Happy 300th Birthday
The last issue marked the 300th time we have sent out the Woodworker's Journal eZine. After Rob mentioned that in his editorial, we received a few well-wishes for this centenary occasion. - Editor
"I, for one, am grateful that you like to write this each month and I look forward to the next issue, especially the one you make up for my birthday at the beginning of April (my date is 3 April). I had to read the last line in the first paragraph again. I’ll bet there are a lot folks out there that have no idea what you mean by ones and zeros, but I do. I have a computer science degree and was programming before Windows came along. Some of the programming was done in ones and zeros, called machine language, because the testing equipment we had at the time was not able to use any other language. Talk about tough to proofread, and some of the tests ran for several pages of binary code. Now, however, I spend my time programming my woodworking tools (one does require the computer for input before it can do anything: The CarveWright System). Keep on spitting out those digits, and I’ll keep on enjoying them. Thanks again." - Bob Hoyle
"Biting my nails waiting on the next 300!" - R. Heppert
"Gratefulness goes both ways. Thanks for your attentions all this time. A fellow woodworker," - Delfino Martinez
This one even gave Rob a promotion. - Editor
"I live in Toowoomba, Australia. I have been subscribing to eZine mag for a long time now. I read it from start to end and have taken on board many of the things in it. I especially love the hints section and the readers' projects. Long may you reign as publisher." - Les Barker
And, some readers had suggestions for updating Rob's photo to accompany his editorial. - Editor
"Over the last few years, I have really enjoyed the eZine. The articles are very good, and I like the free plans as they have sparked many ideas also. As far as the new photo, I would be interested in seeing a photo timeline, including the saber-toothed tiger-skin and the bone-framed glasses. Post some of the photos and have readers guess what year they are from, if there is enough of them. Very much enjoy the site, keep up the good work!" - Mark W. Miller
"Though you have a great editorial, you often talk about your shop. I think it would be fitting to see you pictured in your shop. Perhaps with your current project(s). And to be honest, it should be us woodworkers thanking you and Woodworkers Journal. Keep up the sanity-keeping work!" - John E. Adams
Editor's Note: Those of you interested in checking out Rob's shop and his shop projects might want to check out his writings on the Woodworker's Journal Blog about project mock-ups or the dresser he built for his granddaughter.
Getting Rid of Bugs in Wood
This reader had a suggestion for the questioner in eZine 300's Q&A section who had concerns about a stash of wood containing "little worm holes filled with sawdust." - Editor
"First, if you have a place that does deep-freezing (there is an ice cream company in the St. Louis area that was cooperative) on the order of 45 below zero, take the wood at summer heat temperature, and move it quickly into the cold to stay for 24 hours. In the heat, the bugs/eggs are active/viable. If they go slowly cold, they likely will survive the change. If they go quickly to sub-zero temps, they will die of puncture wounds from the ice in their innards forming crystals. About the only easy way to kill the worms and eggs without using long-lasting chemicals (on a harpsichord in our case -- had three joints we had to re-glue)." - RileyG
This reader had a question relating to a project offered as a free plan in eZine Issue 300. - Editor
"I noticed a new (to me) term in your ezine and on your website. What is a 'Dry Assembly Clamp'? I have dozens of clamps of various types, sizes and shapes. I don’t intentionally get any of them wet, though wet glue does tend to go where I don’t want it. Or does 'dry' refer to a dry run at assembly before the actual glue-up? If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be better to use the same clamps that will be used for the actual glue-up? Since the Dry Assembly Clamp is made of wood, instead of metal, I can see that its light weight for a long reach would be useful in some situations." - Keith
Editor's Note: Keith, the answer is that a dry assembly clamp refers to a dry assembly -- or dry fit -- where you test the way the workpieces fit together before glue-up. And you can use the same clamps for dry assembly and for glue-up.
"Is Technology the End to Woodworking as we Know It?"
That's the question this reader posed as he continued the discussion from last issue's Feedback section, about whether "real" woodworkers use CNC [computer numerically controlled] routing technology. - Editor
"It seems to me that 'purists' want to pick and choose what they feel is 'proper woodworking.' I'm not hearing a clamoring to rid our shops of our table saw and planer in a movement to go back to the pit saw and hand planing! If Thomas Chippendale or the Greene brothers had had the choice to use CNC equipment, they would have! As it was, they used every advance they could in the manufacturing of their products, including sending carving out to specialists on a piecework basis. Some folks with CNCs are just 'farming out' their carving -- just as others have done historically.
"About six years ago, I made the decision to buy a CNC router. I saw how it could be used to good advantage, and in particular how it could free me from mundane repetitive tasks and give me more time to be creative! CNC users are working with materials never imagined 200 years ago and are redefining the way we use our other power tools. A CNC router in the shop changes the way you plan and think. It allows better utilization of rare resources through 'nesting' of components and allowing you to render an image of the completed part before any sawdust flies--eliminating bad ideas before they start! Twenty-five years from now (or less) people will say of 'purists,' 'he only uses CNC... not a "materializer" (or whatever the newest tool in the shop is)! Is it an end to woodworking as we know it? Or just the natural progression of change we all tend to resist." - Steve Glassel