David Bliley is one happy mamma-jamma. He’s found out first hand that people actually do win those big woodworking sweepstakes we see from time to time. His workshop just got $9,500 richer since he won the Popular Woodworking 2015 Workshop Makeover sweepstakes. I always enter, and I never win. Frankly I was beginning to think the whole thing wasn’t worth my time, like opening bills, or dieting. But if a woodworker from Erie, PA can win a shop full of tools, then I can win something too! Do they make a Nobel Prize for woodworking?
It’s Charles Neil, the lost episodes. This weekend only the woodworking guru is opening up his video vaults and re-releasing a classic DVD set from the past. The two hour production is called Oil Finishes, and covers everything you ever wanted to know about Oil Finishes. I’ve already ordered my copy, which is going on my bookshelf right next to my Honeymooners lost episodes. If you’re interested in seeing what Charles looked like way back in 2007, you have only one weekend to get yours. Then it’s bang…zoom!
Woodworker’s Journal has jumped on the witty t-shirt bandwagon. They’ve released a line of shirts featuring woodworking slogans submitted by their viewers. The slogans include “I came, I sawed, I conquered”, “In this world nothing is certain but death, taxes and wood movement” and “Woodworker’s Journal: Based in Minnesota for your Protection”. I think they’re good, but not as good as the slogans on the shirts in the Stumpy Nubs shop including “Either you like woodworking or you’re wrong”, “With a shirt this cool, who needs pants”, and “Stumpy Nubs Woodworking- I don’t get him either.”
Nobody can shake it like Grahan Haydon. The hand tool aficionado has been building and blogging his way through some Shaker projects recently and he says it has reminded him just “how far you can go and how much fun you can have.” It reminds me of my collage years, we’d pack a bunch of people into the dorm room and spend hours building furniture by hand. Those were some wild days. If you’d like to see just how crazy Graha m can get, check out the video of his shaker bench at the link in the show notes.
Chris Schwarz in no beefcake. The string bean of a woodworker struggles to bend ash chair arms that many small ladies would make quick work of. So he applies the old brains over brawn technique that he learned from Archimedes. He clamps a form to his bench top and uses the vise to do the bending. It’s faster than making a special jig, and he doesn’t have to go shirtless. Check out his blog if you’re wonder what the heck I’m talking about.
Peter Moore of Oakland California submitted a great tip to Woodworker’s Journal on how to fix a sloppy miter bar. He uses metal foil tape from the HVAC department of the hardware store. He says it’s best to apply a piece all the way down the length rather than small strips, and to trim it with a utility knife since the tape will dull scissors. If your miter gauge is less than accurate, you may want to try this one out. You’ll find it in the August issue.
New in Tools 1
More about the PM-7000: http://www.portamate.com/workcenter-with-light-vise
As you know, we’ve been testing out the new Portamate PM-7000 workcenter for several weeks now, and it’s time to rate it based on quality, performance and overall value. Our senior tool correspondent Mustache Mike is here to fill us in.
QUALITY- First off, it’s heavy. There’s a lot of steel in it, especially where it really matters like in the legs and the accessory clamps. There are some plastic parts, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect to be made from plastic. And it has to be sturdy because it’s designed for hauling around. They clearly designed it to take a ton of abuse. I see no reason to give it less than five stars when it comes to build quality.
PERFORMANCE- I was skeptical when I first saw it because it really looked like they may have went overboard with all the features. Sometimes when a company adds too many bells and whistles it just doesn’t work. But they obviously put a lot of thought into this thing. It’s not just a tool holder, it’s a workstation. There’s built in power outlets, a compartment for your measuring tape and pencil, even a worklight. But what I really liked was the versatility. It will hold all sorts of machines, not just miter saws. There’s even a removable vise for holding work, which is also a good example of how much thought went into the design because the vise is low profile so it doesn’t get in the way while you use the saw. The work supports extend the unit to seven feet long, there are flip up stops for making repeated cuts, even a lumber storage rack on the legs. And everything goes on and off easily so you can change it up for any job. I didn’t get to try it out, but there’s even an optional router table. There’s no workstation on the market like it. Five stars for performance.
VALUE- It’s expensive. That’s the only negative thing I have to say about it. $329, and if you add the router table it brings the price up to near $600. That is a lot for a workstation. I’m not saying I blame them, they went all out both in features and quality, and that kind of thing costs money. But I am going to knock a star off for the price.
So that means the Portamate PM-7000 Workcenter gets 4 2/3 out of 5 stars, a very high rating.
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So, we’ve had time to play with it, now it’s time to give it away. We randomly selected a name from our website newsletter subscribers and the winner of the Portamate PM-7000 workcenter is- Larry Imhoff! Congratulations, Larry. We have lots of other tools to give away, and all you have to do to be eligible is to sign up for our newsletter at Stumpynubs.com and subscribe to our Youtube channel- you have to do both. Better do it now before you forget because we’ll have another giveaway next week!
Well, that wraps things up for this edition of Behind the Sawdust. Be sure to visit Stumpynubs.com at least once a week, where we’re posting all sorts of new woodworking videos and project plans all the time. Then you can sit back and have a cold one, because you’ve earned it, my friend!
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