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August 16, 2007

New Red Hot Special!

New Red Hot Special!

In recent years, many companies have tried to copy the venerable Bessey K Body clamps - with varying degrees of success. One of the better clones has been the Gross Stabil PC2 Parallel Clamps. Recently, Bessey purchased Gross Stabil. They don't need two different versions of the same clamp, so the Gross Stabil model has been discontinued and you benefit from outstanding prices on some great clamps! Quantities are limited, so act fast - once they're gone, they're gone for good!

Check out the Red Hot Special!

(If you don't see the Red Hot Special item on our homepage, that means we've sold out, so check back soon for our next item!)

Georgia Association of Woodturner's Meeting August 2007

The Georgia Association of Woodturner's meets in our Seminar Room tonight at 6:30pm. They are open to visitors, so come by and check it out. Dick Sing will be demonstrating. Click here for a list of Dick Sing's books available at Highland Woodworking.


Dick is a professional wood turner with a long list of accomplishments and an international reputation. Dick has demonstrated and taught across the United States and also in Australia and England. Dick has an extensive knowledge of woodturning, which he is always willing to share.

He has published 7 books on woodturning and has also written articles for Wood Magazine and The American Woodturner. Dick is now going to be a regular here in the Woodworking at Home Magazine.

Our store is open until 8:00pm on Thursdays so you can do some shopping, too.


August 12, 2007

How do you make square lumber from rough stock?

Here's a quick video that explains making square lumber 7 easy steps.


August 9, 2007

Belt Sander Racing Fun at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) fair in Las Vegas. It was a great show with lots of new products that you'll be seeing soon at Highland Woodworking.

The highlight of the weekend were the belt sander races on Friday afternoon.

People have been racing belt sanders for many years (you can find dozens of belt sander racing videos on YouTube.) The oldest racing organization is the New England Belt Sander Racing Association (NEBSRA.)

Now, Accuride is sponsoring the Belt Sander Racing Association (BSRA.)


I took some video at the races, but it turns out I'm not a very good cameraman and I was a bit too far away. You can see some of the better shots I got at the bottom, but I found this first video on YouTube. It is much better quality than my video and covers the most amazing run of the afternoon from a great perspective.

There was an enormous crowd on hand for the racing. So many people, in fact, that one of the exhibitors re-scheduled their press conference because everyone was at the belt sander races.


Here's my video.


August 8, 2007

Woodworking Tools for Children

By Chris Black

Woodworking Tools for Children by Chris BlackOver the years we’ve been asked numerous times if we carry children’s tool sets. Unfortunately, the quality of these sets marketed for children is so shoddy that the tools quickly break, or they are unusable to begin with. Like learning to play music on a cheap instrument, working wood with poorly constructed tools will soon frustrate even the most ambitious student. We recommend buying quality, age appropriate tools. Even if you purchase professional class tools, your investment can still be modest.

As rewarding as woodworking is, it is also inherently dangerous. Tools are not toys. Adults must closely supervise children. You are personally responsible for learning proper techniques and teaching these skills to your children. Remember, always wear eye protection! Our child-sized safety glasses (818349) have adjustable temple arms to fit most heads. Time spent crafting with kids is a great joy, so use good judgment and keep it safe.

Tools for children must work right out of the box without modification. Only a minimal amount of skill should be necessary to put the tools into service, and they need to fit small hands. The tools listed here meet these standards. As for materials, stick with softer woods like white pine and basswood. These woods are inexpensive, easy to work and readily available at any home center.

  • SAFETY GLASSES (818349) – an absolute must for kids and adults
  • PORTABLE WORKBENCH VISE (199153) – You’ll need a way to hold the wood while you work with it. This one can be mounted just about anywhere, like on a picnic table.
  • EASY CARPENTRY FOR CHILDREN (202644) – A wonderful little book with basic projects that require just a few tools.
  • WOODWORKING FOR KIDS (200931) – A more detailed study with extra projects.
  • COPING SAW (051901) – These saws are prefect for children. They cut on the pull stroke (easier for children), and the inexpensive blades are replaceable.
  • SCHROEDER HAND DRILL (071817) – Eggbeater type drills like this are safe and fun to use. You should also get a 1/16” drill bit for making starter holes for nails and a 1/8” bit for screws. Loading the screw threads with a little candle wax makes driving screws effortless.
  • SURFORM TOOL (8131219) – Surforms smooth and shape wood fast, fit small hands and have replaceable cutting surfaces. Unlike a handplane, a Surform doesn’t need to be tuned or sharpened to work.
  • 7" COMBINATION SQUARE (171208) – A small, adjustable square helps mark out projects with straight lines.
  • SMALL JAPANESE HAMMER (146605) – Any small hammer will do, but we’ve found that traditional Japanese hammers are better balanced, and are more comfortable for kids to use.
  • WOOD GLUE (165039) – Basic white school glue works just fine. Our yellow woodworking variety sets faster for short attention spans.
  • 16” STANDARD TAPE MEASURE (167238) – This one has a rubberized armored case, so it won’t break when it hits the basement floor.
  • SCREWDRIVERS – One slotted, one Phillips.
  • PLIERS – for straightening or pulling bent nails.
  • SANDPAPER – 80 OR 100 grit. Anything finer is not necessary at this level.
  • RUBBERBANDS – Use them as clamps while the glue dries.

Even though we want to emphasize safety, too often these projects become our projects. Let the kids do the work. The point is not necessarily to accomplish a task or even finish a job. Kids operate in the moment, and are more interested in the process than getting the job done.

Keep the tasks simple at first. Limit your initial projects to something that can be accomplished in about an hour or so. Boats with paper sails, cutting boards and one or two piece toys will spark interest and lead to more complex ideas later.

If you purchased just the tools listed here (the ones with our part numbers), your initial investment would be just under $120 with shipping. Although this is a considerable sum, it’s much less than a hand held video game system or the latest battery powered whiz-bang. We’d like to think doing something interactive with your kids, like woodworking, will create more happiness, joy and memories in your lives than a video game. WONDERFUL!

August 4, 2007

Update on new Leigh products!


I know that many of you are anxiously waiting for us to ship your new Leigh VRS or Super jig. Originally, they were scheduled to arrive in mid- to late-July. Unfortunately, Leigh has had some delays. Here is the latest from Matt at Leigh Industries.

Dear Blair,

As you are all aware, and us more particularly with all the calls we get, the interest in the new Super Jigs and VRS is tremendous. Having been manufacturing for 25 years we thought we had anticipated all the delays in introducing these new products, from problems with tooling to errors in tolerances; save for one….summer shut downs. Rightly or wrongly, to this day there are many companies that still close there doors for a couple of weeks in the summer. With parts ordered long ago, and final approvals of samples done, the proverbial supplier’s voice says “we are sorry but we are closed for our summer shut down”. We all need holidays, but couldn’t they have waited until after they made and shipped our parts?

The good news is that the last items to finish these products will be in our warehouse on the 24th of August, yes this year. Therefore we will start shipping to dealers on the 27th. As we have a lot of pent up demand we hope to have all current orders out the door before month end.



Given that Leigh is about 2900 miles away from here, we should have our shipment around September 5th. When it arrives, we will process it as quickly as possible and ship all of our outstanding Leigh orders the same day. We apologize for the delay.