Plas­tic bench dogs

WOOD - - TOOLS MATERIALS & SHOP-TESTED - —Tested by Bob Hunter, Tools Ed­i­tor

4-pack, no. 64256, $10

Short of mak­ing your own bench dogs, th­ese stops of­fer the low­est buy-in. They hold work­pieces se­curely, but can get mis­placed be­cause they don’t self-store by drop­ping be­low the bench­top when not in use.

8" bench­top join­ter, no. 40180HCB-CT, $470

I’m a big pro­po­nent of 8" join­t­ers be­cause the wider the cut­ter­head, the wider the boards you can face-joint. This Cutech join­ter pairs big ca­pac­ity with a seg­mented car­bide-in­sert cut­ter­head for less than $500.

For a bench­top model, this unit has sur­pris­ing power. Its uni­ver­sal mo­tor won’t com­pete with the in­duc­tion mo­tors on sta­tion­ary join­t­ers, but it gets along nicely if you re­move no more than 1∕32" per pass on most wood species, and 1∕64" on very dense hard­woods. The cut­ter­head cre­ates a smooth, clean cut with­out snipe or tear-out. I never dulled the cut­ters dur­ing test­ing, but re­place­ments sell for $60 per 10-pack. Chang­ing cut­ters is quick and easy, us­ing the in­cluded wrench.

The cast-alu­minum ta­bles proved per­fectly copla­nar, and pull­out ex­ten­sions in­crease work­piece sup­port from 331∕2" to 51" with­out droop­ing or caus­ing catches while joint­ing boards. The alu­minum fence moves eas­ily back and forth, and locks solidly in place. Dust col­lec­tion proved ex­cep­tional.

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