|Review by Texasgaloot||posted 06-06-2008 07:44 AM||3100 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
Over the last decade or so that I’ve owned my Craftsman contractor’s saw, I’ve come to demand the utmost, penultimate level of mediocrity from it while telling myself that the jump from this saw to the Powermatic 66 is sort of like jumping from my $500 Remington 1100 shotgun to a $3000 custom Baretta over-under: the object is to break clay birds, right? And both throw a lot of lead in the air, which is all that counts, right? And yet, I’ve learned to tune my table saw in the dark, I’ve added a 52” Beisemeyer fence, outfeed tables, and even a custom plywood sawdust trap to make dust collection a possibility. I’ve also fed my saw a fairly steady diet of $40 Delta saw blades, usually making Trendlines’ sales years complete (why shouldn’t I feel that important?)
Recently I was prowling eBay, flush with the first half of my first commission, and I ran across the Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf blade, freshly factory sharpened (as Forrest will do for the life of the blade.) Sweet! I promptly set about spending my new soon-to-be-hard-earned money and won the auction. After watching my mailbox taunt me for what was really just a few days, there was the box. It really wasn’t long before it was on the saw, a zero clearance insert fit, and yet another saw tune up done. First off, I admit two things. 1. I was attracted to this auction for a number of reasons, including the fact that this blade had been used by a certain well-known woodworking magazine as a guinea pig, done it’s time, and was given great reviews in the blurb. 2. It was on eBay, so it must be cheaper that at the woodworker’s store, right? One out of two isn’t bad, is it?
Now, I’m not going to say I regret this purchase price, but let’s say it was within a dollar or two of what you can purchase a new one on Forrest’s website. It pays to keep your head about you. On the other hand, I milled up MDF, Baltic Ply, and oak for a Spagnuolo-style assembly table (see TheWoodWhisperer.com) and during my first cut I didn’t realize how much effort I had been expending in using my old blade. We all know that when a blade dulls, it requires more force to get stock through that a fresh blade, but these things sneak up on you, and are inherently dangerous. Praise God that I had gotten greedy when I did…
I would describe cutting with the Forrest blade as… effortless. You sort of think what you want your stock to look like at the end of your cut, set your fence, point the stock in the right direction, and somehow it winds up looking like you wanted it too. The beauty of it is that there is hardly any cleanup necessary, that is as long as I do my part! The blade somehow puts a near-jointer edge on the stock, and at about 20 dB less than my old blade, as well!
I don’t know how long I can go with this blade before it requires sharpening, but I hope it’s long enough that I can save for another Forrest blade to use while this one is being sharpened! I wholeheartedly recommend this blade for any saw, including the mediocre saws that many of us use, for it will turn even a mediocre saw into a runnin’ dude for less than have the cost of a LN or Veritas jointing plane. Five Stars!
-- There's no tool like an old tool...