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VanLewis's Woodworking Reviews

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A nice, solid, big woodworking press with a LONG stroke.

A nice, solid, big woodworking press with a LONG stroke.

1481 days ago by VanLewis | 5 comments »

I just moved my shop and got some more floor space, so I went shopping for a bigger drill press. I had basically two criteria: it had to be strong enough to handle timbers, and it had to have a long enough quill-stroke to get to the middle of those timbers. I do some timber framing and some very heavy furniture work, so the usual 14” press wouldn’t really work for me. I discovered that most presses, even 17” presses, have very short stroke, usually 3-4”. This means...

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The Best Framing Chisel I've Ever Used

The Best Framing Chisel I've Ever Used

1543 days ago by VanLewis | 4 comments »

I’ve been using an ancient hand-forged framing chisel, about 2” wide, since I inherited it with a bunch of rusty saws maybe 25 years ago. Other carpenters admire it, mostly I think because you can see the skill of the maker in its hammer dents. It sharpens beautifully, holds an edge farily well, and can cut cleanly while the edge is new. It does have one major drawback, though: the socket was forged around a too-small form, about the diameter of a pencil, so I have to replace t...

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Great Saw with Some Setup Hassles

Great Saw with Some Setup Hassles

1625 days ago by VanLewis | 8 comments »

My sales rep at Laguna was great: helpful, knowledgable, willing to deal, patient with some difficult delivery demands to my very remote shop. The saw, which weighs I think about 600 lbs crated, arrived on a truck with no lift gate. First thing the driver asks is “you got a forklift?”. Uh oh. Two hours later, with no sprained backs, we had it off the truck. You can use a pair of Jorgensen bar clamps as a reverse winch! But I don’t recommend it. Setup was a bit of a h...

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