Another Approach to Our Inkwell Plans

Free Plans

Mahogany Inkwell Pencil Holder

Dave Yurth thinks it would be better to drill out the center of the inkwell with a Forstner bit before turning, then attach the block to the lathe turning plate. The original instruction called for using a 1-1/2″ spade bit to bore a 2-1/2″ deep hole after turning and sanding. Dave worries, however, that this approach would make it difficult to match up the hole with the turned exterior, and that tearout from the spade bit would make it hard to get a smooth lip on the vessel.

Tool Maker Insider

Rousseau Company

After reading our article about the Rousseau Company, James D. Marco was moved to write about his negative experiences with one of the company’s router fences.

1. Due to poor grinding on the milled fence surfaces, it was about 1/32″ off in two dimensions. (James was able to correct this with a belt sander.)

2. The machined hold-downs/adjusters were ground at a relatively severe angle, which caused the fence to move in the direction he’s tightening. And the angled hold-downs are too wide for the plastic handles on the nuts, as supplied. (He had to use a larger washer on one side and plans to use 1/2″ bolts and re-grind the slot.)

3. The grain of the plywood used on the fence caused a warp, which had to be discarded. The guard and spring would not work with a 2-1/4″ panel raising bit. (He corrected the warp with a longer piece of straight grained, solid wood.)

Reader’s Response

Difference Between Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner

n our last Reader’s Response, a correspondent declared that paint thinner and mineral spirits were essentially the same product … mineral spirits have been refined at least one more step to make it odorless. But according to Michael Dresdner: “FYI — this is incorrect. Paint thinner and mineral spirits are in fact two names for the same product. Both of them are refined the same amount, and NEITHER of them is odorless. There is a material called “Odorless Mineral Spirits” but that is something else entirely. It consists almost completely of isoparaffins, as opposed to the wide spectrum of alkanes used in mineral spirits and/or paint thinner.”

Questions and Answers

Best Saw Blade for Melamine and Plywood

Kevin Watson declares that the best blade for cutting melamine is made by Royce-Ayr Cutting Tools in Canada. To produce a chip-free cut, according to Kevin, it features a 30-degree, alternate top bevel with a negative 5-degree hook angle.

What Is the Difference between Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner

As a paint chemist for some forty-odd years, Dick Melton feels he know a thing or two about mineral spirits and isn’t afraid to get technical:

– Mineral spirits generally contains small amounts of aromatic solvents (Xylene and/or Aromatic 100/150) to give extra boost to its solvency power. That extra strength is needed to stand up to the polymer modifications contained in newer resin systems and varnishes.

– Technically, mineral spirits and paint thinner are the same. But some hybrid polyurethane systems are not soluble in paint thinner because it lacks aromatic content. (That’s why, at times, he’s had trouble cleaning brushes with paint thinners.)

– Aromatic hydrocarbons cost more than plain mineral sprits because they are also used in gasoline to boost octane numbers, and their content and emissions are stringently controlled by the Federal government.

Zero Clearance Insert

John Bell described how he made inserts for his small Craftsman direct drive saw. Using a 1/8″ piece of aluminum, he’s created three for different angles. They’ve reduced tearout, cut down on noise, and helped reduce dust and flying chips.

Another Craftsman table saw owner, Steve Murphy has just finished making a zero clearance insert for his saw. His was constructed of 1/4″ plywood, cut and chiseled to fit. (There are also a couple of 1/8″ prongs jutting from the right side of the throat.) To re-enforce it near the blade and prevent any swag in the center, he glued a 1/2″ X 1/2″ piece of stock parallel to the blade on the underneath side. It took about an hour to fashion by “cut and try,” but he describes it as working beautifully.

George Manson (yet another Craftsman owner) has made several inserts for his table saw from 1/2″ solid surface material scraps. For a flush surface fit, he rabbets the underside with a regular carbide straight edge bit to the desired depth. He declares that his inserts are sturdy, uniform in thickness, and will hold their shape indefinitely.

Other Reader Comments

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Mistakes and the resulting design changes, according to Dennis Compton, can often make the finished piece more interesting.

Glue Packaging

Explaining that he’s heard opened yellow glue only lasts a year, Marty Kovacs wonders why manufacturers don’t make single use glue containers … say, less than an ounce. Even if a project took less, there’d be much less leftover glue to worry about going bad.

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