Recent comments

Re: Router Accident is a Great Lesson in Climb Cutting

I find the most confidence and precision comes from using hold-down block guides or finger boards; one pressing the work laterally against the fence and another holding the work down against the table. Finger boards work best I feel as they also provide a measure of anti-kickback security. Either way, the work can be held and advanced confidently and any cut machined accurately and repeatably.

Re: Why I love shellac

I agree totally with your comments having used shellac for decades, specifically Zinsser SealCoat. Unfortunately I've seen the price for this product practically double in the last few years (now $80 - $90 / gallon) here in Canada and only available in that size. Most resellers only bring it in by special order and insist on selling only in case lots (2 gallons) I wonder why. Is this situation true elsewhere? I hate to have to give up on such a fine finish over economics.

Re: AWFS: A Super-Glue for Furniture Makers?

Probably Nexabond could be applied to one area of a joint while traditional adhesive was applied to the remainder of the joint, allowing the fast curing Nexabond to act as a "clamp" while the traditional adhesive sets up/cures. I've used this technique with slow curing cyanoacrylate quite successfully with no compromise in joint strength and no need for long-term clamping.

Re: Stephen Colbert Takes the Sizzle Out of SawStop

This must be a uniquely American issue as the video is restricted to within your country. I guess the rest of us can focus on the task at hand, safe machine practices, rather than being distracted by controversy.

For my part, any safe technology that can be provided to enhance an operation is welcomed, but it should be non-intrusive and affordable. A simple riving knife with anti-kickback fingers and a feather-board for instance. Optionally, also an independent blade cover for an added measure.

While SawStop is a noble notion, it's proposed implementation has become a misguided attempt at ramming one solution down everyone's throat. Surely there's a better solution that we can all agree upon which will include developments from the industry in general rather than merely one solution from a well intentioned entrepreneur bent on personal profit at great expense to everyone else.

Re: Play Against the Grain: One Lazy Latheman

Beyond the excellent points you make, the turners stance is too compact to safely control the cut along the length of the spindle plus he's standing too far away from the lathe to safely do any turning in a controlled manner. Feet should be well planted and at least shoulder width apart and the body in contact with the lathe at some point, like one hand snugly against the tool-rest as you mention. It'd be wise to wear a close fitting smock or at least a longbodied untucked tee-shirt; his pants, pockets and shirt will get pretty uncomfortable when they are full of shavings and discomfort = distraction which is potentially unsafe too!

Re: When Good Glue Goes Bad

Good Tip,Thank you, this is something to plan for.

A couple of questions though...
1)is it possible this is brand specific, that other makers adhesives will perform differently where cured visibility is concerned, and
2) would glue line visibility have changed had you been working with a different species of wood?

Re: Perfect Bevels on a Bench Grinder

As someone who spent years as a cutter-grinder may I offer the following which I've used successfully for decades:
- A carborundum stick with a straight surface will do as good a job dressing the wheel as the diamond dresser shown at about 1/3 the cost. Both work well.
- dressing the wheel perfectly flat and square to the sides will allow you to produce a well profiled bevel in far less time and with less metal ground away than if you crown the wheel as you suggest. The same gently controlled touch you use to keep the tool steel cool will help you keep from grinding the corners away if that's your concern and as you're producing a good bevel quicker, the tool will be cooler still.
- to make sure the edge ground is square to the tool sides, using a small machinists square referenced to the tools side and a red indelible marker,lay a red mark at the extreme cutting edge and back about 1/32" behind the bevel on the back of the tool steel. This will be a constant visual reference as you grind.
- use the same red (not black or blue as these colors are hard to see as you grind) indelible marker to coat the entire bevel area you're going to grind so you can plainly see where the metal is being removed rather than inspecting for 'scratches'.
- make sure there's ample light, both direct and incidental, in the immediate area where you're grinding so you can safely see what you're doing and can inspect your progress with light refracting off the bevel / edge rather than hitting it straight on.

Re: Perfect Bevels on a Bench Grinder

A few comments if I may.

You're on the right track but as a former professional cutter-grinder I think I can offer some tips that will save money and time.

Re: dressing the wheel, while a diamond dresser such as you show is very good but also costly in some opinions; a simple carborundum stick will do well too at a fraction of the cost.

Also, if the wheel is maintained perfectly flat rather than crowned and kept square to the sides, a true grind will be achieved in a fraction of the time with much less metal ground away.If you're worried about grinding off corners, the same light, controlled touch you employ to prevent burning will keep the edge from bluing or digging in on the corners.

To assure the bevel on your tool steel is going to be ground square to the sides, before grinding simply place a small machinists square across the back or flat of the tool, referenced to one of the sides and with a red indelible marker draw a line encompassing the extreme edge behind the bevel going back about 1/32". This clean line, square to the sides will be a constant visual reference for squareness as you grind.

With the same indelible red marker (not black or blue which are hard to see when grinding) lightly coat the entire bevel to be ground so you can easily see where you're removing steel rather than looking for "scratches".

Lastly, make sure there is ample light, both direct and incident, so you can see what you're doing safely and can view the edge being worked illuminated by a refractive light source so you can see the light as it glints off the surfaces and edge.

I hope this helps.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

Perfectly Safe...probably not. Liable to insight litigation if exposed in your pages...probably, if someone unthinkingly follows your instruction without using thoughtful common sense. Besides, why show it other than to support a practice most of us safely use to one extent or another already!!!

Re: Do woodworkers need the Furniture Society?

I believe woodworking designers/makers can benefit immensely from such an organization but it must be mandated to attract and include diversely like-minded people from all skill levels, genders and ethnicities.

Such groups are excellent forums for exchanging ideas and energy and providing much needed education and appreciation. We need look no further than the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) to support that statement.

When it was formed in the 80's, interest in and appreciation of lathe turned objects was quite regional and spotty at best; today, globally, the appreciation of and development of "woodturning" is at an all-time high, largely as a result of the AAW's mandate to attract members from all skill levels, styles and backgrounds and to encourage the free exchange of ideas between them. This diverse "cross pollination" has kept the craft growing, the work fresh and the association an exciting group to be involved with. Professionals interact with each other while inspiring eager hobbyists and collectors. Skilled artists and hobbyists teach and inspire wide-eyed wannabes, most of whom evolve to become inspiring teachers to the next generation. Collectors buy unique works from maker of all levels, legitimizing the works value and inspiring galleries to represent new makers.

All this has been going on since the elimination of "woodworking" in our education systems. Clubs and guilds have formed in communities across North America with monthly meetings held to promote the appreciation and techniques at the grassroots level, with many of these club members also members of the AAW, their clubs becoming "chapters" of the AAW in order to receive benefits for their local members.

From a simple newsletter in the 80's to a quarterly magazine and website today plus an excellent educational program providing numerous grants annually, the association offers much for all members at a variety of levels of involvement.

"The Furniture Society" same could provide a similar forum but I think that it might consider adopting a broader mandate than it seems to have at present.

Beginning with its name, "furniture society" implies a focus on furniture only and "society" comes across as pretentious, connoting elitism. "The Woodworkers Alliance" or some more general descriptor might be more welcoming to many.

As an experienced craftsman woodworker since 1988,I enjoy borrowing from the past but also expressing myself by creating from original contemporary thought. I don't just make furniture; I design and make boxes and other joinery based objects; I create both functional and decorative production work, corporate presentation pieces as well as one-of-a-kind collectible artwork. I know I'm not alone in having a variety of interests within woodworking; I suspect serving wider segment of the population would benefit both 'The Furniture Society' and society as a whole.

Too narrow a focus seldom spawns growth. Without growth, the organization becomes a group run by too few as ideas, energy and interest wane and membership declines. Fortunately, a creative, energetic executive packing a broad mandate and a nurturing attitude can create the right conditions for growth and that's often infectious in all the right ways.

I hope my views help answer the question and encourage constructive conversation; we'd all benefit from a healthy organization to interact with.

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