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ferstler's Woodworking Reviews

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Dust collector, Harbor Freight 2 HP, model 97869

Dust collector, Harbor Freight 2 HP, model 97869

10-28-2013 05:01 PM by ferstler | 5 comments »

I am going to post this comment, or something similar to it, elsewhere on this site to get the best chance of feedback. I am a 70-year-old retired worker but am now also a working artist who does wall-hanging collages made from enameled or stained wood pieces. I have items in a half-dozen galleries and outlets in this town and another town close by, and the income from the projects helps to supplement my retirement income. It also helps to keep my wife from harping about me needing to get ...

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Nifty saw made even better by nifty upgrades

Nifty saw made even better by nifty upgrades

03-19-2011 11:44 PM by ferstler | 16 comments »

I have owned this Ridgid R4510 for about two weeks. During that time I have cut a fair amount of wood with it, and the unit works very well, indeed. The blade growls a bit as it comes up to speed, but once there the operation is smooth as silk. The fence was aligned square out of the box, as was the blade (which I replaced with a new Freud unit for precise ripping work, saving the Ridgid blade for rough-and-tumble stuff), and even the wheels were attached when I unpacked it. I did several ...

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A good starter miter saw or second miter saw for fast work

A good starter miter saw or second miter saw for fast work

12-18-2008 12:31 AM by ferstler | 5 comments »

I am not sure if this saw is still available with the exact specifications and model number of this one, but they do have one in the same price class: $99.00 and it probably works just as well. As with all models in this size class, the saw can cut a 2×6 at 90 degrees and a 2×4 at 45. The miter-lock handle in right in front and the bevel release is in the back. It can bevel in one direction out to 45 degrees and the motor is a decently powerful 14-amp job. It comes with a decent ...

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Nice scroll saw that has some useful features

Nice scroll saw that has some useful features

12-16-2008 12:26 AM by ferstler | 1 comment »

I do not use this saw much, but I got it on clearance at Home Depot some time ago, and do manage to make the purchase worth the cost from time to time. Yep, it no longer is available there as a new item, but Sears still has the same unit available in its stores (in a different color, of course), and used items might be on hand here and there. Other than more vibration than I like, this saw works OK. I found that by mounting the thing to a heavy bench (which itself is bolted to the shop wa...

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Excellent sander that has only two minor quirks

Excellent sander that has only two minor quirks

12-14-2008 07:08 PM by ferstler | 10 comments »

This R2610 device has been superseded by Ridgid’s R2611 version, which has subtle improvements involving dust collecting and speed selection. The R2610 version being reviewed may still be available used from some sources, and some Home Depot stores may even have new models still on hand, hopefully at a discount compared to the replacement version. This unit is, as the title says, a six incher, which gives it a bit more coverage than typical five-inch models. It offers two orbiting ranges: ...

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A nice bench-top sander for detail work

A nice bench-top sander for detail work

12-10-2008 11:47 PM by ferstler | 4 comments »

I picked up this narrow-belt, bench-top sander at Harbor Freight some time back for about thirty bucks, as I remember, and I think a version is also available from Grizzly as its model H3140 for about $55. The Grizzly specifications are a tad different, but it is clear from the Grizzly catalog photo that the two units are identical. Obviously, the Harbor Freight deal was a better one. The differences mentioned in the owner’s manual and the Grizzly catalog makes one wonder about published spec...

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Nice small jointer for lightweight work

Nice small jointer for lightweight work

12-09-2008 07:57 PM by ferstler | 18 comments »

As a retired person who was a relative newcomer to the hobby, this was the first tool of this type that I purchased, and I had hopes that it would do what I needed in the way of hobby-grade woodworking. (I will use the terms jointer and planer interchangeably in this review.) Unfortunately, the short length of the aluminum table sections (spanning just 30 inches) made it difficult for the device to do a good job planing longer boards. In addition, the lack of a solid, two-sided lockdown with ...

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Decent and happily low cost trimming tool

Decent and happily low cost trimming tool

12-05-2008 08:16 PM by ferstler | 15 comments »

This tool has been reviewed by another user some time ago, but I thought I would throw in my two cents worth. OK, Chicago tools are mostly junk. I have gone to Harbor Freight many times and observed their stuff, and for the most part some of it actually scares me. However, certain of their offerings are OK, and that rating applies to this little Chicago Electric trim router, stock number 44914. First off, I should point out that Grizzly apparently sells the thing (or something very much...

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Powerful saw for carpentry work

Powerful saw for carpentry work

12-05-2008 08:12 PM by ferstler | 6 comments »

OK, there have been lots of reviews published about this saw, both in magazine reports and on the internet. However, I have not written any of those reviews. So, here goes my shot at fame. This is a great saw, BUT it is a saw built for use by strong men with strong arms, or at least one strong arm. Why, well, its magnesium case notwithstanding, at 14 pounds it is still very heavy for a circular saw. However, what you get in return is a left-side blade that makes it easier to guide to a scr...

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A good impact driver for the money

A good impact driver for the money

12-05-2008 08:08 PM by ferstler | 6 comments »

I own two of these (one for each hand; OK, that is a joke), and you can see both in the photo. I obtained one a few years back and picked up the other a few months ago when I was feeling flush. I do not feel so bad about buying two of the things, since together they cost about the same as one such unit from any number of more upscale manufacturers. These are 18-volt jobs and they are part of the Ryobi One + battery-powered tool catalog collection. This means you can buy the driver without ...

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