Bruce Harkness, Tokyo, JP

US expat living in Japan, along with a wife, a few pets, and a Shopsmith. Now if I only had room for a decent workbench...

Recent comments

Re: UPDATE: Dovetail Techniques with Stephen Hammer

Still trying to learn the art of dovetail
My projects are good, but on these they fail
Could it be my tool?
Or am I the fool?
A DVD could help me tip the scale.

Re: Blade brake inventor aims to compete with SawStop

Nice idea. It has many advantages over Saw Stop which most people like in theory but not in practice (only works in Saw Stop machines, cannot be retrofitted to many saws (like Shopsmith), tends to destroy blades, cannot be restarted immediately after, etc). Butler's device keeps hands from contacting the blade at all which makes it safer than Saw Stop, unless you're foolish enough to slip a hand underneath the blade guard on tall cuts. One problem I see is that if the contractor is wearing gloves while using the saw his body capacitance may not be enough to trigger the circuit in time to stop the blade. Have there been any tests on this?

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

I doubt very much whether $100 will retrofit most existing tablesaws. Most not originally designed for Saw Stop technology would have to be severely retooled to make enough space under the table for a retracting blade mechanism. Also, no mention has been made of the thousands of saws whose motor and drive mechanics are integrated into a single headstock. For example, my tablesaw is a Shopsmith. It cannot be retrofitted no matter how you retool it. A lawsuit like this could put them out of business (again), this time for good. And no, I won't be replacing my Shopsmith for a Saw Stop. My shop is way too small for stand-alone tools (exactly 8ft x 8ft, hence the need for the Shopsmith). Even it is, at times, too big as I have to haul it out into the driveway whenever I need it for sawing operations, but it's doggone useful when I do need it. I suppose they'll be going after the thousands of Sears and other radial arm saws next. It'd be interesting to see how they retract those blades out of harm's way.

Re: Tanning beds accelerate aging for cherry, not just humans

Finally, a good use for tanning beds. The primary purpose for the things is foolhardy, as anyone who has had skin cancer knows. If they changed their business model to "woodwork tanning salons" they might improve their profits and provide a healthier product to the public to boot. Hmmmm, business opportunity anyone?

Re: Jon Rael - Joinery-Design Shop

A fine looking shop! When my 8'x8' space grows up, it will look like that...

Re: More Details on the Carlos Osorio Tablesaw Lawsuit

You guys can stop griping about our justice system. It is designed to accomodate the thousands of variables that our society throws at it every day while protecting our way of life and preserving our freedoms, and does a credible job at it, given the great variety of cases it must handle. Situations, however, can allow skilled lawyers to take a lopsided, though legal, advantage that may not be apparent when a case goes to court. While I don't know for certain, it seems pretty clear that two things occured here that, perhaps inadvertently, helped the prosecution's case greatly: 1. the judge instructed both sides to choose jurors out of a pool of non-woodworkers who had never operated a tablesaw in their lives to avoid people who had had accidents with saws in the past from prejudicing the verdict, and 2, he/she didn't realize the extent to which such a selection could be easily frightened of a saw's inherent dangers, especially after viewing pictures of the accident or other accidents in evidence. The balance therefore tilted in favor of the plaintiff even though he deliberately disabled the safety features of the particular saw he was using. In my view, the fault is clearly with Osario for deliberately disabling his saw's saftey features, ignorant of them or otherwise, with equal culpability going to his boss for allowing the saw to be mishandled, not the saw manufacturer, and certainly not because another manufacturer's safety technology wasn't incorporated in the saw's design. If the Ryobi saw was manufactured without this technology after a regulatory agency had required it to be included then that would be a different matter, but that didn't happen here. This imbalance needs to be reexamined on appeal and, if it is, I am confident that the award will be redued, if not eliminated.

Re: Spalt Your Own Lumber: Drying Spalted Wood

Terribly glad I found you online! Spalted wood blanks are impossibly expensive and always too small here in Japan. I've been looking for a way to spalt my own and a quick way to dry wood blanks while I teach myself bowl turning. I found the answers to both problems in your blogs. I will now try your mushroom and microwave techniques with some wet cut-offs that I got free from a local mill.
My questions are:
1. Will certain species take less time to artificially spalt than others?
2. Will aromatic woods, such as cedar, spalt as well as non-aromatic types?

PS. So how's the snow up there at Da Tech? I was an EE Toot there in the 70s. Miss the place sometimes.

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