I made a decision years ago that I have not regretted. I picked my second choice of a miter saw stand for work on jobsites.
I had been looking for a stand for a while because I thought as a professional I shouldn’t have to get down on the floor all the time to make my cuts. What is easy when you are 20 can seem like a lot of work when you no longer are.
I did a bunch of research, the way I usually do when I have a major purchase to make and came up with several alternatives. My first choice became a full size stand. You know the ones with wheels that fold up into a cart that you just roll around with the miter saw attached. On the surface this seemed like the ideal. Always have the saw attached to grab and go. Folds up into a nice little package that you can just tuck away in the corner of the shop when it’s not in use.
After I had finally done my research and made the agonizing decision of not only which style of stand I was going to buy and the specific manufacturer’s product I was going to buy (they were having a sale). I made the 30 mile trip to the big box store to make my purchase. Got the cart to put the rather sizeable package on and wheeled it to the display. And tried to pick up the box.
One thing I hadn’t factored into my research was the weight of the dam stand. With all that steel and the wheels attached, it was not going to be an easy matter hauling this any place the wheels weren’t in play, and that included hauling the thing in and out of a truck bed. And that was without the miter saw attached yet.
I quickly looked around and came across my second choice. I don’t remember if it really was my second choice or not or if it was just there and I gave it a look when I couldn’t lift the box. But whatever, that was the stand I bought. Nothing fancy – no fold up cart, no wheels, no multi-stage workpiece supports.
But I think DeWalt had the right idea with this stand. Not complicated, robust aluminum construction, easy to set up and light. With a handle on the bottom side that allows for easy hauling to and from the job. With a dedicated saw attached to the mounting pieces, set up on the job is a matter of moments. When done it is a perfectly serviceable tool that has stood me in good stead for years and looks to still have years of life left in it. The advantage of a lack of moving parts I am sure.
A hand planer, as opposed to a hand plane, is an electric tool that removes wood much in the manner of a hand plane. That mus have been it’s original purpose, and in the hand of a competent professional that is exactly what it is – an adequate replacement for a hand plane, at least a small one.
The fact is though, that many of today’s carpenters have never gained any sort of competence when it comes to using a hand plane. Truly, many modern carpenters may have never had occasion to use a manual plane at all, with all the power tools always at hand. Much like the handsaw, younger carpenters will often reach for the power alternative when the manual version actually might be a quicker and better option.
In today’s terms, the electric hand planer might be better though of as a hand jointer, since a power planer is most often thought of as a unit with wide blades that will surface a wide piece of material in one pass. Though it is natural the the power hand planer came by its name for replacing the hand plane, it more closely resembles a jointer in the fact that it has relatively narrow cylinder with blades attached to it. With an optional fence attached to help keep the planer parallel with the surface being planed it truly resembles a small upside down jointer.
While it is mostly used in the field for narrowing doors that have gotten too wide for whatever opening they have available to them. It is common for room doors to be installed in a dry season and swell to be a bit tight in the opening as soon as the humidity goes up, or for them to sag slightly over time an need an adjustment.
Planing a door is a task that the electric hand jointer is admirably suited to. Its small size makes it easy to handle in the field. Simply dismount the door and place it on edge. Grab the planer and apply the optional guide. Then make a mark on the side of the door so that you know how much material you would like to remove and from there and go at it. If you have in the past used a belt sander to perform similar operations you will be amazed at how well the power hand planer removes material and how little mess there is to clean up afterwards. And since the planer removes material more in the form of small shavings instead of in the form of a fine sawdust so the mess doesn’t travel into every nook and cranny in the neighborhood. This is especially important when doing something like sizing a door, since this operation is often done in finished rooms where sawdust can be discovered in corners weeks or even months later.
The power electric hand planer – another useful tool to add to your repertoire.
In keeping with tradition we’d like to dedicate the new version of this site to a shared love of all things done with wood – even those things that we don’t really appreciate ourselves or aspire to creation of.
The fact is that the natural beauty of wood is something that can be emulated but never truly matched. Some of the fakes around these days are truly amazing – when viewed from a distance. But once you get your hands on them, once your senses are truly engaged, why then you realize that on some level the simulacrum is lacking in some vital component.
With the best of the reproductions, you sometimes can’t lay your finger on what is wrong. On some level you just know.
Anyway I digress. This site will be for those who love the prospect of getting their hands buried in sawdust. And sometimes for those who just want to appreciate the work of those that do.
It may focus on the more prosaic side of woodworking, but the creative and beautiful will be visited too.