Let us guess: you’ve been procrastinating, and now you have to finish up your holiday shopping fast. Don’t despair. Here are five sure fire woodworking-related gifts that you can still have in hand on the crucial date. Even better, they’re all on sale, so even if you have to pony up for extra speedy shipping, you’ll still be getting a pretty good deal.
(Editor's note: please notice the date of this posting - the products mentioned may no longer be on sale)
1. The Rockler Heavy Duty Flip Top Roller Stand would be a welcome addition just about anywhere: a home shop, the back of a carpenter’s or even a professional cabinet shop. This shop standard performs such a variety useful functions that it would be impossible for a woodworker not to want one. This particular model is especially useful, as it combines the two common styles of stock outfeed stand. It converts in a matter of seconds from a 14-3/4” standard roller, which is great for very narrow stock or just holding up the dumb end of a board, to a support comprised of 8 ball bearings, the best arrangement for most power tool outfeed applications.
The Heavy Duty Flip Top Stand is made from heavy gage square steel tubing, and has a hefty 220 lbs. load rating. It comes with Rockler’s own unique cam–style leveling system. With a turn of the specially designed foot pads, the stand can be quickly de-wobbled and made to stand up straight on a wonky basement floor or uneven ground at a jobsite. At the regular price of $99.99, it’s a lot of work support for the money. Now, at $59.99 (40 percent off) it represents an uncommonly good deal on a premium version of this wood shop essential.
2. Designed specifically for woodworking applications, Forstner drill bits fill a unique niche in the woodshop. Unlike most other types of bit, they can be used along with a drill press to bore angled holes, holes that partially overlap, and holes on the edge of the material. And they’re just about the only choice for clean larger sized holes, where the alternative is either an inexpensive spade bit or a hole saw - neither of which are especially well known for producing the smooth, crisp-edged holes that exacting woodwork projects call for. In the end, they’re really the only bit suitable for a variety of woodworking tasks.
In the world of woodworking tools, Forstner bits are an interesting case. The need for their special capabilities and their especially precise, clean holes doesn’t come up all that frequently, but when it does, nothing else will do. Most woodworkers would love to have a full set on hand when the need arises, but many don’t, because they’re focusing on acquiring the “bread and butter” tools they’ll use most frequently. Consequently, Forstner bits are the perfect gift for a great many woodworkers. Right now, you can pick up a set of 16 of the most common sizes for a mere $39.99, or a starter set of 7 for just $11.49 – a whopping 52 and 58 percent off the regular price respectively.
3. As their careers progress, most woodworker develop and ever greater appreciation for fine tools. Interestingly, for most, it really doesn’t matter what the tool does, just so long as it’s exceptionally well made and performs its function – however humble – in a way that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. With that in mind, we’d like to recommend the Felo 5-Piece Screw Driver Set as a gift that’s almost guaranteed to please.
Crafted to the highest standards, these German-made classics are without a doubt as good as screwdrivers get. Their super-hard black tips are ground to precisely fit the screw sizes for which they are intended, will keep their crisp, screw-gripping shape through years of service. And because the shaft is anchored through the entire length of the handle, will stand up to an incredible amount of torque. The ergonomically designed boxwood handles complete the design, in keeping with a tradition that dates back to early Felo models beginning in the 1870s. All in all, this is a very handsome gift, and at $19.99 (42 percent off) a steal.
4. Of course, these days there’s more than one way to screw in a screw. Our next pick goes to the all encompassing Irwin 41-Piece Fastener Driver Set. A perfect gift for DIYers, cabinetmakers and installers, carpenters and anyone who routinely deals with various types of screw, this handy kit covers fasteners from A to Z. With 39 drivers for the most common sizes of Phillips, square drive, slotted and hex head screws, the handy person on your list will be armed for just about any fastening task that comes along. Not to be neglected, the included soft carrying case provides a valuable organization system, and helps prevent the typical search for the right driver tip that seem to only crop up at pivotal moments in the course of a day’s work.
Finally, if the woodworker on your list has been especially good this year and you feel inclined to spend a little more. The Rockler Portable Router Table has been a favorite for years. Recently upgraded, the new bench top table comes with features you’d look for on a floor standing router table: a solid aluminum plate, a plate leveling system, a steel stand, and a 1” thick top.
5. The Portable Router Table is great for small home shops. Measuring a diminutive 24” wide x 16” deep x 16” high, it stores easily under a bench when not in use; the compact size also makes it the perfect jobsite companion. The table comes with an adjustable aluminum/MDF fence of the same basic design as the one that accompanies our extremely popular full sized router table. The 1/8” thick steel frame is predrilled for an optional safety switch, and you also get four adjustable four levelers, which make it easy to keep the table planted firmly on an uneven surface.
If you’re looking for something that the big woodworking kid on your list will have put together before the wrapping paper’s cleaned up, the Portable Router Table could be just the ticket. And right now, with a price cut of 30 percent to $139.99, you’ll get a great deal on a table that does everything you’d expect from a full sized floor standing model.
These are just a few suggestions. If you don’t see it here, you’ll find lots more in our Holiday Gift Guide. Or, if you’re looking for an exceptionally good deal, browse the 200 or so items in the Rockler Outlet. Whatever you choose, don't delay - as of right now you still have time, but you won’t for long.