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Blog series by Gary Fixler updated 05-02-2011 01:42 PM 15 parts 58253 reads 152 comments total

Part 1: Palax Power100S Firewood Processor

06-09-2009 11:15 AM by Gary Fixler | 3 comments »

I come across some pretty amazing woodworking/woodprocessing tools online during my nightly research escapades – things I think the majority of the LJs crowd hasn’t seen (like me) – so I thought I’d make a little series to highlight some of the cooler, or rarer things I unearth. First up, one of the most convenient tools I’ve seen for processing entire trunks into firewood in a timely fashion. I have a bittersweet feeling when I see tools this efficient at h...

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Part 2: the "dragsaw"

06-09-2009 11:44 AM by Gary Fixler | 2 comments »

Most of the dragsaws I’ve managed to find online seem to be from years in the range of 1910 to 1920, and feature a mechanical movement similar to, but the reverse of a locomotive’s drive wheel and connecting rod. Instead of a steam-driven piston driving a circular wheel, an engine-driven wheel drives a reciprocating piston, which is attached to a large cross-cutting saw. There are all manner of models on YouTube in every state of restoration or disrepair, but I particularly like t...

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Part 3: Predator: V8 Chainsaw

06-09-2009 12:06 PM by Gary Fixler | 13 comments »

The Predator – born in Washington state, USA – is a 2-man chainsaw powered by a V8 engine, capable of cutting through a 3’ log in less than a second. All of their videos of this monster are fun, but this recap on an unspecified television program (which seems at the very least sponsored by Prolong Oil) sums things up nicely. My first question – “Who would build such a dangerous beast?” – has been answered. His name is Robert Andrews. My second qu...

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Part 4: cedar shake saws

06-15-2009 06:56 PM by Gary Fixler | 6 comments »

This is without a doubt the scariest looking sawyer job I’ve seen yet. Check out how casually he thrusts his unsupervised hand at the 4’+ tall circular saw blade! There are many more videos of people in this job with these saws on YouTube. Scary stuff.

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Part 5: 1 man, 1 door, 1 minute and 37 seconds

06-19-2009 02:36 AM by Gary Fixler | 16 comments »

Looks like I went the slow route on my recent (and first) frame and panel doors! Might as well get an autosander, too.

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Part 6: The Bench SlideMount

07-31-2009 11:43 AM by Gary Fixler | 12 comments »

I think I’m going to end up with several Bench SlideMounts. They’re exactly what I didn’t realize I’ve been looking for. I’ve been dragging my heels on a bad idea I’ve had to install T-tracks in my 8’x2’ work table, seen here almost 2 years ago when the garage was still nice and empty and traversable. I’d make a shelf below the bench to hold my smaller bench tools on squares of plywood, bringing each up as needed, sliding its bolts into...

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Part 7: The Circular Swing Blade Mill

09-26-2009 11:44 AM by Gary Fixler | 14 comments »

Just stumbled upon these tonight. I’ve never seen them before. Very clever! It’s basically a band saw mill with a circular saw instead which can swing from horizontal to vertical blade alignment, and thus be run across a log 2 times to saw out a rectangular piece of dimensioned lumber. It helps to watch these 2 videos to understand what I mean: Obviously, no large through-cuts, so no very-wide slabs, but if you need to turn a big pile of pine, or a very huge tree into dime...

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Part 8: SAWSTOP on TimeWarp

12-18-2009 04:16 AM by Gary Fixler | 14 comments »

There’s a show on Discovery called “TimeWarp” which uses super high speed cameras to slow down all matter of phenomena to show what’s going on in the physical world at micro timescales. They had a call for entries after one episode and it got me to thinking that I’d love to see various woodworking things slowed down. Apparently they had the same idea last year, but I missed it. They put the SAWSTOP under the cameras, and the inventor even tried it on his own fing...

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Part 9: Lie-Nielsen planes

03-05-2010 09:56 PM by Gary Fixler | 11 comments »

I think I need help. It’s happening. I cannot stop researching planes and workbenches lately. I don’t have room for a bench, nor money for any planes, but they’re just so enticing! Lie-Nielsen has been the most attractive by far, but I find it staggering the number of planes available – 44 standards listed, with an additional 30 variants, not including left/right hand options for the few that have them (same price in each case). The bench plane model numbers (e.g. N...

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Part 10: There's more than one way to split a log...

04-09-2010 03:42 AM by Gary Fixler | 11 comments »

My recent battle with the cheap electric chainsaw, and subsequent redesign of my 36” crosscut saw’s handle have seen several people recommending I rive my huge logs with a simple wedge and sledgehammer system. I’d seen it done before, but had always thought the splits were messy – not an issue if I’m just making some turning blanks. I also feared that such shock-treatment of the logs would lead to microcracks and extra checking later. I’m probably just bein...

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Part 11: The Robland Axis Ergo panel saw

05-19-2010 12:19 PM by Gary Fixler | 10 comments »

This thing quite literally wouldn’t fit in my garage. Take everything out of my garage right now, and take off a wall of your choosing, and you couldn’t slide this into it and replace the wall. I’m still putting it on my wishlist. Watch it in even higher resolution here.

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Part 12: drill-powered wheelchair

07-25-2010 01:46 PM by Gary Fixler | 3 comments »

This is being manufactured by DPX Systems. Apparently you can get 4 miles out of one cordless drill’s charge (190lbs man). I guess if you go a little less than 2 miles, you can use the drill for a little bit when you get there, and still have enough to get back home.

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Part 13: Now THAT is a sharp plane

08-11-2010 09:32 PM by Gary Fixler | 8 comments »

http://benchcrafted.blogspot.com/2010/03/effortless-workholding-meets-effortless.html Scroll down and watch the video. The plane is a Brese, and that particular model is here.

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Part 14: Bridge City Tools Jointmaker Pro v2

12-20-2010 12:07 AM by Gary Fixler | 20 comments »

Well, this just shot to the top of my wishlist. I’ve for at least 6 years now been specifically wishing for a really accurate, really quiet way to cut wood in my house after hours, when I can’t run power tools due to neighbors close by here in crowded LA. Scroll to the bottom to watch the video, or watch it on YouTube in higher quality. It’s a bit crazy-priced right now at ~$1200, but I’m sure that’ll come down. For now, I’m dreaming of a few addition...

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Part 15: Now THAT's a dust collector

05-02-2011 01:42 PM by Gary Fixler | 9 comments »

I had an opportunity this past week to work with a small team for 3 days on the Disney lot in Burbank. This is the campus where Walt used to work (his office has been preserved there), and where many of the original animated and live action films were created. It was built on 51 acres with profits from “Snow White” (1937) to serve what Walt presciently saw as a need to grow the animation side of his company. There’s a history of the studios here, with pics. One of these pics...

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