Lake George, NB, CA

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Collector's box

A box built for a collector of various things.  It measures 14 3/4" x 12 1/2" x 7 1/2"; the drawers range from 1" to 2" high in 1/8" increments.  It is made of Braziliam pau ferro, with...

Curved box

A small box, 18" x 6" x 6",made of Brazilian pau ferro.  It is joined with hand cut compound angle through dovetails, and finished with acid-catalyzed lacquer.  I built it for my sister...

Recent comments

Re: Repair a power tool with a simple brush change

I agree; MOST tools can be nursed back to functional health with a little ingenuity and a lot of patience. One additional point on brush replacement, dredged up from very long-term memory (since short time memory doesn't work very well any more). Once you've got the brushes out, try to find a way to get at the commutator -- the part of the shaft which the brushes ride against. It is usually made in segments separated by narrow grooves. By the time the brushes give out, those grooves are usually filled with crud (most of which is ground up brush material). Find or make something to scrape those grooves clean before reassembling the whole thing. Your motor will work better for a longer time.

Re: Inside the Shaker Workshop

Interesting piece; thanks for putting it together. It's not surprising that the Shakers used table saws, as the following quote from indicates:
"In 1777, Samuel Miller invented the circular saw in England, the round metal disk type of saw that cuts by spinning and is used hand-held or table-mounted. Large circular saws are found in saw mills and are used to produce lumber. In 1813, Shaker-Sister, Tabitha Babbitt (1784-1854) invented the first circular saw used in a saw mill. Babbitt was working in the spinning house at the Harvard Shaker community in Massachusetts, when she decided to invent an improvement to the two-man pit saws that were being used for lumber production. Tabitha Babbitt is also credited with inventing an improved version of cut nails, a new method of making false teeth, and an improved spinning wheel head."
In spite of her last name, I could find no evidence that she might have also been involved in the development of babbitt bearings, which I suspect all of the machinery shown in the film clip would have used.
When I was building furniture full-time in the 80's and early 90's, my shop equipment included a 14" jointer, a 24" planer, and a 30" bandsaw, all cast iron monsters running on babbitt bearings, and all working to extremely tight tolerances. (They were electrically powered.) It hurt to sell them when I closed the shop, but they all required a 3-ton (minimum) crane to move, so they had to go.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

In general I agree with most of the comments. It is a good, if somewhat advanced, technique, and should therefore be demonstrated/published with appropriate cautions. One thing which might make it a bit safer would be to cut one face of a tenon on a scrap piece, then screw that scrap to the mitre gauge as a backing piece. It would take away most of the possibility of the workpiece cocking and jamming.

I've used this technique fairly frequently with no problems. I've also generated cove mouldings and raised panels using a similar technique. One thing I discovered along the way is that, especially for things like raised panels and cove moulding, a dado head, especially an adjustable 8- or 16-tooth style, works much better than a saw blade, though it may well be somewhat more dangerous.

As for publishing this technique? As many have pointed out, it's a moot point. You already have.

Re: Jet's New Spin on Dust Collection: The Vortex Cone

This is new? For several years, Lee Valley Tools has sold a well-designed plastic lid to be placed on some sort (virtually any sort) of barrel or trash can. The hose from the dust collector goes into the centre of the lid, the hose from the tool(s) goes into the outer edge of the lid, and away you go. I've used it with a 1/2 hp single stage collector for a couple of years. I have emptied the trash can of shavings, chips, heavy dust, etc. countless times; I have emptied the lower cloth bag on the collector 3 or 4 times. I wouldn't run a collection system without it. No doubt the new Jet unit is very compact and slick, but the Lee Valley rig costs around %50 and works like a charm. It is answer that RVHernandez seems to be looking for, as it works with any dust collector.

Re: New Drill-Drivers from DeWalt and Bosch

I've used a DeWalt 14.4 Li-Ion drill for a few years now, and have been very happy with it. When I bought it, and mentioned that I would use it a lot for driving screws, the dealer steered me away from the 18v models, saying that they have a tendency to break screws and twist shoulders, elbows, etc. They are just too powerful for screw-driving. I've been well-satisfied, and with the spare battery, continuous use is not a problem.
But you have gotten me interested in a matching 14.1v impact drill....
-- Mac Campbell

Re: Innovative Way to Carry Lumber in a Car

Knots are great (if tied right), and I use them all. But there is an easier way. "Figure 9 rope tighteners" are available from Lee Valley Tools ( for around $5, depending on how many you buy. They are a very simple and effective mechanical replacement for a trucker's hitch, and I have never had them loosen, even over thousands of miles. (But they "untie" easily in seconds.) Even 3/8" twisted nylon rope, notoriously slippery for knots, holds securely. Catalogue number is 99K69.55. They may be available elsewhere as well.

I realize that this is a flagrant product plug, and thus maybe against the rules, but these things really do work, and would be cheap at twice the price.

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