Austin, TX, US

Gender: Male

Birthday: 10/03/1949

Recent comments

Re: Why I love shellac

I have a lovely black walnut dining table and chairs. It was finished by the builder with a pre-cat lacquer and it must have been done in a humid environment because it is cloudy, especially noticeable when viewed at a low angle. Can I apply shellac over the top to bring out a better lustre? I tried wax, but got poor results and I took it back off.

Re: The 4 Handsaws You Must Have

Thanks, Mainewood. I have been trying relaxation techniques because I know that I grip my tools too tightly, but I still could not follow a line. I'll get a cheap pine board and practice sawing with a two-hand grip. I assume you would pull the saw straight back to your mid-section as opposed to your side, now that's a radical change.

Re: The 4 Handsaws You Must Have

A good Japanese pull saw isn't cheap, perhaps $60-75, and they have to be replaced when dull. They also tend to be brittle and teeth can break off if you nick them on your vice. Also, after trying to improve my technique for 9 years, I still can't follow a straight line, the saw goes where it wants to. My newest Japanese saw came with instructions that said to grip the handle with two hands, which I had never thought about nor read anywhere. Could you comment on that, Matt? Thanks.

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

Reading between the lines a little, is the author hinting not to waste money on coarse water stones? I use only a combination 4000/8000 grit Norton stone for the polishing stage after flattening with wet/dry sandpaper on granite. Even the fine grit stone won't stay flat. I have to re-tune it after polishing only one or two tools, so most of the stone goes down the drain in the rinse water. There seems to be a lot of poor performing water stones and I don't get near the mirror finish shown in the photos. I'm thinking about ordering some Ohishi stones since L-N recommends them.

Re: Hidden Genius: The Extraordinary Furniture of Roentgen

Fantastic furniture and I wonder how they crafted it all by hand back in the pre-mechanized world. Just one criticism of the write-up: what is $133,000 British pounds? Is it dollars or pounds? Can you have a portrait of the Queen on one side and Abe Lincoln on the other?

Re: Quick to Build Tool Cabinet

I would love to build this, but I worry about all that weight hanging from the wall. Thinking about my tools crashing to the floor would keep me awake at night. Will the wall studs hold several hundred pounds?

Re: New 12-inch Miter Saw from Bosch

I have a Festool Kapex mitre saw and I've been told by a course instructor that it is the only manufacturer whose saw will cut consistently true mitres without operator corrections being made, so I would be interested to know if others, including Bosch, are gaining on Festool's quality.

Re: Watch the preview of Tommy Mac's new woodworking show

Loved Norm for many years because I felt like he was my private tutor. He didn't use many hand tools, but you learned how to do things fast. I don't get the impression that Tommy will be using a 36" belt sander or overnighting any moulding knife patterns to his personal smitty in Connecticut. I do recommend that Tommy work on his diction - that Boston accent is a tough one for us Texans. I watched the video twice and still can't understand everything he said.

Re: Q&A with Woodworking Experts

I got a late start in "real" woodworking and cabinetmaking beyond simple DIY carpentry. Even though I spent my career as an engineer, I am amazed at how technical fine woodworking is and how many different skill sets are required. My question is should I try to learn it all, for instance I can't carve or turn, or just concentrate on design, joinery and finishing and become as proficient at those areas as I can? I perceive that there are too many skilled areas to really learn them all and maintain proficiency short of spending one's entire life working at it.

Re: When You Have Your Accident

To DaleJo, I don't have a bandsaw yet, but can't wait until I have an 18" one so I can resaw rough boards and save some of the lumber yard milling costs. I would not use my table saw to resaw boards. First, you are severely limited by the depth of cut, so you can't saw a board more than about 4" wide - or "tall" in reference to the table - and second, the saw kerf of a circular blade is going to waste more wood that a bandsaw would.

Re: When You Have Your Accident

I appreciate all the suggestions here to stay safe. I have another one. I always have several projects drawn up on gridded paper, one or two in the woodworking stage, maybe one waiting on the glue to dry and one in the finishing stage. On my stupid days, I put down my chisels, unplug my power tools and go work on my finishing. I've never been injured applying another coat of Danish oil, shellac or wax.

Does anybody have experience using a power feeder? I am thinking of buying one for my table saw.

Re: New Study Discusses Tablesaw Injuries

I'll put my comments in a list since so much has already been written.
-Even expensive table saws include junk for attachments. Throw away the blade guard and the mitre gauge and buy good ones.
-Some European saw manufacturers provide a fence that goes back only to the center of the blade, reasoning that there is then no way for an offcut to get trapped
-When using a radial arm saw, pull the carriage back with your left hand and hold the workpiece against the fence with your right, even if you are right-handed. This places you to the right of the blade and you can see the cut better.
-Avoid housed cuts, such as with a dado blade, or cutting grooves. Find another way.
-Simply never put your hand between the blade and fence, even for wide cuts
-Check the fence and blade for runout frequently
-Keep the trunnions and associated screw drive and gears clean

Re: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Woodcraft part ways

I had bought all of my LN planes through Axminster Tools in England, but recently bought one at Woodcraft in Austin, Texas, where in the last year I've spent a small fortune on Festool power tools. The LN plane I bought was on a stock shelf in the back storage area. I was taken back there and the boxes were opened as I chose the LN plane I wanted. The service was great. Been in a wine shop lately? The grand cru and premier cru are locked up behind glass, so what? If you want to handle unsupervised every plane LN makes, go to a tool show. I have 5 LN planes and a set of their socket chisels, why do I have to "try" the brand out anymore? Lee Valley also locks up their Veritas planes. This sounds like an excuse to cover the fact that LN production is falling behind demand - they ran out of LN products in England in 2007 and didn't catch up for 6 months.

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