Recent comments

Re: Why do you work wood?

When I was a young boy of seven or eight, my family moved from an old rent house to our first home. As my mother and brothers unpacked at the new house, my father and I stayed at the old house where he could keep an eye on me while he repaired and refinished our old oak pedestal table & chairs. He had but few hand tools and he showed me how to get the most use out of each one. It was a special time for me and the beginning of a love for woodworking that he and I shared for the rest of his life. I do wood working because I want to leave a legacy for my sons and grandchildren.

Re: Caption Contest Winner!

"Psst...Wanna see my new tattoo? It's a rabbet plane!

Re: Caption Contest Winner!

"I'm Ready for my Fine Woodworking close-up, Mr. DeMille...."

Re: Climb Cutting, Routers, and Tool Safety

When you hold the router, your hands are located in a position away from the bit, so climb cutting is safer. when you use a router table the bit is sticking up and you are holding the piece to be cut in your hands which will have to pass near the plades. It is just poor safety to try this on a router table. Also, if you lose control of your work piece - even if you don't hamburger your fingers - you'll ruin your wood. Doesn't make sense...

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

I love this grooving plane but, does this apron make me look - you know - fat?

Re: Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

I've seen a lot of comments about having an overhead power source. When I was a kid, my mom had a device attached to her ironing board that held the power cord about 18 inches above the board surface so the cord wouldn't get in her way. It was essentially a wire spring with long legs terminating in a loop at one end and a clamp at the other. The thing would clamp onto the board and the power cord was threaded through the loop at the top. I'd like to see something like this attached to a workbench, it would be low-tech but effective in keeping the cord out of the way and easily removeable.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: 500 Tables (Updated with winner)

"It is important to read and understand the instructions BEFORE operating your equipment rather than AS you do so."

Re: Borrowing Tools

The best bit of advice I ever got was the one I adopted with good result: Any tool I lend out worth more than $20, I ask the borrower to leave me a check for the amount of the replacement cost of the tool. They always look at me funny at first but I explain that surely they planned to take good care of the tool and, just as surley, if they broke the thing they would want to replace it, yes? As a friend and neighbor? This is usually enough to deter most borrowers (when money is at stake they realize they don't know that much about how to use and care for such a tool) but a few have agreed and actually felt good about the whole arrangement. It encourages them to get it back within the 30 days I give them before I cash the check. The few tools borrowed this way have always been brought back promptly and in good condition.

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

The writing is on the wall: with such outrageous damages looming, table saw manufacturers will understandably feel obliged out of self interest to include this technology on all their nachines. Prices will skyrocket: woodworking will become a rich man's interest. I won't say the industry will collapse, but there are going to be serious adjustments to the market if half the consumers decide they cannot afford a tablesaw and give up on woodworking altogether. It is a sad day.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Made By Hand by Tom Fidgen

While I am normally a power tool kinda guy, every now and then I seem to channel James Krenov and will indulge myself in a 'smallish' project done by hand tools only. This is less an excersize in craftsmanship than a spiritual journey into the soul, where true quality resides. When this urge hits, I've gotta answer the call.

Re: What are The Turning Points Along Your Woodworking Path?

My turning point came very unexpectedly, as I suppose most do. Since I was a teenager I've considered myself a novice woodworker; more of a wood butcher, really. A hack. I had taught myself to do everything with an old radial arm saw, a sander, a drill and some ratty old hand tools. A few years ago, at age 55, my wife bought me a really nice table saw. I decided to make some jewelry boxes with it. With a smooth table top, powerful motor, accurate miter guide and practically no blade runout; the first box seemed to make itself. What a revelation! A blinding flash of the obvious! A quality tool makes for quality results. I then sprang for a good router, a decent thickness planer, some quality hand tools and presto! The projects came as in a dream. I now enjoy the work way more than before and the finished pieces look more workmanlike. This experience has changed my entire outlook on woodworking.

Re: UPDATED: Giveaway and Poll: The Most Requested Woodworking Gifts of 2009

I used to do woodworking in my spare time years ago but I have no such luxury today. I'm in the last few, very busy, years of a long career before I can afford to retire. I've purchased tools, jigs and accessories here and there over the years and have them squirreled away against the day I can set up my shop and devote full time to it. My wish is to live long enough to see it happen.

Re: UPDATED: What Tools Are on Your Holiday Wish List?

Oh Santa, I've been very good,I don't want much:
a Jet JBM-5 Bench Mortising Machine
a Leigh 18" Dovetail Jig
a 3HP Delta Unisaw with 52" Biesmeyer Fence
a Delta 12" Variable speed Drill Press
a Delts 14" Band Saw

Re: Top 7 Woodworking Pet Peeves

Variety packs: Once in a while I'll buy a variety pack of sandpaper, jigsaw blades or whatever, on sale. Inevitably it will have only one or two sheets, bits, blades, etc. that I actually ever use. Makes me crazy to go back to the package for another whatever and find it full of grits, tooth sets or bit sizes I never need. You'd think I'd learn....

Re: Broken power tool: Junk it or fix it?

I am assuming we're talking about portable tools. Any decent stationary tool I own would have to be seriously torn up for me to junk it. These are expensive would pay more for an automatic mortiser than for an automatic dishwasher, yet you wouldn't junk your dishasher if the main spray arm'd buy a new part. A portable tool, a drill or a router, on the other hand, is like a blender or food processor: by the time the bushings in the motor wear out, the various seals, bearings, and blades have also worn to the point that it's almost as much trouble to use as to work by hand.These tools are junk...not worth repair.Toss it, spring for a new one and re-discover the joy of woodworking. It's also a good way to keep your shop updated

Re: A Bench That Fits Every Room by Daniel Chaffin

Great looking benches! But I've gotta say what drew my attention was the table in the photo. Is that yours as well? Can you post some pics and tell us a litle about it?

Re: How to Repair a Botched Hinge Installation

Just a precaution: When filling the original screw hole prior to redrilling, remember to use a dowel of the same or very similar wood to your piece. Otherwise when you try to redrill, the bit will drift in the direction of the softer wood and you'll be worse off than ever. Ash and oak are close, but oak and maple, for instance, are too dissimilar and a small bit will drift. Been there, done that.

Re: Future Period Furniture Articles

I am currently interested in the Arts and Crafts movement. I would love to see detailed plans for some Greene & Greene's more complicated pieces; sideboards, desks, dressers and the like. As well, I am fascinated by modern furniture design and would love to see detailed plans for some of the best of the woodbutchers' art.

Re: Inexpensive furniture woods

I am at that saturation point where no new furniture comes in the house until a piece goes out. As a result, if I decide to build a specific piece of furniture I will often re-condition and re-use the wood from the old piece. I had some old commercially made living room furniture that I disassembled, ran through the planer and constructed a new coffee table and two end tables from. The money I saved at the lumber yard far outweighed what I could have gotten for the old piecs in a yard sale. Even better, I discovered in taking apart an upholstered couch several pieces of nicely figured oak which went into a jewelry box.

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