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Gimmick

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Review by Manitario posted 11-14-2017 04:41 PM 1043 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Gimmick No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Lee Valley is an interesting company. They have some of the most useful, well made tools of any company I’ve ever dealt with. They also have a significant collection of well made gimmicky crap, which I think are products that are solutions looking for a problem, pre-destined to be thrown into a kitchen or shop junk drawer and forgotten (eg. http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=76247&cat=52&ap=1 or http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=75862&cat=51&ap=1)

I’ve mostly been able to avoid these consumer traps when buying from them, but sadly, I fell for this one, their Mitre Box Guides. I’m not sure why I got them. A homemade mitre box is a simple contraption that only requires the ability to cut a straight line in order to set up. I guess I thought that these tiny guides would some how magically enable me to cut a straighter line, or provide some sort of profound extra support to the saw. The reality is that the guides do neither; you still have to be able to cut a straight, square line in setting up the mitre box, the guides provide very little actual guide or support to the sawblade.

So, my advice is use the $20 for these guides on a case of beer instead; that way you’re at least getting something useful for your $20.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil




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Manitario

2536 posts in 2698 days



9 comments so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

1451 posts in 1621 days


#1 posted 11-14-2017 05:51 PM

Better off buying a good saw. The thing I found the biggest benefit to cutting straight was a good sharp saw and of course a lot of practice! Have used there Dovetail guides and do like them for some projects!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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MrRon

4413 posts in 3058 days


#2 posted 11-14-2017 06:22 PM

I have not used them, but by the picture, it appears they would guide the saw in preventing tearout of the kerf in the miter box. Since the kerf in the box is larger than the saw blade, the blade wants to rock from side-to-side. That causes the teeth to nick the kerf in the miter box. The guides would help keep the saw blade on a straight course. At least that’s what I imagine would happen.

I just visited the LV site and looked at the miter saw guides. They really do appear to be quite useful and far from being just a gimmick. When cutting a kerf in a new ly constructed miter box, it is difficult to set the saw exactly square with the top of the box and at the angle you want, 45° or whatever. The guides would hold the saw blade in exactly the right angle and vertically to make a kerf that is what you want. I wish I had thought of it. Please go back and look at those guides again. They may be more useful than you originally thought.

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Manitario

2536 posts in 2698 days


#3 posted 11-14-2017 07:02 PM


I just visited the LV site and looked at the miter saw guides. They really do appear to be quite useful and far from being just a gimmick. When cutting a kerf in a new ly constructed miter box, it is difficult to set the saw exactly square with the top of the box and at the angle you want, 45° or whatever. The guides would hold the saw blade in exactly the right angle and vertically to make a kerf that is what you want. I wish I had thought of it. Please go back and look at those guides again. They may be more useful than you originally thought.

- MrRon

I have the guides and the pic is a pic of the mitre box I made with them. They really were marginally useful at best in setting up the mitre box.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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Desert_Woodworker

1262 posts in 1029 days


#4 posted 11-14-2017 07:22 PM

Thanks for the review…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View PPK's profile

PPK

834 posts in 624 days


#5 posted 11-14-2017 09:04 PM

I agree 1000% with you. You’ve described it exactly!

“Lee Valley is an interesting company. They have some of the most useful, well made tools of any company I’ve ever dealt with. They also have a significant collection of well made gimmicky crap, which I think are products that are solutions looking for a problem, pre-destined to be thrown into a kitchen or shop junk drawer and forgotten.”

I suppose it’s some sort of sales plan that they get other types of consumers that don’t want a $250 hand plane to buy their (weird) stuff. I personally only own their “normal” stuff, like planes, spokeshave, and scratch stock, etc.

-- Pete

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4130 posts in 2980 days


#6 posted 11-15-2017 01:09 AM

I have a number of Lee Valley items, but again, just things like planes, measurement devices, and such. Not the weird stuff. My items all get used. I have to be a little careful since I am populating two shops. If I find the items useful in one shop, I duplicate them in the other shop.

But, it isn’t just Lee Valley. You can find all kinds of crazy stuff everywhere. Purchasing shop stuff is a science, and an art, unfortunately. And sometimes, it is just a roll of the dice. Buyer beware.

...and haven’t we all been taken a number of times in life.

If these business owners were wood workers and tried out every item themselves… Hmmm

...if they were people of integrity, they would throw out the garbage.
...but if they were woodworkers, but money came first, and they could care less about others, in other words mostly business people… I could hear them saying:

“Piece of crap, but we’ll make a lot of money on it, order a few thousand and advertise the crap out of it”

Paranoia is best cultivated, and judiciously applied for self protection.

...old man talking… (-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View mafe's profile

mafe

11625 posts in 2904 days


#7 posted 11-15-2017 11:11 PM

So wonderful to read a review about something awful, most of the time it’s just; ‘this is so cool’. ;-)
Thanks.
I promise not to buy them.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View CooperDBM's profile

CooperDBM

31 posts in 2161 days


#8 posted 11-17-2017 04:35 AM

I bought these for a new box I’m making now. They aren’t intended to hold a saw vertical, like a dovetail guide, at the top of the cut. Particularly when you’re first making the kerf. As MrRon stated they simply hold the saw plate centered on the existing kerf. If the kerf is vertical then they will hold the saw a bit more vertical at the bottom of the cut but I think the benefit would be marginal, particularly if you shoot the mitres afterwards. I think their potential benefit is reducing the wear on the side of the kerf and hopefully extending the life of the box, or at least that particular kerf. Time will tell. I do a lot of picture frames by hand so if they work $20 is reasonable.

-- Dave, Ottawa, ON

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10484 posts in 2195 days


#9 posted 11-17-2017 05:44 PM

They look like gimmicks, thanks for the warning.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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