Recent comments

Re: UPDATE: Read a review of Wooden Boxes by the giveaway winner

It is always great to continue to learn. Glad authors are willing to share their knowledge.

Re: UPDATE: Hand Planing Techniques by Hendrik Varju

I've taken instruction from Henrik and know how thorough he is. Having this DVD as part of a reference library would be a very useful treasure that would be a great source of reference before, rather than after making those annoying mistakes.

Re: Should Woodworkers Say Goodbye to Ebony?

I have great respect for the ethical approach that Taylor is taking on ebony. I think that if more companies had this type of foresight we would still have many ohter woods in abundance, like New Zealnd kauri for example.

Re: Make Your Own Dowels

Try gripping the rough dowel in your hand drill and then spinning the wood through the dowel plate. It is faster than hammering, doesn't leave you with a mushroom end and saves time if you need to make a larger number of them.

Re: Cutlists are a waste of space

I tend to use and work from a cut list on my larger projects but to avoid the trap of cutting to the wrong size I always have 2 measurements for each part. One is the actual part size so that I can have a good idea of how much wood to buy. The other is a rough cut or "milling dimension" which is larger than the part size. By using milling dimensions, the parts that I am cutting are always oversize in all 3 dimensions. I always refer to the milling dimension or rough cut size to work from and I never have any fear of cutting a part too small as I know that I will have the extra length, width and thickness as a margin for error. But I don't normally refer to the final cut size without going back to the actual piece to do a final check before cutting the pieces. I have had plenty of "measured once and cut twice and it is still too short" pieces of kindling to learn from.

Re: 10 Ways to Avoid Shop Fires

I am a woodworking hobbyist but an insurance agent by trade. I thought this was a good article, although it is always unfortunate that a shop needs to be lost before fire saftey is reviewed. We all know how difficult it is to find a company that will insure a woodshop. And none of us want our insurance rates to increase but the fact is, insurers are reluctant to insure a woodshop because they tend to be a fire hazard and there are so many fire claims on them.

I think of my own shop and how many years it has taken me to acquire all the tools that enable me to do the work I do. I probably could not sit down and list every piece. If there was a fire in my shop, I might not be able to even remember all the pieces of equipment I have in order to make a claim.

If anything can be taken out of this fire, I am sure Jon Brooks would suggest that each one of us review our fire saftey equipment and procedures. May I also suggest to ask your insurance company for help on this. They don't wish to experience a fire any more than you do. But, because they do handle these claims from time to time, and see patterns in causes of fires, I am sure that they would be very willing to provide fire saftey suggestions that would keep you in business. The exercise of asking and implementing their recommendations may not only save your shop from a fire but will also put you in good stead with your insurer. This may result in their willingness to look for cost-saving credits to apply to your policy to reduce your rates.

If we were all to take a little time to review shop saftey and fire saftey and implement some improvements, that exercise, over time, would result in fewer insurance claims which, in turn, would result in lower rates.

Fred Webster

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