WoodWorkers Guild of America http://www.wwgoa.com Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:54:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photo Sweepstakes Terms Conditions http://www.wwgoa.com/article/photo-sweeps-terms-conditions/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/photo-sweeps-terms-conditions/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:08:35 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=584496 Woodworkers Guild of America Show Us Your Shop Photo Sweepstakes OFFICIAL RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. 1. Sweepstakes Entry Period/Sponsor: The WWGOA – Show Us Your Shop Photo Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:00:01 AM, Eastern Time (“ET”) on 06/23/15 and ends at 11:59:59 PM... Read more »

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Woodworkers Guild of America
Show Us Your Shop Photo Sweepstakes



1. Sweepstakes Entry Period/Sponsor: The WWGOA – Show Us Your Shop Photo Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:00:01 AM, Eastern Time (“ET”) on 06/23/15 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 07/10/15 (the “Sweepstakes Entry Period”). Sponsor: TN Marketing LLC (“Sponsor”), 1903 Wayzata Boulevard East, Wayzata, MN 55391. Sweepstakes is governed by U.S. law. Void where prohibited by law.

2. Eligibility: The Sweepstakes is open to individuals who are: legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia age 21 or older. You must have a registered account on Facebook.com. Employees of Sponsor, its affiliated companies and its advertising and promotion agencies and anyone involved with the Sweepstakes (collectively, “Sweepstakes Entities”), and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to enter or win.

3. How to enter: To be eligible for the Sweepstakes, all Entries must be received during the Sweepstakes Entry Period. To enter go to the Sweepstakes tab on Woodworkers Guild of America page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WoodworkerGuild fill out the Entry form, upload your photo (“Photo”), and submit. The Entry form and Photo is known as an “Entry(ies)” and the person uploading the Entry will be deemed the Entrant (“Entrant”). Only one (1) Entry per person/email address during the Sweepstakes Entry Period; Entries with duplicate email addresses or multiple Entries using different email addresses for a single individual will be disqualified. All Entries and requests become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Entry materials/data that have been tampered with or altered, or mass Entries or Entries generated by a script, macro or use of automated devices are void. In the event of a dispute over the identity of an online Entrant, Entry will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of Entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.

4. Requirements of Entry: Your Entry must comply with the following and by entering you represent and warrant and agree that:

    – You will comply with the terms and conditions found Facebook.com;

    – You have received permission from anyone involved in the creation of your Photo (“Third Party Participant”) and from anyone depicted in your Photo (“Identified Individuals”) to submit Your Photo with the Entry and to grant the rights granted to Sponsor herein (and if requested from Sponsor will provide evidence of this permission);

    – The Photo is the sole, original work of Entrant and is not copied from any other work and does not infringe upon the rights of any third party. Do not copy or otherwise plagiarize your Photo from any source;

    – The Photo will not depict any celebrity or child;

    – The Photo does not contain any third party copyrighted material, products, trademarks, logos or otherwise violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, logo or mark that identifies a brand or other proprietary right of any person or entity;

    – The Photo does not defame or otherwise violate the rights of any third party;

    – The Photo cannot be offensive nor contain any elements such as nudity, graphically violent imagery, sexually suggestive imagery or text, or be explicitly racial, profane, slanderous or visually depict alcohol, tobacco, gambling or be objectionable in any way or contrary to the interests of Sweepstakes or Sponsor, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor; and

    – Entrant will hold harmless Sweepstakes Entities from any claim by any third party relating to any rights in the Photo or your Entry.

5. Licensed Rights: Entrants retain ownership of the Entries they submit, however, by entering, Entrant, on behalf of him/herself and any Third Party Participants or Identified Invididuals, grant Sweepstakes Entities, the perpetual, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to reproduce, prepare derivate works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use and perform throughout the world the Entry or Photo in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the internet, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Sponsor and the Sweepstakes all without further consent from or payment to Entrant or any persons whose material is incorporated in the Entry or Photo or who assisting in the creation of the Entry or Photo. Entries may be published and posted online but Entrants agree that Sponsor has no obligation to post or publish the any Entry, that all such postings or publication, if any, will be in Sponsor’s sole discretion and that the posting or publication of any Entry or Photo does not indicate that the specific Entry or Photo is a winning Entry. By entering the Sweepstakes, each Entrant also agrees that the Photo may be posted and shared by other others as is associated with Facebook.com.

6 Prize: One prize package will be awarded: A $250 gift card to JobMan USA. Taxes, if any, on prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. For any prize valued at $600 or more the winner must provide social security number and an IRS Form 1099 will be filed in the name of the winner as required by law. No substitutions on prize will be permitted, except the Sponsor may make any substitution it deems necessary of equal or greater retail value. Prize is not transferable. Subject to availability.

7. Selection of Winner: The winner will be determined in a random drawing from all eligible Entries received on or about 07/13/15 conducted by representatives of Sponsor whose decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to this Sweepstakes. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries received during the Sweepstakes Entry Period.

8. Winner Notification: The potential winner will be notified via the email they provided at Entry. The potential winner will be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and release (“Release”) within 7 days of the date on the Release to be eligible to be awarded the prize. If a potential winner is a minor as determined by the laws of the state in which s/he resides (“Minor ’), the Minor’s parent or legal guardian will have to sign the Release on the Minor’s behalf. If a potential prize winner does not respond to the winner notification email (email will be sent three (3) times over a five (5) day period), or if said email is returned as undeliverable, or if the potential prize winner does not return the executed Release within 7 days, or if an Entrant is otherwise found to be ineligible, does not provide required information, or if the selected winner cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason, the potential prize winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner may, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor and time permitting, be selected from among the remaining eligible Entries. The Sponsor reserves the right to modify the notification procedures in connection with the selection of an alternate winner. All decisions and results of Sponsor are final and binding.

9. General: Entrants agree to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, and on their behalf, and on behalf of their respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors and assigns (“Releasing Parties”), release, defend and hold harmless the Sweepstakes Entities, Facebook , as well as the respective employees, officers, directors and agents of each (“Released Parties”), from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, lost profits, indirect or direct damages, consequential damages, incidental damages, punitive or exemplary damages, judgments, extent, executions, claims and demands whatsoever, in law, admiralty or equity, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, against Released Parties which any one or more of the Releasing Parties ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may have which in any way arise out of or result from Entrant’s participation, acceptance and use or misuse of any prize. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of any prize. The Winners acknowledge that the Sponsor and all other businesses concerned with this Sweepstakes and their agents do not make, nor are in any manner responsible for any warranty or representations, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the quality, conditions, fitness or merchantability of any aspect of the prize except that such prize shall be subject to manufacturer’s standard warranty. Sponsor will not be liable if Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Sweepstakes as contemplated herein by any event beyond its control, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared) or any federal, state, or local government law, order, or regulation, or order of any court or other cause not within Sponsor’s control. Entrants assume all liability for any injury, including death or damage caused or claimed to be caused, by participation in this Sweepstakes or use or redemption of any prize. This Sweepstakes shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A. without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS SWEEPSTAKES. ENTRANT HEREBY WAIVES ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ENTRANT, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement and without waiving either party’s right to appeal such decision, should any portion of this provision be deemed invalid or unenforceable, then the entire provision (other than this sentence) shall not apply. Entry materials/data that have been tampered with or altered, or mass Entries or Entries generated by a script, macro or use of automated devices are void. The Sponsor is not responsible for: (i) lost, late, misdirected, illegible Entries; (ii) error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of Entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions of any kind, or inaccurate transmission of or failure to receive Entry information by Sponsor on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web site or any combination thereof; (iii) any injury or damage to Entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in the Sweepstakes, or (iv) the failure of any third party to comply with the instructions and proper administration of this Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to permanently disqualify from any sweepstakes it sponsors any person it believes has intentionally violated these Official Rules; and terminate the Sweepstakes if it becomes technically corrupted (including if a computer virus or system malfunction inalterably impairs its ability to conduct the Sweepstakes), or to select winners from among all eligible Entries received prior to termination. LEGAL WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL, WHETHER OR NOT AN ENTRANT, TO DELIBERATELY INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL & CIVIL LAWS AND SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND DILIGENTLY PURSUE ALL REMEDIES AGAINST ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

10. Winners Name: For the name of the winners (available 30 days after the Sweepstakes ends) send a stamped, self-addressed envelope (postage not required for Vermont residents) no later than 90 days after the Sweepstakes ends to WWGOA Show Us Your Shop c/o TN Marketing LLC., 1903 Wayzata Boulevard East, Wayzata, MN 55391.

11. PRIVACY: By entering, you expressly consent to adding your name to receive future promotional offers and agree that Sponsor may use and share your information pursuant to its privacy policy found at http://www.tnmpolicies.com/.

This Sweepstakes is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook, nor is Facebook associated with the Sweepstakes in any way. You understand that you are providing information to Sponsor and not to Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Sweepstakes must be directed to Sponsor and not to Facebook. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.

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WWGOA Live Recap: June 2015 http://www.wwgoa.com/article/wwgoa-live-recap-june-2015/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/wwgoa-live-recap-june-2015/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:28:39 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=582494 Our WWGOA Live shows are a blast to do! I can’t believe how quickly an hour goes by. Thanks, in large part, to the excellent questions you folks provide. Keeps me on my toes, and keeps the show moving fast. If you missed our June show, no problem. You can watch the archive below to... Read more »

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Our WWGOA Live shows are a blast to do! I can’t believe how quickly an hour goes by. Thanks, in large part, to the excellent questions you folks provide. Keeps me on my toes, and keeps the show moving fast. If you missed our June show, no problem. You can watch the archive below to watch at your leisure.

Watch for our next session in the near future. I can’t wait for another chance to help you out in your shop.

WWGOA 600x90 on page sub banner 6

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Money-Saving DIY Festool Domino Tenons http://www.wwgoa.com/article/money-saving-diy-festool-domino-tenons/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/money-saving-diy-festool-domino-tenons/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 20:01:28 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=580805 Reduce the cost of using a Festool Domino by making your own tenons. It’s easy, and you’ll be surprised by how the savings can add up over the years. Here’s the how-to recipe, along with a list of benefits of DIY Dominoes.

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Photos by author

homemade domino tenon

I have to admit that as a hobbyist woodworker of modest means, my Domino purchase was a bit of a budget breaker. I decided that I would reduce the total cost of ownership of this tool by making my own tenons using scrap wood. Penny wise and pound foolish you say? I think not. When I mentioned this strategy to a couple members of the WWGOA editorial team, it led to some lively debate as to whether this could really deliver actual savings when the “dollars to hassle ratio” was taken into account. Ultimately, I believe it will be up to each individual to decide this, but I have found it extremely quick and simple to convert scrap material into perfectly sized floating tenons.

In a simple timed test using wood that had been relegated to my kindling pile, I was able to make 100 tenons (6mm x 40mm) in about 15 minutes. That’s about $10 worth of tenons, making my pay-off roughly $40/hour. OK, I’ll never get rich with this program, but these savings will add up over the years and I will also never have to put a project on hold because I ran out of tenons.

making floating tenons
To make the tenons, plane stock to ¾” thickness, then rip strips to the desired thickness of the tenon. Set the table saw fence using a factory-made Domino tenon and then test the fit in a mortise cut by the Domino itself to ensure a perfect fit. Cut them to length on the bandsaw, or leave them long and cut them at the time of my project to ensure the proper length. I don’t bother rounding over the corners as they do not enhance strength, and at ¾” the cheek is a bit wider than on the factory-made ones, providing roughly 20% more gluing surface.

DIY Domino Benefits

  • • More gluing surface
  • • Never run out
  • • Free tenons
  • • Feel better my expensive Domino purchase (priceless)

As an alternative, if your planer or surface sander handles thin material well, you could plane the stock to the desired tenon thickness, measuring with a precise caliper, then rip to width on a table saw.

Whatever your approach, if you are a penny-pinching Domino owner like me, then some homemade Dominos might just be in your future!

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A Smokin’ Hot Grill Caddy http://www.wwgoa.com/article/a-smokin-hot-grill-caddy/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/a-smokin-hot-grill-caddy/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 15:32:28 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=576260 Like to BBQ? Then you’ll want to build this BBQ caddy that organizes all of the utensils and supplies you’ll want at your side when you are doing your magic on the grill.

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Photos and illustrations by author

grill caddy hero

There’s not much that I enjoy more than standing on my deck with a cool beverage, basking in the aromas of meat that’s slow-cooking on my grill. The only part that I don’t like is when I can’t find my spatula, tongs or one of the other important items that I need when I am producing a BBQ masterpiece. That dilemma led to the development of this woodworking project, which is a toolbox of sorts, purpose-built for outdoor cooking supplies. I gathered requirements from many “grill masters” in developing this project, so I believe it should address the needs of most BBQ chefs; pros and weekend warriors alike. You should also note that I designed the proportions of this grill caddy to meet the dimensions of my grill utensils, so you should measure your own and make any adjustments necessary so that it works well for you.

Click here to download a free PDF of this plan

Click here to download a PDF template of the end panels

Design aspects

The grill caddy is designed to accommodate everything you need for outdoor cooking. There’s room in the top storage area for beverages, spices and a small spray bottle, as well as utensils such as spatula, grill scraper, tongs, etc. There’s a drawer that is sized to house a roll of foil, and it is concealed from the elements to provide storage for matches, pellets, or other items that need to remain dry. I’ve chosen western red cedar for the project because it holds up well for outdoor use and is lightweight for carrying purposes. To crank up the aesthetics of this simple project I have incorporated a few copper elements, including copper pipe for a handle, copper rod stock used as joinery pins and section dividers, and I’ve even lined the bottom with copper flashing for ease of cleaning. Copper is expensive, so you can use a wooden dowels for a handle and joinery pins if you want to save a few bucks, and you might choose to use aluminum as an alternative copper flashing if you prefer (it is normally found right next to the copper flashing in home centers).

The tools that you will need include the following:

  • Table saw
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Clamps
  • Bandsaw, jigsaw or scroll saw
  • Router
  • Brad nailer or hammer
grill caddy with drawer with foil and paper towel -exploded
measurement table

Getting Started

raw parts

Cut pieces to size. Reference the cutlist and cut all pieces to their appropriate dimensions.

cutting biscuit slots

Biscuit joinery. Cut biscuit slots in all locations marked in the diagram. If you don’t own a biscuit joiner, or are just looking for a faster method, you could simply use glue and 18 gauge brad nails.

grill caddy side panel biscuit placement
grill caddy end panel templates - 2

Use pattern to drill and cut end panels. Print the PDF template provided for the end panels, and use spray adhesive to temporarily attach to your stock, or trace onto the pieces.

cutting curves on end panels

Cut to shape. Drill 1-1/8” holes first using a paddle or forstner bit. Then use a bandsaw or handheld jigsaw to cut the curved pattern. Confirm the hole diameter against your handle.

grill bottom template

Round corners on bottom panel. Cut a 2” radius curve on the corners of the bottom that will be near the paper towel holder. Check the biscuit location to ensure that you don’t cut on the wrong end.

spreading glue on copper flashing

Attach copper flashing to false bottom. Spread an even layer of contact cement across both surfaces, let dry for 15 minutes, and press the flashing into place allowing the copper to overhang slightly on all edges.

smoothing copper

Remove any gaps: Using a J-roller or rounded edge of a board, firmly press the copper into place, going over it repeatedly for a couple minutes until the copper flashing is fully seated against the board.

filing copper

Trim and flush copper. Cut the copper flush with the wood’s edge by making 3-4 passes with a sharp utility blade. Using a file, remove any sharp edges from the copper flashing by stroking downward toward the wood. Filing in the other direction could pry the copper away from the wood.

protect copper during finishing

Protect copper for glue-up and finishing. To avoid the hassle of removing stubborn glue and finish later, put a protective layer of painter’s masking tape on the copper prior to assembly.

clamping and gluing

Assemble. Apply glue and biscuits, assembling all components of main carcase except for upper rails. Those can be installed after glue cures.

Drill for pins. Hold upper rails into position. Drill 3/32” holes in locations marked on diagram, going all the way through the side rails and ½” into the mating piece. After drilling the first hole into the upper rail, insert a copper rod to hold it in position while drilling the next hole. This will ensure perfect alignment. Then remove rod before applying glue.

cutting copper down on sides

Glue and pin. Using an adhesive that bonds copper and wood, such as Nexabond or epoxy, coat the mating surfaces as well as the holes. Leaving the pins long, tap them into the holes. Cut the pins proud of the surface and sand them flush later. After installing all pins, use clamps to secure the assembly until the glue cures.

thermometer storage

Install upper rails and drill hole for thermometer storage. Prior to installing the upper rails, hold one upper rail in position, and rest it on the lower rail. Ensure proper alignment at each end, then drill a 1/4” hole through the upper rail, and into the lower rail as shown. Then use a spacer to raise the upper rail 1” above the lower rail. Using the same approach as previously to install the pins, attach the upper rails to each end panel.

nail drawer

Build drawer. Attach drawer front to drawer bottom using a biscuit. Then attach drawer sides and back using a brad nailer or by tapping in brads (if you use this method, predrill to avoid splitting).

exploded drawer pull

Make drawer pull. Using three sections of copper pipe ½” dia x 1-1/4” long and two 90-degree elbows, form a drawer pull.

install drawer pull

Install drawer pull. Mark the locations on the drawer front and use a ½” forstner bit to drill recesses ½” deep. Using Nexabond or epoxy, press the drawer pull into position.

install copper dowels

Install section cross dividers. Measure and cut 5/8” x 1-1/2” cedar to length. Drill a 3/8” hole through the center of the piece. Set the cedar piece into position and temporarily pin with 3/12” copper rod stock. Use a section of 3/8” copper rod to mark the location on the end panel where the rod will be inserted. Drill a 3/8” hole ½” deep into the location on the end panel. Disassemble, apply glue and reassemble. After glue cures cut copper rods flush and sand with a coarse to medium grit such as 80.

cutting circle

Install paper towel base. Using a scroll saw or bandsaw, cut a 5” circle. Then drill a 1-1/8” hole through the center of it, and roundover the top edges using a router or sander. Glue and clamp into position.


Finish. Use a penetrating finish such as deck sealer to preserve the wood.

Install handle, paper towel holder and bottle opener. Slip 1” copper pipe through holes in the end panels, and cap each end. No need to use adhesive or solder to fix the caps to the pipe; a friction fit should suffice. If yours are loose, then use cyanoacrylate glue, epoxy, or solder to permanently mount the caps. Install and cap the paper towel bar with no adhesive, and use screws to fasten the bottle opener into position.

grill caddy hanger

Optional hanging bracket. If you want to preserve table space near your grill, you can build the optional handing bracket and install it on a deck railing or side of your house. Simply cut a cedar 2×4 to the specified length, and use a 1-1/8” forstener or spade bit to drill holes 1-1/4” deep at the identified locations. Holes should be drilled at a 5-degree angle so that the pipes will tip slightly upward. Stain the 2×4 to match your deck, and install 9” sections of 1” copper pipe into the holes. Add a cap to the end of each pipe. Do not permanently attach the copper pipe, as this will allow you to remove the pipes when not in use. Store them in your grill caddy!

I hope you have fun building and using this project. Let us know in the comments section if you have ideas for customizing and improving the grill caddy.

Click here to download a free PDF of this plan

Click here to download a PDF template of the end panels


3/32” Copper rod stock is available at Amazon.com; $4/ft.

3/8” Copper rod stock is available at Amazon.com; $10/ft

Copper bottle opener is available at Amazon.com; $14.

1” copper pipe, end caps, and 6”copper flashing are available at most home centers

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New Tool Review: Mirka DEROS 550X Random Orbital Sander http://www.wwgoa.com/article/new-tool-review-mirka-deros-550x-random-orbital-sander/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/new-tool-review-mirka-deros-550x-random-orbital-sander/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:15:05 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=569110 Always on the lookout for innovations that make sanders perform more quickly, quietly, and with better dust collection, Paul Mayer found that Mirka scored big in each of these categories with its new DEROS random orbital sander.

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Photos by author

sander hero

It costs $595. I wanted to get that out of the way up front, so it’s not a “buzz kill” when you get to the end of this article, because nearly everything else that I will say about this sanding system will make some design engineers at Mirka blush. For many WWGOA readers this sander might not be a contender for budgetary reasons, but for those shops who demand extreme performance from their tools, or those who have the discretionary income to go “top shelf” on tool purchases, you will want to take a look at this sander. It provides outstanding power with minimal heft, along with low vibration that allows for fatigue-free extended use. Add to that dust collection that is so effective that I might be tempted to use it without a mask, and you have a tool that promises to change the rules in the world of random orbital sanders.

dust extractor

Full system. The sander can be purchased separately, but it is designed as part of a system that includes a dust extractor as well as special abrasives that are designed for greater longevity and dust extraction. I brought in a complete setup for the purposes of these tests.

Why is this such a big deal?

The Mirka DEROS (stands for Direct Electric Random Orbital Sander) is the first random orbital sander with a brushless DC motor that has the power supply efficiently incorporated into the sander body. The motor delivers far more power than any typical electric random orbital sander that I have ever used, and I’ve tried most of them. The DEROS actually rivals the power found in pneumatic sanders, which are generally far superior in performance to their electric counterparts.

At only 3-1/2” tall, and 2.2 pounds, its petite profile makes the tool manageable in any sized hand, much like a pneumatic sander. I found its light, compact form to be particularly beneficial when sanding vertically, which can be tiring using typical electric random orbital sanders.

The soft-start feature delivers a gentle ramp-up to peak performance which, coupled with silky smooth ongoing operation (even with aggressive grits), makes sanding a more pleasant experience. Variable speed control built into the trigger mechanism provides smooth, single-handed speed changes which gives the operator exceptional finesse in moving across intricate areas of a project.

Extreme power!

sanding rough panel

I had a lot of fun putting the sander through some extreme tests to see where the power advantage would reveal itself. I took a gnarly rough-sawn walnut plank, 6” wide x 6’ long, and sanded it until all tool marks were gone using an 80 grit disk. I was actually somewhat surprised when this task was complete in only a few minutes. I did this several more times on smaller planks of various species and continued to be impressed with the rate of stock removal. As a point of comparison I tried this same test with a few other electric random orbitals, and it generally took them 20-50% longer to complete the task. Then, in the spirit of aggressive test cases, I jumped directly from 80 grit to 400 on the DEROS, and within another couple minutes of going at it, the board looked and felt like a piece of highly polished glass. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that this is good woodworking practice, but the power of this sander allows it to deliver great performance, even with finer abrasives. The surface quality that this machine produces is simply astonishing.

sanding end grain

Another task in which the power stands out is in sanding end grain. Even with a good quality AC electric sander this task can be slow and arduous. The muscle of this sander makes the process go much more quickly, while the light weight and ergonomic handling make it much easier and less “jerky”.

The DEROS also runs quietly, especially for a sander with so much power. I compared it to a few other random orbital sanders that I have in my shop and found that the DEROS ran 3-5 decibels quieter, even with the dust extraction running. If I take that a step further and assume that I will be running my dust collector with the other sanders (which is normally the case) and I won’t need this with the Mirka, then the Mirka runs about 8-10 decibels quieter, which is a substantial difference.

Dust extraction

One of the key benefits of the overall DEROS system resides in its ability to extract nearly all perceptible dust directly at the source during normal sanding operations. This does not just include sanding a horizontal flat surface; I also found the extraction to be effective on vertical and inverted surfaces, as well as edges and end grain. The dust collection effectiveness is the result of three aspects of the system:

• The DEROS sander itself incorporates good airflow with an enlarged central dust port that delivers strong suction all the way through the pad.

auto-start dust extraction

• The powerful, quiet extraction system delivers great air flow to the tool, with an auto-start feature that turns the extractor on and off as the sander’s switch is engaged. The extractor also features a neat mechanism to clean the filter without opening the housing, which is convenient and really helps to maintain strong air flow. With conventional shop vacuums this process is messy, by frequently opening the vacuum to clean the filter a ton of dust can be launched into the air, much of the benefit of using a vacuum is lost.

quick disconnect

I also like the quick disconnect feature that is located a short distance away from the tool. Many sanders locate this right at the tool itself, and by moving it away from the work surface, Mirka has made the work area less cumbersome.

innovative abrasives

• The Mirka Abranet abrasives also play an important role in delivering optimal dust collection. Constructed of a mesh material similar to abrasives used by drywall tapers, these abrasive sheets allow dust to flow more freely through to the collection system. They also proved to be quite durable, maintaining their abrasive quality for a noticeably longer period than typical sanding disks that I have used (Mirka claims that these disks last from 2-5 times longer than standard abrasive disks depending on the application). I also tested the DEROS with some standard abrasives and found that the system performed well, but left a bit more dust behind than the Abranet disks. This system also comes with a thin foam pad that is installed between the sander’s sanding pad and the Abranet disk, called a “pad protector”. I believe that this device should always be used with the Abranet disks because the mesh quality of the disk allows more wear to occur on the pad’s hook and loop system. I will expect to swap the pad protector on a periodic basis, but this is as quick and simple as replacing a sanding disk, and costs less than $10.

Surely there has to be a downside…


Plastic trigger.

Call me old fashioned, but for a sander in this price range, I want a metal trigger. It works fine, and I have no reason to doubt Mirka’s claim that they have never heard of one breaking, but it feels like an Achilles’ heel in an otherwise bullet-proof sander.

Requires dust extraction system.

I’m uber impressed with the dust extraction capabilities that this sanding system provides. But, it’s that or nothing. There are occasions when I want to use a sander without the full dust extraction setup, and for those situations I’d like to have a bag or similar built-in dust capture system.


This sander is the bomb! Its combination of power, ergonomics, and world-class dust collection put it into its own league relative to the field of electric random orbital sanders. This sander commands a high price tag, but I believe it is well worth it for woodworkers who demand extreme quality and performance.


  • Mirka Abrasives, Inc.
  • 7950 Bavaria Road
  • Twinsburg, Ohio 44087
  • Tel. 330-963-6421
  • mirka-usa.com
  • mirkaderos.com (specific microsite for DEROS sander)

  • Sander can be purchased separately:
  • Mirka DEROS MID55020CAUS, 5” Mirka DEROS Electric Sander, $595

  • Or available as part of a kit:
  • Mirka MID550-912-5 – 5″ DEROS Dust-Free System Kit with 5.5m (18′) Hose, $1,347

  • Abranet Abrasives
  • Mirka 9A-232-120 5-Inch 120 Grit Mesh Abrasive Dust Free Sanding Discs, Box of 50 Disks, $35 (other grits available as well)

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]]> http://www.wwgoa.com/article/new-tool-review-mirka-deros-550x-random-orbital-sander/feed/ 14 WWGOA Live Recap: March 2015 http://www.wwgoa.com/article/wwgoa-live-recap-for-march-19-2015/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/wwgoa-live-recap-for-march-19-2015/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:30:51 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=7304 We ran our first WWGOA Live session, in which folks could ask questions that I answered live. Did you miss it? No problem. We've archived the entire hour, and you can watch it at your leisure.

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I love teaching woodworking, and wish I could come into each of your shops to help you out. I recently did, sort of. We ran our first WWGOA Live session, in which folks could ask questions that I answered live. Did you miss it? No problem. We’ve archived the entire hour, and you can watch it at your leisure.

Watch for our next session in the near future. I can’t wait for another chance to help you out in your shop.

Also, as a gift of appreciation for the great turnout for our first show, use code WWGOALIVE to receive 50% off a Premium subscription to our site. Just go to wwgoa.com/join to sign up.

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Table Saw Safety: Guards and Splitters http://www.wwgoa.com/article/table-saw-safety-guards-splitters/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/table-saw-safety-guards-splitters/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:07:47 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=7031 Table saw safety is critical for every woodworker. Bruce Kieffer's table saw safety article explores options for aftermarket and shop-made table saw guards and splitters. Be safe and saw often!

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Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who’s gotten maimed using a table saw. The story always goes the same way, first is what happened, and then, unfortunately, what the operator did wrong. I’m convinced that all of these accidents were preventable. I implore you to use caution and do everything you can to protect yourself in your shop.

Table saws are inherently dangerous and you should give them ample respect. I understand that accidents happen, but you can do a lot to minimize the chances of being the victim of a table saw accident by using a guard and splitter, and common sense. You should know that OSHA defines what I call a guard as a blade cover. I choose to continue calling these guards since they block or impede a person’s hands from contact with the rotating saw blade.

Most new table saws today come with good guards and good splitters with anti-kickback pawls. Pawls are spring loaded backward pointing “fingers” that stop a board from being shot forward during a kickback. Riving knives are fairly common on new saws, but that wasn’t the case just a few years ago. A “true” riving knife is a splitter that is articulated to move up and down as the saw blade is raised or lowered. It maintains close proximity to the blade at all times. This offers more protection by stopping a saw kerf from closing sooner than with a traditional splitter. Here’s a great video that explains riving knives:

George Vondriska Explains Riving Knives

Please realize this is not a review of different factory or aftermarket table saw guards and splitters, rather it’s intended to explore options, give you ideas, and encourage you to find a solution that works for you and gives you proper protection. First I’ll show you my guard and splitter solution, then I’ll show you some of what I found when I searched the Internet for aftermarket saw guards and splitters.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

My Shop-Made Guard And Splitter Story

Basically this is my story of how I got from there to where I am today with my saw safety thinking. My table saw is a 1980’s vintage Delta Unisaw that I bought new. I added Delta’s Uniguard overarm guard that wrapped around the left rear of the saw. That configuration is not typical, most wrap around from the right. It’s design presented sawing limitations to the left of the blade. Making those cuts required I drop the Uniguard out of the way, and that made me very nervous, and rightfully so.

Adding an aftermarket sliding crosscut table to my table saw forced me to eliminate the Uniguard due to interference with the sliding table. My saw is affixed to my floor and it doesn’t move; so a permanently mounted ceiling overhead guard made a lot of sense. Using the Uniguard blade cover parts together with black plumbing pipe and fittings, rectangular and round metal tubing, and miscellaneous hardware I crafted the ceiling mounted guard you see here.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

I tried a few different ways to connect the guard support pipe to my ceiling before I arrived at this final solution. The problem was that a long section of pipe with a small footprint connection to the ceiling was too flexible. So I made this 2-ft long extension box, which shortened the pipe length and increased the ceiling connection surface area. It works well.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

I split the pipe into two sections and joined those sections with a pipe union. That allows me to easily remove the lower section that holds the guard so there’s clearance for the rare times I need to cut extra long or wide work pieces oriented vertically.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

Here are a few of my guard’s construction details: The upper pivot arm lets me pivot the entire guard up and out of the way so I can make cuts on tall pieces up to about 24″ without needing to separate the guard at the pipe union. The lower pivot arm allows me to pivot the blade cover out of the way for blade changes or when I need to retract the independent splitter.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

The upper pivot arm tube fits nicely inside a black pipe tee fitting. A hole is drilled in the tee, a nut is brazed over the hole, and then a threaded knob is screwed into the nut. The tube and guard can be shifted left or right for flexibility when sawing narrow work-pieces, or when using my sliding table attachment. I filed a flat spot on the tube for greater locking force, and as a locking reference point. The shaft collars are added to restrict the side-to-side movement of the blade cover so it never accidentally touches the saw blade.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

The guard’s blade cover arms, side shields, and shaft collars were the only parts salvaged from the original Uniguard. These are essential components that could be purchased today as replacements parts. The arms and shields are “hinged” so the bottoms of the shields always rest flat on the workpieces being sawn. The interlocking support arm rectangular tubing is length adjustable. That, and all the other adjustable features of the guard allow it to be fine-tuned as needed when conditions change over time.

Aftermarket Overarm & Overhead Guards

My opinion is that overarm guards (covers), or overhead guards are the best. I’m referring to guards that are mounted separately from the saw’s splitter. They offer the most flexibility and the most coverage so most saw cuts can be made with the blade guard in place. Combined with a good splitter, and a keen awareness of your saw, your environment, and the materials you are cutting, and you should be well protected.

The guards shown here range in price from $200 to $500. I consider that cheap insurance, and peanuts compared to a trip to the hand surgeon.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

This is the modern version of the Uniguard overarm guard that I purchased for my Unisaw way back in the day. It’s right mounted and includes a splitter with anti-kickback pawls. The overarm assembly can, most likely, be adapted to a variety of saws, but the splitter will probably only work with Delta saws.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

This overarm guard is made by Exaktor. Its large diameter telescoping tube doubles as a dust collector pipe. Most guards of this style do not include a splitter. See the splitter options shown below.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

Here’s a similar design made by Excalibur.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

This highly popular blade cover and splitter combination is hand made by Lee Styron of Leeway Workshop, LLC. Although I prefer a two-piece setup, this is a great option for anyone who cannot live with the bulk of an overarm guard, or has a mobile saw where a ceiling mount setup won’t work. It’s also great for anyone who has a limited need for cutting dados and grooves. Lee is very backlogged because he personally manufactures these products; keep that in mind if you want to order any of his products.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

Leeway Workshop also offers the Shark Guard blade cover with an overhead bracket so it can be combined with any ceiling mount system.

My Saw’s Splitter

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

This is the splitter that came with my Unisaw. It’s served me well for all these years. I love that it’s independent from the blade guard cover. The combination of the two offers great flexibility and provides the safety and protection I want and need. It easily retracts to be hidden under the saw’s throat plate when it must be out of the way for dado and groove cuts.

Aftermarket Splitters

There’s not a lot to choose from as far as aftermarket table saw splitters. Probably because most saws today come with them included, and more and more saws today come with a riving knife. The aftermarket splitters shown here are either universal or custom fit to a particular saw. Check the manufacture’s site for saw compatibility information.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

The above two photos show a removable splitter with pawls is made by Leeway Workshop, LLC.

Table Saw Safety – Guards & Splitters

This Micro Jig Splitter™ SteelPRO System is relatively inexpensive and very simple. It mounts directly to a saw’s factory or aftermarket throat plate.


Delta Machinery
UNIGUARD® Blade Guard, 34-976

General International
Excalibur Overarm Blade Cover System, 50-EXBC

Exaktor Tools Limited
Overarm Blade Cover/Dust Collector, EX0A-2

Leeway Workshop, LLC.
Saw guards and splitters

Table saw guards and Micro Jig splitters
(800) 279-4441

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Shop Accident Statistics and Woodworking Safety http://www.wwgoa.com/article/shop-accident-statistics-woodworking-safety/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/shop-accident-statistics-woodworking-safety/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:06:05 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=7017 Every year, hospitals see injuries caused by woodworking tools in the emergency room. This includes professionals and hobbyists, students and homeowners. The types of injuries vary, as there are more ways to make mistakes in a woodshop than there are ways to plan ahead for them – precisely why they’re called accidents! In 2011, the... Read more »

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Shop Accident Statistics & Woodworking Safety

Every year, hospitals see injuries caused by woodworking tools in the emergency room. This includes professionals and hobbyists, students and homeowners. The types of injuries vary, as there are more ways to make mistakes in a woodshop than there are ways to plan ahead for them – precisely why they’re called accidents!

In 2011, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database published statistics concerning injuries related to woodshop machinery. The information was submitted by a number of local hospitals and projected to determine a likely overall average of injuries across the country. Therefore, the numbers may be a little low with the consideration of how many people don’t go to the emergency room for a wound that isn’t life threatening. The numbers certainly don’t include the “near miss” accidents that nearly every woodworker has seen. They do include injuries not related to use of machinery, such as a hurt back from trying to move a piece.

Table Saw: estimated 39,750 annual injuries

In most modern woodshops, the table saw is the centerpiece of the room and the most used tool. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the table saw causes more injuries than other woodshop equipment. The NEISS study shows a total of 855 table saw injuries in their sample count, which equates to a prediction of 78,980 total table saw accidents across the country.

Jointers, Planers, and Other Machinery: estimated 10,930 annual injuries

Jointers and planers, along with shapers and sanders, were classified as “other” for the sake of the NEISS study. They accounted for 195 injuries, or a projected 21,859 total injuries.

Miter Saw: estimated 6,800 annual injuries

The miter saw, in today’s shop, has for the most part replaced the radial arm saw. With 127 total accidents, the miter saw proves it may not be as safe as it appears. Accidents can occur if it isn’t set up securely on a table or bench. Further, it is designed only to make one specific type of through crosscut with a full sized board. When people try to cut too small of a piece, they place their fingers too close to the blade, or occasionally people try to make a short rip cut which is seemingly simple but the saw does not properly support the board and even with a steady hand it can move slightly, causing a kickback.

Band Saw: estimated 3,550 annual injuries

The sample study only shows a total of eleven band saw injuries, which is not enough statistically to formulate a reasonable prediction as to the number of overall injuries there have been with the band saw. However, the direct data indicates it to be about one per cent of the number of table saw accidents. A few factors could play into these numbers. First, not many hobby woodshops use a band saw, and the ones that do don’t use it as often as the table saw, generally speaking.

Radial Arm Saw: estimated 350 annual injuries

The radial arm saw was at one time the primary tool of the average woodshop, as it is a versatile tool capable of a lot of different tasks. Unfortunately, it has limits in how wide of a board it can handle and can be difficult to set up for rip cuts, so its popularity has given way to the table saw as a primary shop machine. The NEISS figures show only 4 total radial arm saw accidents, a low number, probably because radial arm saws aren’t widely used today.

The Take Away

The numbers show that accidents happen. WWGOA’s goal for you is that you’re never included in these statistics.

Related Topics:

Miter Saw Safety Tips
Band Saw Safety Tips
Table Saw Safety Tips
Table Saw Safety for Beginner Woodworking
Table Saw Safety
Band Saw, Router Table and Table Saw Safety
12 Tips for Using a Router Safely


Survey of Injuries Involving Stationary Saws (PDF)

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A Super Simple Table http://www.wwgoa.com/article/a-super-simple-table/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/a-super-simple-table/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:40:21 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=7060 If you’re looking for a cool last minute gift, or just a great project, this table is for you. Incredibly, it can be made it about one hour!

The post A Super Simple Table appeared first on WoodWorkers Guild of America.


Joints on the corners make this table surprisingly strong.

This table is a marvel of engineering and efficiency. The legs are placed on the corners, providing remarkable lateral and torsional strength, and the two horizontal planes serve as both shelf and stretchers. I have given this particular version an Arts & Crafts flair, employing quarter-sawn white oak and a geometric ‘dog ear’ on the legs. Legs are attached to the shelf and top with screws and plugged, however, dowel or pocket screw joinery would work too.


Less than four board feet make the table!

I had a spare piece of quartersawn white oak, only 10” x 48” gathering dust in my shop, and turned it into a gift. I reserved approximately two inches of width for each leg to create a leg blank, then trimmed off the excess and glued it to the top section to attain a wider plank for the top and shelf. Any lumber will work for this design, and I can imagine a contemporary version in walnut, or a Shaker version in maple. Final dimensions for the piece are 24” tall x 12” square.


Cut all the joints at once

Install a 3/8” wide dado blade in the table saw to crosscut dadoes in the 9” x 24” leg blank. This process requires multiple passes over the blade, but by taking thin passes after the initial cut, I can size the dado perfectly to match the thickness of the horizontal pieces. Clamp a stop block to the fence, and use it to cut a dado 2” from each end of the leg blank. Then move the rip fence to the right in small increments to sneak up on the final size of the dado.

It would be simple to add another shelf to the table, or to change the locations of the top and bottom, if you wanted to modify the design.


Rip the legs from the leg blank

Rip the 2” wide legs from the leg blank after the dadoes have been cut. I love projects that look complicated but are as simple and straightforward as this one. Each leg will be exactly the same, interchangeable with the other legs.


Trim the corners from the top and shelf

Cut a 45-degree miter on each corner of the shelves to receive the legs. The length of the diagonal is 2”, matching the width of the leg. I set a wide stop block and clamped it to the bed of the miter-saw. The top and shelf will be exactly the same size, and have identical miters. Select the best piece for the top, and use the other for the shelf.


Peg the screw holes

On a last minute gift like this time is of the essence, so I use screws to hold the table together instead of fancy joinery. To fasten the legs to the top and shelf, I bored 1/2” countersink holes, and then pre-drilled into the top and shelf. After driving the screw, I filled the holes with plugs I cut from excess white oak stock. When the glue dries, trim the plugs with a Japanese saw and sand them flush.

Final finishing steps

Sand the table with a random orbital sander, using 120-grit sandpaper. to clean up the plugs. I skip up to 220 grit sandpaper and sand the rest of the table, and soften all of the edges with hand sanding. For a beautiful and protective finish, I start with Dark Walnut stain from Minwax, which is the perfect balance of dark brown and red tones characteristic of antique Arts and Crafts furniture. After the stain dries overnight, I spray three thin coats of Satin Minwax Polyurethane as a protective, waterproof layer. The polyurethane has a hint of yellow, which adds to the character of the table, and is remarkably easy to apply. While waterborne finishes cure somewhat faster than oil based finishes, they don’t have that ‘yellow’ which is so perfect for this table. Now get out to the shop and start cutting! There’s no time to waste.

Photos and Byline by: Seth Keller

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]]> http://www.wwgoa.com/article/a-super-simple-table/feed/ 7 Premium Sanding Blocks Make Short Work of Surface Prep http://www.wwgoa.com/article/premium-sanding-blocks-make-short-work-of-surface-prep/ http://www.wwgoa.com/article/premium-sanding-blocks-make-short-work-of-surface-prep/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 17:29:23 +0000 http://www.wwgoa.com/?p=7035 This article explores two products that improve both the quality and performance of hand sanding: The Preppin’ Weapon by Time Saver Tools and the SandDevil by SandDevil USA. Do they take the drudgery out of hand sanding?

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sanding-blocks-glamour-shot-1024x678 When it comes to sanding I have two simple goals. I want to spend as little time as possible on the task, and I want the best possible results because I’ve put a lot of effort into the project up to that point and I don’t want to take any shortcuts that could compromise the appearance of my project. For most projects I use a random orbital sander and palm sander up through 120 or 150 grit, then I hand sand to 220. I’ve invested in good quality power sanders that do a great job, but the hand sanding phase is critical because it produces the final surface that will receive the finish. I’ve used a lot of approaches to hand sanding, including folding an abrasive sheet in my hand which leaves an inconsistent (wavy) surface, homemade wooden sanding blocks upon which it is a pain to secure sandpaper, and low cost commercial rubber versions that leave the sandpaper too loose and waste too much of it by only using a small portion of the sanding surface.

After doing a bit of research I found a couple nifty sanding blocks that promised better results. But, at roughly $20 apiece, would I actually receive enough value from a sanding block to justify such an indulgence? My curiosity got the better of me so I decided to buy one of each : The Preppin’ Weapon by Time Shaver Tools and the SandDevil by SandDevil USA.

Preppin’ Weapon

sanding-blocks-preppin-weapon-changing-paper-1024x808 This premium sanding block is made of high impact ABS and uses 2-3/4” x 9” sheet abrasives which conveniently, and cost effectively, are exactly one fourth of a standard 9” x 11” sheet of sandpaper.

Standout features.

The Preppin weapon is ergonomically designed. When you place it into your hand it feels like it belongs there. Installing sandpaper is quick, with solid cam action levers that lock the paper solidly into position underneath two high quality clamping brackets. Once properly locked, the sandpaper does not shift around like it does on cheaper sanding blocks that I have used, which can cause tearing and lead to sub-par sanding results. The cushy rubber pad underneath the sandpaper is great for gently easing sharp corners on a project.

sanding-blocks-preppin-weapon-action-shot-1024x648 The Preppin’ Weapon produced great results on flat surfaces and curves, as well as softening sharp corners. It’s great to be able to do all of that with a single tool using standard sanding sheets which are economical and versatile.


The SandDevil is a unique design that utilizes standard 3” x 21” sanding belts, and locks them into position using a locking cam mechanism that is similar to a belt sander. This product appealed to me because of the fact that it uses the same size belt as my belt sander so I know that I’ll always have abrasives on hand. Also, because you can rotate the belt, it allows you to use 100% of the abrasive. Unlike most sanding blocks that place some of the sandpaper underneath the locking clips.


Standout features:

I absolutely love the easy process of installing and changing belts. Flip…slide…slide…flip…and seconds later you are back in sanding business. Sanding surface wears out? Flip…rotate…flip…and off you go. Seconds later you’re sanding again. With a large (9-3/4” x 3”) hard plastic base, the SandDevil excels at perfecting a dead flat surface on large panel surfaces such as a desk or table top. Also, by keeping the huge surface (37% larger than the base of the Preppin’ Weapon) against the work piece at all times, sanding time is reduced dramatically over most hand-sanding techniques. The large size makes the SandDevil a bit cumbersome in my hand, so I’m not as inclined to use it on surfaces that are vertical, edges, or corners.


Decisions, Decisions

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you want to start with only one $20 sanding block, so here are a few thoughts to help you choose.

  • – I feel that the Preppin’ Weapon is a more versatile all around sanding block for flat, curves, edges and softening corners. The rubber backer pad, ergonomic design and use of economical sanding sheets makes this a good choice if you like to hand sand all aspects of your project.
  • – If you primarily reserve hand sanding for only the “show surface” (top of a table, desk, chest, etc.) then you might consider the Sanding Devil as its massive surface area and solid base provide a great means of perfecting a large flat surface, and the clever paper changing mechanism will keep you moving along through the sanding process.
  • – If you are like me and just can’t decide, then pick up one of each. Put 180 grit on the Preppin’ Weapon to hand sand the entire project, and install a finer abrasive on the Sanding Devil to perfect the show surface of your project.

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