John's Tool Crib
by John Cupp


My readers, I have not been in touch because of the flu and other things but it doesn't mean I haven't been getting ready for this new year. a review of some Kestrel weather meters is ready for my editor before I send it to Chuck. I am branching out this year to give you more boat related gear reviews with electronics motors and hard gear to read about. I am still doing tools and here is a line up for the next two months.

I have Three new Skil saws I am reviewing. The Mag 77 Skil 7 1/4" and a new Skil saw that is a full size 7 1/4" and weight but runs on an 18 volt battery. It cuts like wild fire and lasts hours, more than I can handle at one sitting. The other new saw is another 7 1/4" saw with a new light that shines on the cut line and it has a cord but many new features with a custom case.

I also have the Prazi Beam Cutter that uses the Mag 77 saw and others to cut a full 12" depth and angle cut just like a regular saw but bigger! Prazi also sent there "X" out system for broken or stripped head screws that normal bits can't remove. I know every time I try to remove stubborn screws the screw head get so stripped I need to chisel the screw out.

Micro Plane sent an assortment of their planes that cut 10 times faster than a Stanley Surform. And 20 times faster than sand paper and make no dust only small shavings They have drums that fit in a drill press, blades that work in a hacksaw frame, SURFORM replacement blades and many hand held shapers. I used one today on a ten inch Surform frame. It cut so fast I couldn't believe the pile of shaving from just a small piece of plywood. A full review is forthcoming.

I am finishing a review of a Porter-Cable 890 router combo. This new router by Porter-Cable has an extra set of features that make it a huge deal. One of the best features this router has is the ability to raise it above a router table top and change bits with one wrench. It doesn't use a separate expensive unit. It has a special wrench that you insert through the table and use to raise the unit so the bit can be changed in a simple manner with height marks on the wrench.

I have also received a selection of Tool Dock cabinets that allow you to change out the tools you have mounted to the top of a cabinet and put them in a special tool storage rack. They are built in the US with heavy gauge steel and great sturdy tops. You can get all the shop cabinets you need and they all look great and are less money than even making them yourself. You can change the tops out in seconds. They are built tough and hold a lot of gear on movable shelves.

Along with the new cabinets I have a great new dust collection system that is inexpensive, works and looks great. It comes in a box and has clear pipe that you can watch the dust going to your common Shop-Vac unit. It is made by Shop-Vac and you can even buy their extra powerful Vacuum unit that can ensure the system will never clog. It comes with six great blast gates so you can use any machine in the shop just by opening its own blast gate when it is running. You can buy any extra parts of the system by them selves or buy a whole extra system. The whole system makes all that dust easy to control without costing hundreds of dollars the price will make you fall over.

I am finishing my review of the Delta Wood Workers Special 18 volt Six Pack. You will want to read this review of some very fine tools. I am also letting Chuck do an extended review of this set of tools. He promised to put it through some rigorous testing for a year or more and will tell us know how it stands up.

For the beginners out there I will be showing you the best power tool to buy first so you can get started building your first boat. This power tool can be the only one you need to finnish. Of course you will need other hand tools but this will give you a starting point to enter your negotiations with your significant other. If you are single you can save up and get a good model that will do everything and last a lifetime.

I am just finishing my Giant Miter Saw Review! Wow what a long wait and a big job. I have some good machines and some definite no buy machines. I normally only try to review products that will be assets to my boat building readers but some saws just don't make the grade in this review. The good part is I have over six different saws I can highly recommend across the price range. I also have a low cost champ a non slider champ and a sliding miter saw that can be called the king of miter saws. Please read my review it will open your eyes and maybe make you shake your head. You also get a review of a portable miter saw stand that costs very little but I call it the best. I will also show you how to make your or any miter saw have a laser cutting line for under $50.00.

Finally I have an aftermarket fence system I am testing on my Ryobi BT3100 table saw It includes a special router table extension and router jig that can make beautiful custom joinery. This Fence System by Incra can be mounted on most table saw and provides machine shop accuracy for your boat building. You can adjust your saw within .001of an inch and then come back a week later and repeat the same cut accuracy to make a boat part the same size.

That's all for now but I didn't want you to think I fell of the edge of the flat earth! Please be safe and always use good judgment with your tools. The best thing you can do is teach a child to build a boat. That will insure our craft will never disappear.

From My Tool Crib,