What was under the tree?

Between trips to the doctor this past week, there also happened to be this little event called Christmas. Well, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, both of which were celebrated with much mirth and merriment… and food. Glorious food.

I must have been a good shop monkey this year, because Santa left some choice items for me under the tree this year. There was quite the haul for the entire family, with the kids getting lots of gift cards (what else would two teenage boys want?), Rhonda getting a few nice things (an extra kayak paddle for those awesome beach days) and I got a few totally awesome things as well.

Martha B. Day, baby

First, I mean, come on. This shirt is totally the bomb. You may have never heard of Martha B. Day school, but my brothers and I sure have – that was our elementary school back in Bloomingdale, New Jersey. I had seen this shirt online during a school fundraiser, and I just thought it was too funny to pass up. Granted, I haven’t been inside the building since June of 1980, but it’s good to get some strange looks from folks as they pass.

The Leatherman

This little beauty is something I will be using a lot. Just before the holidays, my son Dominic needed a multitool, and I gave him my old Husky one I had picked up at Home Depot. It served me well for years, but it was time for me to upgrade to a genuine Leatherman. This is one of the more entry-level models, but it has a ton of features which will serve me well for years to come.

Drill press and table

I already put that Leatherman to good use when I assembled the big present… my brand new Woodpecker drill press table. Once I moved my little drill press into its new home on top of its rolling stand, I have found myself using it a ton more than I had expected to. The only thing holding me back from using it more was the simple plywood table I had bolted to the press years ago. No slots, no fence… just a larger place to work on.

Rhonda picked this gem up from my friends over at Infinity Tools. After I had hinted that I wanted to improve the work-holding options on the drill press, she checked out their site to see what they offered. A blog post they had written a few months ago showed the features on the table, which convinced her this would be the right one for my shop.

Just as the father in A Christmas Story hid Ralphie’s Red Ryder Air Rifle behind his desk, Rhonda has snuck the large table into the house and hid it under the banquette until all of the other presents had been opened. That was some kind of surprise.

Woodpecker's Famous Red Tracks

Before we went off to our Christmas Day celebration at Rhonda’s sister’s house, I spent the morning assembling the table and getting everything ready for installation. The red anodized aluminum tracks were easy to install, and the fence bolts fit right into the slots, providing me a great guide surface for accurate drilling. A pair of flip-up stops will make drilling mortises a piece of cake, and a pair of hold down clamps will help keep the work secure, ensuring precision and safety.


The folks at Woodpecker even included a replaceable insert for when I chew up the original. How very thoughtful.

Now, I feel as if I can fully welcome the drill press into the arsenal of shop tools, taking its rightful place next to the other tools that help me get my work done.

And, with my sinus headache fading into memory, I just might get started on a new project for the living room. But, that’s another post for another day.


5 thoughts on “What was under the tree?”

  1. Glad to hear you’re getting better. I have the same drill press table and I love it. As for my Christmas gifts, we didn’t do anything this year. We’re having hard wood floors put in and I’m having some modifications made to the shop…both which are expensive items. But the way I look at it is that we’re worth it!! 🙂

  2. Congrats on the drill press table. I purchased a nice one years ago with t slots, a sliding fence, and hold downs. Wow what a difference it makes in machining wood. As for Christmas gifts, I’m looking forward to honing my new hook knives and trying my hand at making spoons.

  3. Great presents pal, and I’m glad to hear you are getting better.
    Looking forward to your review on how that drill press table works for you.

  4. You’ll love the Leatherman. I have a Wave that goes with me everywhere.

    The best tool is often the one that you have with you.

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