Spring is still springing here in Southern California. We're half way through May and having typical winter weather with more rainfall than we've seen in years. That's a good thing I guess, unless it's followed by record heat and drought in the summer which may foster a disastrous fire season. Without dwelling on possible negative outcomes, the rainfall has greened the mountains and filled the streams with water...it's been a fabulous season for hiking and exploring local mountains, which we do with regularity.
I'm using that as an excuse for the late publishing of this newsletter. We've also been busy behind closed doors developing new jigs, sub-bases and mounting bars to keep up with the never-ending flow of products coming from the various router manufacturers. We're also near the release of a new Ellipse Jig which you can preview below.
A great deal of our time is spent trying to navigate internet marketing and learning how to grow our efforts on a restricted advertising budget. (Word-of-mouth is still our strongest suit). One idea was to seek out woodworking forums/clubs/associations who might want to inform their membership of our discount opportunities (like the ones you receive as a subscriber). If you know of such a group, please let us know. Rich would love to hear from you.
What's New at Micro Fence
The largest of Festool's routers, the 2200 has an eight-inch diameter base which has always been a little over-sized for our Universal Router Plate. We've now designed a plate specifically pre-drilled for the 2200, (1). This plate (2), can be used on our Interface Packages, our Ellipse Jigs or to attach our Edge Guide.
See more picture descriptions (#3 - #6) below.
Recently added to the list of cordless tools we can fit is the Bosch GKF12V. We've designed a Sub-Base Assembly (3) that allows our Edge Guide or Circle Jig to be mounted on either the right or left side of the motor (4). A brilliant choice for fine detailing and inlay work with completely untethered cordless freedom!
To fit the newest horse-and-a-quarter Bosch GKF125CE (5), we've added a Sub-Base Assembly (6) providing mounting posts for the Edge Guide. Like all our Sub-Bases, it requires the Model A Mounting Bar.
We're very close to the completion of our newly re-designed Ellipse Jig. Previously offered with a phenolic axes plate, this greatly improved iteration features a flat tooling aluminum plate to which various lengths of T-slot tracks are attached. Tracks in 6,12, 24 and 48" lengths and Guide Shafts in 12, 24 and 36" lengths will be available to create a wide range of elliptical shapes. CNC-milled center-lines are marked for both the T-Slot tracks and the axes plate itself, adding versatility to layout and design capability of the jig.
Each kit will include an alignment tool for setting up butter-smooth slide travel (above left). A vacuum port accessory will allow scar-free hold-down with our Vacuum Center Assembly or your own vacuum pump equipment (above right). We're now accepting pre-production orders if you'd like to insure you'll get one of the first run units. Give Rich a call for details 1-800-480-6427
Tips & Techniques: Router Vibration
Occasionally we get calls from customers who have experienced the loosening of our brass thumbscrews due to vibration while routing. There are several reasons why excess vibration occurs and some precautionary measures that can help eliminate the problem.
The geometry of the bit can make a huge difference with regard to vibration levels, chip removal and heat build-up (a spiral up-cut bit is generally a far better choice for mortising operations than a straight flute). Then carefully checking the flutes of the cutting tool for sharpness is a must. Spindle speed should be adjusted for the type of material being cut and the amount of material being removed (a function of depth-of-cut and bit diameter).
On a less obvious note, collets can cause more vibration problems than you might expect. When teaching routing seminars at the Woodworking Shows, I was amazed at how many woodworkers responded with blank stares when asked "how many of you have ever checked your collet for run-out?" As little as .002-.003" T.I.R. (Total Indicator Readout), can cause discernible vibration. Sometimes replacing a collet can make a world of difference without spending a lot of money.
Virtually all routing procedures produce some level of vibration, but it shouldn't be causing the brass thumbscrews to be loosening (the softer brass tightened against stainless steel creates a significant grip). If you're experiencing loosening, you might try installing an O ring or two (1/4" I.D.) under the head of the thumbscrew to absorb vibration or wrapping the thread with plumber's teflon tape. It may not eliminate your vibration, but it will most likely keep the screws from migrating out of the tool and rolling to some unseen destination on your shop's floor.
Our Free Drawing will be picked on August 1st after we return from the AWFS show in Las Vegas. One lucky subscriber will win our original Micro Fence Edge-Guide for the router of their choice, (a $220 value). If you've received this email, you are already entered.to win.
Woodworkers Spotlight ...
Bill Thompson from Chadds Ford, PA emailed:
"Thank you for your help in making these two Pembroke tables. Without your great elliptical jig, there is no way I could have made these. Once I got the hang of it, the jig worked beautifully."
Thanks to Bill for sending along these photos shot on his iPad.
Walnut and figured maple provide dramatic contrast. The segmented perimeter adds subtle detail to this classic design. Congratulations to Bill for his fine-detailing and superior craftsmanship.
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! Please refresh your subscription if your email address changes. Throughout the year we will be conducting free drawings and offering price reductions on various components of our system (watch our 'Featured Products' section). The notification of these opportunities will be exclusive to our subscribers.