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New Axminster Drum Sander

We were at Axminster on Friday, for the UKWorkshop Open Day, and took the chance to have a sneaky peak at their new ST-480 BDS M Brush/Drum Sander, which is similar, but different to the Jet models. The most notable distinction is that it has interchangeable heads, which can be removed and changed without having to mess around with the bearings. The sanding drum, around which you roll abrasive of your choice, is standard, but there are also four grades of silicon carbide brushes, a wire brush and a flail. This means that it can be used as a finishing sander for panels, and also for cleaning up mouldings, skirtings, architraves and so much more. There are various adjustments for speed and to level the table, and we'll be taking a better look in April.

We couldn't help noticing Bosch's new axial mitresaw in Axminster's photo studio, having seen only the mechanism at the Northern Woodworking Show. Gone are the tubular bars sticking out the back of the saw, creating such a huge footprint with most crosscuts. Instead there's an action that defies words, but which is featherlight but keeps the front to back size of the saw within small workshop confines, even though the saw can cut a 15in wide board. A further revelation is the heavy-duty stand that converts miraculously into a trolley for site work. Axminster say that the full set-up costs about £900, which for a full-time carpenter would be pretty good value for the space saving. The dust extraction is no better than most we're told, which may still put off sensible woodworkers who find mitresaws to be too dusty.

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