Woodworking Gadgets

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 07-26-2007 10:59 PM 10129 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We have all seen new gadgets advertised.

How many of them really work?

How many are really worth the trouble?

How many really get used?

I invite everyone to tell us about your favorite gadget or two, and how much you really use them.

I’ll start by showing two of my favorites. Both are shown in the picture below.

1. The first are the “Board Buddies”.

They work great to prevent kickback and to hold your stock against the fence. When mounting them rotate them from 2 to 5 degrees toward the back of your saw. This will force the stock into the fence.
Quick to adjust and seconds to take off.
The only problem that you might encounter is when you are using a T-Square type of fence. This is
because if you adjust them to put too much down pressure you might lift the rear of your fence.
But this can be solved in two ways. The first is to only adjust the wheels to about 1/4
lower than the surface of the wood, and the second is to put a clamp on the end of your fence.
I use the first method and I have had no problems.

How often do I use them? Every time I cut larger sheet stock and rip long boards.

2. Is Wixey’s little digital angle gauge (you can see it stuck to my fence at the bottom of the picture)

This little thing is great, and I wish I had one long ago. It uses magnets to stick to your table where
you press the “zero” button and then stick it to you raised blade and set your angle to 1/10 of
a degree. Since you use your table as a reference to zero it, it doesn’t matter if your table is level or not.

How often do I use it. Every single time I move the angle of the blade.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

10 comments so far

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4505 days

#1 posted 07-26-2007 11:04 PM

Sure Gary have everyone post all their favorite toys….eerr…indespensible tools. How am I going to explain the sudden activity on the credit card to my wife?

-- Bob

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4595 days

#2 posted 07-26-2007 11:58 PM

Garry, I have the Board Buddies but stopped using them when I purchased the Grippers, of which I have two. They are from Micro-Jig.

I find these perfect for handling the small pieces when making small boxes. The Board Buddies are great for ripping larger sheets, which I seldom do.

Another great safety device is the Magswith available from Rockler It is held to the surface of the TS by rare earth magnets which are easliy disengaged by turning the mall knobs.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4398 days

#3 posted 07-27-2007 12:24 AM

Gee, I wonder what my favorite would be?

Maybe something to do with table saws.

Naw, can’t think of anything.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4455 days

#4 posted 07-27-2007 01:00 AM

Now Lee, that was a perfect opening for shameless self promotion. But, if you’re not going to, I will. How about this, for a gadget that has terrific usefulness?


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View JT Thomas's profile

JT Thomas

14 posts in 4376 days

#5 posted 07-27-2007 03:24 AM


I also have the board buddies. They are great for sheets of plywood!

My favorite tool is my Incra TS-LS Table Saw Fence. It allows me to get accurate and repeatable cuts to .001 inch. I have it on an old saw right now, but if I was going to buy a new saw I would move it to the new one first thing.

Another great tool is the Leigh FMT (Frame Mortise and Tenon) Jig. I can cut mortise and tenons repeatedly with a perfect snug fit.

-- JT - "It only costs a nickle more to go first class!"

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4487 days

#6 posted 07-27-2007 03:31 AM

I use a push shoe with most of my machines. The only limitation to the Skil Push Shoe I use, is that it won’t allow for thin strips or small pieces to be routed. The blade/bit is in the way with those applications. I think I payed about $15 from Lowes. It also works as a depth gage for setup.

Push Shoe

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4518 days

#7 posted 07-27-2007 07:02 AM

My Incra gauge is mighty handy:

Incra gauge

-- John

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4407 days

#8 posted 10-27-2007 07:42 AM

Nothing else?

I need to buy something and I would like it to be useful!


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4293 days

#9 posted 10-27-2007 03:03 PM

Hmm, FastCap has some pretty cool gadgets.
The Third Hand
Speed Roller
and, of course FastCaps
I’ve had three of their really cool tapes, but every one has 1/16” too much play in the hook :(

Preval Spray Guns do okay when you don’t want to set up a real spray gun for touch ups and little jobs. Somewhere I saw a similar product that could be charged with an air compressor.

I’ve read some great reviews about The Chestmate but I don’t have one and I’m on the fence about buying it

I’ve been drooling over the Beall Wood Threader for ages, but can’t justify the purchase yet.

Everyone has a multi-tool, but I use my Gerber Tool all the time in the shop.

Are these the kinds of things you are looking for?

-- -- --

View Emily Whitman's profile

Emily Whitman

19 posts in 3822 days

#10 posted 04-24-2009 11:29 PM

Final Cut sanding discs. Not really expensive, and work really well. Best part is that you can put them on table saw blades that you already own.
Also, ever heard of or tried the JackRabbit Drill and Drive. It’s another pretty handy tool. You can find it cheaper if you do a google search for it.

-- Thanks- Emily, Washington,

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