Loxmyth


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Recent comments


Re: Ingenious foot-powered lathe

I know treadle lathes have a long history. And I know that, conceptually, there really isn't all that much to a wood lathe, especially if you aren't looking for machinist-like precision. But it's nice to see the two put together -- and he clearly put some good thought into the forces on the machine and bracing it properly. Well done.

Won't keep me from entering the "win a turning kit" contest, though...

Re: Flatten Wide Boards without a Big Jointer

Tips of this sort are a HUGE help to those of us who are just starting to equip a serious shop and need to allocate the budget (and floor space) appropriately. Yes, combined jointer/planers are now available, but if I can get by with one purchase at half the price in exchange for spending just a few more minutes and a bit of delayed gratification while the glue sets...

The sled has the advantage of not having to wait, and of having more support points hence the ability to handle longer boards. But it does require an up-front investment, and it will steal a bit more from the maximum thickness you can handle if that matters.

The hot-glue "poor man's sled" alternative someone suggested is an interesting compromise between the two. I'm slightly skeptical about whether flexibility in the system would defeat the purpose...

It'd be interesting to see these tested head-to-head.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

Late response, partly because I wanted to let the more experienced folks answer first...

For carpentry (as opposed to woodworking), I've used a circ-saw variant on this for years --" the rotary rasp" -- when I need to shorten a board by a hair. My experience has been that as long as you let the blade cut at its own pace, you can indeed get away with cutting sideways; there may be some slight deflection but it will cut quickly enough to relieve that.

I'd also remind folks of the traditional cove cut technique that involves approaching the blade from an angle. Again, if you shove hard you risk deflecting the blade but as long as you give it time to cut this works just fine.

So I'm not worried about whether the blade or saw will tolerate this approach. Experimental evidence is that they do.

My main concern is that I don't like the fact that you are pushing into the blade, and that the right hand also slides in that direction. I'd be happier if the miter gauge carried some sort of jig that would stop the hand safely before the blade, and/or if the right hand acted only as a guide and inward motion was driven only by the left hand.

In fact, I'd suggest that using an unadorned miter gauge may have been a mistake in any case. If you were using one that had been extended into the blade area, the right hand would be doing less work to stabilize the workpiece against the face of the gauge.

I understand the attraction of being able to do this with almost no setup, but I think a compromise may be in order. Rotary rasp is fine, but either change the technique so the right hand does not move toward the blade or add a safety/control jig or both.




Re: UPDATE: Renaissance Intarsia, edited by Luca Trevisan

Most of the intarsia I've seen has been on the folk-art/craft level. It never occurred to me that, like inlay work, there would have been a high-art equivalent. I'm fascinated!

Re: Cutting Bench Makes it easy to convert fresh-cut logs into turning blanks

Thanks; this does look like a huge help.

I don't have a chainsaw currently, and am sufficiently terrified of them that I won't consider getting/using one until I can get one of my friends who's an expert to train me... and even then I consider the kevlar chain-fouling chaps to be essential safety equipment, Just In Case. But I do know enough to understand that having the work level with your waist is going to be a LOT safer than trying to cut closer to the ground. I hadn't considered the idea of an outdoor workbench for the purpose, but it makes perfect sense!


I have a set of three trees due to be taken down soon, and I really can't bear the idea of all that wood going to waste, even if it is just poplar. Since this is suburbia the arborist will almost certainly want to take them down in chunks, so I'm not expecting to get longer boards out of them (sigh)... but mining the firewood pile for smaller pieces is a Fine Idea. I'd considered bandsaw (great excuse to upgrade from my small tabletop unit) and just going after it the traditional way with wedges and froes (poplar reportedly splits very easily), but this is an interesting approach to making the first rough cut -- akin to using a circ saw to roughcut plywood down to sizes easier to handle on the table saw.

More options is always a good thing!

Re: UPDATE:French Polishing: Finishing and restoring using traditional techniques by Derek Jones

As a beginner woodworker (with some carpentry experience), I trust myself to be able to build things from articles/plans -- maybe slowly and with mistakes, but I know I can get an adequate result eventually.

Finishing/refinishing, on the other hand, is something I still don't feel at all comfortable with -- I haven't done enough of it to recognize mistakes when I'm making them or how to avoid/correct them. So I'm definitely interested in learning more.

Re: UPDATE: Rough Cut - Woodworking with Tommy Mac by Tommy MacDonald and Laurie Donnelly

Always interested in learning more. I don't watch TV so I haven't caught his show, though I've seen a few of the short videos on this site.

Re: Neckties and Tablesaws Just Don't Mix

(I should clarify that when I seconded Steve, I meant saschafer.)

It's worth noting that the SawStop folks *wanted* to sell to the whole industry, which would have increased volume and possibly brought costs down. That they only introduced their own saw when nobody else was willing to make that investment.

And we're starting to see competing systems, though I'm not as impressed with them.


I'm considering replacing the table saw I currently have, an ancient Craftsman benchtop 8" which is actually completely without blade guard. (I consider it tolerably safe only when operated with a crosscut sled.) If I upgrade to a hybrid/cabinet saw, then I intend it to be a one-time purchase and I won't mind dumping some extra money into safety. Amortized over the life of the saw it really is moderately cheap insurance.


I've come closer than I really like to crunching my fingers in a hand-fed letterpress, after I'd been doing it long enough that I was starting to take it for granted. And that's a key -- the danger peaks at exactly the time when we think we've learned enough to be safe.

My understanding is that more pros injure themselves than amateurs simply because the amateurs still have sense enough to be cautious. Familiarity breeds contempt, and contempt breeds accidents. So it may be precisely the folks who say "I would never do that" who need to stop and think.

Re: Neckties and Tablesaws Just Don't Mix

Gotta agree with Steve on this one, though I'm chalking it up to carelessness. We all make mistakes; the question is how willing you are to correct them.

I'll add two thoughts, one silly and one serious:

1) If you have to wear a tie around power tools, make sure it's a clip-on. (Not entirely silly; there are lanyards explicitly designed so they'll break before pulling the wearer any closer to a machine, and this would be the same principle.)

2) I've actually been somewhat uncomfortable about the fact that I wear a Medic Alert tag. (Penicillin allergy.) I don't really want to take it off in the shop, but it *is* a hazard. My current compromise involves shoelace tags (another way to wear the ID), but not all first responders know to look for those... so I may, in fact, need to go to a breakaway lanyard at some point.

Re: UPDATE: Making Wood Tools with John Wilson

Definitely interested. One of the things I was drooling over, in a friend's father's shop, was a complete set of wood-body planes; just plain pretty. Well-cared-for old tools impress me a lot more than old furniture, just because they've been used intensively and have more stories wrapped up in them (even if we never know what those stories are).

Re: UPDATE: Fine Woodworking Best Workbenches from the editors of Fine Woodworking and a special magazine issue, Workbenches.

Interested. I'm still in the process of setting up a functional workshop. The house came with a basic bench (no vise at all, alas) and a kitchen counter which had been moved down to the basement as starting surfaces, I rescued a rugged old dresser as tool storage, and I'm still trying to find an arrangement of these and the larger tools which makes everything work fairly smoothly.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

This technique is essentially using the saw as a router. Which leads me the question: Would it be safer if adapted for and performed on a router table?

I have to admit that I've used handheld circular saws as "rotary rasps" at times, though that was trimming back the entire end of the board rather than trying to take out only a shoulder.

This does feel like something which would be safer in a sled with a stop than on the bare table, to keep the hands clear of the blade. The sled could be equipped with featherboard (or even solid backing block) to help keep the piece flat, and the edge of the sled could be marked with appropriate-size indexes to be gauged against a reference point on the table so each pass takes off the same (known) amount.

If that seems like a reasonable compromise, you can consider this a "Methods Of Work" submission.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

This technique is essentially using the saw as a router. Which leads me the question: Would it be safer if adapted for and performed on a router table?

I have to admit that I've used handheld circular saws as "rotary rasps" at times, though that was trimming back the entire end of the board rather than trying to take out only a shoulder.

This does feel like something which would be safer in a sled with a stop than on the bare table, to keep the hands clear of the blade. The sled could be equipped with featherboard (or even solid backing block) to help keep the piece flat, and the edge of the sled could be marked with appropriate-size indexes to be gauged against a reference point on the table so each pass takes off the same (known) amount.

If that seems like a reasonable compromise, you can consider this a "Methods Of Work" submission.

Re: Blade brake inventor aims to compete with SawStop

On the plus side, this can be retrofit in the field, doesn't require redesigning the trunion, and doesn't require a separate brake unit for dado sets. And, yes, it doesn't risk killing the blade. And, yes, it can be attached to a cheap-a$$ jobsite saw.

On the minus side, it isn't as fast to respond, and it works ONLY when the guard is in place -- which means it's unusable for many of the jigs or tenioning cuts or similar. So it strikes me as potentially being much, MUCH more effective in that jobsite situation than in the shop.

And even at the jobsite, I'm a bit skeptical. The guys who handled my renovation ran their saw minus guard for cuts that needed the open access to the blade... and for most cuts that didn't need that access, which means convincing them to use the guard is likely to be an uphill slog.

Which brings me back to the point others have made, that the folks who hurt themselves are most often the people who have been using the tool long enough to have started cheating on existing safety practices, and then cheating on their cheats... and who are under time pressure and so are more likely to work past the point of fatigue. That's certainly not all the accidents -- a friend of mine was indecently lucky and split his fingertip to, but not through, the bone when he tried to finish a cut without a push stick -- but there is some evidence that the risks are highest to beginners who don't know better and experts who should know better.

My table saw right now is a 50-year-old Sears 8" benchtop model (belt driven, outboard motor). No guard; no sign it ever had a guard. Wide throat; no way I can see to fit it for a zero-clearance plate. I'm frankly a bit afraid to use it without a crosscut sled, and I suspect the best long-term answer would be to re-purpose it as a disk sander.

So I'm pondering saw shopping, and _still_ trying to decide between cheap-and-cheerful (leaving more money for wood and for other tools) or going upscale a bit. And while I think I'm probably paranoid enough to use a saw fairly safely, I'm willing to pay a slight surcharge for something like SawStop, Just In Case. The best health insurance is the kind which keeps you from needing health insurance in the first place.

Re: Blade brake inventor aims to compete with SawStop

On the plus side, this can be retrofit in the field, doesn't require redesigning the trunion, and doesn't require a separate brake unit for dado sets. And, yes, it doesn't risk killing the blade. And, yes, it can be attached to a cheap-a$$ jobsite saw.

On the minus side, it isn't as fast to respond, and it works ONLY when the guard is in place -- which means it's unusable for many of the jigs or tenioning cuts or similar. So it strikes me as potentially being much, MUCH more effective in that jobsite situation than in the shop.

And even at the jobsite, I'm a bit skeptical. The guys who handled my renovation ran their saw minus guard for cuts that needed the open access to the blade... and for most cuts that didn't need that access, which means convincing them to use the guard is likely to be an uphill slog.

Which brings me back to the point others have made, that the folks who hurt themselves are most often the people who have been using the tool long enough to have started cheating on existing safety practices, and then cheating on their cheats... and who are under time pressure and so are more likely to work past the point of fatigue. That's certainly not all the accidents -- a friend of mine was indecently lucky and split his fingertip to, but not through, the bone when he tried to finish a cut without a push stick -- but there is some evidence that the risks are highest to beginners who don't know better and experts who should know better.

My table saw right now is a 50-year-old Sears 8" benchtop model (belt driven, outboard motor). No guard; no sign it ever had a guard. Wide throat; no way I can see to fit it for a zero-clearance plate. I'm frankly a bit afraid to use it without a crosscut sled, and I suspect the best long-term answer would be to re-purpose it as a disk sander.

So I'm pondering saw shopping, and _still_ trying to decide between cheap-and-cheerful (leaving more money for wood and for other tools) or going upscale a bit. And while I think I'm probably paranoid enough to use a saw fairly safely, I'm willing to pay a slight surcharge for something like SawStop, Just In Case. The best health insurance is the kind which keeps you from needing health insurance in the first place.

Re: Father's Day Must-Have Woodworking Gifts

Unfortunately, the next thing my own shop really needs -- outside of a cleanup and organizing pass, which may mean a wall-mounted wood rack would be a good gift -- is a table saw. Which probably means a Sawstop.

Actually, the thing my shop _desperately_ needs is help figuring out how to arrange the tools. I've got a roughly 18'x18' space, which ought to be plenty -- but it's got a pair of Lally columns helping to support the main beam along the center line, and I haven't yet figured out how to reasonably arrange a table-saw workflow around them. I _really_ want to see an article on workshop layout which covers how to deal with this sort of complication, rather than assuming we either have an open space or the ability to trundle tools outside when we need elbow room.

(Yes, I know that theoretically I could get an engineer in and have that beam and its endpoint supports reinforced. But at that point, I think I'd instead have to settle for projects and/or tools and/or construction techniques that could fit the space.)

I suppose hand tools, miter saw and router and, perhaps, a panel saw with router plate (and fence?) could cover most of what a table saw is used for and would fit this space better, but... There's got to be a Best Answer for this situation, and I'm just not experienced enough to know what it is.

Re: Furniture Lab Tech Cabinet - Part I

If the circuit boards were surplussed before being used, they may not yet have been "tinned" with solder, which would remove the lead issue. Also, the industry has been moving to lead-free solder as they've increasingly held to account for environmental impact. And unless you are breathing it or dissolving it, solder is pretty stable -- I wouldn't worry unless solder was coming in direct contact with food or kids could put it in their mouths.

Valid concern, to be looked at... in context.

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

And behind me, those lovely shiplap wallboards were produced with this very plane.

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

... what do you mean, "you just planed the workbench"?

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

... and next month, we're going to teach you how to make this nifty storage box for your planes.

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

Great picture of the plane and the bench hook. Now, if we could just see the workpiece...



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