Tools to look out for this springWoodpeckers Multi-Function Router Base, Lee Valley Universal Vacuum Adapter, Union Metal Elixir
Do-it-all router base
Thoughtfully engineered and beautifully manufactured, Woodpeckers’ new Multi-Function Router Base ($250) is designed to perform almost every common task one can do with a handheld router, replacing a standard edge guide and a number of other jigs. It takes a few minutes to change from one setup to another, and I suspect that most woodworkers will leave it set up for edge-routing, where the big base will be a big asset. The base also helps the router bridge large gaps when routing out pockets of all kinds. Round bars pass through your router’s base to hold it in place, and bar diameters are available for most major routers on the market.
Lee Valley and FastCap offer a Universal Vacuum Adapter with an adjustable rubber iris that will fit any dust port 1⁄4 in. to 2-1⁄2 in. dia. A ratcheting ring with interlocking teeth adjusts the iris. You simply twist the ring to tighten and lock it in place, and then pull to release it. The fixed end fits hoses with an inner diameter of 2-1⁄4 in.
Unique rust preventer for hand tools
Union Metal Elixir, an emulsion of oil and wax, has a carrier that is half as thin as water, designed to spread the ingredients in ultra-thin layers. This also lets it soak into porous metals like 01 tool steel and the cast iron used in antique tools, according to the organic chemist who developed it, who adds that it also works well on less-porous metals. After the protectant is spread and wiped off, the thin carrier evaporates, leaving behind a dry, protected tool. See HeartwoodTools.com for more information.
—Asa Christiana, editor-at-large
Photos: Asa Christiana (bottom); all others courtesy of the manufacturers