Good-bye to some not-so-old friends

For the last few months Iíve enjoyed using not one, but four great saws that arenít mine. Now the time has come for them to go back, and parting is indeed sweet sorrow.

One of the great things about being a woodworking writer is that you get to use and evaluate lots of tools. Some companies donít want them back once theyíve been evaluated. In those cases they end up going to work in my shop, are gifted to woodworking friends, or donated to a woodworking or technical school.

Most companies want them back, though, and thatís the case with these four saws. Youíll recall from my Aug. 7 blog (ďNew toysĒ), that I was working on a review article of track saws. As I mentioned then, Iíd used them occasionally at shows but never really had the opportunity to put them to work extensively. That review article allowed me to do just that, and I loved them all, finding it difficult to choose a best one for the article.

Until something Iíve written is published, I hang on to everything related to it until the article or magazine actually hits the street Ė every note, photo, every computer file and e-mail, and the tools involved. Just in case thereís a last minute need to redo something, I have everything right there. So, in the time Iíve been waiting for my track saw article to come out, those saws have still been in my shop. They havenít been languishing there, however. Iíve put them to work numerous times breaking down sheet stock for the projects in my birdhouse book as well as personal shop chores, and Iím really going hate to see them go.

Yeah, the saws, the half-dozen tracks the manufacturers sent, the various accessories (and all the boxes and packing materials, which Iíve had to keep) take up a lot of shop space Iíll be glad to recover. But in the several months Iíve had them, Iíve been able to take a multifaceted Ė and lengthy Ė test drive of these machines few woodworkers ever dream of.

One thing is certain: A track saw is at the top of my tool wish list. With the exception of a full-size panel saw or a big slider, no other shop tool comes close for fast and efficient reduction of sheet goods. Although not in the budget at the moment with the holidays coming up, you can bet that some portion of the first big check I get in 2010 will go to the purchase of one.

Then, Iíll not only be able to welcome a not-so-old friend back to my shop, but itíll be tax-deductible.

Till next time,

A.J.

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