Recent comments

Re: The Weirdest Handplane I've Ever Used

How big is the throat, and how do you close it? The 45 and 55 both had the same problem regulating the cut. Too often the new owner had no idea why it didn't work as advertised, so it went back in the box. A treasure for tool junkies, a bane for tool users.
They are both as much work to use on figured wood as is needed to make your own wooden plane with the same iron.

Re: Matt Kenney's Ultimate Jig

wasted 17 seconds, but less time than he usually wastes . . . most useful and competent thing he's posted

Re: Crisp Tenon Shoulders with Your Chisel

There is no mention of it, but I learned the advantage of making a slight back cut on the shoulders as a way to yield a tighter fit. I imagine Phil knows of this, but maybe doesn't endorse it.


Been using a vixen file from the auto-body shop for years for this same task. Both concave and convex curves. Easily adjusted and stable within the setting.
Use an old file blade and use pressure sensitive-adhesive sandpaper on the reverse (smooth) side of the file after, flattening the back and recountersinking. It will last for years.
Can attach a cheek at whatever angle you need, but rarely find it necessary. When I do, it works better for me to clamp a guide to the workpiece.

Re: Transform an Old File into a DIY Burnisher

Got a broken link to the picture.

Re: 3 questions with Phil Lowe

There are lots of us opinionated grumpy old guys to ask questions of - is it worth the trouble to publish the results (not answers) if they are all as silly as the block plane question? Or is it so true he knows of a line of two-handed luthiers planes to recommend to validate the two-handed requirement to be a proper plane?
Not all fine woodworking is done in the luxury of a shop, or will even fit into a vise.

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

Does it contain the secret to French Polish without getting a workout ( shot of having someone else do the work )? On a hot day I was able to prove that the addition of drops of perspiration do not add , in a good way, to the polish.

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

It is possible to cheat at woodworking.
I had a Junior High School woodshop teacher who won the Industrial Arts Teacher of the Year award year after year. He did it by keeping all the students at their desks while he built a student's project, which was then entered into the District then State student-project competition. Of course, his student's project always won, and he was hearlded as a super teacher.
He cheated to get the accolades, but even more important, we were cheated out of the opportunity to learn.
Other than that, I'm not sure there is a way to cheat unless you want to establish your own constraints. Getting the job done without any false pretences is what it's all about.

Re: Shop Talk Live 17: Behind-the-Scenes at Lee Valley Tools

The sound? The sound of both revolution and evolution being stopped cold.
The revolution of a blade is stopped so the Darwin's evolutionary process can be subverted; someone gets to continue doing stupid things without consequence.
Pity goes to the blade!
The question raised among my peers is; why the preocupation in Fine Woodworking with the saw-stop?
As a collection of folks with all ten digits each, this overwhelming support of a feature proven to be uneeded by professionals must be driven by amatures - both outside and within the magazine staff. Or is it simply the easiest and most lucrative source of advertising?

Re: Tablesaw Safety Around the Clock

I believe SawStop technology should be required for everyone who is stupid enough to need it:
For amatures who only play in their shop occasionally, for the untrained who have never spent time under a successful mentor, for those who are perpetually unaware of themselves, for the chronically distracted, maybe this is a better solution than finding more appropriate activities, but I doubt it.
Take an Indy car and put all the sensors and interupting controls and see how well a professional driver would do in a race. The analogy is very aprops.
I was taught early on to look at the fingers of anyone giving me advice in the shop. It has been good advice. Old guys with all parts working have offered the best insight, and I know who to avoid - like the guy sporting band-aids from an encounter while sharpening a plane iron. Has SawStop got a fix to help him not hurt himself?

Re: Watch someone turn a lamp shade (it's better than that sounds, really)

pcoleman525 has a great idea. Why didn't anyone think of that already?! Verneer lampshades - I bet WalMart or maybe even Harbor Freight could sell all you can make in their collection of other decorative wooden products. Go for it!
But talk of waste, how much time have we all wasted reading this thread . . .

Re: Woodworking with Ebony

To ebonize small pieces that will stand some scraping or light sanding, I have used multiple coats of a magic marker. It will raise the grain a bit, and so there is an iterative series of light sanding and marker-dying steps. It's a lot like brushing on analine dye, but penetrates more deeply. It also needs to be sealed with shelac - we have all seen how marker ink will bleed.

Re: Play Against the Grain: One Lazy Latheman

It did seem too easy, but I lost points clicking on other problems that it seems the FWW people must think are OK.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

Charles Darwin made an excellent argument FOR publishing it, with all cautionary suggestions.
As this publication used to be geared toward the professional, this would not have been a question - except those who constantly railed against using power tools, and would deride a tablesaw as a carpenter's tool.
Understanding how the cutting action takes place, and being aware of the dynamics is critical for both safety and fine results. It is up to each of us to understand and apply that information.
I have a young grandson who I would trust to be safe If I taught him this technique, but I know his dad would probably cut off his fingers and end up with the cut-off parts stuck in his eyes. We are working with hazards all around us and those that can't adapt maybe should do something else.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

The gov't wants to protect us from our own stupidity, but who is protecting us from theirs, and who told them they should or could?
The truth comes out; the cost of adding the SawStop technology to a saw Gass quoted as $100 or less. If that's the case, why are they charging $1000 for a POS that's really just a $400 saw?
I can just imagine the thing going off prematurly while using a $120 dado set, or any high buck blade.
If that's the only thing I will be able to buy in the future, I guess I'll just have to get much better with handtools.
It's good for them to forewarn us - for me, it's off to the saw store to fill future needs.

Re: Against the Grain: Bone-Headed Bandsawing

A new low has been found. The selections are as poor as the photography.

Re: Play Against the Grain: The Wrong Way to Rip

I saw the 'blade guard removed for clarity', and don't know how they would show the excess blade height as part of the kickback issue with the guard in place. I did waste a lot of points on the sleeves and ring looking for that last item. I didn't see the board in the picture as long enough to need outfeed support if a proper pushstick were to be in use.

Re: Tommy MacDonald and WGBH pursue a new woodworking show

Looks like the same formula as Scott Phillips used on his show before he twisted the show and used it to build a mini mansion for himself. How many NYW episodes did the likes of Lonnie Bird appear in to show skills beyond that of the host? I think someone referred to him as Mr. Milktoast, but as a fine woodworker, he is far above Norm. Scott is a furniture builder, Norm is a finish carpenter. The distinction between furniture and carpentry is hard for many to see, but I think that may be who the greatest potential audience is, the great unwashed. Maybe Home Depot should be a sponsor in that case.

Re: Having Trouble Finishing? Here's a Great Product

I see PapaWhiskey has also noticed the Taunton magazines are recycling material. Methods of work being a very common recycle bin.

Re: New Study Discusses Tablesaw Injuries

Much of what was already written is about awareness. I also believe that to be the key. Any legislation written cannot supplant the need for immediate understanding of, and attention to your situation. The only thing more stupid than the mistakes that cause these injuries is the belief that any code, rule, or law will prevent them.
Part of my training was working for a large university in a shop that had a 14", 7hp monster of a table saw. I saw it kick back a 2x6 that was being ripped. The board penetrated a concrete block wall. The older guy running the saw was not injured because he did have the habit of staying out of the line of the work, but had 'other things on his mind', was trying to rush through a bunch of knots joined together by a few bits of wood and didn't take the time to let the saw do its job. It was powerful enough to eat it's way through most binds if you went slowly enough. The notion that hold-downs like fingerboards of any sort would tame this beast were always proven wrong. It forced us to learn and use good technique. Good technique is the first thing that should be learned. Any safeties and guards should work in concert with that good technique. I do use lots of fingerboards, etc., but not in an effort to make an unsafe situation safe.
I have been reading Finewoodworking for many years and have appreciated the job they do for the art and science of woodworking, and journalism in general. The decline in the past few years doesn't need elaboration here, but I am still surprised that they have not compiled very much useful information for teaching general table saw safety and the good technique that supports it. Even on a basic level. They have not produced anything I could give to one of my grandsons and feel confident he would learn what he needs to know, that he would have a comprehensive reference on basic technique and how it relates to safety. Maybe an item for Taunton to consider.
There are those of us who can proudly show ten whole and intact, and even wrinkly, fingers that are prove that one can be safe for years without a Sawstop or government-mandated guards. I know where all my guards are - when an inspector shows up on a job, the brand-new-looking guards quickly find their way onto the not-so-new-looking machines. Nobody is fooled, but also on each job I post a #DAYS WITHOUT INJURY sign where everyone sees it, including safety inspectors, upon entry. We are presently in the 800s. I think that says volumns.

Re: Are CNC machines ready for Fine Woodworking?

On this same e-mail is a display of some of the work from Kinloch Woodworking. How much of that could be done by a CNC? The Carlston chest or the bombe desk finial?
CNC details are limited to what can be produced by a rotating bit. Crisp inside corners, for example, just don't happen on a CNC any more than they will with a router.
Sadly, the volumn of cheap furniture from China that is sold every day is a huge temptation, and many yield to that temptation.
True craftsmanship is still in demand, and thankfully, still alive.

Re: Building with Choke Cherry

Beautiful wood! I have never played with chokecherry, and would love a follow-up to know what it works like. I have cut and tried to use just about everything that grows in this area. The chokecherry trees are scrub-sized, rarely reaching 3" diameter.
I try to cut the wood as long as I can handle, and let the logs dry as much as possible after PEGing or painting the ends. If I cut them before they dry, I will cut them thick knowing I will resaw them.
The grain in some plum trees I harvested spiralled more than 360 degreees in a 4' piece. Had I slabbed them wet, even with good stickering, the stresses would have made them useless.

Re: A sure-fire sharpening method

We no longer use any grinding wheels. We have switched to a 1" X 42" belt sander. They heat less quickly, are more consistent, and less expensive to refresh than round wheels. Unlike your belt sanders, the machines are made for use in machine shops - cutting metal. They cost about the same as a grinder of equal quality, and are considered safer than rotating stones. They don't, in standard use, give a hollow grind, but taking advantage of the hollow wasn't included as part of Asa's presentation.

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