STL221: Gary Rogowski admits woodworking is hard
Gary Rogowski joins Ben to answer listener questions on drying lumber, sharpening problems, sawing practice, and the feasibility to create a four legged piece without it rocking.
This episode is sponsored by Lee Valley
I’m a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, and at a build a few years ago there was this big (over 4-1/2 ft diameter) old walnut tree that had to come down. After beating off the people that wanted it for firewood, I got to take it home and have it sawn for lumber. I then stickered and stacked it, put a shed roof over the pile, and waited. It’s now 3 years later and I’m ready to put it to use and build some shelves for my house. The lumber’s got a moisture content of 11% according to my moisture meter, and seems to be stable at that level here in SW Virginia. My house is heated and air conditioned, so I would expect that the eventual moisture content of the shelves would wind up around 7-8%. I’ve heard recommendations to bring the wood into the house for a while to let it equilibrate, but that’s impractical considering the number of board feet involved. My shop is not climate controlled. Short of building a kiln, how do I deal with this? Are proper construction techniques sufficient to deal with the wood movement?
I have been practicing joinery on pine and poplar for a little over a year just about every day. I’m still struggling to get things perfect, and I feel as though I mess with it too much and always seem to keep moving my scribe line back. How much of making precise cuts and chiseling are muscle memory vs natural talent? Also, will an Exacto knife function for a marking knife?
I recently acquired a Stanley #5 from an estate sale. After doing some light clean up on the plane body I went to sharpen the blade. After touching up the back, I started on the bevel. When I was done I reinstalled the blade and took a test cut. The blade only cut on about a 1 /16” on each side of the blade. I pulled the blade back out and checked the cutting edge against a straight edge. Sure enough, from about 1/16” on each side the blade wallows out about 1/64”-1/32”. I made sure to flatten my water stones and the blade edge. But after I finished it once again it wallowed out the middle of the blade. I’m using a Veritas MK2 honing guide, Norton water stones, and a glass plate w/ sandpaper to flatten. I haven’t had this happen on anything else I’ve sharpened. Any ideas?
When do you go buy a cheap carbide router bits to use vs. spending the extra money to get a quality carbide bit? If you know you are only going to use it maybe for a handful of times does that influence your purchase?
The Q&A that Gary references can be found in issue #152.
When do tables , chairs and stools I build rock ? I make every effort to my layout joinery carefully. I always seem to always have to level the legs after construction. Any suggestions on how to remedy this ?
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 [email protected] 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.