A Doff to Dresdner and Work Sharp

“Michael, I just finished reading through the latest WJ eZine volume. The new sharpening system sounds intriguing. I have received a great amount of learning from your many WJ print articles, eZine contributions, online answers and a couple of your books. This is just a quick note to say how truly grateful I am for your desire to pass on your tremendous experience to all of us. I also appreciate the way in which you bring and communicate this information in an understandable form that is enjoyable to read. Many thanks.” – Tin Hovde

Dresdner responds: You are most welcome, and thank you for the kind words. I and my fellow editors here at Woodworker’s Journal strive to be helpful, and hearing that we succeeded in doing so is both a delight and an honor.

Cinder Blockage

A writer in the last issue noted that some new cordless drills weigh as much as a cinder block, which we suspected was exaggeration, but discovered, thanks to this letter, that perhaps it was not.  – Editor

“My husband’s cordless drill finally gave up the ghost, so he ordered a new one over the Internet. He didn’t realize the weight difference between the old and the new. The newer one’s weight is two ounces less than a cinder block. We weighed both. When he said cinder block, he wasn’t far off the mark.” – Tanna Lee Wells

These are apparently lighter than cement blocks, which, according to our readers, are much more common these days. – Editor

“Here in Manitoba, cinder blocks were banned years ago for use in construction through our building codes. Since they actually used cinders in the manufacturing of the blocks, their strength fell far short of concrete blocks.” – El Hancox

“As another ‘old duffer,’ I commonly use expressions like ‘cinder block.’ I was informed quite pointedly at my supply store that they haven’t made cinder blocks in a hundred years (another exaggeration?); they are all cement blocks now.” – Michael J. Dollard

Déjà Vu

“In view of your remark about keeping turning tools sharp for cedar, what is the best way to sharpen turning tools?” — Steve Lemley

Odd, but that exact question was asked and answered in issue 172, just three issues ago. As luck would have it, Woodworker’s Journal turning columnist Betty Scarpino devoted her column in the May/June 2007 print issue to answering that very question. — Editor

Now There’s a Plan We’d Like to See

“I was relieved to find the Drill Press Organizer and Barbecue Tray to be two different items and not one super-multitasking project!” — Jonathan Johnson

Now you’ve piqued our curiosity. We can’t help wonder if there are in fact multiple use helper items our readers have seen in their imaginations, or perhaps have made for their shops. How about it, folks? Got any creative ideas to share with your fellow readers? — Editor

Sittin’ Doll

“Making the dolls described in your article is something every kid that took woodshop at Central Junior High in Newark, Delaware did. The shop teacher called them ‘Jiggy Jones,’ as we would place a two-foot dowel in Jones’ back; clamp an equally long, thin plank to the workbench and, when the plank was struck and vibrated, ‘Jiggy Jones’ would dance. I’m not sure, but I think it is a very old Appalachian area toy. We didn’t paint them; other than that the doll looks identical.” – Laurence Viering

What you described is indeed an Appalachian toy usually called a “limber jack.” There are certainly similarities, but the primary difference we noticed is that the Berkowitz dolls, in addition to having moving joints, can stand (or sit) on their own without falling over, something the typical limber jack will not do. – Editor

Typo Corner

Drop a letter here, change one there, and presto, you have a humorous typo. – Editor 

“The piece was lifted with an electronic wench hidden in the ceiling above.”

We suspect that in her younger years, the sassy wench used to haul anchor on a pirate ship. – Editor

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