Recent comments

Re: STL 60: Dumpster Diving for Terrific Tools

I guess the best thing I pulled out of the trash was a 12-string guitar. Nothing special, but a guitar nonetheless.

The neck-to-body joint had separated -- not unusual, on 12-strings, I later learned -- and after gluing it, I reinforced it with a piece of Allthread that went right through the foot of the neck, through the soundbox, and out the tailblock, where I put a washer and an acorn nut. As far as I could tell it had absolutely no effect on the sound.

Re: Tip for fitting a handle to a socket chisel

I like polyurethane adhesives (Gorilla Glue is one; there are others) for fitting handles. The adhesive foams a bit while it cures, filling in all the gaps; and the material is slightly elastic when it's cured, so it's shock resistant. It's also very strong.

Example: I fitted a handle to a 2-3/4 lb. blacksmith's hammer, using steel-filled epoxy. The epoxy cracked and the handle loosened after only a few days' work. I removed the handle (no easy task with the wedges) and cleaned off the epoxy residue, then re-fitted it with a urethane (I think that one was Dow-Corning Waterproof Glue, not on the market any more). The head is still tight, 20-odd years later.

I shudder to think of trying to remove it, though.

Re: Calculating for Wood Movement

These meters work by measuring the conductance of the wood, which of course varies with the moisture content.

How about developing a method to use a simple multimeter, which you can get for $5 at discount hardware stores ?

Re: Plane Irons and Chisels Need a Flat, Polished Back

Couple of things:

You can get a small granite surface plate for less than $25 -- most of the discount machine-shop suppliers have them. Or you can go to a glazier's and ask for a piece of plate glass -- be sure it's PLATE, which is almost as flat as a surface plate. Or wait for recycling day and look for an old glass-topped coffee table on the roadside. If you use glass, build a wooden frame for it and cut a piece of plywood to lay over it when you're not using it... that will protect it from dropped things.

The paper in the photos looks like silicon-carbide "wet-or-dry" paper, which really is the only thing to use for this kind of work -- regular sandpaper will shed grit so fast you won't get much done before you need to replace it.

The really fine grits of sandpaper aren't that easy to find. Try an auto-accessories store, or a body-shop supplier.

Re: A Dedicated Sharpening Bench -part 6- Cutting the Top and building the Under Carriage

Re holding the paper steady on the surface plate --

Get yourself some "super magnets" -- I saw them at Michael's craft store, about $4 for a dozen small ones.

Drill shallow holes of a size to fit the magnets snugly, in the top surface (probably will need a carbide drill), deep enough that the magnets will sit flush or a bit below the surface of the granite. Set them in with epoxy or silicone, being sure to alternate the polarity.

That done, you can use thin strips of steel, held down by the magnets, to clamp the paper in place.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

IMO, a dangerous practise for beginners. It might work for a seasoned woodworker, with a sharp blade, a smooth, clean saw-table, and a shiny mitre gauge. But it's too technique-dependent for the average-Joe home woodworker.

A beginner might take too big of a bite on the lateral cut, and if not holding the work very tightly to the mitre, the piece could cock, flip out of his hands, and maybe fly off harmlessly, maybe push him into the blade.

Also, all that moving around is apt to confuse a beginner, and confusion leads to missing body parts. Even your expert demonstrator seems to have lost track of where he was in the process, a couple of times.

SO... if you do publish it, CYA with a very clear disclaimer.

Re: Make it Stick: A Guide to Glue Ups

With "regular" wood-glue, both sides, but relatively thinly to avoid making the glue-line too thick, and to reduce or eliminate squeeze-out. I also tend to clamp whenever possible, even if it's only a bungee cord wrapped around the joint.

With "foaming" glues like Gorilla, I usually apply only to one side, and wipe the other side lightly - VERY lightly - with a damp cloth, the idea being to get some water into the wood for the glue to react with.

Have to say, this seems like a pretty rudimentary topic.

Re: New Study Discusses Tablesaw Injuries

Home crafters tend to work on their projects after a day's work, probably after dinner, and possibly after a beer or two. All of which tend to lead to inattention.

Inattention is the killer. Forget for one instant that you're leaning over a 2-horsepower machine with a very sharp blade, and you're toast.

Yes, safety devices can help. Anti-kickback guards are a great thing - having been hit in the gut by a board once, about 40 years ago, I don't want to repeat THAT experience. The new "electronic brake" seems like a good idea, too, but I wonder how many of those will be disabled after the first time a "false trigger" costs the operator a blade.

But the safest tool is only as safe as the operator's habits and skill can make it.

Re: A sure-fire sharpening method

Interesting. I've never used water stones, but now it looks like I'll be getting some.

I've been using a scrap piece of Corian countertop material for backing the sandpaper. I've dropped it several times and it just bounces.

BTW, I don't glue the paper down, I just hold the ends with duct-tape.

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

It depends on the tool, and the cost of repair. A good example: I had a 9V Craftsman drill/driver. It cost me about $60 on sale, with two battery packs. The packs went dead after 2-3 years, and IIRC, EACH replacement pack would have cost me about $30. At the same time, there was another Craftsman drill/driver - 13V, I think - on sale, again for about $60, with two packs. A simple choice.

However, when THAT drill's batteries died, I found the batteries were only available on special order. That seems to be a pattern: Introduce a new model, and obsolete the batteries for the previous model.

I happened to get a flyer from a national "discount tool" chain, and there was a 14V drill/driver for $19; an extra battery pack was another $9. Not much trouble making that choice, either. That drill, btw, is into its third year, with the original batteries.

You CAN rebuild most battery packs; it's a bit of a job finding the replacement batteries. The replacement cells are comparatively expensive, but it can be done, if you have no other options. The NiCad packs seem to use "Sub-C" or "Half-C" cells, and of course you have to do the spaghetti-like wiring to get them all in series, and inside the case.

Larger tools are another matter. Often they can be repaired for a lot less than the cost of replacement. I'm lucky in that I have a small machine shop at my disposal, and could fabricate some mechanical parts if necessary; not everyone is so fortunate.

Re: Tablesaw techniques I wouldn't recommend

Don't - DO NOT - do what this young fellow is shown doing. I've done some exceedingly stupid things in my time, and luckily survived them; but this pushes the envelope.

BTW, I have one of those old Craftsman saws, and given that it lacks some refinements like a featherboard, it's still a fine tool.

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