Mickey T


Recent comments

Re: AWFS: New Veritas plane for shooters

Looks like a great plane. Will it be available in left hand, too?


Re: Shop Talk Live 6: On the Pod

Fountainhughes; yes, nslewis is correct, you can isolate the existing amber shellac with de-waxed shellac, such as Zissner (I use Liberon, because it is more available here in England) but give everything a sand with fine paper first to reduce the amount of original finish and get rid of any accumulated wax polish, grease etc. Give everything 2 coats of 2lb cut de-waxed, to be double sure you isolate everything and then lightly scuff sand when dry, to give a key for the poly to grip on to. As long as you are careful not to cut right through the isolating coat, then I don't think you will have any problems with the poly.

Hope this helps,


Re: Shop Talk Live 6: On the Pod


I think Jeff and Asa forgot to mention that polyureathane hates wax under it, so must use de-waxed shellac as a sealer. otherwise good advice, oil polyurathane is often overlooked these days, but a great finish.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

Out of interest, dado heads in the tablesaw in Europe, (I'm from England) are in effect, illegal. The top of the riving knife is higher than the saw blade and this typically has the crown guard bolted to it. This renderes a partial thickness cut impossible and it is illegal to remove these items. Also, the rise and fall on tablesaws that have been manufactured for more than the last ten years, does not descend the blade significantly lower han the surface of the table, rendering partial thickness cuts un-doable, taking away the temptation to remove the riving kinfe and guard anyway. Many saws do not even have an arbour spindle long enough to take a dado blade. If the guard was in place on the saw of the unfortunate user shown here, he would not have injured himself in this way and the need for a sawstop totally unnecessary. If the American way of working was to have a proper riving knife/crown guard setup, as we have had in England for decades, and dados (we call them housings over here) were cut with a plunge router and guide, I doubt the saw stop would ever have been invented. Dare I say it, but I doubt such technology could be applied to all the other machines we use, so I think the benefit of such a device only very weak. It is like only making it law to fit seat-belts to Fords, but not any other vehicle.

As much as I love Fine Woodworking, I do think that they have not helped your cause by showing table saw operations with 'guards removed for clarity'. Many of the operations shown in the magazine could not be done with guards in situ, making that disclaimer moot to say the least. The public consciousness of American woodworkes is that it is OK to remove guards, and this should never have been the case.


Re: Video: Clever Sled for Curved Bevels on the Tablesaw

It seems this forum regularly discusses tablesaw safety and misuse, the Saw Stop tablesaw and law suits over missing digits. Now we are seeing a procedure which requires the removal of the crown guard and riving knife (splitter) and the precarious balancing of a large board, on end, on a piece of veneer. The saddle over the fence could be pulled over by weight of such a large vertical board. This guy might get away with this procedure in his own shop, but for heavens sake, he should keep it to himself. I don't doubt some inexperienced woodworker will try the same with a large dining table top and the consequenses will be dire.

A bearing guided router cutter to remove the bulk of the waste and a sharp handplane would do the same job in less time, with the table top lying safely on the bench. Not using crazy techniques does not limit creativity, either.

Be safe.


Re: The Price is Right - Or is it?

A couple of things; no-one will ever build a sucessful craft buisiness by making and selling the same for less. It is foolish to think this can be done and I strongly urge anyone contemplating doing so to think again. this is, I'm afraid, one of those universal business paradigms that is true and useful in almost every case. Things are sold on points of difference; if the thing is worse it will be cheaper if better it will be dearer and if it is much the same then the price will be much the same. Making the same thing, however just means that you will be moving into a market which already has competition from established businesses and getting a foothold there will be more difficult.

Secondly, unless the business is geared up for production, small furniture businesses do not ever make production furniture. The way I describe this sort of making for small concerns is 'Batch production of limited edition furniture' or 'Semi-Bespoke'. I don't mean to be pedantic over terminology, but there is definitely a differece. At best the small business makes some economies by running batches of components saving time. This cannot be compared to the economies of scale and automation possible by mass producers in super efficient factory situations. Batch making falls between the truly custom and production items and must be viewed in these terms for them to be done sucessfully.


Re: The Price is Right - Or is it?

Mr Bois's advice is no different than any expert in sales and marketing will tell you. It is the usual template that is promoted by such types, and I have had many encounters with these people over the years of trying to coax a living out of my business. It is all true, and I think that most of us professionals or aspiring professionals know this. Unfortunately, I know of dozens of custom workshops that are struggling or just scraping by. The trouble with statements that are true is that you cannot argue with them. They are not always useful, though, as the businesses I have just mentioned prove. It is a common situation here in England and from my friends over there, I know is much the same in the USA. Many woodworking businesses struggle with viability. There is something else, some other elusive device that no-one Iv'e met has ever been able to describe. Until someone who runs a professional, full time woodworking business wants to write about how this works, then I don't find it useful just quoting jaded business paradigms.

One other thing; whilst I don't have anything against part time makers per se, I don't think their stories are useful to those who are full time professionals. The reason is this; If you have another guaranteed salary and a home workshop, setting and sticking to your price is easy. If the customer doesn't want to pay five grand for that entertainment centre then you can tell them to take it or leave it. Professionals with rented shops beat themselves down when the end of the month nears and the order book is thin. It is no longer to do with theoretical business models, but pure survival. Even prices for custom work become what the immediate market will bear and when I say immediate, I mean what the guy standing there with the cheque book wants to give you, in certain instances.

All those Pros, I wish you good luck in finding the elixir. Tell me about it when you do!


Re: When You Have Your Accident

I don't mean to get personal, but PATWRECK should stop wood working before he kills himself. No-one can be a safe woodworker let alone a fine and creative craftsman whilst being terrified of the machinery. Fences should not slip, kickback should not happen. Wearing any ammount of body armour to protect ones-self from timber projectiles, whilst being a sensible precaution, is not the first line of defence. Why are PATWRECK's fences badly locked, or tablesaw regularly kicking back, to the point where it is expected? All the machinery should be working correctly, fences rigid and adjusted so kick back is prevented. Being English, I'm used to our tablesaws always being fitted with riving knives (with crown guard) by law. More recently, motors have to be fitted with brakes to stop blades quickly after hitting the stop button. I would advise all American woodworkers to have both these modifications to their tablesaws and enjoy much safer and less nerve wracking woodworking. I have NEVER had a kickback in 20 years of woodworking because I always used a tablesaw with a riving knife and a correctly aligned and rigidly locked fence. I bet that statement will make American woodworkers think, but it is true. SawStop devices would be seem as un-necessary as hands aren't going any where near the blade, are they?

Anyone who feels unsafe whilst using machinery should spend some money on good woodworking lessons. Knowledge is a great safety feature and as worthwhile paying for as goggles, dustmask or ear protection. Then spend a little more on some high quality fences and guards. Too much? Then seriously consider giving up woodwork as a pastime, because the loss of digits and eyes will only be a matter of time.

Safe woodworking,

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