Choosing band saw type. Table top or self standing?

If you plan on acquiring equipment such as band saw for your workshop, the process begins as far back as having a clear and precise plan as to exactly what type of band saw you will need. Should it be a table top or self standing?

Most shockingly, sometimes even professionals do have trouble making a choice as to whether to purchase a table top or self standing band saw. Well, there is no need to panic though, because even if you are just a novice hoping to make your first (and most likely last) band saw purchase, you can easily get the best band saw that would suit your needs by answering a few questions and following simple guidelines from best woodworking blogs.

How often do you intend to move your band saw?

choosing band saw

Perhaps another question would come in handy here: Do you have a dedicated long termed working space or a temporal workshop? One very important factor that many people overlook when purchasing a band saw is the ease and convenience of moving the machine. Most stand alone band saw machines cannot easily be displaced. Though some of them have wheels moving the equipment from one location to another will need an extra hand, or most likely incur and extra costs. You might therefore want to go in for table top band saw if you are not sure of maintaining you work space for a long period of time, because they are lighter and much easier to move than a self stand band saw which could sit in a long termed dedicated space.

How thick is the material you would be cutting through regularly?

Your working life could be very frustrating when you have tools that do not help in getting the job done easily. Reason why it is most important to get the right tools in the first place. Before deciding on choosing a table top or self standing band saw you must have an idea of the kind of material you would be cutting through. A table top would comfortably cut through wood as thick as 3. 5inches. You should be more comfortable with a self standing band saw if you regularly cut through material as thick as 4inches or above.

Cost and type of blade

Generally, table top blades are much cheaper than self standing band saw blades and would get the job done equally well. Though the table top blades would help you save on blades over the years, what is most important here is that you should get the manufacturer’s recommended blades, to ensure the best performance. It is worth noting that some cheaper and lighter blades easily snap off more often, hence causing an increased long term expenditure on blades.

Ease of use

The very fact of the lightweight nature of table top band saws makes them very flexible and easy to maneuver around, to get that perfect cut to precision, which would make your work stand out among others. This level of flexibility cannot be easily attained with a self standing band saw, except otherwise, with a very skilled and experienced hand.

Generally if you are considering purchasing a band saw for the first time, you might want to go first with a table top which would most likely conform to your needs. Be wise and carry out a little research as to the price and quality of equipment you would be getting. Visit your local flee market, online shops, or most importantly seek help from a local expert.

Why the Armed Forces plays rugby

Personally serving myself in the United States Army, attending a military college, and playing rugby alongside many veterans and current military service members, this article may seem a bit bias.

However, I think there is a connection between soldiers and the rugby field.

Maybe it’s the fact that rugby is 80 minutes of pure hell, and it can take your mind off of the past for even a moment.

Maybe it’s even the camaraderie that’s formed during countless matches of getting beat to a pulp.

Whatever it is, the fact remains that rugby has become a safe haven for soldiers. And they’ve dominated ever since the two went tandem. And this definitely isn’t unique to the United States…

Just take a look at one of the most famous traditions in rugby, the Haka for instance. Sure it’s not American, but the Haka was an old war cry stemming from the Maori people of New Zealand. Now practiced by the All Blacks before every game.

In Great Britain, 80,000 people sold out the Royal Army vs Navy game in Twickenham. This is a huge event that seems more like a reunion than anything else to the thousands of veterans watching.

In America, the Armed Forces Rugby teams play at high levels, competing with the best of the best. In 2015, West Point held the number 5 position in D1 college rugby throughout much of the season.

All around the world, soldiers line up on and off the field to watch and play one of the toughest sports on the planet.

The culture of rugby is undoubtedly known for it’s excessive drinking, rough crowds, and no holds barred atmosphere. Very similar to the one found in the military.

So what came first? the chicken? or the egg?

Did the Armed Forces have a roll in shaping what rugby is today around the world? or did veterans find a familiar hideout from a place they sometimes can’t relate to?

I don’t think it much matter. The fact will always remain that the two are married, happily married at that.

Rugby World Cup: Quick Facts

1. The rugby World Cup first premiered in 1987… Before this, only regional tournaments existed

2. The World Cup Champions are given the William Webb Ellis Award, named after the guy who supposedly picked up a soccer ball in the middle of a game, giving birth to modern day rugby.

3. Only 4 teams have ever won the Rugby World Cup, 3 of which are tied for most titles ( New Zealand 2, Australia 2, South Africa 2, and England 1)

4. One of the most well known World Cups was hosted in South Africa in 1995 after the International Sports Boycott. With Nelson Mandela crowning his Springboks as victors.

5. In Australia, the World Cup trophy is known as “Bill”

6. The 2015 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by England at Twickenham Stadium in London.

7. The United States ranks #16 in pre-tournament standings out of 20 international teams.

8. New Zealand is currently ranked #1

9. The United States first pool play will be 20 September 2015 against Somoa, who is ranked at #9

10. 6 Million people world wide watched the Rugby World Cup final in 2011… Don’t miss out this year

Rugby Vs American Football

OK there has been a lot more publicity surrounding rugby thanks, in part, to the Olympics. The downside? Rugby keeps getting compared to American Football. Why is this such a bad thing? Well, I’m glad you asked…

First and foremost, rugby players, at most, will wear thin foam pads if any. Football players on the other hand wear huge pieces of foam and plastic that more resemble crash protection on a car than sporting equipment.

Rugby players play both offense and defense. If a rugby back makes a 60m break and gets caught they still have to get back up and support their team mates. Too often you see an NFL running back make a 60 yard run only to tap out, go sit on the bench, and huff oxygen until they’re ready to get back on the field.

Speaking of fields, the rugby pitch is 70m (77 yards) wide by 100m (110 yards) long. A football field is only 53 1/3 yards wide and 100 yards long. It doesn’t seem like much of a difference on paper but it’s a big difference during game play.

American football players normally average about 16 minutes of playing time per game where as rugby players will normally play an average of 45-60 minutes, not including stoppages.

Your typical rugby forward will go into contact between 75 and 100 times per match between both attacking and defending scrums, rucks, tackles, and mauls. American football players, except for lineman and depending on the position, will only make contact an average of 10 times per game.

Obviously, rugby is the superior sport. It’s the lack of knowledge surrounding this great sport in this great country that is keeping it down. Increase the knowledge and understanding and I think you’ll quickly see the scales tip, sports networks find alternate ways to bring in advertising money without commercials, and youth programs begin to develop world class athletes that will easily be able to compete on a global scale.

Even now, with the relatively small amount of national participation, the US national team is continually ranked within the top 20. Just imagine if we put more effort into a global sport and became the actual world champions instead of the self-proclaimed world champions of a sport that is really only played on our continent.

More Rugby World Cup Quick Facts

1. Ireland, a country with a serious chance of winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup and easily a top 4 favorite, probably a top 2 favorite, has never beaten the All Blacks.

2. The first try ever scored in a Rugby World Cup was a penalty try – the first try scored by a player was by Michael Jones, NZ v Italy in 1987

3. In the 1995 World Cup, The All Blacks recorded the largest WC winning margin with a 145 – 17 win against Japan, this included 21 tries and 6 alone from Marc Ellis. It also was a record for conversions with 20 from Simon Culhane.

4. In both 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cup where South Africa won the cup. They played against Samoa and had a winger score four tries. Chester Williams (1995) and Bryan Habana (2007).

5. France is the only team to have played in a final without ever winning one… and they have done that three times.

Rugby Deaths and Head Injuries

Old American Flag
Old American Flag

One of the reasons many people are attracted to the game of rugby is because of its physicality. With that, obviously comes inherent dangers.

Unfortunately, these dangers can lead to more than just a broken bone or black eye. In late June of 2015, Aaron Kohring died from playing rugby in Fairbanks, Alaska.

This is no isolated incident either. In June of 2015, James Ackerman died after sustaining a blow to the head playing for the Australian Rugby League.

The rise of rugby related head injuries have been on the rise in the past few years according to a number of sources. Referenced from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 5,794 head injuries were grouped together with Lacrosse in the U.S. to bring rugby to the 17th spot of most reported injuries in 2009.

In 2011, it was reported that 110 players were paralyzed during the course of the game in the United Kingdom alone. one of which was Daniel James, who suffered a heart wrenching injury after a scrum collapsed on his head and paralyzed him, he took his own life for not being able to cope with his loss.

In 2010, Allyson Pollock actually called for all scrums to be banned in her country after discovering that 37 injuries occurred over a duration of just 190 rugby matches at select Scottish schools.

The UK’s Telegraph reported in 2011 that rugby union play in schools had an injury rate three times that of Soccer. David Allen, Director of Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow, went on record stating  “We used to get one case every three years but that has risen to three a year since 2006” as reported in the same article.

And with all of this information it would be very easy to conclude that rugby is a very dangerous sport. However, incomplete information always leads to incomplete answers.

The same report that said 5,794 head injuries in the U.S. came from rugby play, also stated that Horseback riding was ranked Number 1 in hospital admissions. It was even noted that every year, more than 500,000 people visit emergency rooms in the United States due to Bicycle related injuries.

Sure, rugby has inherent dangers as stated before. But relative to other sports I’d say it is fairly safe.

Furthermore, more awareness has blown up the number of head injuries across all sports. It is not just rugby that is reporting high numbers of these same kind of accidents.

And with rugby as the fastest growing sport in America, it is likely more attention will be given to the subject as more and more incidents occur like the one in Fairbanks, Alaska this past month.

The best plan of action to take is education and proper enforcement of certain rules. President Obama made a fairly good point in light of this subject a few years ago when he said “I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies.”

Maybe we should look into at least modifying the scrum for children under 18 who play rugby in the U.S.

Maybe we should also budget for the proper technicians to be at every sporting event in case events like this do happen, so that they can be recognized and treated.

However we go about the problem, the first step is to actually have a dialogue about it. Without people talking about the subject, nothing can happen.

With that said, sports are a vital part of growing up. To become overprotective as  society will do us more harm than good as it strips away important aspects of life. Maybe this article is just here to bring awareness to an issue that is largely ignored. Reacting to every bad thing that happens in this country is one of the reasons why we find ourselves quarreling amongst each other so much. For now, we should celebrate that we are still living, fighting, and playing rugby on Saturday morning.

American Rugby Scholarships – Top 5

So it is not a huge secret that American Rugby is not as popular as collegiate American football here in the States. But if you find yourself reading this, that might be a good thing.

The competition in the rugby talent pool for most American schools is slim pickings. That means you can capitalize on some pretty sweet scholarships if you’re a hard working, smart, fairly athletic rugger. Unlike trying to compete for a full ride at the University of Alabama for football…

The growth of American Rugby is the fastest of all collegiate sports. And though some schools recognize it and others just endorse it, some go above and beyond their call of duty.

Here are the TOP 5 American Rugby Scholarships

5. University of Central Florida –

The UCF Alumni Rugby Scholarship is a $250 payout every season. You can renew this every year and essentially make $1000 over your course of playing for the Knights. That might not sound like much, but it can at least buy you beer for a little while. Plus it’s UCF…

4. Arkansas State University –

Arkansas offers partial scholarships to it’s rugby athletes in the form of waivers. They allow out of state players pay for in state tuition. This amounts to quite a bit. Both men and women can apply.

3. Idaho State University –

Idaho State University has one of the best rugby teams in the Nation, consistently going to the National championship. They also offer in state waivers to their rugby players like Arkansas. Their out of state tuition is around $7500 while their in state tuition cost $2200 making the rugby scholarship amount to over $4800 a semester.

2. Kutztown University –

I’m wasn’t even sure if this was a real place… But it definitely is. They offer their rugby students scholarships totaling over $10,000. That’s a big chunk of change for some people and a generous amount for such a humble sport.

1. Furman University –

Okay the best place to go to school if you’re a rockstar rugby player and you want to go tuition free is Furman University. Their scholarship can average over six figures over the period of 4 years. That’s unheard of, even in some rugby dominant countries. This little school is located in Greenville, SC and is known for being the most selective private university in South Carolina. It enrolls about 2700 students every year and has a ton of clubs on campus, including Rugby.

Why is American Rugby so Unpopular?

After playing the game for a while it becomes somewhat of a mystery why Americans haven’t taken to Rugby the way the rest of the world has. It seems to have everything a drunk American sports fanatic would love: Tradition, drinking culture, and blood, lots and lots of blood.

So why is it that the United States has found itself as the last frontier of world class rugby? Has the so called “Melting Pot” of the world lost some of its steam? Is dinner served as baked American Football topped with a sprinkling of baseball and maybe a side of steamed basketball? I thought the whole idea of the American way of life resembled more of a buffet than a TV dinner.

America, it seems, has a love affair with sports. We pay our professional athletes some astounding sums of money. Our Universities have become brand names for some of the best teams in the Country. We give our students full ride scholarships to throw a ball around. Instead of enrolling our children in guitar lessons or French classes, we generally sign them up for baseball camp during the summer. We idolize our sports and watch them with tenacity, becoming irrationally attached and incessantly emotional about the outcome of a game.

But still, rugby has alluded our TV screens and peanut galleries since it’s inception. Why is this?

The easy and most obvious answer is…MONEY

When your eyes are glued to the screen as the University of Alabama wins another National Title, we take for grant it the countless commercials we see. Hell, the Super Bowl, one of the most watched events on television is famous for it’s original commercials. This means money for a lot of people.

But taking a closer look at the structure of a rugby game brings up some questions about the ability to live stream a prominent match. The game itself is 80 minutes long with only one half, known for its continuous play. On the contrary, American Football is played with four 14 minute quarters, built to stop and go throughout the plays. As a capitalist company trying to make the most out of their marketing budget, American football is the obvious choice to place an ad.

Rugby’s salary CAP isn’t the most attractive to the actual athletes either, and we can even compare to the best in the world. One would think the Leicester Tigers in the UK get paid pretty good, and they do compared to a teacher’s salary. But it’s dwarfed standing side by side to even the NFL’s bench. We have some of the best athletes in the world, but if Rugby doesn’t make any money then our athletes will continue to play something else that does.

So is all hope lost for American rugby fans? Will our cry for the Eagles continue to be muffled by the sound of “take me out to the ball game”?


But rugby IS the fastest growing sport among our youth, as reported by the Boston Globe. From 2008 to 2013 it beat out other sports like Lacrosse and Hockey by 81 percent. Carlin Isles, America’s famous winger, has a video on YouTube that has over 6 Million views. Countless clubs are popping up all over, in big cities and small towns alike. We even have a professional league premiering this year in Philadelphia.

I conclude with the fact that nobody likes to do something they aren’t good at. And as an American, it has been hard to watch a game of the USA Eagles play a match, just to get creamed by the opponent.

But this is changing. I invite everyone to tune into a match to check up on our guys to see how they are doing. You might be surprised.

We have built a team that is winning games. We have a really good shot this year to qualify for the World Cup in Rio. And the more support we give, the more momentum we’ll have going in.

Check out some of my other articles following the USA Eagles and their road to the World Cup here

For a more in depth look at Rugby salaries check this article out

For Boston Globe’s inside look at the growth of American Rugby

American Rugby – Let’s Put This Into Perspective

“Watching Americans play rugby is like watching a dog walk on his hind legs. He doesn’t do it well but you’re impressed he can do it at all”

Okay… Let’s put this into perspective Mr. Funnyman

The first thing I want to clarify is that by no means is American rugby the best in the world. I’m not claiming that. But what I will claim, is that it’s arguably the most impressive. And here’s why.

The USA Eagles ranked 16th in the entire World prior to this World Cup, beating out 86 other teams in a period where rugby is looked at as a club sport to most.

Our USA Sevens Eagles are one in only 8 teams to have already qualified for the Olympics in 2016.

Did I mention we have the most Olympic Gold medals in Rugby? And are still the defending champs?

Look, we haven’t had a great showing in the World Cup since it’s beginnings. But we have qualified for every World Cup besides one in 1995.

Keep in mind the United States holds the record for most Olympic Gold Medals overall, with only the Soviet Union coming close ( which isn’t even close ). So even though there isn’t a strong American presence in International sports like Fútbol, Rugby and Cricket, there is still no doubt that the US produces a majority of the best athletes in the World.

As I’ve experienced extensive travel in my day, I’ve even noticed it in our culture. It’s something distinct, our love of sports.

The fact is that our best athletes aren’t playing rugby in this period of time. If our Michael Jordans, Tom Bradys, and Cy Youngs grew up playing rugby instead of traditional American sports, there would be no question that our Eagles would dominate the game.

I didn’t even know what rugby was until I made it to University. I had an idea. But my experience with rugby was limited to a few YouTube videos I randomly came across.

So this is why the Eagles are the most impressive team in the World Cup. Because it’s a rag tag team. It’s a team without money. It’s a team in it’s youth. It’s a team playing against all odds. Yet they are still there, putting up points on the scoreboard against the best in the World.

So to the Funnyman that has a strong opinion out there. I’m going to kindly ask you to check your facts.

Give it some time and American Rugby will be Rucking some shit up.

Furthermore, I’d like to give a big Congrats to every team out there this year. The fact that you went through hell to get there is impressive enough. Maybe the fellow who left this comment never played a game of rugby in his life. If he has, I think he would appreciate that.

And with that said, I wouldn’t mind to see Todd Clever punch him in the face. Followed by a bald eagle with an 11 ft wing span shit on his head after a full night of drinking Tennessee’s Jack Daniel Whiskey, so you know it would be the runs. Then suddenly, out of no where, Abe Lincoln runs him over with a Ford Model T, only to submit him to one of our hospitals to be treated by the best damn healthcare system on planet earth. But no one comes to visit. And he gets a little depressed. But American entrepreneurship allows him to meet up with a pretty girl from Facebook. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg. They go on a few dates and before long he falls in love. But alas, she cheats on him with none other than Todd Clever, the same guy who punch him in the head.

Yours truly,


Rugby 7’s Workout program

There will always be the conundrum of gaining STRENGTH and SPEED at the same time. Even outside of rugby, people are trying to lose weight while they stack on muscle, which is extremely hard to do (not impossible).

Rugby is a sport that clearly implies brute force and speed. It is a game that will not only leave you in the dust, but will bury you into the ground if you let it.

So what does a rugby 7s player workout routine look like?


Even though some of you may say this is not part of a workout routine… the only thing you will get from me is a smile and a “good luck”.

Diet is everything, because it not only dictates how your workout goes, it dictates how you recover as well.

I won’t get into here because it’s not the place… but if you’re interested. I will be following up on this topic at a later date.

2. Building Strength

This crucial for parts of the game that include scrums, tackling, rucking and lifting. Without any kind of real strength it’s difficult to compete.

try this: 


Back squats 5×5

Bench Press 5×5

Deadlift 5×5

Military Press 5×5

2. Explosion

In order to play rugby 7s with the pros, you will need to be able to explode off of a scrum, a ruck, or even touch. Acceleration is key. That one split second can be the difference in winning or losing a match.

try this


Pull ups 10×5

Box Jumps 10×5

Kleen and Jerk 10×5

25m Sprint 10×5

3. Endurance

This is a tricky one… How do you find endurance when you are trying to build power? The answer is being very careful not to overdo it. Really watch your heart rate and try and stay at a constant 135 or under for an extended period of time. Do this a few times a week, that’s all you need. Your workouts should be giving you that extra breath anyways. Combine these light jogs with eating a lot and you won’t go into a metabolic stage as much as you would think.

Try this out for at least 3 months. See what happens. Use big heavy weight on Mo-We-Fr and 50% wight on Tu-Th-Sa. You can also switch some things up once you’ve built a good routine. Watch Carlin Isles train for the USA Rugby Olympics in this short video.