STL 161: The Lightning Round!
In a futile attempt to empty the inbox, Mike, Matt, and Ben blaze through 14 questions in this special quick-fire episode
Shop Talk listeners, get $50 off your Fine Woodworking Live 2018 registration with the coupon code “SHOPTALK”
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Guys – I need some relationship advice. Last week my girlfriend needed to remove a staple from a document, so she went into my shop, grabbed one of my chisels off the wall and used it to pry the offending staple free. She can’t remember if she used one of my Japanese chisels or the antique Stanley … but whatever she chose it would have been more than up to the task after the many hours I’ve spent flattening and sharpening my chisels to a mirror finish. Needless to say, I was not happy. She thinks I’m crazy for getting worked up over a silly chisel.
We’ve decided to let you guys settle this. Should I allow her to use my hand tools for household tasks? Should I buy her a proper staple remover? Or is it time to let her go? -Tim S.
I have a 2-car garage with cinder block walls, I’m converting this into my new shop. I saw that Mike had a very similar situation to mine and in the 2011 issue of Tools and Shops you covered the renovation of his shop. I was planning on renovating mine in the same manner, mostly just using the same method for insulating has he did. Mike, having been in that shop for a while now, would you have done anything differently if you had to do it over again? -Chris
I will be making a bed soon and I purchased the Fine Woodworking plans for the Arts and Crafts Bed. Yesterday I realized that the plans are for a queen sized bed, but my mattress is king size. Is it okay to simply stretch out the plans to accommodate the width of my mattress? I’m concerned that changing the proportions will affect the look of the bed. What do you think? Any other considerations I need to take into account? I attached a stretched-out picture of the bed. I increased the width by 26%, which is the difference between a queen and a king. -Jason
How do you go about milling parts for kumiko? I have jointer/planer combo that I do general milling on, but I’m not sure if those tiny sticks would survive that process. -Joel
My grandmother is an avid, cutthroat even, domino player. I’d like to make her a wooden set for her upcoming 80th birthday. Any recommendations for wood selection? I’m wanting the pieces to be as heavy as possible. Any tricks for increasing weight? I’m recalling that people will add mass to the inside of wooden dead blow mallets, but domino pieces are so small. -Ben
I need help spending money! I am thinking about purchasing a smoothing plane with a high angle frog. I have used the ruler trick to put a little back bevel on my plane and it helps in curly maple and such, but I think I am ready for a dedicated plane. Should I go for a 50 or 55-degree frog? Are there any other things I should know? Should I be looking into like a bevel up plane instead, or perhaps a scraper plane. -Chase
My go-to finish for most of my small projects is canned clear shellac, cut to a 1-lb cut. Sometimes I notice there’s less liquid in the jars or the cut is thicker than I’d like after a few days, throwing off consistency and drying time. I used to use mason jars to ensure a tight seal but the ring eventually seizes up after being gunked up by shellac. I’ve since turned to a peanut butter jar which has a nice wide mouth to let me use a pad to apply the finish, but seems to be less than air tight. What’s the best way to store the stuff once I make a batch? -WoodyHg
I am looking to purchase a machine for making mortises quicker. I am leaning towards a benchtop unit for space and budgetary constraints. I know Mike likes the floor units but they are unfortunately far outside my budget and need at the moment. I see a lot of pros using slot mortisers. What is the advantage of these? It seems like it is much harder to see what you’re doing when using one of these. It also doesn’t seem to save much money unless you take the time to make one yourself. Are slot-mortisers worth considering for a dedicated mortising tool? -Stephen
I was cutting some grooves on my router table, and much to my surprise the bit popped up through the wood. The bit was pulling out of the collet. After changing my shorts, I adjusted the bit in the collet several times including really cranking down on the collet nut, and tired various the depth of cut, but I continued to have the problem. I contacted Porter-Cable and they sent me a new collet, but that did not fix the problem. I was able to return the router and purchased a Bosch 2.25 HP router but I still have the same problem. The bit is relatively new so I don’t think sharpness is the problem and I don’t have an issue with any other ¼ inch bits. I thought about scoring the shank of the bit with a file to give it a better bite in the collet, but was afraid this may put it out of true. Do you have any ideas on how to keep the bit in place? -Jim
- Mortising the ends of long boards by Ben Strano
- Add Bushings to Your Router Kit by Jeff Miller #263-Sep/Oct 2017 Issue
- Try This Versatile Mortising Jig by Michael Fortune #198–May/June 2008 Issue
I am making a coffee table using a bent lamination for the curved leg. I am hemming and hawing as to what type of glue should I use tight bond 1, 2, or 3, or should I use a two part glue or an epoxy type glue or gorilla glue or hide glue use see my quandary help please. -Fred
Assuming I’m ok with the added expense of sand paper, is getting a drum sander a viable alternative to a massive jointer? My thought would be to make a sled out of ¾ inch MDF like the planer sleds that have been in the magazine to stabilize the rough sawn lumber. Joint the first face and then run the other face through without the sled to get it flat. It can handle 20-inch-wide case sides in one easy pass. -Rob
Recently I’ve grown a beard at the request of my 6 yr old. I’m worried that my respirator won’t be effective because of my beard. I see that you all have facial hair. What are your thoughts on beards and dust? -Chris
Do you store your finishes/chemicals in a fire proof cabinet? I have a metal shelving unit in my shop from an old work van and was considering somehow “insulating” the inside and adding a metal door. Would this suffice? What do you each do personally? -Ben
I’m going to take the plunge and purchase a premium plane. I’ve had my eye on the LN no. 4 for some time but I recently came across the no. 164 low angle smoother. Do you have any experience with this plane? My thought is I could purchase and hone an extra blade at a steeper angle to deal with tricky grain and the 90* blade to use as a scraper. It seems like the no. 164 can do everything the no. 4 can do and more. What am I missing? -Andrew
Via iTunes comment:
Love this podcast
by Roberto Cipriano on Mar 09, 2018
This podcast makes being in my car the next best thing to being in my shop! The tips are great, I’m always buying new books or reading articles or ordering tools that I learn about from the podcast. I’m a subscriber to the magazine and the website; the podcast really ties it all together and makes it easy to get the most out of the subscriptions and discover new aspects of woodworking that I might have otherwised missed.
On the topic of beginner mistakes, I was the guy who did way too much researching and not creating myself. Like Mike said, stop researching and get out and start building. I wish I would have done that sooner.
Special Projects Editor
Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.