Many years ago, one of my mentors said to me: “It’s good enough when you’ll put your name on it”, Not only did that become my mantra, but that phrase has become part of my everyday dialogue… in fact, one of my little sayings when I’m pleased with something is “I’d put my name on that”. Just today I was trying out a new tool and uttered that exact phrase. Then it occured to me: I get emails every week asking my advice aboout tools….. and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my list of tools that I am truley, completely, and 100% thrilled with….tools that actually illicit joy when working with them….tools that stand head and shoulders above the others…in short: tools that “I’d put my name on” :)
I’ll add to this blog as I discover more treasures, but here is my short list:
Freud Glue-Line Rip blade. Freud has really pulled it together with this sawblade! I was skeptical at the hype, but I can honestly say that it is everything “they” say…and more. I was re-sawing some 2X5” spanish cedar (on edge) on my tablesaw on Monday (Bandsaw is out of commision) and gave it a shot. Without a word of a lie, I didn’t even have to joint the cut surface….it looked like it just came out of the planer.
Veritas (Lee Valley) Brad-point drill bits. One word: Fantastic! These are the nicest cutting brad-point bits I have ever used….period. Custom ground by Lee Valley, they bore holes that are very, very clean with no chip-out around the hole….none. These bits are so good, they have changed the way I work. I quite often now drill holes for shelf standards, etc. AFTER finishing. This leaves a cleaner look, easier finishing, and I have yet to have to refinish because the bit messed up.
Back to Freud again: The FTE3000VCE 3 1/4HP router. I’ve had this router mounted in my table for about 6 months, and it is such a joy to use this review will probably come off sounding like a snake-oil pitch :) The machine runs extremely smoothly, and spins everything from 1/8” spirals up to panel raising bits without a hiccup. This router has above-the-table depth adjustment and bit changes, as well as a remote manual spindle lock which is accessed from above the table (I much prefer a manual lock, as it prevents “accidents” from raising the bit too high while running)
Bosch “Impactor” 14.4 V impact driver. OK, so not a fine woodworking tool…but it is one of those tools that just works. I’ve used this driver to do everything from driving hinge screws to spinning the jacks on my travel trailer to changing lug-niuts on my tractor. TONS of power, great size and feel, great battery life…what’s not to like?
Bahco card scraper (cabinet scraper): I don’t know what they did differently, but the Bahco scraper is different. It takes a razor sharp burr with minimal effort, and holds that burr longer than any other scraper I own (I have 8 others). If you are a cabinet-scraper fan, buy one of these…you’ll be happy.
Now I am on the hunt for the “Ultimate Forstner bits”....More to come later!
-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here: http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/showthread.php?41055