Issue: Issue 111
Posted Date: 11/16/2004
Emerson Hawley maintained about one of the plans offered in the Oct. 19-Nov. 1 edition, "I really can't go along with a wooden candleholder that makes no provision for preventing a fire when the candle burns down. People do forget things like looking after a burning candle, especially if it's a fat, long-burning one like you'd use in this holder."
Outdoor Wood Choices
An anonymous reader wrote to add a local favorite; bald cypress. "The current price of pretty good second growth cypress is a good bit less than mahogany or teak, and it generally ages to a nice gray.
Kelly Craig suggested that whatever wood you choose, maintaining an exterior finish on it will help prolong its life, and keep it looking good as well.
Someone identified only as "House of Gibs" wanted to know "Why can't people use an information page for its intended use, instead of a place to raise the hackles on another's neck?" The editors sincerely hope that placing his comment here does not raise the hackles on anyone's neck.
Paint thinner vs. naphtha vs. mineral spirits
Our favorite pair of comments, regarding the Websurfer's Review thread on solvents, is the following:
"That article on paint thinner/naptha/mineral spirits was the most confusing thing I have ever read. It made absolutely no sense at all." (Bill/Bev Curnow)
"This article alone made it worth the effort to read your eZine. Thanks for the information." (Jonathan Stout) Cleaning Brushes
Lillian Jernigan wanted John Brock to know "your reply on cleaning the oil stains and varnish brushes was a excellent one," but went on to describe an additional step: rinsing them in OxiClean. "It was simply an accident that I found OxiClean to be so good for cleaning brushes. It also works great on rug stains."
"I use kerosene," offered John C. "Even if you don't wash them out with soap and water right away, they still remain softer than with the other products.
John Klouda says he uses an old painter's formula of one part gasoline to three parts fuel oil for cleaning brushes used with oil-based coatings. (Editor's note: Gasoline contains known carcinogens, so gear up accordingly if you go this route.)
"I asked a painter friend of mine how he disposes of his solvents," wrote a gentleman named Tom. "He suggested using kitty litter in a 5 gallon bucket, then pouring the waste solvent into that. Turn the litter every day or so until the solvent is evaporated, then dispose of the litter in the trash. It works for me." (We're almost certain he starts with clean kitty litter, and keeps the cat away from the bucket. Ed.)
Terry Smith warned against pouring alcohol down the sink if the plumbing is PVC. "It can sit in the trap and melt the pipe itself, as well as weaken the joint. This is a little known condition, but a very important one."
"This sincere message of condolence goes out to the family and friends of Mr. Lee Gilchrist, a kindred spirit. He had managed to get things going for the eZine in his inimitable, downright simple style, which will always be remembered, not to mention his superb sense of humour. We agree with Rob Johnstone when he says, 'Life is so very unfair at times...' Such true talent will be sadly missed."
Bangalore, South India.
Flickering Halogen Lights
Steve Twigg said, "I've got the same problem with my kitchen exhaust fan. I know you can get incandescent bulbs that are made for vibration, but I haven't seen any halogen lights that state that."
Calculations for Octagon and Others "Pepperidge Farm Remembers"
"For woodworking calculations go to
For the octagon, go to 'POLYCUT' It calculates for any number of sides for all angles. A very handy program!" says i.fly.rc
Tool Company Buyouts
Charles E. Kubin, who described himself as a former tool seller, says that contrary to prevailing negative opinion, many such consolidations result in better tools at better prices. He credits the profit motive, saying "You don't keep a [merged] company profitable by destroying anything that contributed to the success of either company."
Peter Johnson wrote in to say that years ago, Black and Decker had a portable drill accessory for making perfectly perpendicular holes in materials. Basically, it was a hexagonal "cup," with an extension shaft you connected directly to the drill. It had cutouts for pressing against pipe or board edges, and a flat for plane surfaces. Also, the cup caught all the shavings on an overhead operation. It was a sweet little accessory. Does anyone else remember that B&D accessory?
The Critics Raved
"I find the following phrase in your tool review objectionable and insulting:
'The image we have of Australians is that they're a bit cocksure of themselves, a bit wacky, not afraid of experimentation.'
As a proud Aussie I refute that we are cocksure of our ourselves or wacky. That you have decided to describe us as cocksure or wacky is not worthy of you."
And we thought that was a compliment! Ed.