International Builders Show: Orlando Blooms with New Tools

International Builders Show: Orlando Blooms with New Tools

Last week I spent several days at the International Builders Show, located in Orlando, Florida. I know that some of you — my boss being counted in your number — think that I decided to go to the trade show simply because it was in sunny Florida. Untrue! That was just one of the reasons. The main reason was that the Builders Show has become the place for many tool manufacturers to roll out cool new power tools, and I wanted to be first in line to see them. (Most are so new you can’t even buy one yet.) While I can’t cover all the tools that were launched at the show in this article, I will give you a taste of what you’ll be seeing in upcoming eZines. (Stay tuned, sports fans!)

Christine Potter, who directed DeWalt's new lithium ion tool system development, looks on as yours truly tries to make off with their hot new jigsaw.
Christine Potter, who directed DeWalt’s new lithium ion tool system development, looks on as yours truly tries to make off with their hot new jigsaw.

DeWalt’s 36-volt Power Tool Platform a Lithium-ion Cordless Tools System

As ardent eZine readers are aware, the lithium ion tool technology was first announced here in the eZine almost a year ago with a 28-volt cordless system from Milwaukee Tool. This year DeWalt has come out with a 36-volt system. Using technology licensed from MIT, this yellow and black powerhouse is sure to catch the eye of woodworker and contractor alike. I was especially impressed with their jigsaw. It cut like a corded tool and was very smooth & a sure winner. These tools are not yet for sale, but will be in stores later in 2006. More on that when they hit the shelves.

Hitachi's Abigail Bradford holds their monster nailer, while editor Rob Johnstone checks out their new finishing nailer.
Hitachi’s Abigail Bradford holds their monster nailer, while editor Rob Johnstone checks out their new finishing nailer.

Hitachi Really Nails It

Hitachi has come out with a very nice addition to their pneumatic nail guns. It is a finishing nailer that would be right at home in most woodshops. (I know it would in mine.) Again, this nail gun is so new that it is yet to be available for sale. As you can see from the photo, it has a similar cool “style” to their clipped head nailer. This new model fires nails from 1 1/4″ to 2 Ā½” & more on pricing when it hits the streets.

Delta's new laser-guided dual axis table drill press. Get ready to make some chairs!
Delta’s new laser-guided dual axis table drill press. Get ready to make some chairs!

Delta Drills Down to a Winner

I stay in close contact with the folks at Delta, so I am usually pretty keyed into their new offerings, but this new woodworking drill press caught me by surprise. What makes it so great for woodworking? First, they have a laser locating system that once you calibrate it remains accurate even as you raise and lower the table. And speaking of the table, it is exactly what has been missing in drill presses. It can be adjusted on two axes to give you control over drilling angles that you only dreamed about before. Scott Phillips and I came to the same conclusion when we saw the tool for the first time: this will make chair making easier than it has ever been. Again, you are getting a look at a product so new that you will have to wait a bit to get your hands on one & but forewarned is forearmed. Start taking to your significant other now about a new set of bar stools: it just might work!

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