Thiel's Power Tool Maintenance
Published by Popular Woodworking Books, Ohio USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 129
Whenever you buy a machine or portable tool for your workshop, it comes with its own Instruction Book. At the very least, this should allow you to identify the various bits and pieces with which you have been supplied and provide guidance in putting the thing together so that it works.
Sometimes, even that much information is lacking, but usually there is a little more - a list of parts with their manufacturer's part numbers perhaps, which you will find helpful when the time comes to replace something that has broken, or maybe there's a troubleshooting guide, though it generally deals with the most basic of faults such as whether the power is switched on.
Even the best Instruction Books, however, rarely go further. So when it comes to making sure that your machine or tool is set-up in a way that ensures it can and will live up to your expectations, you are generally on your own.
David Thiel's Power Tool Maintenance is intended to provide this kind of information. The title suggests that this is a book about portable power tools such as saws, drills and routers.
In reality, however, the scope is much broader. It begins with the ubiquitous Tablesaw.
First, there is a description of the various kinds of machines that fit into this category, then a page devoted to how it should be located in the workshop. Only then, does the author begin to describe how the motor and arbor pulleys should be aligned, how the table should be checked for level, how the mitre slot should be checked for trueness against the saw blade and how the angles to which the blade can be set should be checked for accuracy.
After this, there are some comments about the influence of cleanliness (and the use of a dust extractor) upon performance and accuracy, as well as notes on lubricating the tabletop and selecting the right saw blade.
The treatment given to Jointers, then Planers, Band Saws and Drill Presses, all follow a similar pattern with the length of these chapters directly related to the number of checks and adjustments suggested by the author.
Mitre Saws are next, followed by Routers, Jigsaws, Drills, Sanders (both Belt and Orbital).
The text is easy to read and supported by ample colour photographs; the choice of examples is clearly orientated towards the recreational rather than the professional workshop.
The advice is generally simple, practical and down-to-earth, but it covers aspects of the setting-up and use of workshop equipment that are often overlooked - and it covers most of the machines and tools found in the average workshop.
About the Author: A woodworker with more than 20 years professional experience, David Thiel is Senior Editor of Popular Woodworking magazine.
Units of Measurement: Imperial & Metric