Bosch's system is entirely user-friendly. Push the lever to its center stop, insert a blade set in the correct position and let go of the lever. To remove a blade, push the lever to the center and the blade pops out.

The JS5 has a rubberized grip for use as a top-handle saw. But this jigsaw also has that same grip applied to the body of the tool. This suggests you can use the jigsaw as a barrel-grip saw as well, but 1 found that gripping the body was somewhat uncomfortable, and I had a tendency to prematurely hit the tool's lock button, releasing its hold.

One aspect of theJS5 that we are less than enthused about is the stamped base plate. It would be better to have a cast plate to offset any unexpected drops resulting in a bent base.

The JS5 jigsaw made cuts just as any higher-cost saw would. Whether we cut following a straight line or sawed a circular path, this j igsaw felt well balanced in our hands and performed the work without problems. I would select this jigsaw for the shop and apply the savings to another tool. —GH

Bosch - 877-267-2499 or

boschtools.com Street price-$107

32 ■ Popular Woodworking August 2008

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