Have you heard of the Scribe Master Pro? No? Well, it's a crazy router jig that apparently makes perfect scribes of complex moldings and other shapes (router not included). Check out the overview video here (be prepared to kill the sound...it gets tough to take after the first few seconds).
It sounds like it has been overseas for a while and now they're bringin their party over here to the states. I could see this thing being pretty valuable on a jobsite. Like on those days where you have to run what feels like miles of baseboard. Just set it up and machine out all the scribes that you need. Coping with a jigsaw isn't too hard to do, but this just looks real easy and consistent.
At $400, it's by no means a casual purchase, but it looks like it could certainly be a useful one.
I consider my front door to be one of my prized possessions. It's original to the house, just about 100 years old, and it's made of the good old heavily shellaced, tight-grained pine that doesn't exist anymore (with a casing made of chestnut...which also doesn't exist anymore). It's got that nice red look to it and it takes a good shoulder shove to get it to close. It's a great old door.
But because the world is a creepy place, I needed to put a deadbolt in it and that meant drilling a few holes. Installing a lockset from scratch isn't really a difficult thing to do, it's just drilling holes. But the placement has to be exact. That's where door lock jigs come in. Over the years I've proved to myself that I can indeed drill out for a door lock freehand, but that doesn't mean I want to suffer through the process each time. I really don't. It's tedious and if I can avoid it, I'll do it. I knew that Milwaukee recently designed their own jig, and they nicely agreed to send me one to test out.
So while we were floating around the web researching an upcoming post, we stumbled across this interesting little item. It's a joining system by Lamello called the Invis. Lamello is known for two things; 1) inventing the biscuit joining system and 2) manufacturing the most badass biscuit joiners on the planet. It's a Sweedish company and they have their niche (high end joining) and they're sticking to it.
Pocket hole jigs are an easy way to make a nice, tight, glue-free joint. It's basically a jig for pre-drilling the hole for a low-angled toe-screw and it's good for cabinet work, built-ins, saw jigs, all sorts of butt-joint stuff. There hasn't been a whole lot of innovation to the category since Kreg developed their Master Kit, which has since become the standard.
Well, Porter-Cable obviously wasn't satisfied with the current technology, so they've gone and developed something they call the 560 Quik Jig and after reading the initial press release, we did a round of high-fives when we got word that they agreed to box one up and sent it our way for reviewing purposes.
We just discovered that Chris Marshall from Woodworker's Journal was at the IWF this year and he brought a video camera. Jay from CopTool picked out the non-uber-woodworkery videos and posted them up, with some commentary, here. If you're interested in the full compliment of videos in all of their clamping, dovetailing, and biscuit joining glory, you should head directly over to Woodworker's Journal IWF page. Here's a video on the Porter-Cable pocket hole system (discussed here) that should whet the appetite...
By the way, we've spent some time hanging out with Chris Marshall and not only is he a great writer and extremely knowledgeable, but he's a really great guy as well. It's worth following him over at WJ.
We've been a little surprised at Kreg's domination of the pocket hole marketplace. There are a few other models out there, but none from any of the big names and none which have gained a whole lot of traction with a wide audience (like the Kreg). We always assumed that there was some kind of patent thing going on, a la Fein. But here comes Porter-Cable with a really interesting looking system that looks like it should give the reigning champ a few good rounds in the ring.
In a nutshell (help, help, I'm in a nutshell!), pocket hole jigs create low angled, pre-drilled holes which allow for accurate and consistent 'toe-screwing.' That's really it. They're great for shelves, cabinet boxes, face-frames, etc. We've got the Kreg Master Kit and it really makes for a nice, tight (glue-free!) assembly. So on to the Porter-Cable...
One thing for certain is that, compared to the Kreg, this one looks com-pli-cated. It sort of looks like a cross between a microscope and a Pixar robot. But as it turns out, this added intensity is intended to make things easier. Unlike the Kreg, the Porter-Cable automatically sets the drilling angle based on the thickness of the wood. It's a clever idea and takes away the fussiness of having to deal with the knurled set screw of the Kreg. From the looks of it, the Porter-Cable is going to be quite a bit heavier (it's all metal...a good thing), but they were smart and made the foot plate 1-1/2" thick, so you can use a 2x4 to support your workpiece.
The QUIKJIG is going to be available later this year (September) and will have a retail of around $230. The price is definitely more than the Kreg (K3 Master Kit $140 at Amazon.com), but the 'auto-angle' aspect of the Porter-Cable might be enough to justify the added cost.
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