Leon Jester, Roanoke, VA, US

Gender: Male

Recent comments

Re: How to Slice the Toughest Material Known to Man

Y'all are lunatics. That was neat, though. :)

Re: Gearing Up for a Workbench Video Workshop Series

The sketch looks good, I'll be the barbarian at the gates now:

It's possible to get decent lumber from one of the borgs. Flat-cut Southern Yellow Pine can be ripped to produce rift-cut SYP; you'll just have to suck up the waste. Considering that the cheapest hard maple in this area (Roanoke,Virginia)is $280/100 BF and SYP can be had for <$0.50/bf, it's not going to hurt too badly.

If one rips SYP to the thickness of the vice(s) then the rest is easy. Uprights can be glued up just as the top is. That takes the cash cost down to less than $200 at present borg prices for SYP 2x10s.

I grant that it's not beech or maple, but the savings in lumber let one acquire more/better tools.

I also suggest placing vices so that the bench can be used to cut lumber — mine has a centred vice on the front with support on the left leg, another vice on the left short side to use with bench dogs. This allows me to use the un-encumbered right side to cut wood to length. (I'm right-handed.)


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

I write this not only as a woodworker but as a retired X-ray tech.

HCB has a point, to an extent I agree. The employer did not maintain a safe work environment and was, at charitable best, deficient in safety training. He should be held liable for that and, in my opinion, under a court order to comply or face imprisonment for public endangerment. Sod a fine, hard labour has a quality all it's own.

The employer's insurance firm is also liable, for failure to check for compliance in training and operation.

As to Ryobi, I'm undecided. Yes, they released a product when they could have made it safer. No, because they were in (to my knowledge) compliance with current regulations/requirements. A firm should not be held liable for acts of utter stupidity by others who purchase it's goods.

Frankly, I'm of the opinion that the employer should suffer the major burden for failure to comply with training and safety requirements, however, I also think that burden should consist of medical expenses and lost salary. Any disability arising from the incident should be the responsibility of the employer's insurance firm.

I note that there are taper jigs available for tablesaws -- I own one. The employer either did not make them available to his employees or did not enforce the requirement to use them.

As to extra costs, dragging up a decade-old memory, the cost of a hand series and a wrist series in the hospital at which I was employed [in Roanoke VA] would have been (approximately 2001 dollars) $175 and $250 respectively. This does not include interpretation fees by a radiologist, nor any emergency room fees.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

I've cut tenons that way for years. Working without a guard requires concentration.

Personally, I think it's a lot safer than using a dado set, particularly if you're using a radial arm saw with the dado set.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

Re: Huge advances in woodworking technology

allenn: 20-30k BF vs 1k BF. Operating hours don't enter into it, it's the amount cut (planed) that counts.

Same as HSS plane cutters vs D2, more BF per sharpening using D2 cutters.

Downside: more difficult to sharpen (presuming one were to re-sharpen the inserts.

Re: Make Your Own Dowels

I made a dowel plate using an old Stanley plane cutter, drilling multiple sized holes.

When I need dowels in other material than the common maple ones, I use it.

In any event, I measure the dowels first with a dial caliper and use the next drill size down for compression (I have a full set of fractional, numbered and lettered bits). I taper the dowel end slightly on my belt sander.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

Quote: ….. If you’re Steve Gass, have you gone too far, using patent law to make a buck? Are you just the other side of the same coin as the saw manufactures?


Excuse me? That is EXACTLY what patents are for, making money for the inventor.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

Pardon me, but Mr. Thull's injury as depicted in the radiograph accompanying this article is far from devastating.

He appears to have a fractured ulna with an internal fixator in place. No evidence of soft tissue injury (i.e., a cut) is shown.

As a retired radiographer, I can state that I've seen worse broken arms from bike wrecks.

Reaching across a spinning tablesaw blade is an act of utter stupidity.

As a former medical professional, I'm all for safety but let's get real, stupidity is not something that can be regulated.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

Re: Bend a Solid Oak 2x6 on Edge? Yup!

@Wolodymyr: Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

Do you, or anyone here, have any idea what the compression does to structural strength?

@viking099: Thanks for the link.

Re: Bend a Solid Oak 2x6 on Edge? Yup!

Impressive. One assumes this was green wood? Or steamed all to heck and back?

Re: Bending Dovetails

Well done, looks good.

Re: Surprise landing: Stanley's new Sweetheart chisels have arrived

It'll be interesting to see how well they hold up.

I've got a set of boxwood hilted Marples chisels that I bought in the late 80s and still are my favourites, although I keep a set of 'beaters' around for things like puttying windows.

I ran into the shrinkage problem when I acquired a Witherby 1.5 inch chisel -- my solution is to pick it up by the socket instead of the hilt and give it a tap with a mallet.

Re: Delta Press Release on Separation from Stanley Black and Decker

My question concerns support -- I've a shop full of older (okay, maybe ancient) Delta equipment and parts have been difficult to obtain for years.

I'm not going to complain about costs -- I realize maintaining an inventory of parts is bloody expensive -- but when a firm makes equipment designed to last for multiple decades, the supply of parts is an inherent obligation -- one that Pentair (and later, B&D) did reluctantly, in my experience.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

Re: Updated: Stanley Sells Delta Tools to Taiwanese Company

The sale of Delta to an offshore firm should come as no surprise to anyone.

Powermatic was sold to WMH years ago. Oliver is offshore (Taiwan, I believe). Northfield is about the only U.S. tool manufacturer left.

We'll see how the quality holds up, but I confidently predict an even more active market in used stationary tools.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

Re: Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

I noticed a few comments about bench dogs.

Mine are wooden, cut square to about 3/4 inch and then shanked to 1/2 inch diameter below the head with my dowel plate, I rough-turn them on my lathe.

My bench is bored at intervals with 1/2 inch holes, all I have to do is put them in where needed.

They're waxed, tap in and get removed with a pair of Channelocks. It's crude, probably more costly in the long run than metal dogs, but effective. When they get borked, I make more, but the important thing to me is that my tools never get damaged by them.

Re: Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

My current bench has no power supply, but I've located it near an outlet in my shop.

My next bench will have drawers below for about half the width of the bench and one or two open shelves in the remaining space.

I'd not thought about a power supply, but it's a good idea, I will probably put a surface-mounted 2-gang box on each end with a length of 12/2 and a plug to the nearest outlet. (Basement shop, no way to run wiring below the floor.)

As I saw with my right hand, I will have two vices, one center-mounted on the long side and one corner-mounted on the left side, leaving the right side clear for use when sawing.

The left front leg has a long-board support on it level with the bottom of the center vice. Narrower boards are supported by off-cut 2x stock of varied sizes.

Due to space limitations, I don't have room for a second work table, so the new bench will double for that, it will be 36x72 inches with 3x4 legs, built from 2xSYP, 2.75 inches thick, all components ripped square. The thickness is designed to mount my vices simply by drilling holes for the mounting bolts.

Overhead lighting will be provided by multiple compact fluorescent fixtures.

My estimated cost is about $100 for materials.

Re: Is the Radial Arm Saw on its Last Legs?

The RAS is one of the next tools on the list my son and I have for purchase.

It's more flexible than a SCM saw, although neither of us plan to rip or rabbet with it, as we have a table saw for those things, but nothing beats a RAS for quick, clean repeat dadoes in shelves.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

Re: Lessons From A Delivery Guy: How to Build Durable Furniture

Building a custom crate will certainly work, but ...

How many clients are willing to literally pay the freight for crating?

After it's delivered, your client may move. Who knows what they'll do? The only thing that's certain is that if their one-off piece is damaged, you'll be hearing about it.

I agree with Matt, design shouldn't be compromised, but one can still use the largest possible tenons for a design.

Re: Spalt Your Own Lumber: Nutrient Supplements for Spalted Wood (e.g. beer)

Beer may work, but you'd have to use non-pasteurized beer, otherwise the yeast is dead. I won't go into the qualities of pasteurized beer.

I'd rather make my beer and drink it whilst leaving timber I want to spalt on wet, shady ground.

You could store billets in a plastic trash can, the bottom layer on stickers, with water in the bottom, might speed it up.

If you're using spalted stock, make sure you wear at least an N-95 rated mask when working it. Moulds in the lungs are a bad thing.

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

Not knowing the details, my first question is why the plaintiff purchased a saw without such technology, if it was important to him.

Whilst not denigrating SawStop (I think they have a wonderful product) as a radiographer, the majority tablesaw injuries I treated were the result of poor safety habits/training, frequently from an operator who was "in a hurry."

Most operators stated they they did not use a push stick, as it was not in the immediate vicinity of the saw (operator/safety error). The rest of the injuries, to the best of my recollection, were kickback type, on older saws not equipped with a riving knife.

I fail to see how a manufacturer can be held liable for injury resulting from a product purchased knowing it lacked the technology to stop the blade. This presumes that the unit had the usual safety instructions furnished at the time of sale.

Re: Plywood for Fine Furniture

I use it for the backs of bookshelves, it's stable and does the job.

Whilst the price per BF is frequently higher than hardwood lumber, it saves time in this application versus cutting hardwood to 3/8 and using half-laps as was customary prior to plywood.

Were I to make a reproduction piece, I'd have to do it the old way, but that is the reason reproduction work commands the prices they do.

I've used plywood for things like bathroom shelves, where there is a high humidity factor and find that cutting slightly over-size then coating the sanded edges with multiple coats of Titebond III, sanding between coats, gives me a uniform surface that resists separation, sands well and has a good appearance even without banding, when painted. Needless to say, that's not "fine woodworking" but it's pragmatic as heck.

Veering slightly off topic, coating the cut ends of pieces used outdoors with Titebond III improves resistance to water damage immensely. If one is painting the pieces, then it's undetectable, if staining, one has to tape the ends carefully prior to coating to avoid bleed-over.

Re: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Woodcraft part ways

Wow. Fancy new software ate my response.

One more try. Matt, please tell Jason Revzon I'm impressed.

First, this will cost me in the long run, as I'll pay freight on any more L/N planes.

Second, it'll pull money out of the local economy, we have a Woodcraft store here -- where I get excellent service.

All around, a poor decision.

Re: UPDATED: Giveaway and Poll: The Most Requested Woodworking Gifts of 2009

A L/N shoulder plane would look very nice below the tree, as would a set of Crown half-inch skew chisels.

Happy Holidays to all of you at Taunton, best of luck on your software changeover.


Re: The Forum Fix

Good luck, Gina.

I hope the transition at Knots goes smoothly.


Re: New Yankee Workshop Series Ends

Norm Abrams has been a source of ideas and solutions since 1986, when we moved to Roanoke.

Thanks to NYW for many pleasant Saturdays, hours of enjoyment and on occasion, frustration. (D**it, Abrams makes it look b**dy easy!)

Re: Poll: The Next FWW Tool Test

I picked 18 inch bandsaws, however, I'd also like to see a review of hand saws, including some antique saws from the mid-to late-1800s for comparison.

A serious review including how comfortable the handles are for extended usage. Cutting a 2x6 or two doesn't -- pardon the pun -- cut it.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA

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