I live in Florida, which means I’m close to the Central Florida mountain range… the Florida Alps. You heard that right. The three tallest peaks? Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain.
While I have been to the land of the Mouse, I have one other tourist destination that I like a whole lot more… the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex. Did you really expect anything different from me? There is where real history was made. Whether it was Alan Shepherd’s first Mercury flight, the Apollo 11 mission to land on the Moon or the Space Shuttle boosting into orbit to build the International Space Station, many of our country’s crowning achievements started right here in the Sunshine State.
What impressed me the most – whether it’s standing under the massive Saturn V rocket or next to the miniature Mercury capsule – is how much safety played a part in the missions. Yes, you are basically putting people on top of a controlled explosion. The weight of the Saturn V rocket at launch time was nearly 92% fuel or explosives. So, to rate these launch systems for human use, NASA had to perform extensive tests to ensure that multiply-redundant systems were in place. And, when shortcuts were taken, we saw the tragedy that resulted.
Accuracy is also a huge concern. Just getting Gemini 6 and 7 to rendezvous in orbit took incredible calculations (in a day with very underpowered computers) and linking up with the Hubble Space Telescope to service the delicate instrument took incredible skill and dexterity.
When it comes to woodworking, safety and accuracy are no less important. When you are investing a lot of your hard-earned money in high quality wood for great projects, you want to get the best cuts, and you want to ensure that your hobby won’t leave you injured.
That’s why I am very happy to announce today that I am partnering with another Florida based company that believes strongly in accuracy and safety – MicroJig. This company is the brains behind such ubiquitous products as the GRR-Ripper push block system, the MJ Splitter system and MircoDial tapering jig.
After speaking with Bruce Wang from the company on several occasions, I have come away thoroughly impressed with the company’s laser-sharp focus on both safety and accuracy. I have been a loyal user of their products for years, and I have got to tell you that they have gotten great results. As with many woodworkers, I’m probably only scratching the surface of what’s possible with these guides. For instance, I know that I can use them to help me joint using my table saw – something I do on a regular basis without a powered jointer in my shop.
As I discover more about these tools, I will share what I learn with you. If it helps you get more safety and accuracy in your shop, that’s a win for all of us.
There are plenty of places you can find MicroJig products online, and now you can pick them up at your local Lowe’s home improvement centers, making it easy to get your hands on these suckers for your shop.
But, let’s start things off right – on this coming Monday – October 20 – I will be giving away a GRR-RIPPER 100 to three separate winners. Basically, here’s how you enter:
Tell me what safety and accuracy means to you in your shop. No, you don’t have to write War and Peace – just give me what those words mean to you. I will have my simian friend Iggy read the entries and choose the best ones. Just post them in the comments below the article.
Now, let’s get out there and make some sawdust!