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Two after market band saw fences tug at my purse strings. The first is the Little Ripper, which holds small logs on a carriage.
I have seen Ethan Moore from Stockroom Supply (Mastodon Tools) demonstrate this at numerous shows, most recently at the Northeastern Woodworkers showcase in Saratoga Springs, where he and his mom, Cheryl, were in the booth next to mine. They drove down from Canada and were not allowed to carry wood across the border. This meant that they had to rely on scavenging material from the roadsides near their motel. What they brought to saw up was wet and funky, but the results of sawing were really impressive. As I have an inexhaustible supply of short, clear sections of logs from my tree plantings, this jig is in the cards for me.
I also liked their Round Ripper. Ethan was cutting nice bowls, some with tapered sides, all afternoon.
The other band saw slicer of great interest to me is the brand new Accu-Slice by SIS Woodworking Products, a new division of Scientific Instrument Service, one of the owners of which is a life long woodworker. This jig brings the art of sawing fine veneer to a new level. The quality of the cuts is quite impressive.
Both Mastodon Tools and SIS are constantly asked about blade drift and both respond that there simply isn’t any. SIS has made this video to explain in detail, and with the thoroughness you would expect from a scientific approach, why a sliding carriage is fundamentally different than a resaw fence.
Most of us who have any experience using hand held routers understand the reason for an offset subbase. Here is how Pat Warner explains it:
“Routers are tippy. Most of the mass of these machines is above the control knobs. On inside excavations this top heaviness is unnoticeable, especially when the casting is entirely surrounded x substrate. However, on the end, edge or corners of the work, where routers spend most of their time, their tipsiness can be appreciated. You can’t control them. There’s always less than 1/2 the casting on the work and when you take a right angle turn that number falls to <25%. You’re supporting the other three fourths of the tool in the air, 7 pounds of the typical 10 pound router! Precise work is hit or miss. Add an offset subbase and you’re in control. Moreover, you’ll be on the safe side of the yellow line.”
To see Pat’s incredibly well made products, click here.
Paul Alves is a custom stair builder in Massachusetts. He is currently at work on a friend of mine’s new house. He has designed a router offset base called “The Stabilizer” to support the router from the “unsafe” side of the yellow line! All you need is a clean, level workbench. I can easily see its effectiveness in stair, boat, door and window building.
Paul and a business partner have put up a website to submit the product to potential interested parties or licensees. It showcases some of Paul’s masterful stair work and includes testimonials from users of The Stabilizer. I would like to see The Stabilizer in the marketplace. It is immediately useful for known applications and has potential for opening up new techniques. If you like the product, give them a shout on the contact link.