Did you read the newspaper comics growing up? I thought of The Far Side recently while working on some new bookshelves for my wife–using a Makita 9741 Wheel Brush Sander to create the “raised grain” look on some Doug Fir. WOW! That machine creates a ton of fine dust! I covered my nose with a T-shirt while squinting behind my glasses and tried not to fog them up by breathing too much. I felt like the caveman Durk in this Comic, and could hear our wise customers whispering in my ear:
“A word of advice, Jeff: It’s the 21st Century. Half of us are reading this blog on a smartphone,
We hope your spring has gotten off to a productive start! Based on the feedback we've received from our customers, this summer is gearing up to be one of the busiest in a while for timber framers and fine woodworkers. Below are five updates you may find interesting for this 5th month of the year. And as always, feel free to give us a call to discuss your upcoming projects and how we might be able to help.
Mafell Cordless Tools and Batteries Arrived
Customers like you continually impress us with how quickly you take a project from concept to reality. Ray Navarro of Bjork Construction Company in Fremont, California sent us this scaled down model on January 11th for a 27-foot tall Salad Bar he was building for Facebook. After discussing his need for 1/2" knife plate joints in 18" x 18" glulams, we Overnight-shipped him a Mafell LS 103Ec Slot Mortiser and BST 650S Drilling Station. A month later Ray was sending us photos of the raised structure!
When selecting your next woodworking saw, it can be intimidating to see 20+ options on a website or in a catalog. Where do you begin? How do you whittle down your options?
I had a similar experience recently when my wife and I replaced her old 2001 Suburban SUV. She wanted a vehicle with better fuel economy, but lots of storage space as well. So I consulted family, checked out manufacturer/dealer websites, and read 3rd party reviews until we finally decided on a hybrid Highlander. Then I built a large spreadsheet with graphs & trendlines and updated it every other night for several weeks with new & used vehicles that popped up in our area - comparing mileage and price to find the best value. I spent much more time than I originally anticipated, and wished in retrospect that there was a faster way to narrow my search!
What is your favorite tool these days? For Carlos and Jeff Aguirre at Peak Framing in Colorado Springs, it's definitely the Mafell ZSX Ec/400 Chain Beam Saw. They have several large Mafell tools and love them all, but the 15-11/16" (400mm) saw has been the difference-maker for their big timber projects:
How were your Fall colors this year? I love receiving photos from our Maine location when I need my foliage fix. Here are a couple nice ones from 2017 including a cascade of pumpkins and an unorthodox chain saw from the Fryeburg Fair:
How do you go about cutting your tenons? Some shops try to make due with a hand saw. Other shops invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into automated CNC machines. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle: carpenters who prefer to take the tool to the timber, and who want their tools to offer speed, accuracy and versatility. Today we wanted to simplify all tenon-cutting solutions down to the three best portable options.
If you haven't heard through the grapevine yet... After more than a year's work, Timberwolf Tools finally launched its new website! Many of you have already placed orders, created accounts, and submitted positive feedback. THANK YOU for patiently bearing with the old site for so long! We haven't done a complete website overhaul since the dot-com boom, so numerous improvements were needed. At your convenience, we welcome you to brew a cup of coffee and visit https://www.timberwolftools.com/ to test-drive some of the new features.
Welcome to the month of August, considered by many in Maine & Illinois to be the most beautiful month of the year, while September is a close second. We hope the weather is cooperating with your projects and your Summer work is going smoothly.
We enjoyed seeing many of you at the Timber Framers Guild Conference in May, and making lots of sawdust as we demonstrated our tools. If you were not able to attend, consider becoming a part of the next two Conferences in 2018:
2018 TFG Conference - West
June 1-3, 2018. Timberline Lodge, Government Camp, OR
2018 TFG Conference - East
October 19-21, 2018. Founders Inn, Virginia Beach, VA