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Recent comments


Re: The Story Behind the Government's Pending Tablesaw Ruling

Though this is an excellent and factual account of the story, it conveniently omits the back-room negotiations and payola Gass's associates use.

Gass is a lawyer; a lawyer with powerful connections and knowledge of how to finance lobbying. That makes him formidable. Anyone who has researched his connections and the marketing ploys he used will quickly see how he manipulated this issue for his own benefit.

Though there is nothing wrong with a person choosing to use Gass's over-priced invention, it is WRONG for congress to force people to use it.

Further, it is WRONG for any lobbyist to influence law making.

WE THE PEOPLE see how corporate corruption has eviscerated our constitution, stripped rights and suppressed innovation in other industries. Whenever one invention is given federal preference over another two negative results occur:

1- Only those with money and connections succeed.

2- Corrupt law makers become more powerful and therefore more corrupt.

There are other safety devices that are just as effective, are less expensive and can be retro-fitted onto existing table-saws. Why do we not hear more about them?

Because all of our trade-news sources accept advertising money from Gass.
They also accept advertising money from other manufacturers, which is why no magazine, including the otherwise venerable FW, has the balls to come down on one side or another.

Bottom line: If YOU want a SawStop, you are free to buy one.

But NO ONE, especially a corrupt, money-controlled congress should be able to force us to buy it, or anything else.

We should remain free in every area of consumer choice. If you hide your head in the sand now and remain passive, other consumer choices will also reflect this systemic political corruption. Before long, your food, water and air will be poisoned... oops. too late. Already happened.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

It's good to be concerned about the safety of your readers.

It's bad to withhold techniques because you're afraid of litigation.

Now that you posted this video of the technique in use safely, and you bring up the question of "safety" you can prove in any "reasonable" court that you are not liable for injuries someone suffers while using it.

Now, just find a "reasonable" court.

The Ryobi suit was heavily influenced by behind-the-scenes negotiations carried out by representatives of a famous saw-safety device. Because the safety device was created by a lawyer, and because that lawyer has connections to powerful allies in congress, the Ryobi suit was engineered to scare other manufacturers into kowtowing to new regulations.

Now, here are four pertinent facts:

It is a fact that the famous safety device works, in dry wood. Yay.

There are new saw safety devices on the horizon that work as well or better.

Nothing will ever replace common sense and caution.

Many of us have cut tenons like this for decades and never had a problem.
_______

So Dear ASA, Don't worry... You will still get your advertising bucks from the famous saw safety-device company. If an unwary woodworker injures himself while trying this for the first time, lawyers will try to attack the saw manufacturer, not magazine publishers or videographers or editors. You guys are their friends! Other manufacturers are competition. Besides, large tool manufacturers have deeper pockets, so that's who lawyers will attack.

You can show this video to any reasonable court, so long as the jury isn't stupid, the lawyers are all ethical and the judge isn't bought.

Unless the entire legal system is rigged, How hard could that be?

I mean, unless someone got into high public office through an illegal last-minute ruling by the supreme court, or the courts decide something absurd like "corporations are people" you can still trust our legal system. It's not like we see MAJOR crimes committed by the financial industry going totally unpunished, right? Unless we see police getting away with beating, shooting, pepper-spraying, & tazing peaceful citizens the courts should still be fair, ...right?

So long as we don't see any of the above-mentioned corruption in our legal-system, you should be OK.

Go ahead. Show the video.

Good luck.

Re: Steampunk Laptop version 2

Here is a steampunk laptop...

http://www.dailysteampunk.com/Steampunk%20Aesthetics.html

Google "steampunk laptops" for images if you are looking for inspiration in this design style.

Re: 13 Tips from a Well-Traveled Woodworker

If you traveled in a professional touring band as much as I once did, you will also learn some travel tips about money. Woodworkers travel to find bargains with cash in hand. Sometimes we travel to deliver our work or sell something else, say an old table-saw. In either case, if you deal in cash you are at risk of robbery.

If selling, especially to an unknown person, ask for payment in traveler's checks. They are perfectly liquid and must be double-endorsed before they are tendered. They cannot bounce.

If a seller does not know a bank where he can get traveler's checks, or worse--- does not even know what traveler's checks are, ...you should consider him "high-risk."

If at all possible, ask a seller what payment he will accept. Travelers checks can be used in normal denominations to make up any negotiated price. If you pre-negotiated the price, ask if the seller will accept cashier's checks. The fee is small and that is cheap insurance against theft.

If buying, cash is still king, but it's unwise to carry more than $500. In the old days, before google maps, I would find the address of the person or business I planned to deal with, then look up nearby business addresses in the library's phone-books. Calls to local businesses give you a "feel" for the neighborhood you will be visiting before you invest time and expense of traveling.

Nowadays, you can look up any address and search the 360-degree street-view of the area. If tempted by a great deal on a "like new" machine that seems too good to be true, get the address before traveling and look at the nearby street-views using google maps.

In one case, this prevented me being scammed and probably robbed. In another, it helped the police retrieve stolen merchandise.

If someone offers a $12,000 dollar machine for "$600 bucks--cash only!" ...be suspicious. If the seller only has a rented cell-phone, no work number or land-line, walk away from the deal.

Use Google-maps street-view. If you look around then discover that the address is a second story apartment in South Bend or Detroit that has boarded-up windows, burned out cars, out-of-business convenience stores with metal guards and graffiti, think carefully.

If you are convinced the deal is real but the neighborhood looks dangerous, travel with a friend... or two, or three. You might need help carrying something anyway, right?

Here it's nice to have a cop-friend, who is licensed to carry firearms. It's good to have a reliable witness of any such transaction, and video taping the proceedings is a good idea too.

A traveling musician usually gets paid in cash late at night. That makes him a tempting target for opportunistic thieves. By knowing the "lay-of-the-land" before I go, and ALWAYS traveling with my mates, I have been able to avoid loss and danger for over forty years. Some of my less cautious friends, musicians and woodworkers alike, have not been so lucky.

Happy hunting for bargains! Good luck with your sales! And I sincerely hope this helps everyone who reads it.

Re: Blade brake inventor aims to compete with SawStop

This is better than saw stop for several reasons:
1-It retro fits existing saws including the most common portable saws where accidents are most likely to happen since those saws are the ones that hurried construction workers and home-hobbyists use.
2- Does not ruin the blade as it stops.
3-Does not require expensive cartridges for every stop.
4- Adds extra dust collection at the blade.
5-Senses proximity through capacitance touch sensor, not blade contact, therefore operator learns from mistakes without ANY injury, even a small nick. This allows shop owners to train help without accident-report paperwork for every little cut, insurance forms to file or trips to emergency room.
6-Provides extra task lighting.
7-Doesn't line the pocket of a greedy manipulative lawyer.
8-It is less expensive, therefore more accessible to more people, especially amateurs or neophytes with limited budgets.

We already see Gass's paid shills infesting online forums, such as this one, with their bogus counter-claims. There are probably many saw stop owners who sincerely believe their technology is better, since they already paid for it. Either way, the superiority of this capacitance touch sensor system is obvious.


I'll support this guy's invention and buy one as soon as it is available. I'll even buy a cheap portable saw to go with it.

Re: The Perfect Marking Knife, at Last!

In reply to comets' questions: And,what is the metal hardness? Where can we get the blank?

I use old files for blanks. Since file are so hard, they need to be annealed slightly before grinding and shaping them into tools. That's easy enough to do in a standard kitchen oven. There are articles here online at FW and everywhere on the web about how to do that.

Also, "making your own tools" is an excellent resource even for those with no blacksmithing experience. You can get started very cheaply and do fine work with tools most woodworkers already have. You can use a junk brake-housing from a car or truck as your forge, and regular propane as for a gas grill works for heat. Plumbing isn't expensive.

Hardness? Well that depends on what you do with the tool after it is shaped. For chisels, i will sometimes re-harden them, but for knives or temporary tools, I leave the annealed file-steel alone. That make the edges less brittle and makes sharpening easier. You can also temper steel to any hardness needed with a blowtorch and a bucket. Depending on the type of steel you might need sand, salt, oil or water to quench your steel.

My cheap portable durometer is not very accurate, but generally, I make knives that are around Rc 58 to 61 and chisels that are nearly Rc 68 for certain applications... cutting end-grain in soft woods for instance.

So, DONT throw away old files. They can reincarnate as useful tools!

Lastly, if you look at the curved loop on one of these marking knives, it seems as though the maker used a file tang for that loop, so I guess he might know what I know about files for knife-making too.

Re: Breakdown Bed

Splendid design!

I think it's pretty enough and the knockdown capability makes it even prettier.

It's handsome, practical and solid. What's not pretty about that?

Re: Sharpen Jointer and Planer Knives

I like the simplicity. It looks like it would work quite well.

Re: Honing Jig

This is the true "sharp skate" method! Accept no substitutes! ;-)

Re: Hand Planing Jig

This is truly one of the coolest and most original jigs I have seen.

Re: The $300 Woodworking Bench

Three weeks... from all those scraps? Amazing!

Re: The $300 Woodworking Bench

Well congratulations! Nice job, especially using cheap materials. I can easily see how you had to use $72 worth of glue though if you used all those small scraps!

Perhaps you should figure in the cost of electricity to mill all those pieces too...
or did you do that by hand in less than a year? ;-)

Re: The Editors Mailbox Has a New Home

Why do some cabinet makers drive nails in only part-way?

In two videos here at FW, I see examples where expert cabinet makers (Phillip Lowe and Garrett Hack) attach cabinet backs with nails, but they do not drive these nails all the way in. Is this merely to allow disassembly or repair? Does it have something to do with seasonal wood-movement?

Since most of my background is in instrument-making, this is something I do not understand. Anyone who knows, I would appreciate an explanation.

Thanks.

Re: The Editors Mailbox Has a New Home

Why do some cabinet makers drive nails in only part-way?

In two videos here at FW, I see examples where expert cabinet makers (Phillip Lowe and Garrett Hack) attach cabinet backs with nails, but they do not drive these nails all the way in. Is this merely to allow disassembly or repair? Does it have something to do with seasonal wood-movement?

Since most of my background is in instrument-making, this is something I do not understand. Anyone who knows, I would appreciate an explanation.

Thanks.

Re: My latest Frankenfill

It's difficult to find any fault with this plane.

It has the essential infill with a dovetailed slide to hold the handle firmly, has a good adjustment mechanism and looks to be well-made in every respect. I have no problem with the steel pins instead of traditional peened dovetails on the sole-sides. Peening metal dovetails requires extra labor yet provides little extra mechanical strength over pins, if any. Personally, I would prefer such a plane with the pins since it has all the functionality but should be slightly less expensive than one with hand-peened dovetails.

The design is esthetically pleasing too. I particularly like the handle which looks sturdy yet elegant.

Perhaps this is the only criticism I could make, and it is a small one: The front handle or "knob" seems a bit too squarish. I'm sure it is comfortable enough and serves its purpose, but it doesn't match the shapely detail of the handle. Reshaping the front knob is the only thing I could see from these pictures that might make the instrument more appealing.

Beautiful work Sir!

Re: Air Tool & Sharpening Tool Box

Looks like a good idea! Very neat, organized, compact = efficient, practical.
Kudos!

Re: New Study Discusses Tablesaw Injuries

In their love for tablesaws, no one seems to recognize an obvious fact: The design concept is wrong.

Most people have enough sense to not stand down-range on a shooting range, yet they never consider the obvious absurdity of standing in front of a spinning blade.

Another obvious flaw: rip fences are too long.
There is no good reason to have the rip fence extend beyond the cut. Doing so invites kickback.

Saw Stop is not a solution, it is merely a fail-safe.
The clever but expensive saw stop device will undoubtedly save many fingers. But it is no substitute for good design.

By contrast, European saws all have sliding tables, so the operator stands out of the line-of-fire, the work is securely held and riving knives ( not splitters) can do their jobs. Integral hold-downs, finger-boards and guards on European saws contribute far more to safety and safety awareness than any fail-safe mechanism could.

One could easily argue that, like an over-sized car or air-bags, a saw-stop device might make users cavalier or careless. People get careless when they let machines protect them. They might be protected on their saw-stop equipped machines, but what happens when they work elsewhere, on a job-site or on a neighbors saw? Their lax habits may then cause tragedy.

From my perspective, table-saws are an inherently flawed concept, since the blade spins toward the user, the work is held by hands not adjustable jigs, and users must lean over the table to finish cuts, see marks or make adjustments. American style saws are only beginning to catch up to European standards, but even those machines suffer some basic flaws inherent to the design-concept.

Re: Woodworking Lesson Learned from the NFL

This is a well written post. Although I personally could do without the football analogy, the message is cleverly conceived. Certainly, the football analogy works when describing how some small business owners feel. Since that sport is so popular, it makes a good springboard into the subject.

It heartening to know a football fan finds some way to create a positive life-lesson for his son, even though football has the opposite sensibility of any fine art and is inherently tied to big-business, corporate controlled media, mass advertising which are accomplices to America's economic woes.

Re: Are WoodRiver's new block planes good enough to knuckle down in the shop?

This "article" is a waste of time.

Re: Ideas for Woodworking's Own Reality TV

Here's an idea...
"Tool Fool"
A comedic dark-drama of a retired douche, trying to escape his nagging wife and find his creative muse through woodworking.

premise: Retired business exec has no talent for music, art, writing, cooking or even bowling, so he reasons; "Hey, I can buy some tools and start making furniture!"

Problems arise when he discovers he can't understand dovetails and always cuts them backwards or upside-down. He searches past issues of FW and reads every article on handsaws, imagining that will solve his problems. He becomes obsessed with hand-tools buys ten of the most expensive handsaws, $4,000 worth or LN and Veritas planes and chisels, and still can't fit a dovetail.

After ruining several tree's worth of lumber, he see the FW article about cutting dovetails with a tablesaw. He goes to the local home center, buys the best tablesaw they sell and discovers its a POS, since it won't cut straight no matter what kind of jig he uses. It a fit of pique, he accidentally cuts off three fingers, sues the manufacturer and wins 1.2 million; a bitter victory since the lawyers and his wife take most of the money after a hostile divorce. The tablesaw incident also denies him the mute satisfaction of giving his wife the finger behind her fat back.

He takes the remaining lawsuit money to Las Vegas, ostensibly to see a woodworking trade-show. A fast-talking salesman gets him to invest in a CNC machine, then he starts making multi-leveled bird-houses he calls, 'Critter Condos'. For a short time, he has positive cash flow since wallmart orders two hundred thousand units, but he loses that when he is sued because several of his cheap poorly engineered bird houses collapsed, killing the birds and injuring two grandparents and permanently disfiguring their cute four-year-old niece.

What... Too dark?

OK, How about this...
TOOL FOOL
on FOX
Three suburban guys try to outdo each other on a TV show about macho tools...

Wait... hasn't this been done?

Re: Does MDF Belong in Fine Furniture?

MDF is great for full scale, half-scale or quarter scale mock-ups of designs we might later make in solid wood, so heck-yeah it "belongs." Anything that helps me avoid mistakes or improve a design before i rip into some precious hardwood definitely "belongs" in the process of making anything, especially "fine" furniture. Even if It doesn't end up in the finished piece, MDF belongs somewhere in the process of making it.

It is perfectly stable substrate for veneers, and veneers are definitely "Fine" WOOD working.

It is great for stage props, set design and stage decorations. That may not always be "fine," by some definitions. But if I get the job done for a school on time and under budget, that's fine with their comptroller, the audience and the actors.

MDF is good for audiophile speaker cabinets, where its consistent mass and lack of resonance are easy to calculate for best audio performance. It also machines easily for precision alignment of critical audio drivers. So, not only does MDF "belong" there, we could make the case that fine audio cabinetry is among the finest furnishings extant, since great audio speakers blend engineering, acoustical science (physics), AND the finest of fine furniture. ("Fine"--- In terms of precision and beautiful finishes)

MDF is great for modern free-form furniture and artistic designs that are not inhibited by wood movement or grain orientation. These may be artistically "fine" even though they are not copies of traditional fine antiques.

Its stability makes it superb for accurate workshop jigs (as other have noted). So, in that sense, MDF IS a part of making fine furniture, even if we don't use it in the piece itself. After all, we use metal planes and chisels. So it would be ridiculous to ask, "Does metal 'belong' in fine furniture?"

Stability also makes it a potential choice in moist environments, so long as it is finished properly. A wealthy TV mogul asks me to make a poolside seating / dressing area, but he hates teak and refuses to pay for it. Yet he loves the look of stone, even if it is fake stone made with concrete. I use MDF to make forms that make the furniture and out-buildings. Is that "fine?" It was for her!

MDF takes paint well, and so lends itself to painted projects: garage storage, workshop cabinets, machine covers, futuristic movie-sets, car interiors, boat interiors and appliances. Is that "fine?" Well, yeah, sometimes it surely is.

You may have seen a Television "set" I made from MDF that looked "fine" on camera. It only had to last one month, but still holds together after twelve seasons of abuse. Is that "fine?" Yeah, for the executive producer it is! (Especially when it came in cheap and fast for the pilot and has paid for itself a thousand times over.

MDF makes great "gobos", those acoustic partitions used in recording studios. I have seen (and made) some of the coolest looking gobos from MDF, that would certainly qualify as "fine furniture" in my book.

MDF and its cousin HDF are good for pattern-making and mold making. Those patterns and molds could be used to cast metal, plastic, ceramic or glass parts for fine furniture, regardless of what style you call "fine." Those MDF patterns and molds later make Teak sconces for boat interiors, control panels for the bridge or bathroom fixtures for the captain's cabin.

Almost all of those ideas have some relevance to furniture, furniture design, furniture installations, built ins, cabinet making... and all of those things "belong" to fine woodworking.

Yeah... I think there are definitely a few places where engineered materials like MDF, HDF and plywood are welcome in fine furniture making. At least, those are a few ways I have found it useful.

Now, if we state the question differently, it might have a different answer.
Does MDF belong in fine TRADITIONAL furniture?

We must not confuse the terms "fine" with "traditional." "Fine" furniture can be made from steel, glass or plastic. Fine furniture comes in many eras or styles: "modern," "retro-fifties" or "Deco." MDF definitely has a place in those.

"Traditional" fine furniture might not use MDF, unless we remember that some of the greatest furniture antiques are veneered, and the craftsmen of yesteryears would have swooned over a stable, grainless veneering substrate like MDF. Craft evolves, just as the materials craftsmen use evolve with them. If MDF was available in the 1800's, you can guarantee furniture makers wood have used it in their finest veneered pieces.

Now... ask me if I "prefer" wood over MDF for fine traditional furniture...
Include what the purpose of the furniture is, what the budget is, how soon you need it, and what style you want. Then the answer is easy.

The question is stated incorrectly and without proper definition of terms. To some, the word "fine" conjures visions of hand-crafted wood, hewn by experienced hands into any one of a number of venerable traditional styles.

To others, the word "Fine" means "precision." So to them, that may mean the unerring precision of CNC cut parts that consistently fit together without the need for tuning joints, hand-fitting drawers for piston fit or hand-planed doors with an even reveal.

For still others, the term "Fine furniture" only means "decorated with baroque ornamentation." They could care less whether the decoration was gang-cut by Asian laborers, routed by computer or painstakingly and uniquely crafted by an "old school" European violin maker.

My answer is simple if you state a clear question.

Do I "prefer" real wood over engineered wood?
For esthetics of tradition, Yes.
For stability, no.
For design freedom. No.
For economy? No.
For speed and ease of working. No.

When you ask, "Does MDF (or any other material) 'belong' in fine furniture?", you open a can of prejudices and preconceived notions about the definitions of "Fine."

Depending on your pet notions of what the term "fine furniture" means, the answer is vague. Once we realize that MDF or ANY other material can play a part in the conception, design, prototype, or clever imitation of ANY style, then YES it belongs.

And if we use ANY MDF jigs or fixtures to make the final piece, then it IS part of the process, if not "in" the "fine" furniture.

Like it or not, MDF and ALL other materials already ARE in fine furniture, in one form or another.

Declaring whether it "belongs" in the final product is a merely subjective matter of taste. Often that taste is not ours, but that of the person with the checkbook. So, like it or not, MDF, like ANY material, will always find a place in some furniture that some people call "fine."

Re: IWF alert: Machine-setup gauge is the best we've seen

Curious...
These "teaser" articles are very short on information. I followed the suggestion and went to Betterleytools.com, but found no new info there.

The color is different, the design is slightly different, but I see no functional difference between this and the TS aligner tools.

Ts aligner products clearly state their exact tolerances and other pertinent specifications. Further, the lowest cost model is less than half this proposed price.

So tell me again... Why am I supposed to be excited about this "new" tool?

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

The saw-stop system is one of several viable safety devices. It is a "last-chance" device which can prevent tragedy when all other devices, including common-sense and caution, fail. That makes it especially valuable if you run a professional shop with inexperienced employees and must pay for insurance.

However, the lawyer that owns the patent wants too much for it in licensing fees, which naturally makes other manufacturers reluctant to use it. If you investigate as I have, you will discover that his well-connected friends have created a network of affiliated shadow companies who's ultimate purpose is to force congress to enact laws that mandate the use of his patent. This is not altruistic consumer-advocacy. This is an attempt to force an entire industry to over-pay for a simple safety device. Although the device works in dramatic video demonstrations, the method in which is it being marketed amounts to legal extortion.

Even if you are too busy to investigate Gass and his liaisons, or simply don't care about their entangled corporate veils, you can easily see at the Saw-Stop website how they openly ask for testimonials for Saw-Stop products and simultaneously provides links to injury attorneys. Even if his motives were altruistic, it is criminally heartless to profit from other's misfortune so brazenly.

This is not at all like mandating seat-belts, since almost every American drives cars and only a small percentage of the populace operates table-saws. There is another crucial difference too. The effort to mandate seat belts was unprofitable for the people who enacted it and worked to get that passed. The advocates that made that happen did not own patents on seat belts.

Seat-belts and air bags are not "ancillary" safety devices, since we operate cars in a public environment, and so are often exposed to the incompetence of others. We cannot enact laws against personal ineptitude in private.

We should not object to the Saw-Stop device or its proper use. However, we should not imagine it is perfect. After all, it has a defeat-switch so that the saw will operate in moist wood. As such, the inventor / patent owner recognizes it has limitations and is no substitute for other safety measures, especially under certain conditions.

If Gass was truly concerned about consumer safety, he would license the product for free, or at least at a reasonable price. He could still manufacture the devices to fit all popular brands so that consumers would have a choice to purchase it as an option, thereby insuring a fair profitable business.

Inventors should be paid for their inventions, especially when that invention can be the difference between a fun hobby and a tragic weekend. Unless the device is used in an occupational environment, it is an ancillary elective device. No elective product like an ancillary safety-device should be forced upon a industry that makes machines for hobbyists or that is used by individuals at their own risk.

The solution to this debate is simple: Allow Gass & Co. to continue marketing the Saw-Stop device in his own company's saws, and legally force him to license the devices to other manufacturers at a reasonable profit, instead of the exorbitant fees he wants. If congress was truly concerned about anything (other than keeping their jobs) then they can enact a law requiring large professional shops to use Saw-Stop devices just as they now enforce occupational safety rules for all other employers. However, it is an assault on individual freedoms to even attempt mandating a product regarding tools for personal use. Further, the marketing method Gass & Associates is using is underhanded.

There is a clear difference between honest profit and profiteering. There is also great danger to liberty when legal-system insiders are allowed to manipulate law for their personal gain.

Many will disagree with some of my statements. Some of those contrary opinions will be honest disagreements based on personal experience, and I respect those people and their opinions. But some of them will be from the corporate moles who inhabit woodworking forums. You need only read the wording at this and other websites to see how a public "talking-point" memo has infected the dialogue, both for and against Saw-Stop. There is an element of intrigue here that makes it fun to investigate, if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan. Deny or accept though, the modern phenomenon of infiltrating internet forums for political influence and marketing is real. If woodworkers, who are mostly a savvy and intelligent group, are not wary and stalwart, their beloved avocation could be impacted by that phenomenon against their will. If that proves successful, other industries and liberties will be compromised.

Re: Seth Rolland: Slicing Maestro

Beauty!

Re: Defense Outgunned in Osorio Tablesaw Lawsuit

The saw-stop system is one of several viable safety devices. It is a "last-chance" device which can prevent tragedy when all other devices, including common-sense and caution, fail. That makes it especially valuable if you run a professional shop with inexperienced employees and must pay for insurance.

However, the lawyer that owns the patent wants too much for it in licensing fees, which naturally makes other manufacturers reluctant to use it. If you investigate as I have, you will discover that his well-connected friends have created a network of affiliated shadow companies who's ultimate purpose is to force congress to enact laws that mandate the use of his patent. This is not altruistic consumer-advocacy. This is an attempt to force an entire industry to over-pay for a simple safety device. Although the device works in dramatic video demonstrations, the method in which is it being marketed amounts to legal extortion.

Even if you are too busy to investigate Gass and his liaisons, or simply don't care about their entangled corporate veils, you can easily see at the Saw-Stop website how they openly ask for testimonials for Saw-Stop products and simultaneously provides links to injury attorneys. Even if his motives were altruistic, it is criminally heartless to profit from other's misfortune so brazenly.

This is not at all like mandating seat-belts, since almost every American drives cars and only a small percentage of the populace operates table-saws. There is another crucial difference too. The effort to mandate seat belts was unprofitable for the people who enacted it and worked to get that passed. The advocates that made that happen did not own patents on seat belts.

Seat-belts and air bags are not "ancillary" safety devices, since we operate cars in a public environment, and so are often exposed to the incompetence of others. We cannot enact laws against personal ineptitude in private.

We should not object to the Saw-Stop device or its proper use. However, we should not imagine it is perfect. After all, it has a defeat-switch so that the saw will operate in moist wood. As such, the inventor / patent owner recognizes it has limitations and is no substitute for other safety measures, especially under certain conditions.

If Gass was truly concerned about consumer safety, he would license the product for free, or at least at a reasonable price. He could still manufacture the devices to fit all popular brands so that consumers would have a choice to purchase it as an option, thereby insuring a fair profitable business.

Inventors should be paid for their inventions, especially when that invention can be the difference between a fun hobby and a tragic weekend. Unless the device is used in an occupational environment, it is an ancillary elective device. No elective product like an ancillary safety-device should be forced upon a industry that makes machines for hobbyists or that is used by individuals at their own risk.

The solution to this debate is simple: Allow Gass & Co. to continue marketing the Saw-Stop device in his own company's saws, and legally force him to license the devices to other manufacturers at a reasonable profit, instead of the exorbitant fees he wants. If congress was truly concerned about anything (other than keeping their jobs) then they can enact a law requiring large professional shops to use Saw-Stop devices just as they now enforce occupational safety rules for all other employers. However, it is an assault on individual freedoms to even attempt mandating a product regarding tools for personal use. Further, the marketing method Gass & Associates is using is underhanded.

There is a clear difference between honest profit and profiteering. There is also great danger to liberty when legal-system insiders are allowed to manipulate law for their personal gain.

Many will disagree with some of my statements. Some of those contrary opinions will be honest disagreements based on personal experience, and I respect those people and their opinions. But some of them will be from the corporate moles who inhabit woodworking forums. You need only read the wording at this and other websites to see how a public "talking-point" memo has infected the dialogue, both for and against Saw-Stop. There is an element of intrigue here that makes it fun to investigate, if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan. Deny or accept though, the modern phenomenon of infiltrating internet forums for political influence and marketing is real. If woodworkers, who are mostly a savvy and intelligent group, are not wary and stalwart, their beloved avocation could be impacted by that phenomenon against their will. If that proves successful, the implications for other industries and liberties will be compromised.

Re: Pencil Holder

Excellent use of curvilinear form and gravitational selectivity to hold your carbon-centered sharp-pointy sticks! The engineered-wood shaped in a section of a cone shows dynamic geometry, especially with such thin material. I particularly like the artistic finish with its waterfall nature. That is the kind of advanced zen-like craftsmanship to which I aspire.

Re: How Not to Drive Your Wife Crazy: Mockup Before Milling

I too have found that my spouse feels more "engaged" in the process when I consult with her first, and that the outcome is more pleasing to her sensibilities. There are numerous other salubrious results too!

Re: How a Violin is Made

My father was a violin maker, so I can attest that most of this video is correct, even if it is “short and slick.” There was a great deal of information that was left out, by necessity for time. That’s a shame. The hand-tools and skills that are most admired in furniture making are similar to those most admired in other Fine Woodworking. I’m sure many FW readers would be interested to learn more.

One important mistake in this video: Rosin is not put on he bow’s horsehair to “keep it from slipping off the strings.” Rosin provides friction which makes the strings vibrate. That’s what make the violin and other bowed instruments work.

It’s curious how I could grow up my whole life in a violin shop and never really appreciate how much my dad taught me. Thanks for posting this video. It brings back fond memories and a great respect for my father’s heritage.

Re: Tool Chest Contest: Official Rules

I searched "Tool chest contest rules" and this legal stuff was all I found.

Where is the other crucial information: Who are the judges? What criteria will be judged? Craftsmanship alone, or is functional design a weighted criterion? If so, is the originality of the design as important as the execution? ..or is an accurate copy more suited to the judge's esoteric tastes? How many judges will there be and what are their backgrounds or qualifications?

Is that crowded Studley chest the sole benchmark, or can other more practical designs stand a chance? Is ornamentation more important than function? Is complexity even a virtue? Wouldn't practicality and use-ability be more important to your readers? Is the contest biased toward hand-tool chests or hand-tool methods? That would seem strange given the power-tool manufacturer offering the prize, however it might make sense for hand-tool Luddites.

Are there different divisions or secondary and tertiary prizes? That would make sense given your readership. Are the winners to be picked solely from photographs, or is there some provision for inspecting the works closely, in person? Further, can a single individual enter more than once? Without any design or judging criteria, it's hard to guess which work a person might want to enter. Some of us might have several different designs for different purposes, but without any clear guidelines, the "contest" sounds more like a popularity contest than a "craftsmanship tour-de-force."

Nowhere on this site can I find any information about these important considerations.

Re: Tool tray with pegboard

Love it! You get the practicality award!

I can see this design concept being modified for countless special uses, so you deserve a "versatile inspiration" award too.

Maybe we should have new categories to help us open our minds:
"Functional funk"
"Yeah it's cheap, but now I have more money for tools!"
"I spend my time making fine furniture, not showy tool chests!"

You also might get the anti-snob award too! ;-)

Re: Stepped Tool Cabinet

Very neat, functional and practical design. Haughty xylophiles sometimes ignore practical pine as splendid material and paint as a durable fine finish. Using renewable domestic resources is not "cheap" in the bad sense, but it is sensible, both for the builder / user and the environment too. This is not ostentatious, but very nice!

Re: Hanging Hand Tool Cabinet

I like the straightforward design. The size seems right too.

Although many rave about the complex intricacy of the Studley, the open spacious size of this style cabinet seems much more friendly, more useable. The size is plenty big enough to house a full complement of choice woodworking classic-tools, capable of tackling almost any job. (As witnessed by the excellent choice of tools inside!) Yet there is room for a hand to remove and replace everything easily.

Visually, I feel that also makes it easier to notice when something is not put away at the end of the day. And the cabinet is small enough to move whenever necessary, but too large too steal easily.

I made the mistake of making a beautiful rolling tool case which was the envy of many co-workers. Unfortunately, that envy and the easy-rolling feature made it all too easy to roll away too. As it stands now, when ever I manage to get everything replaced, (an expensive and time-consuming process) I will gravitate towards a design like this one. Beautiful, simple, practical, secure.

I see you have a generous portion of space left. I wonder... are you leaving room for future acquisitions? Given the wise choice and assortment of tools already there, I would be curious to know what's left on your wish list!

Re: Who Begot Who? Comparing Planes from Lie-Nielsen, Wood River and Stanley

To Tkarlman... I agree, a real review should include the information you asked for: squareness, type of steel both in the blade and in the body, and of course, how well the plane performs.

A friend bought three of them and asked me to check them out and sharpen them. Here's what I found out...

The blade is advertised as "high-carbon tool steel, RC 60-64" Don't believe it. First of all, the variance from RC 60 to 64 is too wide. Hardened and tempered steel is expected to have a variance of 2 points because of the method of testing and heat-treatment variables. But when they tout a four-point spread in an ad, be wary... it's probably hype. If a seller advertises a four-point hardness spread, that means he is full of BS or the manufacturing tolerances are too wide. So, I took a blade to another friend's machine-shop and tested it on a durometer in three places. The #5 blade was slightly harder near the edge (RC 60) and barely made it RC 59 at the middle and top. My machinist buddy said the slight extra-hardness near the blade could be from work-hardening during grinding and honing the bevel.

Squareness... The planes we looked at were fairly square, within a few thou per six inches... not quite up to LN or Veritas standards

Soles... nicely flat, but improved with some tuning. A few minutes with the old-granite block and some abrasives did the trick.

Sharpness... Not great, but not nearly as awful as the big-box store's planes. Here again, a few minutes on the honing stones brought it into good working condition.

I cannot tell whether the body is ductile ( stress-relieved) without breaking it, so I don't know about that.

Performance...
New??? Just so-so... After tuning and sharpening... very good.
The adjustment mechanism has more "lash-back" and play than LN or Veritas or E.C. Emmerich Primus planes. That didn't bother me much because I am used to old Stanleys anyway. But the cut-quality (for at least a few minutes worth of testing) was as good as any well-adjusted plane of this type.

Just for fun, I stuck one of my Academy Saw Works HSS blades in the number 5. That made it purr like a kitten.

So... bottom line... Woodcraft is trying to sell a look-alike LN plane at half the price. LN had the dignity to say they copied Stanely, and made improvements. WR is copying the copies. Professionals can immediately feel the difference, and we know that without a great blade, the plane will not stay sharp very long. You can upgrade with an LN blade, or Hock Tools blade or make your own blade from Hitachi HSS. After you consider the time tuning, truing, adjusting, and the expense of retro-fitting a quality blade, the savings evaporate.

I'll let others make their decisions based on their needs, proclivities and budget. These are just the facts I know so far.

My feeling is that I would not buy them for personal use. (The three planes we tested belong to a friend.) If I need a less-expensive plane for field work, I carry the Swiss Rali planes with replaceable blades. I keep the LN, Veritas, ECE and other high-end stuff at home, locked in the shop with RFID and GPS devices. Screw the dog, beware of the owner! I've had my fancy tools stolen before and don't want that hassle again.

Some people will buy these planes though because of price. With some tune-up and sharpening, they will get 80 percent of the high-priced spread for half the dough. It is unlikely that a part time user would notice much difference unless he used it everyday and had a great plane to compare it to. I doubt that many pros will embrace them, especially if they hail from Maine.


Re: Rolling Tool Chest

I like your practical design. I think the combination of using store bought plastic containers is a simple, economical way to enhance a basic cabinet without creating a complex Studley. The combination front / support board is a neat idea too.

Like you, I built a rolling tool cabinet that housed almost all my tools. It was a very convenient thing, and admired by many fellow carpenters. Unfortunately, one of them admired it enough to roll it away. My rolling tool cabinet made it convenient to steal too.

If you work on-site, as I used to, I hope you have the presence of mind to include some anti-theft features. Nowadays, you can get GPS trackers, RFID tags and invisible identification very cheaply.

I really believe the customized rolling tool-chest is the best way-to-go, so long as you can protect your investment. It is NOT just the money... it is the hassle of replacing tools that took years to accumulate, some of which may be family heirlooms. The heart-break and cruel injustice of a craftsman losing his tools to theft is devastating. I sincerely hope you never go through that.

Re: Cabinet II for Sheet Music

Very nice design, and superbly finished!

Re: Greatest Hits: 'The Woodworker' Vo-Tech Video from Pre-WWII

You too can work for the glorious future of ze faztherland!

Achtung baby!

This is how they used to hypnotize thinking people; ...Offer them jobs.
After all, we do have to work, don't we? Or do we?

Reality check...

The Great Evil Machine has inculcated obedience since the industrial age.

Hey! Here's a bad idea! Let's outsource the education (indoctrination) of our children to the government, which is owned by private international bankers.

TRUST THE BIG MACHINE! It will teach our children to find gainful employment and security. All they have to do is go to school, work hard, make babies, and never, ever think for themselves or read. That way, we can have a glorious New World Order for the benefit of its owners.

In retrospect, this propaganda film shows us what THE POWER has been doing to us for over a century; molding us like soft clay. The methods, technology and production-value have improved, but the motive is the same... OBEY!

Money is fiction.
People are real.
Art is truth.

Re: Greatest Hits: James Krenov on the Record

peace

Re: The Super Sled - Tablesaw Mitering and Crosscut Sled

Clear, concise, informative. Great vid!

Re: Get Your Chisels Wicked Shaaaahrp!

Thank you for proving what my father taught me fifty years ago. I wish more people would just think for themselves and practice. My friends and I appreciate your straight-talking, no-BS, no-sales-pitch demonstration.

Re: Mark Edmundson: Out of the woodshop and into the woods

Awesome!
That is so gorgeous!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Keep Rockin'!!!

Re: The Ultimate Mobile Base?

It relates to woodworking because woodworkers think for themselves and solve big complex problems with simple concepts.

It is ingenious, and shows the profound power of an individual who works for his own edification. It is art, manifest through simple Newtonian physics from the intuitive mind of an experienced tradesman.

It has everything to do with woodworking, all craft, art, science and the peculiarly inspiring spirit of fellow humans.

It is beautiful.

He does it because he can.

Thank you for posting this.

Now, if we can just get everyone else to think and act this self reliantly...

Re: Like jigs? Like box joints? You're gonna love this...

Wandel is a high-functioning polymath. I'd sure like to talk with him someday.
You really should check out his website, including his rants. Pictures of his boyhood home, his dad's shop, the lumber mill, the ice-skating / ice-driving...
joyous, lively, empowered... everything humans want to be. A wooden pipe-organ... Silly marble machines, gears, games... Entertaining... Inspiring!

Re: Video Series Recognized by Webby Awards

Hear, hear!
FW and especially Tim Rousseau SHOULD win awards for this type and quality of content! I have watched all the "workshop" episodes. They are all good, but Tim's small cabinet workshop is certainly one of the most comprehensive and informative woodworking videos ever produced. He is relaxed, efficient and thorough as a teacher. His speaking voice and persona are easy-to-take too. There are very few grammatical mistakes, and that is commendable because we can tell he is not reading most of the time. To be able to explain clearly and work at the same time is an unusual talent that makes Tim Rousseau especially adept at video tutoring. It is obvious that Tim is a clear thinker, a great teacher and an inspiring craftsman. The editing is top-notch too. The workshop is fast-paced, but doesn't gloss over important details. This video with Rousseau really puts the "Fine" in Fine Woodworking.

As long as FW can keep producing this quality of content, I will definitely maintain my online subscription! Congratulations! Well deserved!

Re: Took A Hit

Splendid original design, well executed and clever photos too. You obviously had some time to consider the meaning of the work as you created it. Even without the philosophical explanation, this piece exhibits "feeling." The title could have other inferences, given the psychedelic curvilinear design, but your words ring true. The impacting-object making ripples on the surface, combined with stressed yet stable form and the mirror, gives the viewer a sense of immediate self-awareness. But it is not a "show-off" riff. It speaks but does not shout. The technical challenges are subordinate to the artistic intent. This piece is fine craft, high art and poetry, all in one. Kudos!

Re: Cocobolo & Pauduk momento box

Very nice design. Original? If so, Bravo!

Re: Video Gallery: Drawers that Breathe

Hmmm...
It's amazing how people are attracted to gimmicks. A shop full of expensive machines and router-jig-cut dovetails do not a craftsman make. Feh.



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