Recent comments

Re: Hand Tools Reinvented

The slideshow doesn't work very well on my iPad for some reason.

Re: Tablesaw Safety Around the Clock

I am using more hand tools these days and the benefits are three fold. One, I'm around less dangerous tooling - reducing the probability of injury. Two, when I do use my TS and router I am more safety conscious due to less chance of mistakes from repetition and monotony. Three, I tend to become more of a "thinking" woodworker using hand tools. There's more planning involved and my actions seem more methodical. Rushing definately does no good in the shop.

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

Happiness is a smooth cutting grooving plane, Charlie Brown.

Re: Small box was fun (and quick) to make

there are also Phi protractors available that could serve as a faster way to reference the golden ratio. FW could easily do a whole article on Phi. It's pretty fascinating - especially the prevelance of Phi in living things.

Re: Interview with plane maker Steve Knight

great article with sloppy editing and spelling errors.

Re: Total garage shop makeover

+1 on the garage doors. I would love to see an article on the finer points of building garage doors!

Re: CNC is Knocking on Your Shop Door. Will You Answer?

A CNC router does not help define my abilities as a craftman.

I prefer my skill level define the tool's limits not the other way around.

Re: Seth Rolland: Slicing Maestro

I'd like to point out that part of any creative process is the puzzling and resulting discovery based on personal EXPERIENCE. To be truely inspired by someone's creativity is to use your own creativity to conceptualize what someone else has done. If you want to be hand held through the process like a paint by numbers coloring book then you're just satisfying your curiousity without any understanding of how to use your creativity. Creativity requires effort. 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration. The explanation is this video is more than enough to grab a piece of scrap and start making cuts on the band saw. What are you afraid of?

Re: Small but meaningful

whew! good to see small shops at work. I'm just building mine right now. It will be 170 sq/ft when it's done. I'll be a master of Feng Shui tool placement when it's complete! :)

Re: Who Is A Hand Tool Woodworker?

It's interesting to note that when using power tools I get purposely stressed to remind myself that I could loose a hand if i'm not careful. My mind is racing 1000 mi/hr. 'make note of the emergency shut off, where is the fire extinguisher, where is that first aid kit, where is that push stick, protective glasses, ear protection! etc. When I use hand tools I am purposely calm in order to reflect on what I am doing almost like I am standing outside myself. They are polar opposite methods of working with wood.

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

In response to a question that was posed to me. Yes, I am in favor of government controlled safetly regulations because frankly, I trust a system of government where I have a choice who I elect to be representing my best interest over a corporation who's best interest is the most money they can stuff in their pockets or a jury of my piers who no nothing about tools or safety. Toyota's recall is monitored by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision. Why would I not want my government to keep tabs on companies making faulty products? A lot of readers here are so suspicious of their government that they will trust a for-profit corporation to make a product that claims to work properly based on sales and reputation??? That's like walking into a herd of alligators and asking for directions to the nearest restaurant! Before I piss almost everyone off :), let me say that I respect everyone's opinions here. This type of subject stirs a lot of emotions with people - granted. It is important to look at this rationally. The issue of the guy loosing his hand is actually different than the issue of whether or not Ryobi is guilty of negligence in producing a product that is sold as advertised. Good readers here are angry at the 'victim', the legal system, the money, the goverment, Sawstop, Ryobi etc. and it's hard separating one issue from another. I've been brought up from blue colar stock and know that common sense and good judgement are the best tools a tradesman can have. But - do I know if one little plastic bit that should have been made of steel will eventually wear out and cause a malfunction in a tool (or car) - impossible and I don't want to be the guy who finds out the hard way. To make matters worse, a company that 40 years ago made a quality product is not the same company with the same values today - that type of reputation should not be trusted with your life. If you are critical of your government (as you should be) you should be equally critical of the corporations that are making profits from you and "your" mistakes. Case in point, there is an advertisement to sell a book for "Power Tools Basics - get better results from your tools" right under the article. Was the whole point of this article to sell me a book? Thanks Taunton.

Re: Man Wins Big Money in Tablesaw Lawsuit

Personally, I am in favor of regulated safety. I have no reason to trust manufacturers, whose bottom line is profit for them and their shareholders, to have safety features as their top priority (assuming less revenue for the company). This seems to be the mantra of products sold cheaply and mass produced. Whether they know it or not, safety is the consumer’s number one choice when buying a product (you can also apply this rule to job preference). Given two tablesaws (jobs) with equal price but different safety features, the consumer (employee) will choose the product (job) less likely to cause harm - thereby increasing production and improving quality of life. Harm-reducing features like seat belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes and speed limits etc. are not necessary to make a car go from A to B but are more a reflection of the bigger picture. There is a probability of error when using any machine. The faster it goes, the probability of error increases (try driving a motorcycle at 200mph and see if you don’t crash). Technology makes it so we can create machines that have features beyond the FULL control of most people’s abilities. I have a cheap mastercraft table saw that weighs about 25lbs. Because it’s portable (a product feature) I am more likely to make my cuts outside. If I set it up on a table without clamping it down (clamps do not come with the saw) and try to rip a 2x8 plank – which it has the ability to cut – the tiny size of the table, the weight of the saw, speed of the blade and the weight of the wood create a scenario that will make the saw tip over or slide off the table. There are no safety features built into the saw that reduces the probability of error in this scenario. Because I cannot afford to buy another saw, should I be reduced to use an inferior product – perhaps yes. But at what point do I have to fear for my safety as a result of inferior product manufacturing?

Re: iPad and Woodworking?

I have taken both my iPod touch and my PC laptop in the workshop at various times for the many reasons posted above. Some limiting factors of the laptop is that unless I have to do some very quick job the battery won't last long enough to be there for a full day. Bringing the cord and mouse to plug in, using an outlet, setting it up, getting the cords out of the way etc. is sometimes the extra hassle that keeps me from doing it. Also laptops are built nowadays with screens that cater to dvd movies and not reading. My 15" screen is awful for reading as there is more horizontal space than vertical and I'm constantly trying to scroll with the mouse pad after reading just two paragraphs - blah. A tablet computer like the iPad would solve the issues I've mentioned with a laptop very effectively by:
1. being more portable
2. No cords and mouse freeing an outlet and no wires to snag.
3. the screen cators to reading
4. scrolling and moving through articles would be faster and easier with an interactive touch screen.
5. longer battery life

We are just at the beginning of the app revolution. I suspect we will see many more apps available for woodworkers and designers and Sketchup or something like won't be far behind.

Re: A Dedicated Sharpening Bench- part 1

I'm right at the beginning of building my tiny basement shop (10'x17') and one of the things I will include is a utility sink that currently is in the laundry area. It is one of those generic plastic molded sinks almost 2' cubed. The great thing about them is they have a lip around the top much like a bathtub. I can place a 3/4 piece of plywood about 10" wide on the rims of the sink and it holds firm, stays flat, and I can line up and rinse my stones as I need them with no fear of getting water everywhere. I even have an area at the corner of the plywood to put my honing compound for the final touch.

Re: Setting up shop: Machine number two.

As a beginner woodworker I was fortunate enough to purchase a used collection of power tools from one fellow. For $650 I got a 14" band saw, 6" jointer, 12" thickness planer and a drill press all in one shot. None of which are exceptional pieces but they all work just fine. I recently sold my jointer and bought a Lee Valley 22" jointer hand plane with a fence. Because my projects are few and far between (and there is no production deadline) I'm realizing the ease and pleasure of using hand tools when I can. I love precision power tools as much as the next guy but the premium expense of the tool itself and the residuals like dust collection, space, noise, safety precautions and even electricity are so high that I'm starting to think outside the box. The jointer I felt was taking up way too much space and for the one job that it did, I feel I have replaced it with a more versatile and pleasing tool that I love to use (and is actually beautiful to look at). Now I'm starting to feel like I was taking in by the hype of aquiring power tools and neglected to consider how enjoyable hand tools are. Just my $.02 oh, and yes, I use my band saw way more than my table saw.

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

This is a subject that really gets my Irish up (and i'm not even Irish!) so exuse me in advance if I upset anyone's sensibilities. If you think for one minute that large American corporations are morally accountable to their workers then you are blinded by a misguided belief. Corporations are resposible to their SHAREHOLDERS. the very definition of capitalism is to profit from and idea or creation in anyway shape or form. Workers are there simply to meet that need. When the US pushed Canada and Mexico to sign the NAFTA agreement who's best interest do you think they were looking out for - definately not the American working men and women. So now not only do we have American corporations like Nike and Shell and GM (and many more) exploiting workers in the US, they can now exploit workers in other countries where regulations on labor laws and environmental control are not enforced for the sake of stuffing the shareholders pockets. This does double damage as you know because it leaves the US citizen at the unemployment line. The average joe like you and me are the loosers in this equation. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for excellence through health competition, but not when at the expense of people's lives, their children's education and the environment. Obviously no one wants to be under the control of a dictating government, but is having 10s of thousands of hard working people layed off or living as one of the "working poor" really that fair and ethically responsible? The irony is that as woodworkers we applaud hard work and attention to detail through mastery yet we want convenient, cheap tools that make woodworking easy and fast. And do we really need 20 different table saws to choose from?

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