A Day With Brian Fuller

This summer my coworkers and I were able to spend a day with Bryan Fuller. Bryan may be best known for his TV show “Two Guys Garage” , but has also worked with Chip Foose on “Overhaulin” and has also showed off a badass bike rebuild on “Café Racer”. Bryan is a seriously talented fabricator and a restoration expert.

The good folks at JET Tools and Equipment were awesome enough to arrange this visit for us. During the day we spent at Bryans Atlanta shop Fuller Hot Rods, Bryan and the JET team took the time to explain in detail how all their metal cutting, shaping, and turning tools worked. We had the opportunity to use them, test them, and learn everything about them.

This was a seriously awesome experience. During the day we got invaluable insight from Bryan who uses these tools everyday. He was able to give us tips and tricks the pro’s use.

If you are looking for great metal working tools or wood tools too, I strongly urge you to consider JET tools. From personal experience and advise from the pro’s, I can guarantee that you will be happy and your JET tools will give you many years of great service.

For more tips, click here to check out Bryan’s Book.

Here are a few pics of us getting to play.

 

 

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Bosch GTS1031

My friend Ethan at One Project Closer wrote this awesome review of the new Bosch portable jobsite table saw. Thanks Ethan!

Table saws are a must have tool whether you’re installing hardwood flooring or sheathing new construction. No contractor’s inventory is complete without one. Cabinet table saws are perfect for the shop but it’s important to be able to pack-up and go. That’s where the GTS1031 fits in.

The new Bosch GTS1031 is a 10″, compact table saw designed for the job site. A well placed handle makes it easy to carry one-handed, and all the accessories are safely stored within the all-steel frame. The 18″ rip capacity is shorter than we would prefer but surpasses competitors within the same class. Even so, it’s an excellent option to consider for your next purchase.

Traveling between job sites can wreak havoc on the toughest of tools. The rip fence is often the most exposed component and the first casualty. Bosch understands this and found storage space within the steel frame for all the accessories including the rip fence. There is no wasted space here. This approach also enables you to store the GTS1031 on its side, taking up a smaller portion of your truck.

If you’ve ever carried a table saw, you know it’s usually a two handed operation. One-handed carry is an important feature because it saves time at the job site. Making fewer trips means getting the job done faster. The padded handle is securely attached to the frame and well balanced for easy transportation.

Bosch equipped this saw with a 4hp, 5,000rpm motor that powers through materials with ease. The bevel adjustments (-2° to 52°), and dado capabilities (1/2″) mean this saw can tackle a variety of projects. The Squarelock Rip Fence moves easily along the rails and provides an precise cut each time. The Bosch GTS 1031 has a respectable 18″ rip capacity but falls short of the ideal 24″. At two feet, you’re able to cut sheet goods in half without extra cuts. This is a fair trade-off considering the small form factor, and even at 18″, the GTS1031 is more capable than similar models.

Setup is quickly achieved by raising the blade and riving knife, and locking the safety guard and anti kickback pawls in place. This saw is streamlined for performance with no unnecessary frills.

At 22.5″ square and 13″ high, the GTS1031 is extremely compact and has one of the smallest footprints available. It weighs 52 lbs, making it slightly heavier than comparable models.

There are several compatible accessories including dust collection, a zero clearance insert and the GTA500 stand.

Click here to view the full post by One Project Closer with tons of pictures.

Click here for more specs and to order the GTS1031.

Batteries 101

By now everyone has heard of Lithium-Ion batteries, but there still seems to be plenty of confusion in the market. Is Lithium-Ion really better than the Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries we have been using for the last 20+ years? Let me assure you that Lithium-Ion batteries are engineered with far superior technology. But in order to appreciate the extent of this technology, you will need to forget some of what you’ve already learned about batteries.

To start, let’s back up. Ni-Cad batteries were the technology of the 70’s and 80’s. These batteries provided adequate power, but due to their chemical composition they are heavier and bulkier and have a shorter overall cycle life over their lifetime. Much of this is attributed to the “memory” in Ni-Cad batteries. When a Ni-Cad battery is placed on a charger without being properly drained or removed from a charger without being properly charged, it creates a “memory.” This is essentially a point on the battery that when recharging in the future it will not surpass, eventually making the battery only capable of holding half a charge and sometimes less.

At this point it’s important to clarify proper Ni-Cad charging and use: a battery should never be completely drained since this can damage the cells. A battery should always be charged when you notice a decrease in performance. For example, if you have drilled 100 holes and they only take 2 or 3 seconds each, and then hole number 101 takes 4 or 5 seconds, that is clearly a decrease in performance and an indicator that it’s time to charge the battery. You should not continue to use it until it will not drill at all, and NEVER tape the trigger down to allow the tool to run until it cannot run any more. Furthermore, you should never charge a Ni-Cad battery while it is hot. After using it strenuously for several hours, a battery can heat up. Heat is the number one killer of batteries. Always allow the battery to cool before placing it on the charger. Finally, never pull a battery off the charger until it has completed the charging cycle. If you follow these simple steps your Ni-Cad batteries will last much longer.

Now for Lithium-Ion. Some of the basic battery principles still apply. Heat is a also an enemy of Lithium-Ion batteries, but an advanced charging system like Makita’s, for example, actually has a computer chip inside the battery and a built-in cooling fan inside the charger. Therefore, while other Ni-Cad batteries may take several hours to cool before they can be placed on the charger, but some, like the Makita 18V Lithium-Ion system actually starts cooling the battery immediately once it is placed on the charger with its built-in cooling fan. This allows Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries to boast the fastest recharge times in the entire power tool industry. The Makita 18V LXT battery (part # BL1830) will charge in 30 minutes and the 18V Compact battery (part # BL1815) charges in only 15 minutes. That is four times faster than traditional 18V Ni-Cad batteries.

Lithium-Ion batteries have some major advantages over the Ni-Cads of yester-year. They are much lighter than their older counterparts and much smaller too, yet they pack the same power. The new chemistry and technology in these batteries will now hold a charge for months and even years while sitting idle on a workshop shelf waiting for their next use, instead of depleting their charge, so you can be confident when you are ready to work, your tool is too. Ni-Cads have a slow drop in power when reaching the end of their charge, sometimes giving the appearance of having a charge, only to get to the top of a ladder and realize that there was nothing left. The Lithium Ion batteries of today hold essentially 100% performance through the entire charge and then quit completely when they run out. This leaves no question of whether the battery is ready to be charged, or if you should try to run a few more screws.

Lithium-Ion batteries do not have “memory,” but you should still follow these basic guidelines during use. Do not over-discharge the battery before recharging. This means that once you notice a decrease in performance, place it on the charger. While it will not hurt a Lithium-Ion battery to sit on the charger until it is time to use it, it is not required to do this to have a charge when you are ready like you probably experienced with your older Ni-Cads. Once you have charged the battery, you can be sure it will be ready to go when you are, so remove it from the charger and be confident in the superior technology you have purchased.

I hope this helps to clear up some of the confusion over the new battery chemistry and technology, but if you still have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.