Laying up boards of varying or even slightly varying thicknesses can be challenging. Just getting boards to align side to side for gluing is like putting together a puzzle. As depths vary, the complexity of achieving solid match up is even tougher. On top of that, side-to-side clamping pressure as the glue sets can cause the laminated board to curve.

Now Damstom has come up with a panel clamp that addresses that in an innovative way. The D300 is easy enough to use that even serious amateurs would be able to handle it, but it is a robust, professional caliber device that Damstom says establishes a new process of making laminated wood. They may be right.

Damstom D300 wood panel clamp

See it operated in a video

The clamp prevents the curvature of wood during the gluing process with dual-function clamping – side to side and top to bottom. It minimizes manipulation of the boards since there are fewer clamps involved. It also reduces the time for the process. Lay-up champs with a sixth sense for matching up boards from the sorting bin may not need this kind of assist, but that dual function clamping ability will probably appeal to a lot of users who can make use of the time saved in gluing boards.

The D300 will work with different thicknesses of pieces of wood up to 4½ ˝ while simultaneously making up to a 36˝ long laminated panel. Damstom tested it during development in eastern Canada, then made its U.S. debut, showing it in action at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas in July, drawing crowds.

Hoffmann showed its MU2-P benchtop routing machine at AWFS, equipped with a high speed router motor located at the center of the machine. A supplied 45º fence plate, which is guided in a keyway in the machine table, is used to accurately position the material on the table. The machine is equipped with a pneumatic foot switch to start the routing process. On depressing the switch, a routing sequence (as described here by Hoffman) is initiated:

• pneumatic clamp secures workpiece on machine table and motor is switched on

• router head advances until the pre-set height position is reached

• router head returns to base position and motor is switched off

• pneumatic clamp releases work piece

The location of the dovetail slot for the Hoffmann Dovetail Key is adjusted by simply moving the fence plate. Once set, the plate is locked in place and the routing sequence can begin.

Output is approximately 16 routing strokes per minute, which translates into two processed rectangular frames. These numbers include material handling, but obviously depend on routing depth, feed speed, material flow and operator performance as well. Flow control valves on the main pneumatic cylinder allow the operator to adjust the upward and downward feed rate independently, depending on the material being processed. On its backside, the large heavy-duty cast aluminum machine base has a 1¾” diameter dust collection port to connect a shop vacuum for dust reduction during operation.

The supplied router bit is solid tungsten carbide, made to exacting specifications. Depending on the routing depth and the material to be routed, the usable cutter life is approximately 10,000 strokes, says Hoffman.

Also drawing crowds at that show were benchtop miter cutting solutions, including Cut ‘N Crown’s patented set of jigs that allow you to cut both halves of the joint without moving the saw. Reviewed by Bernie Bottens, the jigs set the saw angle for the initial cut:

“If you have never done crown moldings, you will need to take my word for it that cutting compound angles is a challenge for any woodworker. Then too, fitting this kind of work up on a ladder with a big, floppy piece of crown makes it even harder. Add to that the understanding that moving the saw one degree or another either way within two planes of operation can waste a lot of material.”

Portable Benchtop Mitering

A 12 ˝ miter saw on a compact wheelie that’s really easy to roll onto a job site? Bosch recently introduced the CM12 single-bevel compound miter saw, and coincidentally a collapsible job site table that folds down, with the saw on it, into make a two-wheeled cart, which makes it a “portable bench-top” miter saw. Even without the cart the CM12 saw has a comfortable one-handed rear carry handle, thoughtfully set at an optimized center of gravity. Its cut capacity handles up to a 6˝ maximum crown, with a 6¾” max base against fence. Integrated workpiece supports expand to a generous 3-foot width. There are nine adjustable miter detents: 0°, 15°, 31.6°, 22.5°, and 45° left or right. A push-button detent override and thumb-actuated control up front allow for fine miter angle adjustment. “The machining on this saw is top notch; the portability is great too,” writes a reviewer. “It did take a few minor adjustments to get it lined up perfectly but the manual provides instructions on how to calibrate it.”

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